“You eat a bag of popcorn every night because it goes well with Netflix and chill.”
If you are in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s you may have noticed that your ability to lose body fat has drastically declined. It isn’t as easy as it once was to drop those few extra pounds gained over a holiday season or while on vacation. In fact, this is the age that I see most clients starting to come to me for help.
Here are a few reasons why it is so hard for you to lose fat now:
- Your estrogen and progesterone are declining and those hormones were responsible for making your body more carb-reactive and less insulin-sensitive. You have more cortisol in your body now and that is why you see weight gain around your middle. Stress has increased and affected your body’s functioning. This is the time when many illnesses and diseases pop up, mental health issues included. We are more depressed and anxious than ever before.
- You’re busy. Probably busier than any other time in your life. You’re building a career, parenting teens, taking care of aging parents, dealing with a broken relationship, worrying about the future.
- You don’t know what to do, or which diet to follow. Every year, there is another product/diet that claims to help you lose weight fast. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for the long haul. Many people want the magic answer to be anything but diet and exercise. Too bad. Only good nutrition and exercise will help you burn body fat in a sustainable, maintainable way.
- You’ve never discovered why you overeat in the first place. I tell clients who come to me, who want to lose weight and who are looking for a workout routine and diet, that it wouldn’t matter one lick what routine and diet I gave them. If they don’t figure out what is driving them to food and to overeating in the first place, even the best laid out plan won’t work for long. In this case, the WHY trumps the WHAT.
- You’ve developed poor patterns. You don’t get enough sleep because everything else takes priority and there’s too much to do. Your favorite quote is, “I can sleep when I’m dead.” You don’t exercise because you’d rather binge watch your current series. You eat donuts and coffee for breakfast because it’s convenient. You eat a bag of popcorn every night because it goes well with Netflix and chill. You don’t eat much during the day thinking that will help, but then you’re starving at 4pm and binge on anything in sight.
There are more reasons, but this gets us thinking. It gets me thinking that losing body fat/weight in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s is not easy! But, it is doable and I have seen it done many, many times.
Here are 3 things that I think every person needing or wanting to lose weight should consider before starting:
- It’s a journey, not a destination. So cliché, I know (I almost puked a bit in my mouth as I typed it), but what I mean by this is that if we consider weight loss a destination, as hundreds of thousands before you have, once the goal is reached, the majority of people go back to their old ways of living (You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl). That is why most diets don’t work. People cannot stick with such restriction for the long haul. A few personalities can do it, but not many. Most people reach their weight loss goal and then celebrate for the next month on a job well done, rewarding themselves with what they think they deserve. Choose healthy eating that you can live with forever and consider moderation, portion control, and nutrient amount and timing over restriction (A whole other blog). Choose an exercise plan that you can stick with forever.
- Be ready to take a deep dive. At this age, there are things that have happened to you in your life and in your past, that now have an effect on your wellness. It’s partly why you overeat, don’t sleep, burn the candle at both ends, and have panic attacks. Don’t be afraid to go in search of those things and bring healing to those parts of yourself. Maybe it’s some sessions with a therapist, or reading a thought-provoking book to instigate forward movement. I cherish hearing these profound stories from my clients and I see how being vulnerable with themselves encourages them to love themselves more. It is then that they begin to respect their own health and wellness.
- Exercise and Nutrition. These two little gems are the solution for long-term body fat loss. Again, this could be multiple blogs to explain it all, but I will cut to the quick and say this: For faster body fat loss, be sure to include high intensity interval training (HIIT) in your workouts. Challenging the heart and pushing your body burns more calories during AND after the workout. Start off slowly and within your abilities. Gradually increase your intensity throughout your workouts. I like following the adage, “Push until you can’t…rest until you can!” Of course, nutrition is king when it comes to fat loss. Understanding your carb tipping point, and at which point carbs are being stored as fat, is critical for fat loss.
So there you go! Now go and move daily.
If you are new to fitness and don’t know where to start, why not try our 14 Day Beginner Kickstarted Program. We don’t want to overwhelm you when you’re just starting out, so each workout is only 15 minutes long. Click the link to join and get started today!