You stopped growing up (height), now stop growing out (weight)

I use to be able to eat anything I wanted and not gain an ounce.” I’ve heard this phrase a million times from clients frustrated with what they consider age-related weight gain.

It’s maddening to go from a slender teen with a lightening-speed metabolism to a pudgy adult, while maintaining the same diet and lifestyle.

Why does this happen?

Part of it is metabolism, which correlates with muscle mass. (Read about that here.) The other part is that you need to relearn how to eat.

Allow me to explain.

When we originally learn to eat, as children, we are growing up.. as in height, and we need more calories to utilize as building materials. Imagine building a skyscraper (or, if you’re short like me, a ranch-style house). You need materials galore to keep stacking story upon story; however, once the structure is there, you don’t need anymore beams, and you can only fit so much furniture.

Your body is the same as a building. Once the initial structure is complete, you don’t need to keep supplying the same amount of materials, or, in the case of your body, calories.

Once you’re done growing up, the same amount of calories will only serve to grow you out. Make sense?

Most of us stop getting taller around the end of puberty. I haven’t grown an inch since I was 12 (cue tiny violin).

What should you cut out of your diet? Clutter. Just as you don’t want to junk up a nice home, you also don’t want to junk up your body. You’re a grown up now, and you should select a few really nice pieces, foregoing the stuff that just takes up space.

Refine your diet, sticking to whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cheeses, etc.. Get rid of empty calories that only take up space on your plate. If you need more guidance, seek out a nutritionist to get you on the right track.

Expand your nutritional knowledge, and you’ll stop expanding your waistline.