Why we get fatter as we age and Sunday mornings hurt more

It’s not just an urban myth there are sound scientific reasons why we have to fight against middle age spread and waking on Sunday after a game hurts more than you can remember. One of the main reasons is that as we hit our early 20’s we start producing less Growth Hormone.

Growth Hormone is vital in helping 

  • repair injuries
  • protect against muscle wasting
  • promoting fat  loss

By the time that we reach our early 20’s all our growing is done and the amount of GH we produce rapidly declines, however there are  strategies both exercise and nutritionally that can be used to promote natural  Growth Hormone release.

A couple of strategies that you can use to boost GH naturally are to  have an afternoon nap if possible, GH is released after we fall asleep and  do short sharp sprint exercises that cause your muscles to burn. These will cause your body to produce more GH naturally.

As Professional Rugby Players get older, late 20’s and early 30’s, nutrition and particular supporting their hormonal systems to preserve  muscle mass becomes more important.  It’s important for everyone to retain lean muscle, we all know a typical frail little old lady that is wasting away.  It’s possible to slow that process down with the correct nutrition.

Protecting your lean muscle is the KEY STRATEGY in anti-aging and weight management.

Lean Muscle is your metabolic engine, this does not mean you have to hit the weights and train like Schwarzenegger,  a lot can be accomplished through nutrition and exercise.

Having more lean muscle increases your metabolism, which helps keep you lean.  It’s another reason why rugby players have to eat such a lot, they have a lot of muscle that needs fueling.  Most low fat diet  plans (some of the most common ones fall into this camp) can be very CATABOLIC (they breakdown muscle to provide energy).

It’s possible to lose more muscle than fat on some diet plans

Losing muscle is one of the worst things that can happen.  Your body shape does not change and your metabolic engine slows down,

The scales tell you are lighter but you still have your pot belly and ‘man boobs’.

It's vital to retain and Grow More Muscle if you want to lose fat. The more muscle you have the more calories your body needs to keep that muscle working. Having lots of muscle is like keeping the central heating on all the time, you are continually burning energy.  So when you are dieting and actively trying to lose weight your muscle works for you, your body needs more energy just to keep ticking over, it gets that energy by burning fat.

This is your METABOLIC RATE.

When I put together my Four Week Fat Loss Plan, it was based on years of work with professional rugby players, none of whom want to lose any muscle.  I ensured it was excellent at preserving lean muscle,  I encourage my fat loss clients to do some resistance training sessions and have a protein drink after those sessions to help add more muscle, burn calories and protect what muscle they already have.

However no weight loss plan can guarantee that you won't lose any muscle mass at all.  So I encourage my clients to take a supplement that helps produce Growth Hormone naturally, there are some available but often they have a lot of sugar in them which defeats the object from a fat loss perspective.  If you contact me I’ll let you know the best one to choose.

Remember don’t feel guilty next time you have an afternoon nap, think of the health benefits.

Matt Lovell


Matt Lovell – Elite Sports Nutritionist

Matt Lovell - Elite Sports Nutritionist

Matt Lovell is an Elite Sports Nutritionist. He has worked with the England Rugby Team since 2002 and also currently works with 4 premiership teams and UK Athletics team as they prepare for the Olympic Games in London in 2012..  His primary website www.SportsNutritionVlog.com is  chock full of useful Sports Nutrition information and if you leave a question Matt’s really good at getting back to you.

Matt has written a comprehensive guide on Preparing for a Big Event, the popular Fat Loss Program Four Week Fat Loss and Regenerate a Muscle Building Nutrition program.


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