THE BIG BIRTH­DAY

YOU GET PRESENTS, CAKE AND, I F YOU DON’T START GET­TING SAVVY, A MAS­SIVE KICK I N THE BUM FROM MOTHER NA­TURE

Women's Health (South Africa) - - WEIGHT LOSS -

Trap # 1

What your 30s de­liver in con­fi­dence and im­proved sex­ual en­coun­ters, they take away in mus­cle mass, which de­clines at about one per­cent per year from the age of 30. Oh. ES­CAPE IT: “At this age, it’s not due to bi­ol­ogy,” says Ian Macdon­ald, pro­fes­sor of meta­bolic phys­i­ol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Not­ting­ham in the UK. “Mus­cle mass can be main­tained or even im­proved un­til much later. In re­al­ity, it’s be­cause of our life­styles and the fact that we ex­er­cise less as we get older.” If you’re not al­ready strength train­ing three times per week, get into that game, pronto.

Trap # 2

The big 4-0 is com­ing up. Yew! But hang on a sec. “Changes in pro­ges­terone, oe­stro­gen and testos­terone can af­fect fat dis­tri­bu­tion, so you start to lay down more ab­dom­i­nal fat than be­fore,” re­veals Macdon­ald. ES­CAPE IT: Boost your fi­bre! Re­search pub­lished in An­nals of In­ter­nal Medicine shows that aim­ing for 30g a day can be as ef­fec­tive as more re­stric­tive di­ets when it comes to con­trol­ling your waist­line. “If you’re prone to con­sti­pa­tion, look to in­clude more sol­u­ble fi­bre, like legumes and flaxseeds, which help things move a lit­tle eas­ier,” says nu­tri­tion­ist Rhi­an­non Lam­bert.

Trap # 3

The av­er­age woman en­ters menopause be­tween 48 and 52 and those plum­met­ing hor­mone lev­els may con­tribute to sar­cope­nia, aka bi­o­log­i­cal mus­cle wastage. ES­CAPE IT: To feed your mus­cles, com­mit to pro­tein. “Get a por­tion at every meal but re­mem­ber to watch kilo­joules; less mus­cle means less en­er­gy­burn­ing po­ten­tial,” says Lam­bert. “Fo­cus on oily fish for your main pro­tein source.”

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