Middle age spread is something that many of us are going to encounter, with women more likely to start experiencing it around the age of 38, with men at 44.
Studies have shown that once you hit middle age you are likely to start gaining between 1-2 pounds in weight a year, but is there anything you can do to prevent it? Well, read on to find out.
#1: Watch those portion sizes
To avoid weight gain you really need to stop eating so much, which means you need to start watching your portion sizes.
An easy way to keep control of your portions is to simply use a smaller plate and to avoid second helpings.
Your hand can also help tell you what amount of each food you should be eating. For example a portion of meat should be the size of your palm, while any carbs, fruit or vegetables should really be the size of your fist.
#2: Try to be active
It may seem obvious but you should try to be as active as possible. Exercise can help combat middle age spread, which will help to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Even a brisk walk every day will be better than doing nothing.
#3: Get some sleep
If you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night your chance of becoming obese and developing heart disease and diabetes will be raised.
When we are tired we are more likely to make poor food choices due to your cravings being increased because of excess cortisol being produced.
#4: Watch your stress
Cortisol is also produced when you are stressed so take a relaxing bath, or try some yoga to relieve any tension you are experiencing.
#5: Change your diet
If you are eating a lot of processed junk such as cakes, biscuits, or soft drinks then you need to stop. Even white rice should be avoided.
Instead you should be eating high fibre alternatives such as wholemeal bread and brown rice, as the fibre will help keep you fuller for longer.
As they are digested slowly the energy will be released slowly too, which means it is less likely to go straight to your mid-section.
#6: Get up off your bottom
If you sit around a lot during the day, perhaps due to a sedentary job for instance then your body will stop producing as much lipoprotein lipase it needs to burn fat.
Obviously if you are no longer able to burn fat naturally this will impact negatively on your weight.
#7: Have breakfast later
You will often hear health professionals say how eating late at night can cause weight gain, well I will go one step further and say that you should also try to eat breakfast a little later too.
By going around 16 hours without food overnight you will essentially be fasting, which will force your body to tap into its glycogen stores for energy.
This process will in turn enable you to burn fat.
#8: Eat protein with each meal
Maintaining muscle mass is essential as you get older, which is why protein is so important.
It can also help keep you feeling fuller for longer as it is slower to digest than both carbohydrates and fat.