Isn’t 40 the new 30? Shouldn’t my bathroom scale be dropping, too? After all, we’ve got an extra decade of clean eating and fitness under our belts. Ugggggh. Help?
If you’re feeling fitter, but the scale is stuck or rising, the good news is you are like most people! Let’s look at why that scale won’t budge, and what you might want to try.
Start with understanding – a new strategy for a new decade:
Even with the best workouts and nutrition plans, after age 30, your efforts are on an uphill battle. After age 30, you lose about 1% of your muscle mass, hormone efficiency, cardiovascular performance, and bone mass per year. This doesn’t mean give up; it means you need a new strategy. Let’s explore the foundation.
Cortisol is not your friend – time to rebalance:
How many life responsibilities and stressors are you juggling now compared to when you were in your 30s? Chances are an exponential amount more. Increasing multi-tasking and stress signal your body to store fat, break down muscle, and sideline you with more frequent illness. Start by including one ‘off day’ from workouts each week, where you just walk or skip your workout altogether. Second, start building an efficient sleep routine. Not sure where to begin? Check back regularly; we have so many sleep efficiency tips to share in the coming months!
Testosterone and growth hormone decrease (for men and women) – easy workout fix:
Testosterone and growth hormone allow you to build and keep the muscle you need to elevate your metabolism. What can you do? Go beyond 1-3 sets. Gradually increasing your resistance training into 4-6 sets of each major muscle group exercise can increase these hormones to promote muscle-based metabolism boosts.
Revise your clean eating plan by re-thinking fats:
If you’re in your 40s, you’ve survived the “fat is bad for you,” era. Often, the idea is hard to dislodge, but eating fat does not make you fat. Many times, starting to include healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, fish oil, whole eggs, nuts, chia seed, flaxseed, and even a bit of dark chocolate will help with rebalancing the hormones that drive your metabolism. As an added bonus, you’ll probably be more satisfied with meals and tame your inner cookie monster too!
Progress might need a new scale:
Muscle weighs more than fat, and it holds onto water, too! If you’re goal is weight loss, ask yourself why. Do you really want to lose weight (which would be a combination of muscle, bone, and fat), or are you seeking fat loss? If you want to maximize your muscle and bone, but lose fat, use a tool that can measure fat loss. Your local NUTRISHOP® store has an InBody scan that can accurately measure your body composition. Fitness professionals and gyms often have additional options, too. Whichever you select, aim for measuring first thing in the morning, and embrace realistic time frames: measurable progress often starts showing up in 1-2 months after daily consistency in your efforts.
Let’s conquer our fabulous 40s on a plan that honors our decade. When it comes to your goals in weight loss, what have you tried? Which of these tips will you try? What questions do you have for us?
We’d love to hear from you and see your journey in action on Instagram and Facebook @NutrishopUSA. Which tip will you start with today?
About the Author: Dr. Meredith Butulis is a Sports Medicine Physical Therapist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and Precision Nutrition Certified Nutrition Coach in practice since 2002. She consistently walks the talk as a fitness, physique, and OCR world-level competitor and lifestyle transformer since 2006, celebrating many wins along the way.