14 Secrets of Not Gaining Midlife Weight

14 Secrets of Not Gaining Midlife Weight

5 Minute Read

Let me start by saying…I ain’t no weight lose guru…and I ain’t flogging no magic weight loss pills…and I ain’t no fanatical dieter – in fact I’m on The Steak Pie Diet as we speak (hey, give me a break – it’s Scotland and it’s cold!).

HOWEVER, over the years I’ve read enough articles & books, picked up enough tips & tricks from friends & experts, and tried enough different ways of eating & exercising, that I’ve just about managed to maintain my weight around 9 ½ stone (135 pounds) – which, when you’re midlife, 5′ 6″,  love wine and cake and chips, and spend most days working rather than hitting the gym …is about as good as it’s gonna get.

So, what’s the BIG secret of maintaining midlife weight?

Well, for fear of stating the bleeding obvious, let me state the bleeding obvious….

Consume less calories than you burn

So far so simple…but in these day of Supersize This and 2 for 1 That and Family-Size Everything (and by Family we’re talking the fecking Waltons) and All You Can Eat Buffets – it’s not so easy.

Worry ye not, here are 14 Secrets to Maintain Midlife Weight

1. Drop The Diet

The word Diet implies a temporary state.  Sorry to break the bad news, hon, but this ain’t temporary –

Maintaining Midlife Weight is a Way of Life.

2. Think Of Calories Like Money In The Bank – you only have so many to spend each day…so spend them wisely.

Would you rather spend 170 calories on that packet of Revels or on a glass of wine? Actually that’s a bad example as I want them both.

Ok…would you rather have fries with your burger or share a dessert?

Your choice. No you can’t have both.

Incidentally, if you’re  a woman over 40 the daily budget of calories to maintain your weight, is around 1800.  

3. NEVER EVER EVER Drink A Calorie-laden Coffee After 10am

That goes for flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes, and all those vile ones with syrup. In fact if you can also avoid them all BEFORE 10am you’ll have  lots more calories to spend on good stuff… like packets of Revels. *evil laugh*

4. Walk The Line

Walking is the easiest, cheapest and most useful exercise in the world .

So make Greta Thunberg  happy by cutting back on doing this…

Woman driving vintage car


And get yourself one of these…

Woman with fitbit to help maintain midlife weight


and these…

a black and white striped shopping trolley

and WALK to the shops.  And to work. And up the stairs. And get a dog and walk it.

5. Read French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mareille Guilliano 

This book  (click here) offers the best advice I’ve come across in terms of how to adopt a thin  lifestyle whilst still stuffing your face with good stuff (it’s so annoying how French women know this stuff instinctively).

6. Share And Share Alike

If you are eating out and fancy the £15, 3-course menu – persuade your friend (or tell your partner) to opt for the £12, 2-course menu instead, then share a starter and dessert and pick your own main choices. A bargain – and you get a little taste of everything

7. Be Realistic

Yeah yeah yeah we all want to be 8 stone 8 and as toned as a  Love Island contestant  – but…you might want to sit down for this one,


..and no  matter what we do we will never again  be the same size and shape and proportion as we were then.

Personally I’m ok with my little ol’ bingo wings (I just avoid waving in public when I’m sleeveless) and tucking my tummy into my jeans – as long as I can fit into the damn things

Midlife woman who has maintained midlife weight
Me Not Waving in Public

8. Set Your OMG Weight

This is your very own weight Rubicon, that you cannot cross.  When I find myself hurtling towards 10-stone I cut out the crap until the scales start on a downward trajectory

If you are already over your OMG Weigh

1. Stop feeling bad

2. Set a realistic weight that you want to get to in 2 months.

3. Get there.

4. Repeat 

9. Develop New Habits

Apparently it takes 21 days to develop a new habit – or break and old one.

So think up some new habits that would work for you, and by this time next month you could be…

That Women Who

…doesn’t take sugar in her coffee.


…makes a pot of healthy soup every Sunday


…drinks peppermint tea in the morning instead of a Latte


…dumped her husband and only dates men 20 years her junior (joking)

10. Move Your Ass

Find the exercise you like most (or hate least) and do it at least 3 times per week.

Fast, shouty exercise classes  are not for me  (I’m looking at you Spin).  I haven’t sweated since 1998  and don’t intent  to start again anytime soon, however I actually enjoy doing 15 minutes of yoga most mornings courtesy of  (CLICK) SarahBethYoga on YouTube (I’ve reviewed lots more online classes reviewed (CLICK here)

And I top that up by going to a couple of amazing classes with the Yogalicious Tracey at (CLICK) The Wellness Boutique

a woman and man doing difficult yoga moves
ermmmm…Not Me Doing Yoga

Why yoga?

1. No one shouts at you

2. It keep you flexible

3. According to Anna Murphy of The Times yoga could slow down the ageing process

 11.  Never Leave Home Without A Snack-ette

I can go from I’m Not Hungry At All  to I Need to Eat NOW, faster than a big fancy car goes from Nough-to-Sixty. And if I’m out and about that means trying to find a healthy, low cal snack…which is just about impossible (A Starbuck Skinny Muffin in 312 calories, FFS).

Now  I take my own little snack-ette with me and my OCD Leaving Home Checking Routine goes something like this:



Mobile Phone



A box of Nairn Oatcakes






A three pack of Nairn’s On the Go Fruit & Seed Oatcakes (delicious, high fibre and 55 calories per oatcake)

So now, whenever I have a coffee, or am at a  meeting and the chocolate biscuits appear, or in the car or just simply STARVING  I whip out of a couple of On The Gos…and live to tell the tale.

If you are really good you could go for nuts or an apple or some revolving kale – I’ll stick with the oatcakes, thanks very much.

12. Do Like Victoria Beckham

…and leave food on your plate. When Victoria orders a full English Breakfast she takes a little nibble of egg and sausage and bacon and a bite of toast  (I know because my friend saw her do it)  and leaves the rest on her plate. You might want a more than a nibble but always leave SOMETHING on your plate and…RESIST THE URGE TO STUFF THAT WHOLE SAUSAGE IN YOUR GOB

13. Don’t Have Temptation In Your Home

If your other half, kids, dog want to snack on Kettle Chips, or mainline Kristy Kremes banish them to the shed.

14. Cut Yourself Some Slack

We can’t do all this all the time and if we go a little CRAZEEE  and blow all our weekly calories in one day.  Big Deal. Tomorrow’s another day and time to get back with the programme.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing –  M O D E R A T I O N is the way to go.

Personally I think carrying around a snack-ette is a great place to start.

The End

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  1. Chantal
    16 November 2019 / 10:06 am

    Well Jill, you have hit the nail on the head there! My sister is vegan and can not work out why she isn’t a skinny mini and I always say 2000 calories of carrots and hummus is still 2000 calories, doesn’t make it less because it’s ‘healthy’!

    • Jill
      16 November 2019 / 12:56 pm

      Hey Chantal lovely to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the post and yeah 2000 calories is 2000 calories not matter the source.Jill x

  2. Anrew Clegg
    20 November 2019 / 7:48 am

    Hey JILL do you have any information about this weight loss programme
    https://tinyurl.com/rm39aon ?

    It looks like a big program to help people lose weight. I was just looking for various opinion
    Before I build my decision.

    By the way I love your content continue doing this excellent effort

    • Jill
      20 November 2019 / 9:00 am

      Hi Andrew thanks for your kind comments. I don’t know anything about that weight loss programme. All the best, Jill

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