Middle Age Weight Gain

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I admit I haven’t looked at the original study so this post is based on someone else’s interpretation of it. But the interpretation is enough to get me on my horse.

I’m talking about a study in the January 3 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion that, according to the someone else, showed that unless middle-aged women took a restrained approach to eating — that means that they carefully watched what they ate with an eye to preventing weight gain — they were “at risk” to gain weight.  As the someone else said it, they’re at risk to gain a “substantial amount” of weight.
Is this substantial?
  • a 69% greater risk of gaining more than 2.2 pounds
  • a 138% greater risk of gaining more than 6.6 pounds
  • a 49% greater risk of gaining more than 1% point in overall body fat
  • a 69% greater risk of gaining more than 2.2 pounds
  • a 138% greater risk of gaining more than 6.6 pounds
  • a 49% greater risk of gaining more than 1% point in overall body fat

What’s more, the risk remained despite adjustments for age, weight, restrained eating, caloric intake and physical activity at the start of the study, and changes in caloric intake and physical activity during the study.

The researchers concluded that women who do not become more restrained in their eating habits or become more prone to emotional eating, are likely to gain both weight and body fat over a relatively short period of time.

While these data seem counterintuitive to a healthy relationship with food, the message is clear:  because our metabolism slows in midlife, we either have to cut calories or increase physical activity (or both).

Keep in mind, however, that any major change in your diet or exercise requires a conversation with a healthcare practitioner and certified trainer to insure that you are on the right track, and not heading into the injury jungle.

 


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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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