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Weight gain in your 40s


Unless you are genetically blessed with slimness, you have to watch your weight in your forties. This means exercising and eating healthily and being aware of the following food facts:

There is a link between abdominal weight gain, your blood sugar control and insulin levels. When we eat carbohydrates, these break down into glucose in the gut. Glucose enters the bloodstream, raising blood sugar levels.  Glucose provides vital food for the body, but we only need a small amount in the bloodstream at any one time. To keep blood sugar levels on an even keel the pancreas releases the hormone insulin, to carry glucose from the blood to the liver and muscles where it can be stored as glycogen for energy requirements later on. Once glycogen stores become full, glucose can be converted to fat.

Some people are insulin resistant. This means that the body produces an increasing amount of insulin in order to bring blood glucose levels down to a safe level. Insulin is a storage hormone. The more you produce, the more likely you are to convert glucose to fat which can lead to increased weight gain, most typically around your middle.

  • Avoid sugar in all forms. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as sugary breakfast cereals, white bread, baguettes, white pasta, white rice, chips and pastries.

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.

  • Eat small meals and snacks rather than large meals.

  • Eat fibre with every meal as it does not raise blood sugar or insulin but does slow down carbohydrate breakdown. Fibre is found in lentils, beans, whole grains and vegetables.

  • Eat good quality protein. Protein slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose. Combine animal protein such as chicken or fish with vegetables and salads. Combine plant proteins with grains and vegetables.

  • Exercise improves cellular response to insulin, helps to normalize appetite and burns off glucose and fat.


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