As we get older, our metabolism becomes slower, and our midsection gets bigger. But we don’t have to let the natural indicators of ageing run its natural course. It’s not impossible to get trim as we age, but it’s going to require hard work.
Fortunately, our understanding of diet, losing weight, and keeping it all off has grown significantly, so you can achieve the figure you desire with a bit of patience, hard work and research.
Here are some points to remember on your journey towards a healthier, slimmer body.
In your 30s
By the time you hit your third decade, you are faced with the reality of losing 1% of your muscle mass each year after you blow your 30th candle. Because muscle is important in burning calories, losing muscle mass gradually translates to slower metabolism, so it’s essential to fuel your muscles with protein at this age.
Protein lets you hang on to those dwindling muscle mass a little longer so you’ll continue to burn calories at the gym when you put in your three-times-a-week high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
And you need energy at this age: By the time you’re 30, you probably are working your way up the career ladder while minding children at home. Combine these two, and it’s tempting to skip the gym in favor of chasing your toddlers.
Find a way to incorporate exercise with your baby-sitting and household duties to keep stress at bay, and to give you much needed mental boost for work next day.
In your 40s
At this age, expect that you will have lost at least 10% of your muscle mass, so you will have to make up for the 100 calories that your body burned easily decades ago but will have a hard time burning now.
This is also the age when women are approaching their perimenopause years, which spells more trouble for pear-shaped individuals: Thanks to your declining estrogen, a lot of your weight will go towards the abdomen, thighs and hips.
If the amount and kind of food you take won’t see any changes, you can expect they will show up in the stubbornest places: the pooch, hips, inner thighs. Unfortunately, these are places of fat storage (that nature has designed to ensure survival of the fetus in times of famine) most resistant to diet and exercise.
To slim down these areas, you can try a safe fat removal treatment called CoolSculpting that uses FDA-approved controlled cooling to eliminate fat cells naturally and keep them away for good. It’s a non-invasive procedure so you walk out and resume your regular activities afterwards.
To keep your body trim after the treatment, you’ll have to find a way how to burn the extra 100 calories that your dwindling muscle mass left you, then you’ll have to burn more calories to achieve the ideal level of fitness appropriate for your age.
You can do this by mixing your HIIT with vigorous cardio for at least 40 minutes most days each week. Choose cardio exercises that specifically target the core. By strengthening your core muscles, flab is less likely to develop there.
If you do have a flabby trunk, the CoolSculpting fat freezing procedure can slim down this area so you’ll be more inspired to hit the gym and keep that figure for good. Even better, CoolMini by Zeltiq has been shown to be highly effective as double chin treatments for those jowls and turkey neck that start to develop at this age.
As to your food, think ‘whole’ at this age: whole-grain varieties of rice and cereal will fill you up faster without piling on unnecessary calories on your plate. You have limited wiggle room when it comes to diet at age 40 and above because any sugary or starchy thing you eat will have to come off your exercise (if you don’t, they will show in your hips).
In your 50s
Fiber, water and moderate daily exercise are your guiding healthy living principles once you’ve hit your fifth decade. This is because your body loses 200 fewer daily calories than when you were in your 30s.
By consuming high-fiber foods at this age, you’re not only going to feel fuller longer, but also keep your blood sugar levels steady, a crucial element in your fight against chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke that plague old age.
To keep visceral fat – the kind of fat that dangerously wraps around organs – off your midsection, aim for a moderate exercise every day: perhaps a burst of heavy gardening, a brisk walk around the neighborhood, or a doing a set of chores around the house. Mix this up with strength-training exercises two to three times a week, and you’ll boost your metabolism to burn off those extra 200 calories.
At this age, menopause would have probably left you with sagging skin the arms, belly and thighs that are resistant to any extreme diet or exercise. A safe alternative to tighten skin in this area is to try TriLipo fat reduction which uses safe and non-invasive radiofrequency (RF) energy for body contouring on the abdomen, thighs and arms.
With TriLipo, focused electro-heating stimulates fat metabolism in the subcutaneous layer of the skin, and collagen remodelling in the dermal layer of the skin. The result: a toned midsection with firmer skin. Because of its high efficacy and safety profile, TriLipo is a popular non-surgical liposuction treatment in laser clinics in Singapore.
In your 60s
In your 60s, you burn fewer calories doing the same activities that you did in your earlier years. To prevent weight gain, you have to compensate with your food intake, level of exercise, and general lifestyle.
The focus of ‘weight loss’ at this age it not weight itself but fat. In your 60s, you can’t afford to lose organ tissue, muscle and bone mass. Strength training lets you keep your muscles while it burns your fats, so you’ll have to get friendly with those dumbbells better.
At this age, some individuals opt to get hormone replacement therapy to combat declining muscle mass, brittle bones and wandering concentration. Of course, HRT becomes more effective if coupled with the right exercise, food and amount of sleep.
Your food intake should include more lean protein to help counteract age-related muscle loss. Take your protein, at least 30g at each meal, 5 minutes before a carb-rich food, and you’ll find you are less hungry as the day wears on.
You’ll have more energy, too, to get to the gym. To soothe sore muscles and improve your flexibility so you avoid unnecessary injuries, get into a yoga class at least twice a week. Yoga does wonders not only for your body but for your mind, too.
Personalized age management treatments like the Optimagenics Age Management Program (which includes proper nutrition, the right exercise, HRT and a change in mindset) help older adults add vitality to their years, and it’s worth investigating what it can do for you as you reach retirement. Consult an anti-aging specialist in Singapore for a customized program.