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What Is a Midlife Crisis & How Does It Change Your Nutrition And Diet?

November 8, 2022

A midlife crisis is characterised by a period of emotional upheaval (around ages 40 to 60) that is accompanied by an intense desire for change.

While change is an inevitable part of life, midlife may come with unique challenges not present in the earlier or later stages, such as an ever-increasing mortality salience.

Facing the limitation of time till death, many adults are thought to pause from actively seeking their goals to reflect on their accomplishments, assess what they have and have not yet accomplished, and occasionally take radical measures to make their ambitions come true.

Like any crisis, the midlife crisis is perceived as a negative experience marked by stressful times, confrontations and events. Hence, it is no surprise that midlife crisis is associated with anxiety and depression.

There are no clear-cut criteria, and people approach their midlife differently. But for many, it is accompanied by coping strategies that can wreak havoc on their finances, relationships and health.

There was a time when the midlife crisis focused on abrupt career change, moving homes, impulsive spending, or dishonour to romantic relationships (cheating, emotional distancing, infidelity, etc.). Today, the emphasis has shifted to one’s nutrition and diet.


Flagging energy and weight gain in your 40s to 60s


Reminiscing the past when one is young and full of energy is a very common experience for people in their midlife.

Experts report an increasing number of people in their 40-somethings seeking professional health to redeem lost energy. They complain about taking for granted the energy they had in their 20s now that they constantly feel drained.

The reason is no rocket science, however. Your energy declines because of normal bodily changes.

Alterations in cells brought on by genes and environmental factors result in ageing muscles losing mass and strength and becoming less flexible. As such, strenuous activities wear you out faster.

These cellular changes also restrict the heart muscle’s pumping ability, decreasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood that produces energy for the cells.

Experts also suggest that carrying extra weight in your 40s and beyond is one of the most notorious reasons for the decline in energy.

Research found obesity is strongly correlated to decreased satisfaction with general health functioning and vitality, higher levels of fatigue, and increased sleep disturbances.

Meanwhile, as mentioned, a midlife crisis is a stressful experience, thus, potentially contributing to a lack of motivation, loss of energy and changes in one’s appetite.


Eating disorders in midlife


While the signs of an eating disorder (ED) may not vary much with age, the circumstance in which individuals in their middle years encounter them is distinct.

Eating disorders are well-documented in teenagers, yet little is known in middle-aged individuals. Only recently did research include this specific age group in the pursuit of further understanding of ED.

A 2014 study found that eating disorders are very common in women aged 40-60, with the binge-eating disorder as the most prevalent.

A 2013 study also suggests unhealthy adult attachment and feelings of unworthiness may contribute to the onset of eating disorders in middle-aged men.

Multiple factors are responsible for the onset of ED in midlife, including hormonal change during perimenopause and body image issues precipitated by the so-called beauty standards emphasising youthfulness.

Other factors include relationship problems such as divorce or infidelity, job loss, financial concerns after retirement, and lack of enthusiasm about the future.


Staying healthy in midlife


Dr Helen Macpherson of Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) examined the dietary patterns and brain sizes of adults between the ages of 40 and 65. She discovered that those who consumed a healthy variety of foods, including lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and healthy oils, had more grey matter and larger brain volumes than those whose diets contained fewer of those foods.

An important determinant of brain health is brain volume. Evidence reveals that decreased brain volume is associated with anxiety and depression in older adults.

A study also found that larger brains have a greater ability to withstand pathological damage before displaying any cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s or dementia.



Midlife is a critical life stage not just to reflect and look back on your career, relationship and goals but also to address unhealthy eating habits. Besides, what you eat affects not only your physical health but also your emotional well-being, which can influence every dimension of your life.

While midlife crisis comes with unique challenges to your health, choosing the right diet can significantly help make the experience a little lighter.

Contact us today for premium quality ready-made meals and make your diet your ally in your midlife.


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