How to lose those five extra pounds

I had a great summer, but the souvenir I wanted from it wasn’t the few extra pounds I’m scalenow carrying around. The result isn’t surprising since if I had to name the season, I’d call it the summer of appetizers. As a result, like many women, I’m now figuring out how to lose those five extra pounds.

Lazy, hazy days of summer

I worked through the season, but still had lots of time to enjoy good food and drink. Whether it was hummus and wine on the balcony with my husband or divine tapas at Bocata wine bar on a short trip to Montreal, I indulged in small bites that added up to a lot of calories!

And while I read on WebMd that our metabolism tends to slow by five per cent every decade after 40, I’m not giving up. I will treat the weight as a temporary unwanted guest in my mission to lose those five extra pounds.

My plan of attack

Rather than going on an extreme diet, I’m going to make small modifications.

For example, in the past year I started putting whole milk in my morning coffee. Going back to lower-fat milk is an easy change.

I’ve also noticed how frequently I opt for a second “small” helping at dinner. While I’m sure that will remain a temptation, I’ve also noted that if I wait several minutes the desire to super-size my meal goes away.

And while my weekly exercise routine includes weights, cardio machines, Zumba, and occasionally jogging and yoga, in the summer I let it get disrupted more than usual.

Belly blues

There’s no denying, however, that my weight challenges are different now. When I used to gain weight, it would seem to appear evenly distributed on my body. Now it’s started settling on my belly. As a result, I’ve begun dealing with the dreaded muffin top.

The reason that the middle years bring women weight around the middle is two-fold. This time of life often brings with it much responsibility, and stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which likes to announce its presence around the belly.

But women in this demographic have the added challenge of decreasing estrogen, which according to health experts, such as the Mayo Clinic, seems to influence where fat is distributed on the body.

What I won’t do

Lately the weight-reducing powers of green coffee bean extract have gained some credence, even from legitimate sources. Integrative medicine guru and voice of moderation, Dr. Andrew Weil, while maintaining he doesn’t believe in any diet miracles, reported on a study that indicated the extract’s efficacy.

Apparently the study’s lead researcher thinks the extract may work by reducing the body’s absorption of fat and glucose. While intriguing, I think I’ll stick to exercise and portion control.

I’m also going to try and not panic. I realize how insulting that would be to women who battle obesity. I also agree with Lady Gaga’s recent assertions on her new blog A Body Revolution 2013 that self esteem shouldn’t be tied to (in her case, meat) dress size.

In the meantime, I say (regretfully): “hold the appetizers.”

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