A personally pertinent question given that I am indeed ‘middle-aged’ and have regretfully relinquished my most beloved pair of jeans to my 14 year old daughter. I have had to concede that despite my inherent optimism….they are not destined to fit again. Ever.
Which leads me back to the original question – does our waistline inevitably increase with age?
The short answer is NO …BUT it is complicated…
Obviously, weight gain will naturally occur at ANY age if you have a penchant for pastries and Netflix. Unless you have and in-house chef and fitness guru, it is somewhat delusional to expect your middle-aged self to resemble your post-pubescent self without bearing testament to the passage of time.
What perplexes many women however, is the unexplained gradual weight gain that occurs despite their apparently healthy dietary and lifestyle choices. Middle age is heralded by a rapid expansion in girth akin to pulling the stopper out of an inflatable raft. In fact, some women suffer the indignity of exercising madly and consuming little more than lettuce and still gain weight.
This period of time often coincides with significant shift in both the internal and external landscape. Hormones are on the move. Roles are re-imagined. Life is busy. And if there are adolescents in the household they are often experiencing their own hormonal rollercoaster. In short middle age can be a period of intense physical and emotional STRESS. STRESS can have an enormous impact on our metabolism – disrupting our hormones, our sleep and negatively affecting our blood sugar metabolism. It is counterintuitive, however eating too little combined with the wrong type of exercise can actually fuel STRESS hormones and result in further weight gain.
Complementary therapies, particularly Functional Nutrition, offer personalised pathways to optimise health, vitality and weight. Unpacking the upstream CAUSE of weight gain is the first step.