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1. At 30
It's truly the age of reason! It's when we are at ease on all levels: professionally, personally, emotionally… when we've finally grown up, when we normally leave the family nest… when we learn to be fully independent and responsible, without losing our sense of fun and the enjoyment of going out! When we suddenly tip over into the world of true women, ready to have a baby, if we haven't already! Inactivity threatens…
Our thirties are the period when calories are no longer welcome: who hasn't heard of the famous yo-yo effect? To take care of our figures, we go on a string of diets. However, they don't have the same effect as they did in our 20s… It gets harder to stop the pounds piling on as our bodies continually change.
This body, which has so far spared us and kindly let us enjoy our excesses, suddenly remembers all those parties… Meals out, drinks, alcohol, tobacco and stress form an explosive cocktail that sticks with us: we start gaining weight, and the calories start adding up!
It's something to worry about if you don't want to start storing them up!
Learn to stabilise yourself by restricting these excesses! It's not a question of giving up all of those fun times with friends: you can allow yourself a few nights out, but get back to your diet the next morning. With a balanced diet, you will be more carefree! Make up for the excesses of the night before by paying attention to the calories you consume.
Tell yourself: keeping in shape and letting your hair down is good for your health! Good advice for anyone who may have abandoned sport for a bit too long! Time to get back to the gym tooxygenate the body, burn calories, tone up and get off on the right foot. Alone or with friends, get back to the gym in full swing!
2. At 40
The mid-life crisis? It isn't difficult to imagine the daily life of a 40-year-old woman who's over the hill. With children to be looked after, frantic shopping, work to manage, the man in your life to pamper…We don't have much time to look after ourselves and even less to regularly look after our figures. Our muscles lose volume, our skin relaxes, our fat starts to stand out and becomes difficult to remove. This period in a woman's life leads to a number of changes: fluctuating weight, pregnancies, fluctuating hormones (too much or not enough oestrogen), slowed down cell renewal, emotional changes.
It's therefore natural to see your body shape changing with the extra pounds you gain. Unpredictable diets only make things worse. The body has trouble burning calories, and cellulite clings on harder. The waist, hips, stomach and thighs become target zones where fat settles.
Teach the whole family to eat healthily! No more fizzy drinks, ready meals, crisps, cooked meats, smoked fish… Scrap overly salty foods, particularly if you are susceptible to water retention. At lunch, have a light meal at work (salad, fruit and dairy) and avoid snacking between meals, or allow yourself low-calorie nibbles (such as an apple). For women in their 40s, omega-3 is key. Found in avocados, canola oil, nuts and fish, it helps stimulate your memory and cognitive functions. And don't forget about the antioxidants you find in berries, grapes, peppers and broccoli… they're perfect for fighting ageing.
The pattern of stress in an active mother's life encourages weight gain. To find a zen lifestyle, take part in yoga classes that will free your spirit and tone your body, all at the same time.
To resist tough cellulite, set aside the time to do at least one fitness session per week for a chance to get fit and slim down. Go with friends and arrange to meet up to chill out. If you can't find the time, allow yourself at least 10 minutes at the gym each day to keep in shape.
The secret of smooth and firm skin also lies in self-massages: regularly massage your body to allow good blood flow, thus increasing the number of calories you burn.
3. At 50
Your 50s are a difficult stage to overcome due to the many hormonal changes that affect your everyday life. The menopause, the sworn enemy of women everywhere, leads to changes in the body, in particular weight gain around the stomach, due to a drop in oestrogen levels that greatly increases appetite... The lymphatic system slows down and the body loads itself with toxins. The muscles vanish and fat becomes less toned in the lower half of the body with the end of ovarian activity. The tissues lose their elasticity and water retention increases. Fat body mass takes over from lean body mass: we store up more because the body uses it less. Obviously, our body shape will change!
Even though at 50 weight loss is slower, it's no good giving up! Get yourself fit and make sure to have a good balance on your plate. Banish snacks that have no place, cut out saturated fats (cakes, ready meals…) and put fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, dairy products and omega 3 in pole position. Enjoy cooking good tasty homemade meals to really savour, and forget all of your frustrations.
Have the children flown the nest? Take advantage by taking up hobbies that had been put to one side! Say no to those excess pounds and fight osteoporosis (fragile bones) by doing a regular physical activity. Don't wait to get into cardio training (exercise bike, cross trainer, treadmill, rowing machine) which helps with good cardiovascular functioning, improves endurance and burns calories. To keep good muscle tone and stretch gently, try stretching lessons. If your body doesn't let you, get a good breath of fresh air every day and rediscover the pleasure of walking for oxygenating your body and staying on course!