J LoSo, you’re 44 and you’re probably feeling it, mentally and physically. Looking back to your twenties, you were probably a few pounds lighter.

Let’s face it, aging gracefully can take a lot of work. As wives, mothers, and career women, we sometimes put ourselves on the back burner.

Day after day we put our energy into everything around us while neglecting ourselves. Here are five ways to defy middle age.

1. Watch what you eat, especially if your zest for exercise is waning

Perhaps you were once in beast mode and worked out faithfully every morning a few years ago, but now exercise has become a chore to you.

Cutting carbohydrates and sugar will drastically reduce excess weight. Opt for eating lean meats, whole grains, and oats. It’s okay to have pizza every now and again, but don’t go overboard. Increase green leafy vegetables like asparagus, kale, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts.

2. If you’ve gained a little weight don’t rush out to buy new clothes

This can only leave an opening for you to continue with this vicious cycle. Not happy being a size 10? Well, dig out those size 9 shorts and use them as incentive.

3. Crash dieting is a no-no

This will wreak havoc on your physique when your body goes into self-preservation mode. Unfortunately our metabolisms slow as we age, and eating little to no food on a daily basis will only help you gain more weight.

4. You may not be able to work out six days a week but do something

But getting a little exercise in several times per week will keep your physique in check. Incorporating weights three times per week for 20 minutes will amp up your metabolism.

Introducing a cardio session along with the weight training will help you to achieve the results you need if you’re ready to challenge yourself.

If not, simply do three cardio sessions one week, and three weight training the next, or you can alternate cardio and weight training each week. Remember, some exercise is better than nothing at all.

5. If you’ve gained a little weight over the years don’t beat yourself up over it

Don’t dress to cover up, larger clothes will not make you look slimmer. Love denim? Grab a pair of boot cut jeans and pair them with high heels.

The flared leg will give you a leaner appearance toss in a long top and a cropped jacket to cinch your waist. At the end of the day the healthier you are the sexier you will feel and look, do not forget to take care of your mental health too!