The Worst Eating Habit for Losing Weight As You Age, Says New Report — Eat This Not That

When people believe that age-related weight gain is inevitable, they tend to resort to comfort foodwhich often leads them to turn that belief into reality, according to a new report in the International Journal of Environmental Research.

The researchers interviewed eight men between the ages of 35 and 58, asking them about their relationship with food and diet, as well as their thoughts on why they might have gained weight. They were also asked if they were worried about their health, if they had made previous attempts to lose weightand how they felt about being overweight or obese.

Related: Eating Habits to Lose Belly Fat as You Age, Dietitians Say

These conversations often revealed discouragement about their weight and a loss of self-esteem, especially if they had been at a lower weight when they were younger. This attitude caused many to turn to high-calorie comfort food, leading to even more weight gain. However, that wasn’t the only habit that was problematic, according to the study’s lead author. Marcos Cortenage, Ph.D.Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK

person with the blue button down eating from a bag of chips
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“Although they often mentioned eating comfortably, the participants also showed little awareness of other factors that cause weight gain,” he says in a statement. “Many men would benefit from an education around food, such as food selection, diet integration and sustainable weight management practices, as a way to develop a more complete understanding of the relationships between food and the lifestyle”.

Although the recent study focused only on men, many women also tend to believe that weight gain is inevitable as they age, and that may lead them to turn to comfort food, too, though research suggests metabolism remains stable for much longer than previously thought.

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The study was also limited by its small sample size, but this perception tends to be widespread, according to the coach. Ronnie Lubischer, CSCSwho often works with older adults.

“What I see the most is sheer mental frustration and a feeling that they are failing personally if the weight starts to add up as they get older,” he says. Eat this, not that! “Instead of feeling discouraged, a better approach is to see this moment as an opportunity to reset your health, including your eating habits, to sustain yourself for decades to come. That’s more important than just focusing on weight loss.”

In addition to a different mindset, Lubischer suggests that men and women do strength training to build muscle mass, focus on sleep qualityand reduces stress as feeling overwhelmed has been associated with a greater accumulation of abdominal fat.

She also advises talking to a dietitian who can help you develop the best strategy for healthy eating. Above all, remember that even if you don’t lose weight, changing your body composition can go a long way toward better health, which means increasing your muscle mass and reducing your body fat, even if the number on the scale doesn’t budge. . .

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