Firstly, let’s drill down to what we’re talking about when discussing ‘kilo creep’ for women. Essentially it’s the slow but steady gain of weight into middle age that is the result of a slowing metabolism and an increasingly inactive lifestyle. It happens to men too, but let’s worry about them later! Research says that gaining 10-20 kilos by midlife is pretty standard for women, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
According to findings first published in the British Medical Journal by researchers Dr Cate Lombard and Professor Helena Teede of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, women are gaining an average of 650 grams per year. Multiply that by ten years and you’ve got the start of a tummy tire. Add another 10 years of gains and you’ve got a monster-truck wheel around your middle. And research shows that for some of us it’s happening from our early 20s on. Yikes!
The impact of this trend is worrying, increasing women’s susceptibility to diabetes, cardiovascular and gallbladder disease, high blood pressure and some cancers. And abdominal obesity, a characteristic of middle age-weight gain for women, increases the risk of chronic medical conditions in postmenopausal women. Not to mention the effect weight gain can have on lifestyle and self esteem. But weight gain is not inevitable, especially if you tackle it before it happens! Here’s how;
1. Prevention is better than cure
According to Dr Cate Lombard and Professor Helena Teede’s research, it’s easier for women to put a stop to weight gain in the first place than it is to lose weight. This is a viewpoint that encourages a more positive and effective attitude to stabilising your weight and discourages crash diets and short term-ism. With that in mind, it’s important to...
2. Know your weight
Stepping on the scales is no one’s idea of fun, but for the purposes of keeping the kilos off, it’s important to know where you’re at. Obsessing over the scales is not the point, but checking in once a month with your weight and taking a waist measurement will give you the early warning signal you need to get on top of any sneaky gains.
3. Small changes add up
Just like small weight gains add up, small changes to diet add up, too. A glass of wine every night is a great way to wind-down, but the excessive calories it contains are a major culprit of weight gain. An examination of food habits is essential for weeding out kilo creep and an understanding that your metabolism is slowing down might mean a reassessment of how often you indulge in treats.
4. Team up
Losing your momentum with exercise is natural when the demands of family and work start sucking up your daylight hours. But efforts to combat kilo creep must include moving! The best way to do this is to team up with friends and make exercise a group effort. Think about weekend walks, teaming up with tennis buddies or taking a pal to Pilates. Integrating exercise into your day in a practical way is also ideal, using the walk to school to boost your metabolism or sneaking away during swimming lessons to do some laps of your own!
5. Support yourself
Make sure that you are doing all you can to shore up your nutritional reserves. Boosting your calcium and iron levels as well as ensuring you are topping up essential vitamins is crucial. But don’t worry, if your diet is found wanting, include a powerful supplement like Activated Nutrients Superfood Powder for Women to make sure you’re not missing a thing.
So there you have it - an unbeatable way to stay on top of kilo creep and stay fit and fabulous from here to eternity!
British Medical Journal
BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c3215 (Published 13 July 2010)Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3215