Befriend Your Hormones
“You cannot eat the way you did when you were 20…….. If you continue to consume the same amount of calories, by the age of 45, you can expect to be 30 to 50 pounds heavier and at risk for health problems.”
— Pamela Peeke, Fight Fat After Forty
As you age, it’s easy to get discouraged and disheartened when your body does not respond to your dieting efforts as quickly as it may have when you were younger, especially if you were one of those people who basically did not have to watch what you ate.
Unfortunately, as you get older, you must eat less and modify your diet to fit your unique body type and hormonal changes—or you’ll put on the pounds. And when you do, you will feel miserable, stressed, and discouraged and lambast yourself for being a weak, spineless noodle.
But, you can change this mindset and go easier on yourself by understanding the hormones that cause this “slow down,” and the effect of aging on your metabolism.
This is what is happening as you age:
By the mid-thirties and into the forties, estrogen levels gradually decline and a woman’s body searches for other sources of estrogen, and this are found in fat cells. Your body begins to convert more calories into fat, and this leads to weight gain and especially around the abdomen. This is nature’s trick of survival of the fittest, as the fat protects our vital organs in times of famine until food again becomes available. However, in our sedentary, fast food lifestyle, food is always there and, along with hormonal changes, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight.
During menopause, progesterone levels decrease, causing water retention or bloating which can make you look and feel heavier, even if it doesn’t have a direct effect on your body fat.
Nonetheless, it is an uncomfortable feeling and to ease the effects of water retention, eat less salty foods—meaning you must avoid most processed foods.
How can you break out of this negative “feedback” cycle?
Adjust your caloric intake and follow an exercise program. I know that sounds obvious, but in truth, it’s the only way you can maintain your weight.
Nonetheless, it is hard to do, especially if you’ve had difficulty losing weight your whole life!
If so, we know you may feel like simply giving up…
I understand this, and the struggles you may also experience in balancing both parenting with aging hormones, and so have designed a program to support and help you all the way, until you reach your perfect, healthy body weight.
Although it is a hormone mainly associated with men, we produce testosterone as well, however we produce a fraction of the amount each day than men do. Nonetheless, we do need small amounts of testosterone to build and maintain our lean muscle, which in turn boosts our metabolism.
Testosterone also has many other benefits to us: keeping our energy levels balanced; turning fat into muscle; helping our skin to stay healthy and supple; increasing our bone mass and bone mineral density and as an added bonus, it also keeps our sex drive healthy and strong!
However, as we age, testosterone production tends to drop significantly, particularly if we have been inactive throughout our lives and have not maintained muscle tone over the years.
But don’t despair; the natural way to build and maintain testosterone, is to exercise! The best exercises are activities that focus on improving our muscle tone, such as weight, circuit or resistance training combined with the more vigorous mind/body activities like power yoga, along with cardio sports, like bike riding
4. Metabolism and Changes In Your Body
Though hormonal changes to be the culprit for less lean muscle mass and slower metabolism as we age, in actuality, our metabolism starts to slow down in our 20s and our body starts burning fat three to four percent slower for each decade of life!
This gradual slowing of metabolism is more of a problem for women than men as women are naturally predisposed to burning calories slower because they have less muscle mass and a naturally greater body fat ratio. That’s what makes a woman’s body curvy; it also means she has to work harder to burn fat and calories. That means women, more than men, must modify eating habits as they age.
Another common reason for weight gain as we get older is an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), which can cause the body to burn energy at a slower than normal pace. A major cause of weight gain and of depression, hypothyroidism is more common in women than in men, although it can happen to anyone. If you suspect this condition, read this article here:
6. Our Bodies Natural Bio Rhythms
Our metabolism affects our eating habits in other ways too. Our energy levels generally start out high but then decline as the day progresses. By the end of the day, we are wiped out yet may have to meet deadlines, attend meetings, drive in peak hour traffic, do domestic errands, and have a family to attend to, all prior to preparing dinner. Such intense activity does not align well with our physiologies and therefore causes stress. How do we control it? We eat to quiet our nerves! And this of course leads to greater weight gain and therefore greater stress.
This information may sound discouraging. But, don’t give up.
There are ways around this!
Use this knowledge to empower yourself and take stock of where you are in your metabolic and hormonal development. In this way, you will put together a game plan that works with your body instead of fighting against it. Simply stated, as you get older, your body changes the way it needs food and you must modify what and how much you eat! It’s not a choice but an imperative, and our programs are here to help you do this. Remember, “Age is only a bitch if you allow it to be!”
I have achieved my body’s perfect body weight heading into my fifties, my clients have done this, and you can too.
Wishing you much happiness and health,
(Nutritionist, Life Coach and Director of MVB-Health,
Your Most Valuable Body)
You can do this and if you need more support, click on the link below so I can inspire and guide you towards long-term health and fat loss
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