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Middle Age Spread

I eat shred wheat or fiber one and milk for breakfast. 2 coffees. Lunch I eat half a sandwich and a cup of ginger ale and cranberry. Dinner I make a protein a vegetable and a starch with water. I have yogurt and wheat thins and or a cup of ice cream. This is my families usual meals and I am getting the middle spread I am not overweight just feeling uncomfortable around the middle I have never had a problem there. I also walk for exercise. I am 49 yrs old.

Answer:

Thanks for your question. The middle age spread is something that most people suffer from. Unfortunately this slow weight gain creeps up on you even thought you don’t seem to have changed anything in your diet over the years. As part of the aging process, our metabolism slows and we lose muscle mass. These changes mean we are not able to process the same amount of calories as well as we could in the past. Currently you are walking for exercise. Whilst this has some health benefits it does nothing to combat age related muscle loss. After the age of 25 we lose approximately 0.5-1% of our muscle mass per year. Muscle is very important for maintaining our metabolism and burning calories throughout the day. By the age of 50 you have lost 25% of your muscle mass. When you lose this muscle your bodies requirement for calories is reduced and you don’t need as much to sustain your current weight. I would suggest that you engage in some resistance training to help combat this. You don’t need to join a gym, but doing some simple whole body exercises such as press-ups and body weight squats can help combat this muscle loss. Reading your profile I noticed that you do consume 2 servings of sweets every day and 1 soda a day. Both of these are sources of empty calories which only contribute to weight gain. Whilst it is still nice to have a snack and the odd treat try to have it as an occasional rather than twice daily treat.

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