Ten Weight-Loss Tips to Consider as You Age
Some people can maintain a healthy body weight in their youth and through the early years of adulthood with ease. Other people have struggled with the number on the scale for as long as they can remember. Eventually, however, there comes a time in nearly everyone’s life where age and the aging process start to wreak havoc with muscle tone, fat distribution, and overall body weight. Whether hormones, lifestyle choices or just overall laziness is causing the problem, there is a noticeable change that many people want to avoid if at all possible.
While you can’t stop the clock or turn back the ravages of time, there are some changes you can, and should, make to help maintain or regain that sleek look of youth.
1. First of all, you have to acknowledge reality. You aren’t a teenager anymore. You may not even be able to lay claim to young adulthood. If you’ve passed the age of 40, you are flirting with middle age. Accepting this fact, however, doesn’t mean you have to give in to what seems inevitable; it just means you have to face a new set of challenges. Don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to fight back.
2. Fruits and vegetables were always an important part of your healthy diet, but they should take on a whole new meaning as your age creeps up. Fruits and vegetables will always give you more bang for your calorie intake than just about any other food or food group. They provide sufficient nutrients with minimal calories, and they can be quite filling as well, allowing you to feel satiated sooner.
3. Breakfast is more important than ever if you are trying to control your weight and your food intake. Whole grain cereals, along with protein from eggs or yogurt will provide a full stomach a lot longer than a cheese Danish or pancakes with a side of hash browns.
4. Some people swear by the philosophy of eating a heftier meal at lunch time and then cutting back on their food consumption at dinner. The idea is to have more hours to burn off some of those mid-day calories. When you consume your calories, however, is not as critical as how many you take in throughout the day.The choice is still yours. Regardless of how you structure your meals, it’s always a good idea to stop eating when you’ve finished dinner. Midnight snacks can be detrimental to your waistline.
5. If you haven’t been doing so up until this point in your life, start preparing and eating more of your meals at home. Restaurant meals are a minefield of hidden fat, sodium, sugar and calories. The best way to monitor your food intake is by preparing most of your meals yourself, with ingredients you recognize and portions you control.
6. Of course, you know the importance of portion control. Nutritionists have been preaching it for years. There are two things to understand about the concept: 1) a normal portion is probably less than what you have been accustomed to eating most of your life; 2) you should eat that smaller portion and never return for seconds. That second helping will defeat the purpose of minding your amounts.
7. Learn to eat without multi-tasking. Savor your food. Appreciate what you are doing for your body. Distractions such as your cell phone, the television or your computer make it easy to eat more while enjoying it less. Share your meals with a loved one or friend whenever possible to make the dining experience rewarding and healthy.
8. Treat water as the elixir of life that it is. Make water your drink of choice as much as possible. Sodas and alcoholic beverages should be treats, much like chocolate cake for dessert. It’s a scary statistic that many people consume a quarter or more of their daily calories by what they drink instead of by what they eat.
9. You may think you’re too busy to work out, and you may be right. If that’s the case for you, consider the eventual outcome. Exercise burns calories. Exercise tones your body. Exercise clears your mind. Exercise keeps vital organs operating at peak efficiency. Lack of exercise reduces all of these outcomes for you as you age. Now, are you still sure you are too busy to exercise?
10. Getting a good night’s sleep is about more than not being tired each day. Sleep, much like exercise, rejuvenates the body. Poor sleep is associated with weight gain, as well. If stress, medications or physical problems interfere with getting adequate rest, you owe it to yourself to address these issues with a doctor.
Weight gain is not an inevitable consequence of aging. You have to learn to adjust your life and your habits to make the most of every aspect of your life. You have many more decades of life to live. You should do so while feeling and looking your best. Weight management will help you achieve both goals.
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