The Simple Diet Changes You Need to Make After 40
Excess weight is a health issue at any point in your lifetime, but when you reach middle age, that excess weight becomes easier to gain, harder to shift and more likely to settle around your middle.
The dreaded ‘middle age spread’ affects us all. After the age of 40, men and women are equally likely to gain weight because of natural changes in the body’s production of oestrogen and progesterone.
That extra weight tends to store itself around the waistline which, annoyingly, is bad news for your wardrobe but which, more seriously, is very bad news for your health.
Excess tummy fat increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
But – it’s not all doom and gloom! These physical changes may occur as nature intended, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to do anything about them.
It’s time to stop putting off that exercise you’ve been meaning to take and be kind to your body with the right foods.
No matter what your starting weight is, your health will benefit from making these simple dietary changes:
Increase your potassium intake
Potassium helps to keep your blood pressure under control which reduces the likelihood of having a heart attack or a stroke, but for menopausal ladies, topping up levels is particularly important because hot flashes can cause potassium loss.
You can find it in broccoli, sweet potatoes, bananas, prunes, tomato paste and many other things, so it’s really easy to include in your diet.
Drink more water
As you age, your sense of thirst becomes less sensitive. This makes you more vulnerable to dehydration, fatigue and a sluggish circulation and digestion system.
If you drink caffeinated, fizzy or high-sugar drinks – including fruit juice – then it’s time to swap them for water. If water doesn’t tempt your taste buds then jazz it up with herbs, fresh fruits or spices.
Eat Healthy Fats
Oily fish, avocado, seeds, unsalted nuts and vegetable oils all help to reduce cholesterol.
Meat, dairy and some seafoods don’t, so swap red meat for salmon, mackerel or tuna, and dairy spreads for mashed avocado or hummus a few times a week or more.
Increase Your Fibre Intake
As you get older those pesky, naturally changing hormones and insulin levels in your body contribute to hunger pangs and cravings, but a diet rich in soluble fibre can help you to combat this.
Fibre helps to keep your digestion system healthy and makes you feel fuller for longer after meals, so make sure you include plenty of fortified cereals, oats and brown rice in your diet.
If you don’t already eat these foods then there’s no better time to start!
At Curves, we’ve got hundreds of recipes made with middle-age-friendly foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet. Combined with the friendly support and advice of our team and our members, you can finally get the motivation you need to lead the healthy life that you want.