The Truth About Weight Loss
we make our way through our 40s, 50s and 60s-plus, a host of
age-related factors can conspire against our waistlines, causing us to
gain a pound or more per year. Among them: less physical activity,
hormonal fluctuations and a slow metabolism caused by a natural decrease
in muscle mass. Is it any wonder that 80 percent of the respondents in
the 2016 Parade/Cleveland Clinic Weight-Loss Survey say that they are
trying to lose weight now or have tried in the past year?
The key to success is making healthy diet and exercise part of your lifestyle.
- Fruits and veggies are as close to a magic pill as it gets—Eating
right is sometimes more challenging than exercising some people say. A
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study found that women
who increased their fruit and veggie consumption by two servings a day
weighed three pounds less after four years compared to women who kept
their produce intake the same. The same trick should work for men also.
- Make sure you wash that produce—Pesticides
are considered obesogens, meaning they may predispose people to weight
gain. The produce most likely to be coated in pesticides? Apples,
peaches, nectarines, strawberries and grapes, along with spinach,
celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and
potatoes. Be sure to scrub these products well, or purchase organic
versions to minimize exposure. Other obesogens to avoid: the chemical
BPA, found in many plastics and in cash register receipts, and cigarette
smoke (first or secondhand).
- Hit the weights—After
30, we lose 3 to 8 percent of our muscle mass per decade. Since muscle
burns calories even at rest, that’s bad news for your metabolism. The
best way to burn more fat is strength training (a fact recognized by 31
percent of respondents, although 60 percent mistakenly thought walking
was better). Finding a personal trainer for your age group will help.
The key is lifting heavy enough weights that you can only complete six
to eight reps. Doing this causes women to produce the growth hormone
and men to make testosterone. This helps burn fat and build lean muscle
and give you a more youthful appearance.
- Catch more ZZZs—Getting
enough sleep not only keeps you alert, it may keep you thin—a fact that
46 percent of survey respondents got right. A 2015 University of
California, Berkeley, study found that night owls are more likely to
gain weight and have higher BMIs than their peers who turn in early.
That’s because when you deprive your body of sleep, levels of the
appetite-stimulating hormone ghrenlin increase while leptin (a hormone
that suppresses appetite) lowers. Tired folks also have less willpower,
making it harder to turn down that donut.
- Fight fat with stress busters—Life
is full of stress, including job security fears, kids in college and
aging parents. In fact, 21 percent of survey respondents identified
stress as a barrier to weight loss. Chronic stress causes weight gain.
Anxiety floods your body with the stress hormone cortisol, which
induces cravings for sugary, salty and fatty foods. Stress also
compromises your decision-making skills, making the fast-food
drive-through seem like a good idea. Fight back with yoga, meditation
or your favorite anxiety-busting ritual. Coloring is also used for
Go to parade.com/coloring for more on
its health benefits and for free coloring pages. Go to
parade.com/weight for more results and weight-loss tips. The
information in this article was taken from Parade magazine.
Posted on May 16, 2016