Friday, 26 June 2015

Is It Harder To Lose Weight As You Age?

It definitely felt like it to me, as I aged (yes, I'm in my 40's, okay, I'm at the end of my 40's!!) it seemed that my usual ways of losing weight lost their abilities to do the right thing? Are you like me and this happens to you?

It seems to be fairly well accepted, both in society and within the scientific field, that it becomes increasingly more difficult to shift those stubborn pounds and/or kilograms as you age.

Is it ageing though, or is it your modern diet?

Do you count calories religiously when you're eating out? What is this really telling you?  All it is telling you is the number of calories in the dish.

It's not telling you the quality of the foods you are eating.

A recently published article based on information from a senior researcher, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, of Tufts University and the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, shows that it is the quality of the food rather than the quantity of the food.

For instance, eating nuts, eggs, full-fat cheese and whole milk, either promoted weight loss, or didn't have an effect. While eating refined or starchy carbohydrates, or drinking sugary drinks, increased the weight (even when within calorie restrictions!).

The study, undertaken over 24 years, looked at the diets of men and women, and found that as their glycemic load increased (e.g. that extra white flour bagel!), their weight would also increase.  An example given was, adding 2 bagels to your daily diet, would equate to an extra pound in weight every 4 years. Doesn't sound much like that, but over 24 years, that's an extra 6 pounds of weight that needs to be released again. Imagine how much white flour and sugar you have in your diet, is this accounting for that weight creep, or is it just your age?

Basically, calorie counting alone is not enough to maintain your weight, or to lose weight.  Choose low glycemic carbohydrates, with a combination of proteins, fats and fibre to balance your diet.

A suggestion would be to choose healthy carbs, including vegetables, fruits and fiber-rich grains; proteins like fish, chicken and nuts; and "good" fats such as those in vegetable oils and fatty fish.  If you're going to eat a burger, forgo the fries, and even the bun, and have a salad with it (preferably without a mayonnaise dressing!).

Remember to always increase your exercise when you are eating a balanced diet, and your weight will maintain, or you will lose if you need to.

There is a great article that highlights some of the important points of difference between a low-carb high-fat diet, and a low-fat diet. The former giving a weight loss (without calorie restrictions) greater over a 12 month period than the latter - worth considering!

Remember, at the end of the day, it's about choices, make them good ones!

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