Spare tyre, muffin top, love handles… whatever you call it, middle-age spread is real. Studies have revealed that the age at which we are most susceptible to putting on weight is 38 for women and 44 for men. Here’s why, and what you can do about it:
Lower metabolic rate
The body’s metabolic rate naturally slows down with age in both men and women. Burning less calories means gaining more kilos.
Less muscle mass
From the age of 30, the muscles in your body starts to shrink. This leads to weight gain, since muscles burn more calories and keep your body lean.
A drop in hormones
Women experience a sharp drop in oestrogen levels, which prompts the body to retain fat (especially around the belly) so that it can draw oestrogen from the fat cells. For men, it’s the fall in testosterone levels that causes weight gain around the midriff.
Many men and women tend to have a more sedentary lifestyle in their middle age. This further slows down their already declining metabolic rate.
Having a high-pressured job causes your body to continuously release the stress hormone cortisol. Stubborn body fat – especially belly fat – is just one of the ways in which your body compensates when it’s exposed to too much stress.
Tips to fight middle-age weight gain
Eat more protein
According to research, you need 10% more protein than you did during your younger years. Protein is the building block of muscle, and since muscle mass diminishes as you age, you need protein at every meal.
Eliminating as much stress as possible from your daily routine will help cut the amount of cortisol your body makes, which could prevent the build-up of fat around your tummy.
Check your portion sizes
Dish your meals on a smaller plate and don’t get tempted into having second helpings. If snacking is a problem, use Herbex Slimmers Tabs and Slimmers Tabs for Men to help control your appetite.
Get more sleep
Research consistently shows that getting less than seven hours’ sleep per night increases the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Regular strength training will help counteract muscle loss and keep your metabolism higher. You can do this by using your own body weight (squats, lunges, press-ups, etc.), resistance machines at the gym and kettle bells and free-weights. View our free exercise programs for men and women.