Article from today’s Toronto Star: Don’t resign yourself to the pound-a-year rule
August 17, 2011
Does this sound familiar? You open your closet one day (maybe yesterday) and realize that the amount of too-tight clothes has mysteriously multiplied. How did that happen?
Gaining weight with age often occurs so gradually — a pound-a-year creep is the rule in North America — that you’re not quite sure when or why it happened. But 20 years equals 20 pounds. Yikes! Don’t resign yourself to it.
Here are six things that have the biggest impact on weight gain as you age. Prepare for some surprises.
1. Potatoes. Yep, if you tend to eat a lot of fried potatoes, potato chips and mashed potatoes, you’re more likely to gain weight through the years than someone who favours 100 per cent whole grains and other complex carbs, says new data.
2. Red meat. All meat (regular or processed) makes you gain. Fish (as long as it’s not fried), fruits and vegetables don’t.
3. Sugar. Okay, no surprise here. Sugary drinks and desserts (and other highly processed carbs, like white bread) make you bulge. Naturally sweet fruit doesn’t.
4. Lifting only light things. Like forks. Weight training builds muscle. Muscle burns more calories 24/7 than soft stuff. Make push-ups and squats an every-other-day habit. No equipment needed.
5. Lack of sleep. It affects your waistline. Not least because you eat for energy when you’re tired or stay up late. Aim for 6.5-8 hours.
6. TV. Watching three hours a day adds five pounds every 20 years. Exercise does the opposite. But you knew that!