Woman's Own: Monica's mailbag

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Monica Grenfell
Q: Why is it harder to maintain a tight tummy as we age?
A: It's not. If you'd been an athlete and were still doing the same training schedule at 60, you'd have the same shape. But people think they're too old or they get creaky and give up. This is understandable, but the stomach doesn't sag with age and fat isn't harder to shift - the problem is in our heads. I know a lady of 94 who has kept a flat tummy with yoga.

Q: Is there one food yo'd recommend for a flat tummy?
A: Yes, just plain bio yogurt.

Q: How important is diet in maintaining that washboard stomach?
A: Diet does 80 per cent of the job. That layer of fat will never go if you eat too many calories and I don't disapprove of 800 calories a day if they come from high-nutrient sources.

Q: Does the menopause make it harder for you to keep a flat tummy?
A: Yes, mentally. It saps morale. Many women feel there's no point as they're less attractive, irritable and they ache. It's hard to get motivated and youturn to food for comfort. But the hormones themselves or HRT aren't fattening and remember, comfort food never gives comfort for long.

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