The older you become, the harder it is to lose weight. There are multiple reasons for this, however, two big ones are (1) your metabolism truly is slowing down a bit and (2) your unhealthy habits are becoming more ingrained with each passing day, which makes them even harder to break. Do yourself a favor and start today.
I just want to give you a brief overview today of what happens to your body with each passing decade and the secrets of how to combat the changes to actually make a difference in your health (and the health of your family and children, as your habits directly influence the people around you!!!). Remember, having even ONE obese or overweight parents raises your child's risk greatly!
20s: This is the best decade to get excess weight off and to turn around unhealthy habits. For most, any effort to lose will result in success, with the following being your best bets for health in this decade:
- Have well balanced meals, STARTING WITH BREAKFAST! Attempt to eat every 3-5 hours to keep your metabolism moving and burning fat.
- Work up to a 4-3 pattern of exercise. What I mean by this is 4 days of the week, aim for 30-40 minutes of cardio, 3 days of the week do strength training and short interval cardio (such as alternating sprint/rest and doing a few rounds)
- Learn to really listen to your hunger cues - eat slowly, stop when full
- Stock up on vegetables and eat fruit (recommended servings only as they have a good amount of sugar but great nutritious value)
- See the 20s tips
- Don't eat when you aren't hungry.
- Build more muscle to create a faster metabolism
- Have a more consistent ratio of cardio to strength training
- When having snacks, focus on high fiber and protein such as protein bars (no more than one per day) and apples with peanut butter or string cheese
- Load up on omega-3 fatty acids to add in anti-inflammatory agents to your diet: Fish, nuts, flaxseed
- Lower your calorie intake slightly as you are definitely no longer needing calories for growth
- Exercise is still important. However, if you are limited in function or ability at this time, aim for 40 minutes of walking per day and look into water aerobics, low impact gym machines such as stationary bikes or try a beginners zumba class.
- Lower your calorie intake slightly
- Have a discussion with your doctor about how your medications may affect exercise and adjust accordingly
- Walk at least 5 days per week for at least 30 minutes. If you are able to do more, great! Try a stationary bike or water aerobics to stay moving and fit.