Can you fight middle age spread?

As we get on in life our body will naturally go through gradual changes. Whether we age gracefully (or not) will depend not only on our genetics but also our lifestyle - the choices we made in our twenties will finally be having an impact in our 40's, 50's and beyond.

And you thought you got away with it?!

The most obvious change you'll be aware of is things moving south. In part this is because our skin loses elasticity - it's less supportive so things start to sag and wrinkle. Then our hormones play havoc which means we accumulate more fat and less muscle. Yippee!

Male or female, both will notice the midriff bulge because the levels of  testosterone in men and oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in women starts to drop after 40 which causes body fat to be re-distributed. 

Lower oestrogen in particular (associated with the menopause) is most likely to be responsible for changes in body shape - moving it away from our hips, thighs and bum to the belly and upper bum areas.

For us ladies, less oestrogen can lower our metabolism and cause the body to use starchy carbohydrates and sugar less effectively. This may mean you find carbs bloat you out more but you also crave them more. Only some women will become less tolerant of carbohydrates after menopause so there’s often no reason to suddenly start a low-carb diet if you’re doing fine. If however you’re noticing telltale signs like energy highs and crashes after eating starchy food, experimenting with lowering your carb intake might help to restore your control.

Less oestrogen can also increase appetite. Plus being over 40 may mean you have more business-related travel and meals, higher levels of stress and hence stress-related eating, more celebratory social dinners, and more alcohol use.

The bottom line is these factors can all make it harder to lose weight despite all that you do in an effort to lose or even maintain it.

What can you do? What do you want to do?

There is no single diet that can prevent the changes associated with aging, menopause or manopause for that matter but some dietary changes can make a difference. Keeping active, doing resistance exercises and being mindful of what you eat will all help (more details on that looking at protein and soy etc. later) but it's also about going with the flow. After all, it's a perfectly normal part of aging and nothing to be afraid of. There’s nothing “wrong” with menopause; it’s not a disease so don't fight it.

Perhaps we need reminding we are so much more than a silhouette or a squidgy bit. Lets' face it we ALL have squidgy bits - we are not plastic mannequins! Our life story, experiences and memories make us who we are. I think the lady in this picture has a fabulous body. We don't know her story and all too often people are quick to judge. I really love her shape but you know what, it's no big deal. We come in all shapes and sizes, full stop. Look beyond shape and size - her skin tone is fantastic and blissfully smooth. I do wish I had boobs like hers though. I bet she's incredibly smart and funny.

So embrace your body with all it's curves and wobbly bits. Love you for who you are. You don't have to be beautiful like anyone else, because you are beautiful like you. The most pretty, attractive and handsome are those that are happiest in their own skin :-)

What do you think? Drop me a comment below or message me via the new messenger link on my page

1 comment

  • Rachael

    Great read again Mel. Especially the part about being beautiful is more than how our body looks. Loving your work x

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published