In general, women store body fat on their hips and thighs, while men and menopausal women tend to store fat around the abdomen.
However, genetic differences and hormone balance means that individuals can vary greatly in the areas where fat is stored on their body.
The causes of weight gain can be many, and vary greatly from person to person. Some common causes include:
- Excess kilojoules from an unhealthy diet high in sugar, processed fats and processed foods
- Excess kilojoules from sweetened beverages such as juice, soft drink and sports drinks
- Excess kilojoules from alcohol Lack of regular physical activity
- Stress / anxiety which triggers emotional eating, and / or reduces an individual's motivation to be physically active
Other factors that can influence weight include some medications, genetics, hormonal imbalance, insomnia and menopause.
The causes of weight gain can be many, and vary greatly from person to person.
The Blackmores naturopaths can help provide personalised advice and support on the most appropriate natural therapies for your needs.
Diet and lifestyle
Just as poor diet and lifestyle choices can contribute to weight gain, a healthy diet and lifestyle can play a big part in helping to maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat whole grain varieties of carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, rice and breakfast cereal
- Eat 2 portions of fruit every day
- Eat 5 - 7 servings of vegetables each day
- Aim for 1 - 2 meals each week that include fish and seafood Include protein-rich foods with every meal such as lean meats, seafood, eggs or tofu
- Drink 6 - 8 glasses of water a day, and have water instead of fruit juice, cordial or soft drinks
- Moderate / minimise your alcohol intake, including at least 2 alcohol free days (and nights) each week
- Eat a wide variety of different foods each day, and each week
- Don’t cut out all fats.
- Include moderate amounts of plant fats such as avocado on a sandwich, nuts as a snack, or olive oil on a salad
- Eat slowly to aid digestion, and prevent eating large portion sizes
- Give yourself time when starting a new exercise program. Plan progressive increases in your duration, intensity and frequency over a few months
- Aim for 3-5 30 minute cardiovascular workouts each week including activities which make you puff and utilise large muscle groups such as cycling, walking, jogging, paddling and -swimming
- As your fitness improves, include interval training at least 2-3 times a week, with short bursts of more intense effort
- Include resistance training 2-3 times a week to strengthen your muscles, prevent injury and boost your athletic output
- Exercise before breakfast when you can Incorporate variety into your exercise program, constantly changing the activities, location and even people you exercise with
- Once in a while, include a fun element to your exercise program, such as playing outdoor games with your children, bushwalking, bodysurfing, team sports or walking your dog
- However you get moving- find an activity that you enjoy
- Prioritise getting enough sleep
- Plan relaxing activities into your schedule
- Manage your time well so you don't feel too busy to exercise, or prepare a healthy meal
- Use your weekends to be extra active and prepare healthy meals for the week ahead
- Find an exercise buddy- enlist friends, family or work colleagues into your healthy lifestyle by training together, or swapping healthy recipes Important notes See your doctor for a check-up before starting a weight loss or new exercise program.