Staying in shape gets harder as we age. Our metabolism slows down, stress builds up, causing hormone imbalances, and we tend to be more sedentary in general.
"Even your organs and digestive system become less efficient," says Katherine Tucker, professor of nutritional epidemiology and director of the Center for Population Health at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
But there are simple steps you can take to outsmart age-related weight gain, according to Medical Daily. These steps can give you a boost in maintaining your healthy weight and trim waistline.
"These are all methods backed up by good science," Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who is board-certified in Sports Medicine, tells Newsmax.
Avoid sugary drinks. This includes sodas, fruit juices, and even sports drinks that may be loaded with sugar. Experts suggest you drink plain water to hydrate.
- Take time eating. Mindful eating is an effective weight-loss strategy that encourages you to slow down and pay attention to your food, noticing each sip or bite you consume, advise the experts at the Mayo Clinic. Use all your senses to savor the food rather than mindlessly gobbling down your meal.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. While this may be something you already know, it's time to really put it into practice. The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables add volume to your dishes so you can eat the same amount of food and still lose weight. Make vegetables the prime focus of your meal — half the plate — making sure you don't destroy the benefits by slathering them with calorific fats. A simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing will add flavor without destroying their nutritional value, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The best fruit choices because of their high antioxidant and fiber properties are berries, apples, kiwis, and melons.
- Try a new sport. Challenge your body in a new way to burn more calories and build new muscles. If you have been following the same fitness regimen for decades, it's time to shake things up. Pickle ball courts are popping up all over the country and, according to Pickle Ball Portal, a 150-pound adult can burn a whopping 250 calories playing this exciting sport for a mere 30 minutes.
- Try intermittent fasting. Also called time-restricted eating, this is an efficient method of losing weight, according to numerous studies. In a recent article published in Cell Metabolism this year, participants with prediabetes ate their usual meals but only between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and took in no more calories for the remaining 14 hours of the day. They did not change the amounts or kinds of food they ate. During the test period, their blood and other measurements were tested regularly. After three months, the researchers found that the participants:
- Had eaten 9% fewer calories per day without trying
- Lost 3% of their body fat and also reduced their belly fat by 3%
- Lowered their blood pressure, bad LDL cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, and triglycerides
- Were able to lower their doses of medications to control high blood pressure and cholesterol
- Slept better at night
Mirkin says that he now recommends time-restricted eating to all adults who not only want to lose weight but also maintain their existing weight and lose excess fat from the liver.
"Discuss your plan with your doctor if you are diabetic, have low blood pressure, take medications or are underweight," he says. "Fasting may not be for everyone and can actually worsen certain conditions."
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