All in a day’s work: Laura the freelance graphic designer
Laura is 54 years old and works as a freelance graphic designer. She’s sitting at a computer for two or three days a week, but the rest of the time she’s renovating her home and walking for at least an hour a day (as she doesn’t drive). In addition, she runs for an hour about three times a week and does two light weight-training sessions. She buys lunch when working, or otherwise eats leftovers. She says “I’ve noticed a creeping weight gain around my middle as I get older, no doubt exacerbated by my wine consumption at night. I know I shouldn’t drink wine every day but I do enjoy it with dinner and it helps me get to sleep!” She eats red meat/chicken twice a week and fish once a week. Otherwise, she eats mostly a plant-based diet, and has “no health issues.....yet!”.
2 pieces Vogel’s toast with peanut butter and marmalade. Cup of tea with 1 sugar.
Large trim latte
Small helping of leftover vegetable paella with a hard-boiled egg
Glass of wine while cooking dinner
3 small lamb cutlets, helping of eggplant parmigiana and a green salad. 2 glasses syrah.
Cup of tea with 1 sugar
Nadia Lim’s nutrition quick fix
It’s a myth that alcohol helps you sleep — in fact it’s the opposite. Alcohol is a stimulant; though a few glasses of red may help you nod off faster, it’s well known to reduce REM sleep (the deepest stage of sleep), so sleep quality is reduced. Reduce your alcohol intake to no more than 1-2 standard drinks per night (a standard drink is 100ml of wine). Estrogen levels decrease in your 50s, resulting in a shift of fat deposition to your middle, so it’s important to have a heart-healthy diet of lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy fats. While energy needs decrease a little (because your metabolic rate decreases), your protein needs increase, so aim to eat as much nutrient-rich/dense foods as possible. You could increase nutrient density at breakfast — how about adding some avocado and tomato or other vegetables instead of the marmalade? Women in their 50’s often put on weight because they become more sedentary, but you are the opposite, keeping very physically active — keep it up!