So many Americans are overweight now that it is a national epidemic. By being overweight you probably increase your risk for many health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease and arthritis just to name a few.
All of the above is depressing enough to send one to the freezer for another pint of chocolate fudge ice cream. And to frustrate us even further we are being told that after age forty it is impossible to lose weight.
So, is it really true that after age 40 it’s impossible to lose weight and/or to keep it off? Absolutely not is the answer. Yes, there are hormonal changes, changes in how your organs work. Yes, we start losing muscle mass as we age. Yes, it may be a bit more difficult after age 40. All this may contribute to changes in metabolism; however, it is not impossible to lose weight at any age just as it is possible to gain weight at any age.
People tend to slow down after age forty and stop being physically active. Many are working harder than ever and are dealing with very stressful and hectic lives. The job, the kids, the bills, appointments, emergencies, fast food, over loaded schedules it all becomes too much. Exercise becomes a dirty word it seems impossible to fit it into our lives.
However, if you are overweight at any age you can and should find a healthy way to take it off before it becomes a deterrent to your health and your ability to live an active healthy life.
There isn’t much you can do about hormonal changes, but check with your health care provider for advice on this situation.
Don’t go on a diet – that denotes a temporary situation – you will go off the diet and regain all that you have lost. Change your eating habits. Choose high-fiber, low-fat foods. Go for fruits and vegetables instead of sugary desserts. Choose low fat dairy and cheese instead of the whole fat foods. This way you can loose weight gradually. Make it a lifestyle and you will not gain it back again.
For loss of muscle mass the answer is exercise. Find something you love to do and do it. You don’t have to lift weights in the gym – try walking, swimming, dancing or playing sports with your kids. Remember muscle helps burn fat so the more you have the more fat you can burn.
Remember your metabolism slows down about 5% every ten years – meaning you burn 100 fewer calories per day starting at age 35, and 200 fewer at age 45. That adds up to weight gain unless you make lifestyle changes to counter act this slow down of metabolism.
Don’t resort to crash or fad diets; instead make gradual changes to your lifestyle, make healthy food choices, and make exercise an every day occurrence. You can do this and you will be surprised at the difference in your life when you embrace this new way of life. Remember, always check with your health care provider before embarking on a new eating and exercising plan.
Virginia is a Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter and Grandmother. Also a Native American from the Wintu Tribe of Northern California. Avid reader, swimmer, and Zumba Dancer. Always striving for better health and happiness! When all is said and done the most important thing in life is family. Visit us for more ideas on healthy living.