As you reach your thirties, your metabolism can start to slow down. No matter how healthy and active you are, you can find that your weight is starting to creep up. If you want to keep this weight gain at bay for your thirties and beyond, try some of these health hacks to boost your ability to lose and keep off any excess weight.
Be Clear On Your Motivations
Be honest with yourself about why you want to lose weight. Maybe you want to keep fit so you can keep running around after your children, or maybe you just want to keep fitting into your favourite jeans. When you know what motivates you, it’s easier to keep the motivation going and remind yourself of why you’re doing this.
Eat Five Times A Day
This might seem counterintuitive for weight loss, but eating more often can help to stay feeling full and keep your away from the biscuit tin. Eat three meals and two snacks a day. The snacks should be small and under 200 calories. A high protein snack like yoghurt, boiled eggs or a protein shake is ideal to keep you feeling full all day. If you’re full of healthy foods, you won’t be as tempted by unhealthy snacks to keep you going.
Eat Plenty Of Protein
Protein is not only good fuel for building lean muscles but also plays a part in helping you to feel full after you eat. Aim to get at least 14g of protein into each meal or snack. Get your protein from meat, eggs, yoghurt, or foods like lentils.
Protein is especially good at breakfast time, in the form of eggs, lean meats, yoghurt or nuts, as this fuels you up for the day.
Try A Fat Burner
Fat burners are a kind of nutritional supplement that can help your body to burn fat more efficiently. Some work by creating heat inside a cell to burn fat and others work by boosting your metabolism to burn fat on its own. Others aim to help your cells release fatty acids or to manipulate your enzymes that are in control of fat loss.
Beware Of Snack Packs
There are lots of snack packs on the market that claim to be a low-calorie, healthy option. While they are often less than 100 calories, these pre-packed snacks are usually high in sugar and low in protein, so they won’t fill you up. Instead, they just spike your insulin, which is a hormone that builds fat. Instead, choose snacks that a low in sugar and high in protein so they fill you up.
Don’t Clean Your Kid’s Plates
Kids often leave food on their plates, and many parents find themselves absentmindedly eating these leftovers as they clear the table. All those few mouthfuls of fries and chicken nuggets soon add up, adding a lot of calories to your day. Try to resist the urge to snack on your kids’ leftovers, and you might be surprised how much easier it is to keep the weight off.
Serve Healthy Food To The Whole Family
Eating healthily is not only good for you, but for the whole family. If you plan healthy meals for everyone, the whole family will benefit. If you’re worried about what the children will get, try to get them involved in the meal planning and cooking. If they’ve been more involved in the process, they’re more likely to be interested in eating better foods.
If you’re lacking in motivation, try adding some technology to your routine to help you. Most smartphones have built-in pedometers now, so you can see how many steps you’re taking in a day. Aim to reach 10000 steps a day. Being able to see how you’re doing means you have a number to improve on and motivate you. There are lots of free apps available where you can track your calorie intake or daily exercise too. For more advanced tracking, try a smartwatch or fitness tracker.
Find Someone With Similar Goals
If you the people you are closest too are overweight, it can be easier to become overweight yourself, as the people in your life can influence your choices. Instead, try to find someone in your immediate circle who is already active or who has similar goals to you. You can workout together, or just hold each other accountable and on track. You could do active things together like taking a hike or trying a new exercise class.
Getting enough sleep is an essential part of losing weight. A lack of sleep can affect hormones that regulate your appetite, so you eat more. If you’re tired, you’re also more likely to turn to sugary snacks doing the day to perk you up. Try to get more sleep. Go to bed earlier and remove any distractions from the bedroom, like your phone. Limit screen time before you go to bed, so your mind is ready to switch off.
It’s not clear whether supplements actually speed up weight loss, but they can still help to improve your overall health. Start out with a multivitamin, then you could add extras like fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin K and probiotics. Before taking any supplements, check with your doctor, especially if you are already taking any kind of medication.
Ditch The Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners can increase your cravings for other sweet things, and cause you to reach for other sugar and take in more excess calories. When you eat something that tastes sweet, your body exects something with calories. When it doesn’t get them, you’ll be driven to seek them out elsewhere. Artificial sweeteners are usually much sweeter than real sugar, so your train is tricked into craving more sweetness so you might overeat later. Diet drinks are one of the worst culprits of this.
Physically inactive people lose their muscle mass faster than active people. More people are living a more sedentary lifestyle; sitting in an office or their car. This means that losing muscle can become a problem as you get older. To combat this, try lifting weights. Weight lifting builds muscles and helps your body to burn calories more efficiently.
Stick With Cardio
Even if you’ve upped your strength training, it is still important to keep up your cardio routine too. Cardio exercise increases your metabolism. 150 to 220 minutes a week is about the minimum amount of cardio that you need to keep your body burning fat in the most effective way.
Cut Back On Alcohol
Alcohol can get into your daily routine more than you realise, between after-work drinks, date nights, and drinks with friends. Most nights out and celebrations involve alcohol, and while a few drinks here and there is fine, alcohol is high-calorie. To cut out some of those empty calories, stick to only drinking one or two nights week, and drink fewer drinks when you do drink.
Drink More Water
Water is one of the healthiest things you can have, and drinking before meals can boost your weight loss. Water makes you feel full, so a glass of water before meals can really help. If you feel like a snack, have a glass of water first, and then see if you still feel hungry. Your brain can often mistake dehydration for hunger, so a glass of water can help you to eat less and beat cravings. If you’re better hydrated, you’ll also feel more alert, which makes it easier to stay active.