Just cuz’ you hit 40, doesn’t mean everything in your body stops and suddenly you can’t lose any weight or manage the weight your current weight.. It doesn’t happen that way ladies! Although it may seem that way. But there are some things that you can do to prevent the weight from slowly adding on and instead, maintain or even lose some weight. I have 5 quick tips on how you can manage your weight in your 40’s!!
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The first one is PROTEIN
and I cannot stress enough how essential it is for not only women over 40, but for all women. You have to start getting into the habit now of adding protein to our diets so that we are constantly chasing this goal and know what you need. So why is protein so important?? 1) It helps to ward off hunger. 2) It is really hard to overeat protein. 3) Your body burns more calories when you eat more protein – the thermogenic effect of food. Body temperature has to raise up to digest protein and it’s more complicated than simple carbs.
As we age, you lose anywhere from 3-5% of our muscle mass. And people think it turns to fat. But what you’re actually seeing is the muscle has no definition. So, when there’s no definition, it looks like fat. When you don’t strength train, you lose that muscle mass. When you don’t eat enough protein, you aren’t feeding your muscles the primary that it needs for muscle growth. Are you Picking up what I am putting down???
Most women need to eat between 20-30 grams of protein every single meal! So how do you add more protein to your diet??
- You need to make a plan.- Map out what your big meals are and where you can put protein into those meals and focus on that.
- Focus on the quality of the protein.
- Protein powder is ok, 1-2 times a day. It’s liquid and already pre-digested. So, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest it. (Make sure it is a quality protein powder. Not full of artificial flavors, artificial colors, and soy.)
- 4-5 oz chicken
- A cup of cottage cheese
- 12 oz greek yogurt
- 5 hard-boiled eggs
- For vegetarians and vegans out there, you have to be very mindful of where you are getting your protein from. All plant-based protein has a carb. So, you have to find a dance between having just enough carbs and just enough protein
The second one is Strength Training! Here is where I am going to throw this out there, AGAIN…. and I’ve done a whole podcast on strength training after 40… You ARE NOT GOING TO GET BULKY!! Say it with me!!! LOL! Unless you have a genetic disposition, you are not going to get huge. For the most part, we ladies have to fight!!! I mean, if we can put on a pound of muscle, that’s amazing!
Strength training is so important because it’s the best way to boost your metabolism. The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you can burn at rest. The more calories you burn at rest, the more calories you get to eat! The biological function of our body is that we lose muscle mass. So, if you don’t want the floppy skin around, you gotta lift!! Also, many of us have insulin sensitivity issues. The more muscles we have in our body, the more it helps us with those insulin sensitivity issues. This will also help us to balance our hormones!
Weight training is king, nutrition is the queen so when it comes to strength training, look at these 4 things:
- Frequency…. How often are you training? I challenge my clients to workout anywhere from 3-5 days a week.
- The volume of the workout…. How many sets and reps you are doing?
- Intensity… am I lifting heavyweights??
- Fatigue… time to failure. This is anywhere from 3-5 reps to 12-15 reps. Periodization is the best approach when looking to build muscle. Pure strength, muscle building, and maintenance. Challenging the body with different rep counts and sets.
Cardio is also nice to have but this is a 2-3 day a week thing. Somewhere around 20-30 minutes is perfect, and cardio doesn’t have to happen on a piece of equipment! You can do cardio in your driveway or your backyard! Get creative!
The third tip is to Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake. I said, monitor… NOT STOP EATING CARBS!! Yes, carbs are necessary, but we all have a tipping point! We need to establish a baseline, so what that means is you have to track your food. Yes… IT SUCKS. But I am telling you, it’s gold and helps tremendously. 1) We want to understand what is happening. And this gives us a baseline to what you’re doing. And 2) How much are you eating. Are you eating at certain times? Certain things you are eating? So, we can see where we need to tweak.
Track your food for 5 days and see where your carbs fall. Too much? Not enough? How do you feel? Hungry? Energy? Craving? You will want to track the carbohydrates you are eating daily and the protein. The 2 most important things. And for carbs, you should fall between 100-150 grams a day to start with and see how you feel. Remember, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are very filling, and you can eat and not feel like you are overdoing it. It’s the processed stuff that really takes us over the edge!!
The fourth tip friends is going to be Movement! The gym is only a small portion of the day. The bulk of the day is sitting at our desks working or sitting at a game for our kids. We are awake for roughly 15.5 hours. Out of that, the average person exercises 18 minutes a day. Guys, I think that we have PLENTY of time in that day for movement.
Get up and move your body. And please don’t use ankle and hand weight while you are walking to try and get in some “lifting” this will mess up how you are walking and just not feel good. Walking is sustainable, anyone can walk, and everyone should be walking.
So, if you have not exercised in a while, walking is a great place to start! And all it has to be is a 10-15-20 minute walk! That is, it and you are done!
The fifth and last tip is Alcohol. I am never going to be that coach that says stop drinking. Check out what I mean by reading my Alcohol Guide!
Alcohol has become an escape for many people. The mommy juice. But for some, it is a little more than that. For those people who can’t have a day without alcohol, start by questioning your relationship with alcohol. (Listen to this podcast..) Watch your intake because it is nothing but empty calories, and it tends to enhance belly fat… not fun! Initially, it makes us relax, but it’s disruptive for our sleep and for our hormones. So really think about “What does alcohol do for you?”…
One last thing I want to touch on that is not in the tips, but it has to do with our hormones. So many of us hit 40 and we are like mehhh my hormones!! But listen, you are not destined to have a hormonal nightmare! Putting on weight over 40 isn’t always going to be because of your hormones.
Check your diet. It may need to be cleaned up. Overeating? Eat when hungry. Lifting? I had to start giving myself rest days. Also, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.
Don’t be a stress ball like I was! This caused my cortisol levels to go up and adrenals to go up.. And it just became a hormone storm, so find healthy ways to manage your stress.
If you’re doing all of this and still having issues, then we can go down the path of change. For me, I went to a functional doctor for more answers on my hormones. We took care of gut issues and the hormonal issues, but this took me 4 years to get here. Now, I can focus on my food and exercise. And know that it’s my food and exercise that will push me back to where I want to be with my body and mind!
If you are struggling, reach out to me! You can leave a comment here or shoot me a message on social media or email me! I love to talk to my magic makers about this stuff!!
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