Unfortunately, it turns out it’s true – we gain weight easier and feel hungrier after hitting the 40 mark. Mitochondria, the structures within cells that convert food into energy (and burn calories) slow down or die off after age 40. Add to this a drop in Oestrogen and Thyroid levels – which increases insulin levels, and thus hunger – and you have the perfect storm.
So what can we do to help fight the inevitable? Aside from increasing exercise as much as possible, experts say reducing your calorie intake by 100 calories a day will help to keep the weight off long term. It’s easy enough to do too – remove skin from chicken breasts, use skim milk, or swap mustard for mayonnaise on bread.
Increasing the soluble fibre in your diet will make you feel fuller, adding bulk to your diet. Oolong tea contains polyphenols that help block fat-building enzymes, so is a good drink to try.
So there are the tricks, when we hit 40 – cut out the 100 a day, pack in the fibre and sip Oolong. Whatever your motivation, these are still healthy things to do.