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How to live longer...

health-and-fitness Updated: Aug 01, 2009 22:27 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
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As many of us have found to our sorrow, our success in weight loss programmes tends to lessen with age. That’s because our bodies change over time. Therefore the approach to weight loss must differ with every passing decade.

Here’s how:
Weight loss in your 20s
At this age, weight loss can be very quick. That’s because it’s easier to deal with your appetite in the first place, and in the second place, your liver tends to be active and healthier than it’s likely to be as you grow older. All exercise routines are suitable for you (provided, of course, that you suffer from no specific disorder) and your only mantra is to eat lots of fruit for skin that glows.

Weight loss in your 30s
If you’re married and have kids, you’ll find that your metabolism has been affected by pregnancy. You’re also likely to have loose skin and a flabby abdomen, which means toning exercises are a must. In terms of your diet, you should increase your intake of calcium, iron and vitamin B complex via foods like ragi, figs, spinach and fruit.

This is when you should begin to remove non-essential foods from your daily diet. Plus, you need to understand your own body. Since you’re likely to have started worrying about losing your youthful looks, you need to gain confidence by grooming yourself well. Your mantra for this decade should be to cut down your intake of atta, and eat more whole grains to add fibre to your diet.

Weight loss in your 40s & 50s
Exercise should include a focus on de-stressing and this is best done with pranayam and yoga. Include lots of vegetable juices in your diet, cut down your intake of carbohydrates and increase your consumption of healthy pulses and legumes in sprout or chaat form. Make sure your food isn’t too oily, but since this is the age when body systems become drier, apply creams on your face and body, and have regular oil massages for your body and head. Drink lots of water, eat tofu and include alternative cereals like ragi and barley in your meals. Good sleep is a must.