Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Middle-Aged Pudge: Tips to Help it Budge (Really!)

This is the bane of my existance lately! Middle-aged pudge. Ask almost any woman over the age of 40 and it will be on her top 10 (usually top 3) of things she is beyond frustrated about in getting a little older.

We can stay current, hip, glowing and fit, but the bit of pudge around of middles is a thing of mystery. We try eating less. No go. Working out more. No go. Working out and eating less. No go.

So what gives?

After hunkering down for the past three months to truly figure this out for myself, I've discovered a couple of things that have helped (me, at least). They are not miraculous, but they may help open your eyes a bit to your own plight.

1. Prescriptions: I was on birth control and a low-dose anti-anxiety (mostly to help me sleep). Both are certified weight-gainers (regardless of what most "professionals" will tell you--real people will tell you they gained weight on either or both). I did tons of research and worked to get off both (Check with your doctor to do this!). It wasn't instant, but after almost three solid months, I'm starting to see a difference.

2. Working out less. It's true! I spent six weeks turning my usual 40 minute workout into an 1.5 hour workout. I got several new workout dvds and did them back to back. I sweated up a storm and truly fatigued myself. After six week...a disappointing "not much" happened. I knew I needed a change.

So I researched, read and tried other types of workouts. I started doing Tabata/Hiit workout (similar to what is in the "Insanity" and similar-type workouts, and bingo! I worked out 4 days a week (vs. 6) and did a 25-35 minute high-intensity workout. Finally, the pudge was just beginning to budge.

3. Cutting gluten. I love gluten, don't you? I'm not a person to cut anything generally healthy from my diet. I do tend to eat pretty clean and healthy with a couple of splurges (wine, pizza, cheese, bread, pasta) in my line-up.

But I try to cut heavy gluten out when possible. I got Rudi's and Udi's gluten-free bread for my morning toast (both lighter than bread, but really good). I eat oatmeal, rice (brown), grains, sweet potatoes every week, in moderation. I generally tend to eat proteins/greens and lots of salad. But I love a cupcake, dish of ice cream (especially pistachio gelato) or a couple of cookies now and then after dinner.

4. Fiber it up. I add fiber whenever possible, to whatever possible. My smoothies, drinking water, oatmeal...dash in a bit of smooth fiber. It does help!

There it is. Nothing revolutionary here, but I identified what MY pudge-keepers were and tested and tried different things. Be prepared to do the same, and be disappointed and frustrated along the way!

My fave workouts:

Tabata -- find it On-Demand for cable subscribers until the Sports Fitness workouts (cardio)
Breathless workouts by Amy Dixon (find them online or at www.collagevideo.com) ... a great site!
JJ Virgin--a health "guru" I've been following lately who believes in the "BURST" training method. This is high-intensity or shorter period of time.

Good luck!

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