Why 40 Isn’t Automatically the New 20.

 

gremlins

 

The Struggle is REAL!

As you age, your hormone profile, muscle mass and body composition transition–SOOO the things that used to not have any effect on your weight “magically” start having a huge impact. Let’s see if we can figure out a way to STOP and reverse this nasty little conundrum!

I am almost always in some level of conversation about weight loss to women of a…certain age. Usually these women are around the late 30’s to mid 50 range. These Warriors of the World (and we all know these women are the true BA’s: raising kids, keeping a home and job and taking care of pretty much everyone else except herself), all come to me with nearly the same struggle-creeping weight. All these beautiful women (and yes, I am talking about YOU) tell me nearly the same thing:

“I don’t eat any differently than I did 10 years ago, but all the sudden I have a spare tire around my midsection that will not go away! I don’t understand and I don’t know what to do?!?!!”

The problem lies in the fact that we, my dear, are not who we were 10 years ago and neither are our bodies.
We spend the greater part of our lives taking care our families and doing the best we can to get from point A to point B without losing any limbs… ( I might be stretching it a bit but you haven’t been to my house around bus time either..). All the sudden you wake up one day and look in the mirror in horror. Asking yourself, “how did I come to THIS?”
Often times we push ourselves into a self inflicted bubble of depression and self hate (often accompanied by a nice pint of Ben and Jerry’s) when in reality, we should take this opportunity to STOP the creep and take back our lives. It is starts here:

Time for a short lesson:

Point 1)
Most women start losing muscle mass at a rate of 3 to 5% every decade around the age of 30, a condition that actually has a name, Sarcopenia, this is pretty much a fancy name to describe muscle atrophy as you age.

Point 2)
Muscle tissue has about a 3 times higher metabolic rate than fat tissue.
Muscle burns about 6 calories per lean pound of muscle in  day while fat only burns about 2 calories per fat pound in day.

Point 3)
Since we lose muscle mass every year as we age- do our bodies just disappear? ..If they did I wouldn’t need to write this post!
What do you think happens? We lose firmness for fat!

Point 4)
There are foods that we consume that are more likely to lead to fat storage versus lean body mass over others and often times highly touted “Healthy Foods” make this list all too often.

Pop quiz time!
What burns more calories in a day? Muscle tissue or Fat tissue? (I hope this is rhetorical)
Which builds muscle better? Walking/running on a treadmill OR lifting weights?
A calorie is a calorie, right? Or is it??

So let’s think about this. Women, continuing to eat the same way they did when they were 20, into their 30s and 40s-coupled with inactivity and poor diet choices, I will go ahead and throw in genetic predisposition (though it ain’t all your momma’s fault) all the sudden start adding on weight as a lower metabolism, hormone profile changes and not so healthy habits catch up. There are usually several factors contributing to how you have  you have arrived at this place. But one thing is for sure, what used to work (or at least wasn’t hurting) isn’t working anymore and we need to discuss how you can stop it!
Before you panic in despair- Thankfully, all is not lost and we CAN stop it and we CAN reverse it.

Here are my top suggestions to get you going in the right direction!

First, let me suggest you read my previous post The M.E.D., once that is done come back and continue on!

1) Pick up that dumbbell… but only if it weighs more than your purse, your toddler or the heaviest thing you might lift in a day. There is one sure fire way to slow the loss of muscle tissue, USE YOUR MUSCLES! Weight training and resistance training is vital to protecting yourself from muscle loss, osteoporosis and fat gain. Don’t know where to start? Don’t let this stop you, FIND SOMEONE THAT DOES.

2) Go for protein. The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is usually very carbohydrate heavy and lacking in high quality protein and fat sources. Think: Chicken, Salmon, Tuna, Grass fed Beef just to name a few!

3)Stop over sugaring your life! Sugar hides in all sorts of foods that hide under a “health food” obscurity blanket and  besides from the  the obvious cakes, cookies and candy most Americans get way too much sugar in a day. It isn’t recommended to go over 25g of added sugar in a typical day and  you can easily max and exceed that recommended limit in one Starbucks coffee!starbucks

 

A lot of times people are even more shocked by the next thing I am getting ready to dive into:
Often times people think they are doing good with their fruit and vegetable consumption, but on further investigation we find that, while most do great getting a ton of fruit; veggies fall off the table. Fruits and vegetables do NOT  interchange and there are a lot of fruits that have more sugar than would be recommended for a normal person. Am I telling you not to eat fruit? Of course not! I am telling you to learn about which fruits have health benefits and a high nutritional value-without an overload of sugar per serving. I suggest looking into the Berries first!

4)Start keeping a food journal. While life is hectic and hard, if we take a hard look at what we are eating (or what we are NOT eating, for those of you that just don’t eat…) in between soccer practices and dance lessons we might find that our choices are not the best for  optimal health. Which brings me to my final point.

5) Educate yourself! Started your food journal?

Now start figuring out how many calories you are eating in a day.

Ask yourself these questions:
1) How many grams of Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein am I eating a day?

2)What is a normal healthy amount of those Macronutrients listed above for your body type and size (these are what make up your CALORIES)?

3)Are you maintaining your weight with what you eat or do you want to lose or gain weight? Start RESEARCHING the best way for you to go about your goals.

Your health is YOUR business. You can’t expect your Dr. (though he’ll be happy to push some pills your way), your husband or friends or even your Government (and yes I am talking about that that stupid Food Plate or Food Pyramid diagram) to do it for you. You take on every other responsibility for your family, it’s time to step up to the plate for YOURSELF (no pun intended…).

I don’t think everyone wants or NEEDS to be a size 2 with a 6 pack but I DO think we all want to be as healthy as possible. Whatever that looks like for YOU.

Think of yourself as a really nice sports car. You wouldn’t go around putting water in the gas tank or using crap filters to keep it running at peak performance. Your body is the same way! You can’t excpect to put JUNK in and get high performance out! It will catch up and it will have consequences.
We all want to be able to have the energy to play with our kids and live to see our grandkids. We all want to feel as beautiful as we did when we were 20 and even be healthier than we were when we were 20 (because older is wiser-and wiser is BETTER).
This is serious, this is YOUR HEALTH. You have one body, use it wisely.

Here’s to Getting Better with Age!
Liz Jackson
Team Nutrabio Elite Athlete
Coupon Code LJ2014

 

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References:
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/sarcopenia-with-aging

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