Exercise Won’t Stop Flab

A study showing middle aged women need to exercise for an hour a day every day to avoid “flab” really has a hidden message.  For most women, exercise alone will not be enough to keep slim – they will need to watch their diet as well. That’s the strongest conclusion to be drawn from research over 15 years which showed most women gained weight even if they did exercise.

The study followed over 34,000 women of roughly middle age for up to 15 years. They exercised but did not diet over the period of the study.

When a close analysis is made of the results, the only group who managed to maintain their weight were those who had started out with a healthy BMI under 25 and exercised for an hour or more daily.

All other women who started out with higher BMI levels gained an average of five and a half pounds during the study even if they exercised regularly, including those who exercised for an hour a day.

Balanced Diet Essential

The obvious conclusion to be drawn is for most of women in midlife, weight control can only be managed by eating a balanced diet with lean proteins, plenty of vegetables, fruits, lower fat dairy, and banishing processed foods heavy in corn starches, combined with exercise.

That really means a simple  recommendation for any middle aged women who want to control their weight: limit your starchy carbs to 3-5 servings a day.

  • A serving is one slice of bread, 1/2 C of rice, one small baked potato (or 1/2 of a normal baked potato).
  • Consume those starchy carbs early in the day. Remember carbs are used for energy. If you will be sitting on the couch watching TV all evening, then going to sleep, you don’t need that much energy.
  • Keep those carbs as unprocessed as possible. WHOLE foods are the best. Brown rice, slow-cook oatmeal, quinoa, dried beans.
  • Whole processed grains (like whole grain bread) are still processed.

You’ll still benefit hugely from exercise. You’ll keep your heart healthy, improve your circulation and skin tone, get the endorphins fired up to help you feel better about life, and you’ll keep your joints moving and flexible.  You just won’t lose weight.

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