By Daniel DeMoss

The thirties are a scary time. This is the decade when you realize that the same high-functioning metabolism that got you through countless Ramen Cups and pizzas in college simply no longer exists.

This is one of the many changes your body will go through as you age. Your metabolism is simply not as powerful as it once was. You need to work out harder and eat even better in order to stay in shape.

This becomes even more difficult when trying to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight (and you’re right in the middle of that magically difficult decade, your thirties) there are a few Do’s and Don’ts you might want to adhere to.

#1 – Please, No Soda, Diet or Otherwise

Can of Coca-Cola soda beside a plastic cup with ice and soda on kitchen counter top.

By now, you probably know that sugar is not the best thing to put into your body. And, maybe that thinking has led you to the magic of diet soda – the same drink, without all that sugar. You can have your pop and drink it, too.

Sadly, diet soda is just as bad, if not worse, than regular soda. All the name brands of diet soda (Coke, Pepsi, Ginger Ale, etc.) are all artificially sweetened with chemically-processed sweeteners that are really unhealthy.

These artificial sweeteners, among increasing your risk of diabetes and stroke, also make that fat even more difficult to lose.

If you really are struggling to stop with the soda, try a healthy alternative like Spindrift. It is essentially sparkling water that is lightly and naturally flavored and sweetened

#2 – Sleep

Female sleeping on stomach in bed.

I know, I know, this is much easier said than done. You’ve got a handful of wild little kids who won’t take my advice and that are running around at all hours of the night and day. Plus you’ve got a job, and maybe a touch of insomnia.

But, sleep is one of the healthiest single things you can do. It provides your body with the chance to recharge and heal. And, lack of sleep is a high contributor to weight gain, among other things.

There are a few tips you can follow to help get yourself to sleep quicker: avoid blue light close to bedtime, as these bright lights (from phone or TV screens) hinder the release of melatonin, which is the sleepy hormone.

Besides that, keep the temperature in your bedroom somewhere in the high sixties – we sleep better when it’s a bit cooler.

#3 – Protein and Timing

Everyone knows that protein is essential for muscle growth. And you probably also know that, as you get older, holding onto muscle mass becomes more difficult.

A part of losing weight is gaining muscle. Often, people get the majority of their protein at the end of the day. A 2009 University of Texas study found that, for those in their mid-thirties, eating protein throughout the day actually resulted in more muscle growth.

If that means protein shakes, protein bars, or sliders, you should look into it.

#4 – Get Active

Women in dress riding a bicycle in front of brick wall and trees.

This doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. It could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work instead of the car, or maybe just biking around your neighborhood.

However, the best thing you can do is to start working out. A healthy mix of cardio and weight training will be super helpful in helping that weight come off. For more tips on exercising check out this blog.

No matter how old you are, the biggest thing to understand about weight loss is patience. The fat won’t just disappear. It takes work, commitment, and high, constant effort.

This doesn’t mean losing weight should be out of reach. You just have to be patient, and batten down for the long-term game. The healthier kind of lifestyle you adopt for yourself, the better of you’ll be.

Eat better, drink better, sleep better, and you’ll start to feel better, too.

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