Even if you were thinner when you were younger, chances are as you have got older your waistline has started to expand, with your weight surely creeping up too.
This middle aged spread will happen to many of you, but you do not have to accept it.
There are plenty of ways to fight it, please read on to discover firstly what causes middle aged spread and the various ways to combat it.
What causes middle aged spread?
The main reason we tend to gain weight as we age is because of your hormones.
As you age, from your thirties onwards the hormone levels of both sexes will slow, which will cause a reduction in your metabolism as well as a number of other issues.
This will likely result in a weight gain of 1-2 pounds every year between the age of 35 to 55.
Men will find that their testosterone levels will fall, which means that muscle mass will drop along with their metabolism.
Women will also find that both their oestrogen and progesterone levels will fall, this will result in more fat tissue to form around your waistline.
What can you do to fight middle aged spread?
There are a few things that you should do to fight middle aged spread:
#1: Eat more protein and fewer carbs
As mentioned above, as you age your muscle mass will decrease, which will result in a lower metabolism and weight gain.
To combat this you should increase your intake of protein, which is an essential building block of muscle.
Healthy protein sources include:
- Lean meat
You should also cut back on refined carbs, like white bread and pasta. Instead, you should opt for wholegrain varieties.
The reason for eating the wholegrain varieties is that they are slower to digest, and will not cause the sugar high and subsequent crash that causes further food cravings.
#2: Start weight training
Again, to reduce the loss of muscle you need to be working them.
This means that you should try to incorporate some weight training into your daily exercise regime.
Aim to lift a weight heavy enough to exhaust your muscles after 12 reps, but are light enough to complete 8 reps.
If you focus on compound exercises like the bench press, squat and deadlift you can work a number of muscles, so ensuring you get the best workout for your limited time.
#3: Try to reduce stress
Stress can cause your body to overproduce cortisol, which is a hormone that will likely cause fat to accumulate on your waist.
Yoga, or deep breathing exercises are a good way to reduce stress.
#4: Move around more often
If you have a job that involves you sitting around for hours every day then you are more likely to gain weight around your middle.
This is because inactivity can cause an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase not to work properly.
It is this protein that helps to burn fat from your waist, so to get it working as it should try to move around more often. Even standing at your desk burns twice as many calories as sitting.
#5: Get adequate sleep
A lack of sleep can also affect your cortisol levels, plus as you are feeling tired you will be less likely be able to resist the temptation of those unhealthy foods.
You should really aim to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night.
To improve the quality of your sleep you should try to limit screen time before bed, so no phone or TV, and to remove anything from your bedroom that could disrupt your sleep.
Chances are you are going to suffer from middle aged spread, luckily there are things that you can do to combat it.