Why is it so much harder losing weight when you are approaching 40, and beyond???
I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, way younger, in my teens and 20’s, I could eat almost anything I wanted. Cake, ice cream, fish and chips, cheese and crackers, wine…and my shape wouldn’t really change. I could get away with eating modest amounts of crap, drink what I wanted, do a little exercise, and not end up looking like Bessie bunter..
So what happened…fast forward to my mid to late 30’s, and that’s where things really change direction! I found that I HAD to follow a good nutrition plan, drink only occasionally, and do way more exercise if I wanted to maintain a fit healthy toned body!
So why is that….
In part 1, we are going to look at what naturally happens to our bodies as we age, in particular, from the mid-30’s to the late 50’s; this is the time when hormones gradually change and menopause is typically reached.
1.From around 35 and up our bodies start to change and begin to lose lean muscle tissue. Because muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories, a drop in our metabolic rate will occur, if muscle is lost. That’s not good!
2. Bone mass and density also occur from this age. And as we have seen over the years from the media, osteoporosis is on the rise for woman reaching menopause.Weight bearing exercise, including walking and weight training can eliminate the onset of osteoporosis and keep our bones healthy and strong. As can having the right diet, and supplementing with a good multi vitamin.
3. Body fat % increases…(damn it) after the age of 30, and can rise by 30 % over the next 50 years if not adhered to. (Also not so good). The distribution of this fat also changes and often appears around the mid section or trunk…giving the spare tyre look.. (Definitely not good either) So, regular exercise, including cardio and weight training will help keep the % down, it’s definitely not a given thing if you look after yourself.
4. Estrogen production slows right down to almost zero during menopause. One of the jobs of estrogen is to assist with puberty and pregnancy by regulating the hormone progesterone. When estrogen declines, cortisol and insulin production increases, which will in turn contribute to fat gain…. yes around that spare tyre again!!! (This is really not good!!) This is why the waist line expands as the hips and thighs get rounder, and cellulite increases….I’ll discuss the role of this hormone in another blog…it is a HUGE subject.
5. A change in sleep patterns and a rise in insomnia may also occur, leaving low energy levels, increased cortisol levels again, and definite crankiness! When we were 20, 3 hours sleep would definitely do the trick right?But not now….I need my sleep, as we all do. Staying up all hours working, watching TV, reading…….might be ok for a couple of nights here and there, but you must be disciplined to get into that bed, shut facebook down, and get some sleep. On the other hand, when menopause does hit, that is a whole new ball game, and those hours of being wide awake, being woken up with the sweats on is just not pleasant. I will cover that also in a subsequent blog, so keep an eye out.
So if this is NORMAL…no wonder it gets increasingly harder to lose weight and keep that weight off…right????
So are you going to be one of the many women who just give up? You read the above and say, “ It’s all too hard…I’m not up for the fight”
While I am 100% for learning to love who you are, and love your self, mind, body and soul; I am also about living life to the full, and having everything you can possibly have, including the best body! Why not! It’s all there, all the information, opportunities, and reasons to just go for it.
This my friends is only the TIP of the iceberg…there is so much more to you, and to this whole process. It becomes more and more important to watch what we eat, how much of it we eat, and to watch our macro-nutrients ( ratio of protein, fast and carbs). And it is also so important to be more effective with exercise, by doing more weight based, shorter bursts of intense cardio than long arduous hours of cardio. AND, it is so important to manage stress levels and get as much sleep as possible. Life is a whole lot different to when we were 20!
Stay tuned for the next chapter of ….
Why is it so much harder losing weight when you are approaching 40, and beyond???…WhereI will discuss food and nutrition, and why it is SO important now, more than ever to be mindful of what you put in your mouth!!
Chow for now my lovelies..