Is the “middle-age spread” taking over?

Today’s blog is inspired by the story of one of my clients.

They said,  “the middle-age spread” is taking over as they move past 35 and get into their 40s.

We all know, it’s getting harder to lose weight in the hips and stomach area and really it was starting to get them down.

So they did what they always thought they needed to do which was to cut back on what they were eating and reducing the size of their portion and hitting 1200-1400 calories every day. They also came to the gym and were working out with me 5x a week. But still, nothing was working. They were not losing weight if anything they gained a little bit of weight.

The felt like a total failure. 

It’s not your fault.

I want to talk about here is our diet mindset or what we have been told by those diet ads, social media posts or advice we have been given.

How many times have you been given advice by a friend or by a doctor or some sort of medical professional that they kind of just implied that you’re lazy and that you’re not doing it right. These things we have been taught can get us thinking, “I’m not doing enough”. That frustrates me and makes me want to grab people and shake them and say to them, “It’s not you, it’s not your fault.”

First of all, doctors are given very little nutritional education as part of our the overall General Practitioners Education-  that’s why we have nutritionists and people like myself who study everything about nutrition. Plus doctors definitely do not have knowledge about the female body post 40 in terms of hormones. If you’re especially talking to a male doctor they may understand some theory but in the fifteen minutes that they are talking to you, they are not going to be able to apply all this information to get you the help you need.

Put a defined strategy in place.

I’m here to tell you the reason why your diet mindset is not going to work for you post 35 and moving into 40.

If you’re somebody who has always been quite slim and have noticed that your hips have just gone wider and wider and wider. You probably didn’t have a strategy in place in terms of managing your weight. If you have been somewhere a size 8 and 12, you probably just did a little bit of exercise every now and then and that would be enough for you to lose a couple of pounds. But that’s not a defined strategy.

That’s a ‘hope it will work out’ strategy.

Then you try to apply this “haphazard diet strategy” into your 40s. Or you may have gone to a point that you have tried every single diet plan: detox, shake, cleanse, etc. and it hasn’t worked and why is that?

The problem with “eating less, doing more” diet mentality is it negates nutritional education and exercise education.

It’s simply ignorance of understanding.  Just not having learned or sought out the information you need.

But here are some tips or an action plan to change that diet mindset.

  • It’s not about dieting. You need to focus on diet in terms of nutrition. You are in control of what goes inside your mouth. You need to start to understand what it means to eat the right things, at the right time for the right reason. And you need to EDUCATE yourself and not just leave the nutritional education to Nutritionists, your Personal Trainer or your Mum! Eating healthily and eating for fat loss are two completely different things. Not all calories are created equal. Learning what your total energy expenditure is (in calories) so you will know how much to eat plus the macronutrient content or as they are commonly called, “macros”, are important for you to understand. Proteins, carbs and fats are your Macros. The free course I have for you below will help you understand this more.

 

 

  • Understanding your hormones. You need to understand your hormone cycle and how that affects your body. It’s going to affect the energy you have, your ability to do things (like cook, workout, overcome cravings) and to think. I recommend you start tracking your menstrual cycle. If you don’t have a menstrual cycle you can use the moon cycle. Tracking your cycle can give you the information you need in terms of when stress becomes important when insulin, sugar and carbs are an issue, when you’ll have the energy to work out, when you’ll have to pre-plan and do batch cooking. All of these things can be your superpower in terms of fat loss. Understanding the delicate balance between estrogen and progesterone and how that affects your cortisol and insulin hormone is really important for women post 35.

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Lisa Barwise

Author Lisa Barwise

Hi, I'm Lisa. I consider myself a Wellness Alchemist, the catalyst in the transformation of Strong Women around the world. Strong of mind, body and character.

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