Middle Age Midsection Spread! Why and How to Fix It!

midsection

I had the midsection spread.  I had women asking me when my baby was due and I was NOT pregnant!  That is so devastating.  I changed my diet right after that!  I will discuss how this happens and how to fix it.

What caused the midection spread:

Muscle loss, lower metabolism,  and an increase in white fat all play a part in causing waist lines to grow as we age.  Also people exercise less and add stress-eating to their routines, and it becomes much easier to gain weight compared to when we were young and could drink and eat more crap.

But, once we turn 40, our metabolic rate  (ability to burn calories) drops.  We lose muscle tone. We get stressed out and eat more calories than we need, despite needing to eat less calories and work out.

I have also written about how the new ways that wheat is grown and processed is bad for people’s midsections, hence the book written by a medical doctor, called “The Wheat Belly.”  I do think that once I cut wheat MOSTLY out of my diet and tried to stay away from products primarily made with it or from it, then my midsection decreased substantially.  And if I eat wheat products, my stomach distends hugely.

How to fix the spread:

We just cannot eat the way she did in her our 20s and 30s and we need to make a change in our lifestyle and steer away from foods rich in carbs and calories, and also stay away from the stress-eating time period between 3 p.m. and 12 a.m., when energy levels drop (and women in particular tend to overeat).

But is it ever possible to remain the same weight you once were in your 20s? Yes, but exercise is key.  I weigh what I weighed in my 20s right now since I changed my eating style and added more exercise.  Consume less calories, less sugar, less carbs.  More protein, more vegetables, more salad, more portion control, eat less, more often (6 times a day).

RULES:

Palm of the hand-sized protein choices 6 times a day, 2 small servings of fruits per day (a cup), 4 small servings of vegetables a day (avoid starches), salads twice a day, drink water all day.  No (low) sugar products.  Keep carbs within 50g to 100g per day.  I personally avoid wheat products and rice now.  A piece of toast is allowed once or twice a week.  Exercise at least 15- 20 min. per day or a few hours a week.  Always eat breakfast and every 3-4 hours–another protein!  And seriously, watch those  carbilicious wheat products, and if you must some–go for Gluten-free.

 

I Was On Vacation, But I Experimented With Wheat and Made a Discovery…

Sorry for my absence, Skinny-Rules readers.  I took a week off for my first vacation in years.  In fact, it was my first vacation since I lost weight and my bathing suits (which are customized to my old body) looked ridiculous on me.  I wore them and went to Arizona, hoping that the lady who made them would be there (Customized Swimsuits in Scottsdale), and sure enough–she was on vacation the SAME week as me.  So, I still never got measured for a new suit.  I am bummed.  Off the shelf ones just don’t do it for me because I like a suit to fit a certain way and the suits now just don’t do it for me.  I may have to go back soon to get this done!

However, it was nice to look decent in a suit for a change!

So, how did I manage my DIET LIFESTYLE on vacation for 6 days in a place that has the best Italian restaurant!?  I gave up wheat as a choice to limit carbohydrates and because I felt that wheat was causing me stomach bloat and big fat wheat belly.  So, I decided to experiment in Scottsdale a little bit.

1.  I exercised every day!  (One hour of elliptical and about 20 minutes of weights and Pilates)

2.  We utilized the room’s fridge, and I went to the local Trader Joes and stocked up on:

Lite String Cheese

small bags of almonds

Peanut Butter Power Crunch bars

strawberries

Lite Greek Yogurt

almond butter

turkey slices

diet soft drinks and water

3.  We ate breakfast at the Hotel Spa (breakfast package) and twice at local breakfast places.  I completely recommend eating at the Breakfast Club in Scottsdale.  So fun, nice and the food is amazing.

At breakfast:  I had veggies, eggs, bacon, sometimes a little bit of fruit with GOBS of coffee, where I discovered the French Press (will blog about that soon).

4.  Drank water all day long out in the sun, and brought snacks up to the pool and kept some in my locker.  At snack times, we ate things like the almonds, the protein bars, or I brought with us strawberries and yogurt.

5.  For lunch, we went out for a salad in the fridge from the night before, and put some turkey slices and/or cheese in the salad.  Again, had one of our snacks later too and then went out to dinner.

6. For dinner, we went to my favorite Italian place, Oreganos.  I couldn’t resist.  I had not had regular pasta (except the low carb kind) in almost two years.  I love this restaurant and their salads are great too.  So, we shared a large salad and we either split a small pizza with veggies on it or a Garlic Chicken Lasagna.  I did not eat the delicious looking garlic toast that came with it.  I would not be surprised to find out that the half of a small pizza or half of the lasagna was minimally about 50g of carbs for me.  I was careful the rest of the day and I did exercise my face off earlier, but I just knew that I was flirting with either putting on a pound or two on this trip or leaving about the same…but I took the chance and did it three days in a row.  I even had a Carbolite-type desert as a sixth protein some days and on my last night, our meal was a salad with chicken and then we had the Pizzookie, which is a large melted chocolate chip cookie in a deep dish pizza pan, with vanilla ice cream and chocolate chips on top.  It is decadent and I had not had one in 7 years.

I did enjoy my slight intentional derailment, although I tried to manage it with exercise and eating right the rest of the entire day and drinking tons of water and coffee.  But, I do think that I was right about how bad sugar and wheat is for my body (and everyone’s).  I went into this trip with a flat belly.  I do Pilates 4 days a week, I do yoga two times a week and I am on the elliptical around 4-5 hours a week.  My BMI is 20, so this is what my belly looked like by night 3 (and I only gained one pound on this trip and lost it as soon as I cleansed the day after I got home)…..

this is what my belly swelled to and took 24 hours or more to go down, until it got wheat again….

wheatbelly-001

 

this was what I looked like before I digested wheat products!

irishforday

I am happy to say that I look more like picture number two now, but mostly because it was a temporary eating thing….but this is exactly why I am now staying away from wheat products until maybe I go to Arizona, once in a blue moon.  If it makes my bowels distend like that, what else is it doing to my body?  (Number two became very irregular, and that also was painful).

So, I am back to my new normal of 6 proteins a day, two salads a day, two servings of fruits a day, four servings of veggies a day.  My body is thanking me and I have more energy too and the weight is stabilizing.