Skin gets saggier, wrinkles are more visible, our metabolism slows down, eyesight wanes and the pounds can creep up as we grow wiser in our years. People gain weight as they age mainly because their metabolism slows down, hormonal changes happen especially in women and these changes in their body means muscle is naturally turned to fat.
A lot of middle-aged people are also less active than younger people. Having said that, some younger people are also inactive when it comes to fitness so, at times, weight gain is not necessarily due to age but also due to unhealthy lifestyles.
Weight gain is something a lot of us have experienced at some point of our lives but more so if you’re hitting middle age and if you’re older. Maintaining your ideal weight can be rather difficult. Some nutritionists advise people aged 45 and above to eat 200 fewer calories a day to prevent the number on the weighing scales going up as the years pass.
So how does one halt the middle age spread?
1. Eat more yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts, as these foods are linked to aiding weight loss.
2. Avoid eating refined grains, starches, and sugars, e.g. white bread, potatoes, and sweets (cakes, chocolate, cookies, kuih, desserts, etc) as these foods are linked to weight gain.
3. Avoid or cut down your consumption of red meat and processed meat, as these foods are also linked with weight gain.
4. Avoid or cut down eating carbohydrates, especially in combination with dairy products as these foods especially when combined together have a high glycemic load -meaning they cause a spike in blood sugar and that causes weight gain.
Researchers from a recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health analysed data from three long-term papers in which 120,000 US health professionals were followed for more than 16 years. Each participant filled invalidated self-reported questionnaires on their food.
The results from the study showed that diets with a high glycemic load caused an increase in blood sugar, which in turn, resulted in weight gain. The food culprits that contributed to weight gain were refined grains, starches and sugars.
The researchers also found that an increase in the intake of red meat and processed meat were most strongly associated with weight gain. Food such as yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken and nuts were most strongly associated with weight loss – and the more people ate, the less weight they gained.