Dr. Joey Shulman

The 'spare tire' of middle age spread is no joking matter. Such weight gain can boost your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer

The 'spare tire' of middle age spread is no joking matter. Such weight gain can boost your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

A common issue among clients trying to lose weight pertains to the so-called 'middle age spread.' "It's not my fault I can't lose weight," they say. "I'm getting older and my waist, hips and thighs refuse to get slimmer."

Is it true? Based on the following facts you might think so:

At approximately age 20, the metabolic rate starts to decrease on average 2 percent every decade.

Many North Americans gain an average of 20 pounds between the ages of 25 and 55.

Weight gain typically peaks for men in their 40s and for women in their 50s.

An 11-pound weight gain can significantly increase an individual's risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Makes you want to throw in the towel, right? Not so fast! Studies show you can avoid the middle age spread and age without uncontrollable weight gain. Think Demi Moore, Meryl Streep,Helen Mirren.

How so? Simply by choosing to eat better and by moving more (plus a few bonus supplements to boost your results).


Eat a clean, colorful diet and avoid processed foods.

Carbohydrate clean-up: As renowned food author Michael Pollan states: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Aim for deeply-colored varieties rich in phytonutrients, such as kale and purple cabbage, plus antioxidant-rich berries, fibrous whole grains (remember, the label must say '100 percent whole grain'), and legumes. Try eliminating all 'whites' from your diet, including white flour, sugar, pasta and breads.

Go for 'pro' at every meal and snack: Before eating, be sure to ask yourself, 'what's my protein source?' Protein triggers the release of the hormone glucagons, which facilitates the breakdown of fat. Ideal sources of protein include lean chicken, organic beef, turkey, egg whites, soy and fish. For extra benefits, I advise clients to include a high quality protein supplement such as proteins-plus or Vegan proteins-plus. Simply add into smoothies, yogurt, liquids or baking; no blender required.

Add some fat-fuel: Avoid fatty meats, cheese, margarine and dressings containing refined vegetable oils or trans fats. Instead, make essential fats such as Omega-3s found in cold water fish, nuts, seeds a daily food staple. Besides increasing brain function, cardiovascular health and more, studies show consuming an Omega-3 fish oil formula can help you shed excess fat more efficiently.

Other eating tips to boost weight loss and metabolism at any age:

Instead of coffee, try antioxidant-rich green tea.

Eat smaller meals more frequently and avoid eating after 7 p.m.

Skip all artificial sweeteners; try stevia instead,

Throw out your saltshaker and season foods with flavorful spices,

Enjoy a glass of red wine daily; studies show those who do so are more likely to keep their waist lines in-check. Please remember this means drinking red wine in moderation--too much may pack on the pounds.


Move more, include weight-bearing exercises. Torch calories and boost your metabolism with regular cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching such as yoga every day.

Aim for 4-5 cardio sessions per week for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Include weight-bearing exercise such as strength training 2-3 times per week.

Attend a yoga, pilates or a stretch class.

Look for other ways to sneak more activity in your day, such as walking or taking the stairs.

For every pound of muscle you gain, your metabolism increases as much as 15 percent, burning an extra 35-50 calories per day, even while resting. Lean (not bulky) muscle mass also means stronger bones and better posture.

To boost your results, consider hiring a trainer to set-up a program and/or purchase free weights and DVDs to practice at home.


Incorporate all-natural supplements with research-proven ingredients. My top picks include:

A daily high-potency, complete multi-vitamin such as one enhanced with Green Tea to assist with weight loss.

A protein formula (as noted above), look for one that's 100 percent pure, no sugar, highly absorbable and provides all essential amino acids.

A high-quality fish oil formula.

Last, to really (I mean really) succeed, make steps 1, 2 and 3 your lifestyle and not a temporary experiment. Expect occasional setbacks, go easy on yourself and enjoy the renewed energy and vitality you will experience as you age middle-spread-free!

Dr. Joey Shulman is Naturally Savvy's Weight Loss Expert. She is a chiropractor, registered nutritionist and author

Available at Amazon.com:

Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise


Copyright © Dr. Joey Shulman, Naturally Savvy






Health & Fitness - Middle-Age Spread and How to Avoid It