It's day 2 of The 5 Days of Fitness, and we are talking all about weight loss after 40 (check out my girl Jamie's story down below).
First of all, here are a few things you need to understand...
Yes, your metabolism slows and your hormones change as you age. Yes, the pounds can become more stubborn.
No, it is not impossible to have the body you want. And no, you do not have to starve yourself to create the body you want (in fact, that will backfire).
So let's get to it, here's what you really need to know about losing weight after 40:
I see this a lot. If you have spent most of your life naturally thin, if you grew up not having to workout, and not having to watch your diet to keep a decent physique... well, it's time to pay the piper.
See you aren't just battling a slowing metabolism or shifting hormones, you are battling 40+ years of bad habits. Muscle memory is real, and if you didn't 'put the reps in' when you were younger, your body is basically starting at ground zero.
This isn't reason to be discouraged. It's just to give you the awareness that yes, you got to coast way longer than most, but now it's time to kick it into high gear.
You're going to have to work harder, more consistently, and for a longer period of time than those who have been working out and eating well since their 20's.
But if you follow the guidance below, and treat it as the lifestyle change that it has to be, your body will catch up with your efforts.
One of the biggest challenges that arises as we get older (specifically for us women), is our estrogen drops causing shifts in metabolism, hunger regulation, and insulin sensitivity.
This is where we usually see an increase in our abdominal fat. Which simply means we need to be extra mindful of eating and working out in a way that helps balance our hormones.
Once you hit 30, you start losing up to a half pound of muscle per year. Not only does this put you at risk for injury, but it severely lowers your metabolism.
Remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns at rest.
Not to mention, this type of exercise will help you maintain your bone density as you age (BONUS!).
I see this constantly. We think that the automatic answer to weight gain is simply eat less, eat less, eat less.
But there's a problem. If you've been following this logic for 40+ years, you've probably hit a point of diminishing returns.
Your body is impeccable at creating homeostasis, and if it perceives that you are in a constant calorie deficit it's going to assume that there is some sort of shortage of food. So to ensure your survival, it slows down your metabolism to meet your ever lowering calorie intake.
So what's the answer? Calorie cycling.
If you've been eating in a deficit for a long time and you find yourself hitting a plateau, increase your calories by 10% and ease up on training for a week or two. This tells your body that food isn't scarce and allows your metabolism to raise naturally.
You can also implement this on a weekly basis by eating at a calorie deficit for 5 days, and then eating maintenance calories for 2 days. This gives your body a chance to reset your thyroid, hunger hormones, and metabolism.
Meet Jamie. One of the most bad ass clients I've ever had the pleasure of working with.
She joined my 3 month Bad Ass Body online weight loss program and quickly showed she was a force to be reckoned with.
At every turn she fought through her limiting beliefs, took control of her relationship with food (specifically the great joy of cheese), did her own research on body and mindset transformation, started a meditation practice, became beautifully obsessed with personal development, and absolutely crushed her weight loss goals.
She is an inspiration to me and is proof that anyone, at any age, can achieve any goal. All you need is a willingness to look deep within yourself, a desire to reach for growth, and intense tenacity.
Here's what she has to say about her experience:
"[There have been] so many changes... My head is so much more in the game. Advanced planning for meals and exercise has been a major game changer. I have lost weight, inches, gained muscle and changed so much about my mindset. I can say no to things that are bad for me without feeling bad for hurting someone else’s feelings. I can finally say that I am worth it. I deserve good health and it’s up to me to have it, and I CAN do it!"
Have questions about the program Jamie went through? Don't hesitate to email me at [email protected]
Otherwise, stay tuned next week as we talk about the absolute WORST foods for weight loss.
Or if you're REALLY ready to dive into some laser focused nutrition and fitness coaching, click here to schedule your free consultation call with me and we'll get you set up with a plan designed for YOUR body.