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
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.”