Thirty may be the new 20 in terms of social milestones, but it's still 30 when it comes to your body. As you age, your metabolism naturally slows, and if you don't exercise regularly, you begin to lose muscle mass. Those changes add up over time, and you can begin to gain weight even if you generally make healthy lifestyle choices. What's worse, if you've spent your first 30 years going on and off diets, muscle loss and metabolism shifts may happen at a faster rate.
Reduce your daily caloric intake to keep pace with the metabolism decline that naturally begins in your 30s. Start by subtracting 100 to 250 calories from your daily diet to stem weight gain and start weight loss.
Lift weights, take a yoga class or perform resistance exercises with the goal of building lean muscle mass. Strengthen your muscles three times per week and work a different muscle group on each day. Lean muscle mass helps you as you age by promoting weight loss, increasing your metabolism and safeguarding your bones and joints.
Pay attention to what you eat and find easy ways to cut calories. Order a smaller latte and switch to fat-free milk. Buy low-fat cheese or skip the cheese when you can. Eat smaller meals and bigger snacks so that you're eating something substantial at least every three hours. Cook at home to control the fat content of your meals.
Move your body, but not too much. Perform moderate-intensity exercise, such as a brisk walk or bike ride, for 30 minutes each day. Longer, more intense exercise sessions burn more calories but also increase your appetite.
Adjust your routine by adding more or less exercise to your routine and more or fewer calories to your daily menu until you achieve a steady 1/2-lb. to 2-lb. weight loss each week. Losing weight faster than 2 lb. per week contributes to muscle loss, which harms your weight loss efforts in the long run.
- MedlinePlus: Aging Changes in Body Shape
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Balancing Calories; February 2011
- Fitness: What to Eat in Your 30s
- Fitness: Fight Fat at Any Age: Exercises for Your 20s, 30s, and 40s
- The Hughston Health Alert; Why Do We Gain Weight as We Age?; William E. Roundtree, MD
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.