Who else turned 40 and wondered where those extra inches came from? The results of cruising through life eating family-sized bars of chocolate are starting to show.
After wondering why friends always refused the dessert, patting their stomachs, “not for me, watching my waistline” it’s exactly what I’ve started doing. Oh no! But it’s an uphill battle, I have a really bad sweet tooth and it’s never going to work, time to find an alternative!
It’s no secret that as we get older, whether it’s 35 or 55, maintaining a healthy becomes increasingly difficult. It might have started in your college days when you realized all the fast food and cheap wine was doing a number on you. Or in your 30/40s when ‘you’ took a backseat on your waistline management, replaced by the stresses of work and juggling family life. By your mid 40/50s you realise you now have the ability and time to regain your life, and so the struggle begins again!
Why as we age are the pounds easier to put on than they are to take off!?
1. Not enough sleep
Sleep is more elusive than ever, you have a demanding job, a boss who wants you to work around the clock, kids to run around after and meals to cook. Our sleep slots are cut even shorter by frequent bathroom visits and aches and pains. Sleep is a distant memory.
So, you’re now running on empty, who wants to diet? We’re all guilty of turning to comfort food and cake when the energy and motivation levels are running at a low and we feel a little sorry for ourselves.
You stay and work through your lunch break, grab something ‘naughty’ a quick fix, then your energy levels have hit the floor, skip the gym tonight, you’re tired anyway and so the cycle continues! Lack of sleep slaw’s down the metabolism the following day, increases higher levels of the appetite-regulating ghrelin and the stress hormones cortisol, not good! Acute sleep deprivation also alters the balance of gut bacteria, which has been widely implicated as key for maintaining a healthy metabolism. We need our sleep!
2. A fast metabolism – where’s that gone?
So, you’ve always eaten what you wanted to and didn’t need to think about it! Well here’s the bad news… Our metabolism slows down 5% every decade after we turn 40!
So, the speed our body converts food to energy is far slower as time goes by, it’s time to start making some changes. Start introducing smaller meals, rather than skipping meals as we need to reboot that metabolism! Adding chilli/cayenne pepper to our dishes, spices are proven to speed this up.
3. Hungry all the time?
Blame your hormones! After we hit 40, our oestrogen levels fall, which causes changes in the blood sugar and thyroid, which increases your appetite (just what we need to keep off the pounds!). Replace those snacks and unhealthy food options with some fibre, it keeps you fuller for longer!
4. Losing your muscles
We’ve all heard “muscle weighs more than fat.” Well, muscle burns three times more than fat so ‘use it or lose it’.
Pick up those dumbbells and let’s get training, for every pound of muscle you gain (rather than fat) your metabolism will fire up and continue to burn calories throughout the day. We can do biceps curls with baked bean cans, so there is no excuse! And we’re warding off osteoporosis and many other age-related diseases!
Like what you see? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more content like this delivered straight to your inbox!