I read a great USA Today article recently about the reasons we gain weight as we age. Most of us pack on at least a pound a year. And most of us think – there’s just nothing we can do about it. Everyone “knows” that your metabolism slows with age and it becomes more and more difficult to maintain healthy weight – never mind lose a few pounds. So there’s nothing left to do but get older and fatter. Right?
Not so fast. Results of a study conducted over 20 years proved that poor dietary habits and lifestyle choices – not aging per se – cause those pounds to creep on. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do not like thinking I have no control over some function of my body and I’m helpless to change the outcome, particularly in this instance.
In fact, even small changes like eating an extra serving of potato chips (which by the way were found to cause more weight gain per serving than any other food) each day caused weight gain of almost 2 pounds more over a four year period than in those who did not. In Today’s the Day I talk a lot about taking “baby steps” to improve your diet. Here’s wonderful, concrete confirmation that all those baby steps add up!
Other lifestyle habits that contribute to weight gain according to the study are less physical activity, too much time in front of the TV and sleeping either less than 6 hours or more than 8. Let’s get brutally honest – every one of these habits and choices are within your power to control. You can begin by eliminating processed, fatty, junk food that provides no nutrition – only fat and empty calories. Sub in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and clean protein. You naturally lower your caloric intake and increase your nutrition.
If you put the focus on improving your overall health and take a few baby steps at a time, you can avoid the “inevitable” weight gain as you age.
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