Losing weight in middle age might be a lot harder than it was at 20 or 30, but it’s certainly possible. If like me you’re one of those people who’s dabbled with every diet going; Weightwatchers, Cambridge, Fast diet, Atkins, and so on, and constantly promised yourself that this will be the year you finally do it, then I have news for you. If I can do it then anyone can.
You can pick any regime you like, but there are three rules
- Eat more fruit & veg
- Move more (a LOT more)
- Keep going, day after day after day.
Don’t let your age be an excuse for giving up. When I think of the energy and emotion and money I’ve wasted on eating crap, buying shakes, buying clothes that fit every size from a 12 in my twenties to my biggest 22. Plus the missed opportunities. I have a sewing room full of fabulous fabric and patterns that I’m waiting to make up when I lose the weight. You probably have your own examples.
And we now have an added incentive for losing the excess weight: the health of our brains. There’s general agreement now that being overweight is a big risk factor for dementia. My mum died from dementia almost a year ago. My grandmother and an aunt also had this horrible disease. I might get it too, but I know for sure that I’m going to put it off as long as possible. I have too much still to do!
Don’t let your family be the excuse for giving up. You shouldn’t be cooking twice; once for the family and once for yourself. There’s more important stuff to do. I’ll be posting later about my six-week menu plan. I prep ahead as much as possible and the whole family reaps the benefit in saved time and money, and increased health.
Pick a diet, any diet
If you look at any of the diets recommended for brain and body health they are all pretty similar. Plenty of fruit & veg, especially berries, lean protein, oily fish, beans and nuts, and whole grains. There’s also evidence for a daily dose of red wine and dark chocolate. Compare Dr Fuhrman’s Eat for Life diet, the Fast diet/5:2 diet, eat Paleo, LowGI; even the Atkins diet broadly follows this principle. Fruit and veg are the king.
Check out this infographic from Yahoo.com:
This is what works for me:
- Porridge and berries, or a smoothie every morning
- Salad or soup for lunch
- Salad before dinner in the evening (and I cook fabulous dinners!)
- Lots of kale, spinach, berries, onions and mushrooms every day.
- Snacks are usually dried fruit, hummus with carrot or red pepper sticks, a banana,
- A glass of red wine and a square of chocolate every evening.
- Avoid processed and junk food. You know what it is.
- I try to stick to 1300 calories, but if I earn extra by being active I’ll eat those too.
- I track my food on MyFitnessPal, and count my steps with Pacer, both phone apps. No pocket in my leggings? My phone goes into my bra.
- I walk every day, usually around 6000 steps but I’m building it up. I’m also following a couch to 10k programme. I really don’t like exercise. But I don’t like housework or food shopping either. It has to be done so get it over with.
- I have days when I don’t follow this plan, but I know that each one undoes some of the good. So I get over it and get on with it.
- I set myself a target of 7lb a month through 2016, and weigh/measure myself on the 1st of the month.
Let’s support each other
I’d love to hear about what works for you. I’ll be posting updates here, and you can sign up for the newsletter to read each month’s report plus recipes, meal planning tips and more.
I’ve also set up a private Facebook group where we can share support and keep each other accountable!