Healthy eating often brings to mind scarcity and deprivation. It feels like a diet even if you don’t use those words.
How would you like to lose weight eating Mexican food? If it sounds too good to be true and you’ve struggled with good food bad food or need to make peace with food, this is your episode.
“I discovered food can be my #1 tool if I can learn to use it right.”
My guest Maru Dávila is a celebrity weight loss coach, healthy chef and best-selling author of “The Mexican Food Diet™: Healthy Eating that Feels Like Cheating.” She is also the creator of the revolutionary Flaca Forever™ Program (“Flaca” is a Spanish word for “fit” or “lean”), a fun and straightforward program that helps people get in the best shape of their life: physically, mentally and emotionally.
“I treasure and value my health and wellness.”
She is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and a frequent writer, speaker and TV guest on weight loss, empowerment, healthy eating and wellness topics.
“I don’t like to be hungry at all.”
Questions Maru and I covered in this episode:
“Every bite I eat counts.”
Maru discovered Mexican food was packed with many ingredients that lend themselves to detox. Healthy eating has never been more delicious.
Two things you need during detox:
Visit: www.MexicanFoodWeightLoss.com for 11 of Maru’s favorite healthy eating recipes from her bestselling book.
Connect with Maru:
Maru’s Healthy Eating Travel tips:
Using 3oz. containers: divide your smoothie/shake, protein powder or almond milk, cooked or raw veggies, nuts & seeds, nut butter.
Please leave a rating in iTunes if this episode has been helpful for you! It really helps change the way we think about aging. To share your review:
A prior injury, or current one you’re nursing, can make you extremely cautious about starting exercise or resuming activity. It’s an earned caution and you want to honor it while gradually increasing your activity level. This Flipping 50 TV episode takes a look at how to start exercise without getting hurt even if you’ve got a special condition.
Today’s question comes from Tina who writes she is“…having several problems from arthritis, bursitis, and sciatica. I am weary of what approach to take. When I’ve tried to work out in the past even yoga I ended up hurting myself and having to do physical therapy for weeks to recover.
The conditions that Tina asks about are a combination of acute and chronic conditions. They require rest from activity that worsens them and active participation in stretches and exercises that can improve movement mechanics to you can avoid flares and heal. Arthritis is a chronic condition but the right movement is the way to prevent it from worsening. Bursitis and sciatica are conditions that need time to heal before resuming regular activity (or beginning it if you’ve not been exercising).
Tina asked about starting with “Juicing the Joints” from The Whole Flip dvd series, working on mobility and strength surrounding joints and she was spot on with that solution to her own question.
Juicing the joints is a set of exercises intended to strengthen muscles surrounding commonly injured joints in older adults. They are good for starting or restarting an exercise program if you’re afraid of getting hurt and good “check ups” for those of us already active.
While you’re healing a chronic condition with the right movement there’s more you can do if you’re afraid of getting hurt. A common topic here at Flipping 50 is reducing inflammation with your diet.
Most of us have some inflammation – from not always eating optimally or from an injury causing pain – but we have room for the inflammation so it isn’t limiting. If you have a chronic condition, however, you have less wiggle room for that additional space inflammation takes up.
If you have room in your diet for improvement, it’s an easy way to begin feeling better fast. Don’t worry! It’s not nearly as limiting as you might thing! Here at Flipping 50, if we ask you to remove something we give you a “flip” so you have a substitute that tastes equally good but is way better for you!
In addition to inflammation we need to talk stress. Tina’s self report of stress is a 7/10. Changes you can make in the kitchen along with the right exercise are going to help reduce that stress. When you know you’re on a path to feeling better and have a plan – your stress level can change in minutes.
Breakfast for Tina was coffee, coffee, and coffee. Lunch was a bagel. For dinner she did fairly well with protein and veggies.
But she snacks on pie and fruit, both sugar. Even natural sugar can increase inflammation so I’d love to see Tina fit in more vegetables with soups and creative ways to make them. I’m in the middle of making a simple broccoli soup. I show how fast it is to make a broccoli soup packed with micronutrients.[In episode 9, I shared a list to see how you can improve your inflammation. You can grab that list and download it now.]
Dairy, sugar, gluten, wheat, and eggs all contribute to inflammation. For those with an autoimmune disease, nightshade vegetables are worth removing to see if you feel better. Those include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
Coffee can protect you against inflammation to a point, but if you’re already inflamed or hormonally imbalanced, or both it elevates cortisol and insulin and this increases inflammation. So a cup, you can get away with. Three cups is like asking for pain – or belly fat.
Elevated cortisol is not going to help your inflammation. Sweetening with sugar or artificial sugar, or adding dairy to that coffee increases inflammation.
Flip one of those cups out for bone broth…or better yet a smoothie… and then tuck a bone broth in your purse for lunch or a snack. Pack your smoothie full of greens, berries, cinnamon, and matcha. (Get my favorite recipes right here). Antioxidant-rich foods plus protein will give you longer lasting stamina and energy than coffee does.
Add a piece of salmon, half a sweet potato, or some berries to a bowl of this soup for perfect lunch. Here’s the recipe for the soup-er simple (couldn’t resist) recipe I make all year! The recipe is from Flipping 50’s 28-Day Kickstart Recipes Book.
Melt avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrots, and celery about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
Add the broccoli and water and bring the soup to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese and 1 tsp sea salt.
Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to blend soup in the pot or transfer in batches to a large blender. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, which helps detoxify, and can help fight osteoarthritis that commonly occurs with age.
When it comes to dinner,be sure your meat is grass-fed not conventional grain-fed.
Then, make double and carry your leftovers to work the next day. Cook once and eat at least twice! Consider adding some resistant starches to dinner. They’ll help you sleep and sleep can be a problemif you’ve got inflammation.
Supplements that help reduce inflammation:
Foods that naturally help reduce inflammation:
Once you’re reducing inflammation from the inside out you can more comfortably focus on exercise.
Tina is using “Juicing the Joints” from The Whole Flip DVD series to get started getting stronger and more mobile without causing additional inflammation. Focus on mobility, then stability to start exercise without getting hurt.
Next, begin walking – one of the best exercises you can do. Start with what feels easy – 10 minutes a day, for instance – and add 2 minutes to that a week until you’re walking 20 minutes. The key to start exercise without getting hurt is to do less than you think you can. Finish while you still feel good. Don’t push your limits too far but do explore.
Next, walk 20 minutes twice a week and on a third day of the week increase your walk by 2 minutes a week until your walking 30 minutes one day of the week.
Walking is one of the most balanced exercises you can do and if you can, add water walking. The added resistance of water with less stress on joints will also help you increase strength and stamina without triggering joint issues. It may be a good way for you to start exercise without getting hurt if you have access to a pool.
Warning: there is no one-size fits al. So monitor yourself. If anything hurts leave it out.
FLIP: WAIT one hour after waking before exercise, including core exercise and you will reduce your risk of injury to the disks in your spine. That simple act of patience will help you start exercise without getting hurt.
Inevitably, a women wants to know how to start exercise without getting hurt that targets those areas that are most problematic. How to safely do core is question for all of us! Here’s easy series that fuses core, stretches and strengthens the body very gently and provides a way for you to begin moving right away.
*Keep in mind not all exercise is appropriate for every body. Check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Finally, it’s natural to be afraid of getting hurt if you’ve had a history of injury. Yet, your body was meant to moving. The positive effects of exercise for your muscles, bones, and brain as well as your mood far outweigh the negatives of staying inactive. Start. Progress slowly. Get someone to work with you until you learn to pace yourself. You can start exercise without getting hurt if you begin at the right place and progress slowly. Pain begins in your brain: here’s more about pain.
Reduce inflammation with nutrition – which can help improve how you feel almost immediately and reduce inflammation from exercise by building up strength gradually.
Don’t miss the next – and final – episode of Flipping 50 TV Season III next week! (and the juicy special program offer just for our subscribers).
If YOU have an autoimmune issue, dairy (including whey) is not the wisest choice. Go with Plant Power or Paleo Power proteins void of common allergens to reduce inflammation. Hint: you’re not seeing progress? Your protein level could be too low and your fat and carbohydrate levels are too high. Let protein and veggies take center stage.
Clean protein is the key. Shop flippingfifty.com/store for made-for-you clean protein that makes it easy to get it in especially at breakfast.
Need more support? STRONGER I and STRONGER II programs are 12 weeks. If you are apparently healthy, just want to take care of your joints and get a quality workout in (in about 30 minutes twice a week) OR you have more time and want to focus on cellulite reduction, check out these two programs made for women in perimenopause and beyond based on science, proven here at Flipping 50. See testimonials.
Disordered eating after 50? This post is not very sexy but it hits on a topic that became a conversation between 35 and 40 years ago – when many of us flipping 50 were in our late teens, early 20’s and 30’s – flirting with it. Still today, the prevalence of eating disorders for many – and disordered eating for many more is a big part of the challenge of finding “eating right” I so often hear my fitness clients seek.
We’re not immune as we age. Disordered eating among women in their 50s and 60s is not uncommon. If you’re an emotional eater, or you’re fasting as an answer to weight loss when nothing else works, it’s a conversation that doesn’t have any flat out answers. There’s not a one-size-fits-all. But if at one point in your younger years you knew that what you were doing might cause long term consequences, they may actually be showing up for you now.
Eating disorders and disordered eating are widely associated with teenage girls and college-age women. Yet, a woman in her 50s and beyond can still struggle. Can you break free of a dysfunctional relationship with food in a society where dieting is a billion dollar industry?
Can you escape the temptation to try intermittent fasting? Every popular women’s magazine on and offline, and social media outlet has published something about it. When comparison mode takes over and you read about the success of some woman in her 50s or 60s using intermittent fasting or switching to a plant based diet, it’s tempting to believe you’ve found the magic bullet.
Food is tricky. It’s necessary. It’s triggers compulsive actions. It has history for you. Different foods are triggers for certain behaviors. Situations can act as triggers for a response with foods. For some women it’s being alone, for others it’s being with people. It’s comforting, numbing, and it’s both conscious and unconscious.
Even healthy, normal weight women find it hard to do what they want to do for their own health when they go out to dinner with others or have people over. Peer pressure and social stress seems to hit us even now.
Pursuing fitness with dysfunctional eating patterns that borderline eating disorders is a challenge. Improved performance is not possible without the right fuel.
Even with a pretty external appearance, signs of breakdown exist.
While there’s a large part of our over 50 population still struggling to make exercise a regular part of life, there is another segment that is trapped in a cycle of needing to exercise, and to eat with a rigid idea of what “getting a good workout” might look like. It’s like a heavy weight you’re carrying around all day.
If you flirt with disordered eating after 50 chances are exercise is a piece of the puzzle (hence, the post from me). Exercise isn’t just a joy for you; it’s a must. It’s a have to, should and then it becomes a struggle of mind body when a breakdown or illness occurs. You know you shouldn’t, or that you’re doing too much with too little in the tank, but your mind is telling your body to shut up. Those memes in social media don’t help.
You’re paying yourself back with food. Or you’re not allowing yourself to eat if you haven’t earned it through exercise.
Exercise too, I hope, is indispensable. In our society we can’t afford not to move intentionally any more. So finding a good relationship with exercise so it’s not punishment or an “if I do this, then I can eat that” cycle.
Clutching limiting beliefs about foods or food groups that have been disproven by science but that have such an emotional tie or a near compulsive pattern of thought are often a part of dysfunctional eating. Believing fat makes you fat, that calories alone will control optimal body composition, or that eating “healthy” food is all you need to worry about all are a part of food hurdles you have to leap if you’re in your 50s or older at this point in time. Science of diets and food changed rapidly in the last two decades.
Exercise is sexy and acceptable. It’s respected and revered. Food is seductive and taboo at the same time. A woman who won’t talk about her eating disorder or pattern of constant thoughts around eating will talk about her fitness. It’s a mask she can wear and feel healthy, even superior, and happily distracted about.
Disordered eating after 50 could mean a lot of things about your relationship with the kitchen or eating out. You may hate to cook, or love to cook and bake, or be somewhere in between. Historically, women with eating disorders enjoy recipes, planning, cooking and baking. It’s a mask too. It’s not unlike a drug addict who becomes a dealer.
“What can you eat?”
“Is there anything here you can eat?”
“You’re not going to eat? What? Are you dieting?”
Don’t overlook them or yourself as “sensitive.” They may be triggers for you.
Disordered eating after 50 is so much more common than you might think. We still however don’t talk about it or what’s underneath it. So, it’s isolating. You’re not however, alone. The online community offers great resources for you to get support, with some anonymity and convenience. It’s exhausting if you’re stuck here, perhaps never more than when hormones get involved in a big way at this time of life. If you’re ready to put it down, reach out. You can find support.
What’s the best exercise for hormone balance? It’s in here. This podcast is all about four women, or maybe you, who represent women in my programs and private clients I’ve worked with for nearly three decades.
Before we dive in, this episode is brought to you my Flipping 50’s 28 Day Kickstart, and the last day to register is the day before the last Thursday of the month. It’s the perfect way to begin making exercise matter more with the Eat More, Exercise Less method that improves sleep, decreases stress, and boosts your energy.
What exactly is hormone balance?
Before you get identify your best exercise for hormone balance you obviously need clear definition of hormone balance!
If you’re not even sure what hormone balance is or if some of your recent frustration with a lack of your “you-ness” seems to describe hormone imbalance, read on. This post is for you.
If any of these describe you:
What you used to do doesn’t work any more.
Then this is definitely for you.
The best exercise for hormone balance is not your textbook exercise. If the rules feel like they changed overnight and put you into imbalance you could notice a shift that quickly back into balance too. You may not be quite so lucky to get it right immediately, but you can feel better. You’ll get signs you’re on the right path and you can lose weight or get the tone you’re after if you’re willing to make some changes.
Hormone balance through exercise starts with these 3 steps:
Really, write them down. I’ll wait.
Make a column of signs and a column of what-I’ve-tried next to it with plenty of options for the solutions.
If you’ve tried things before, even if you don’t yet have results, you know a little more about what does and doesn’t work for hormone balance.
Or do you?
If you’ve said, “I’ve tried everything! Nothing works!” You may have tried things randomly or unknowingly sabotaged results of a good thing with the wrong type or timing of it. That’s where I want to jump in here with exercise for hormone balance.
I’ve written dozens of blogs, dozens more articles, and created still more videos about exercise for hormone balance. I touched on hormones and exercise after 50 in my first book and filled two more books with exercise for hormone balance research. There’s not a lack of information but there’s a lack of time.
When you want answers and youre frustrated you want them now, like yesterday.
So let me give you some very quick very easy to implement answers. There’s more where that came from, and more how-to do the exercise that will help you most, where this came from.
Always Tired Anna
Is this you?
If you’re tired in the morning even after a full night’s sleep…
You wake up not wanting to wake up…
You don’t have an appetite in the morning…
You may or may not have coffee but you really don’t want food, or exercise, pajamas would be good…
Your hormone tests show you don’t have any cortisol at all – even when you should
Your best exercise for hormone balance:
Reduce your exercise. Leave the weights and the High Intensity Interval Training alone for a week. If you can get out for walks (or bike rides) and enjoy yourself – alone, with a friend, or a dog – then do that. Stick with a short duration (20-30 minutes most of the time. A longer time (45-60 minutes)– as long as you enjoy it – on the weekends or day when you have plenty of time and you’re not on the clock can be good. Plan activities you love that have nothing to do with calories and fat and minutes. You need a major reset. Fill up that hole and rest. Focus on sleep, rest, a massage, meditation, journaling, and learn what proper nutrition is for you today – it’s not the “healthy” you once thought. Your best exercise for hormone balance requires going through a sequence that will “restore before more.”
Is this you?
Your best exercise for hormone balance:
Get short quick interval training sets in 1-2 times a week that last 20 or 30 minutes start to end. Get two weight training-to-fatigue days in (same day or alternate). Make these things happen in the morning. Then get outdoors and do something unplugged at least once a week. Hike: get lost for that matter. You need to let go. No minutes, calories, miles tracking. While you’re doing that get a plan for eating. Plan breakfast. Plan lunch. Plan dinner. If you’re over 50, you’re required by hormone law to do some adulting.
If everything you do elevates cortisol, everything you do deposits fat to your belly. Lack of regular meals, lack of regular bedtime and wake time, reliance on some supplement or prescription to do the work daily habits should do will backfire. You do the work, and they’ll take you the rest of the way.
Is this you?
Your best exercise for hormone balance:
Cut your exercise in half. Increase the intensity of some of those longer workouts (1-2 a week) if you like but keep them short. There’s very little evidence that more time results in more results. In 34 years, those people we observe in the gym for hours every day never really changed their body over time. Same shape, same complaints, same energy or less potentially as they aged. For hormone balance, that “hour of power” on the treadmill, is public enemy #1. Lifting weights for the cosmetic effect does little to change your body composition. Those “total body toning” classes can give you a boost of confidence but it’s some short, specific exercise sessions that really get results. If you’re addicted, but tired, and continue your routine you’ll soon be burnout.
Is this you?
Your best exercise for hormone balance:
Start lifting weights focused on major muscle groups. Don’t do tons of weight training: do less but better. Even if you want to tone those arms, you want to start with major muscle groups. Stop long slow exercise sessions and long endurance activity. Increase your protein at every meal and eat regularly. Get to bed early and make sure you control your environment. If you love your wine or nightcap, you’ll want to stop that. All of these things kill testosterone, a key hormone for building lean tissue and libido. Testosterone gives you a kick of confidence too also important for libido.
These are but a few scenarios of exercise changes you can make for more hormone balance. Each woman has a unique set of health history, physical status, signs and symptoms that make her unique. If you don’t see yourself here exactly take the one closest and start there.
Share your biggest hormone balance challenges below in the comments.
Do you want support determining what factors influence your hormone balance?
Your best next step is Flipping 50’s 28 Day Kickstart, where I bring together the whole-istic whole-you approach to not just exercise, but exercise nutrition, the timing of them both and daily habits timing that matters for your hormone best. If you’ve started and stopped before, it’s a mindset shift and that’s a part of the process.
As both an exercise psychology and kinesiology expert and I can help you with what happens both above and below the shoulders for hormone balance.
Prefer private, accelerated coaching on your own time, a limited number of private coaching spots are available.
Click the link below to schedule if you’re interested in private coaching: https://www.scheduleyou.in/ZzFwszm
Not exercising yet and can’t seem to find time? Try these simple daily tips.
Want to compliment your best exercise for hormone balance with food prep?
WILL YOU HELP?
If this podcast about the best exercise for hormone balance was helpful, I’d love your help! Thanks for leaving a rating in iTunes! Let’s spread the word that things have changed and there’s never been a better time to be Flipping 50!
Tell me you did it and I’ll send you something special for exercise, nutrition, or mindset – whichever you need most!
Sit ups and Crunches Don’t Work
Oh, I know this may get some highly emotional reactions if you think they’re working for you. What you don’t know is that they’re doing damage you may not feel… yet. This episode is all about the science of core exercise for effective ab work, back pain prevention, and weight control. The truth is crunches and sit ups don’t work … favorably compared to dozens of other options that do have benefits without risk.
Today’s question comes from Karla who writes,
“I just turned 50 this month, In 2013 I fractured my L4 and L5. Since then I’ve had trouble finding exercise to help with my abs because I can’t do sit ups and crunches, what do you recommend? I work in an office at a desk 8 hours a day. “
She added, “I’m am afraid to try anything. And I’m continuing to gain weight.”
Karla’s question hits one of my favorite topics. I want to address core and limiting beliefs about what works and what doesn’t.
You see, I was in a horse-backriding accident in early June the summer before I was to begin grad school. In grad school my assistantship would have me teaching exercise clinic classes four days a week. I was planning to supplement that with some additional fitness instruction for friends opening a business. Suddenly, I was using a handicap sticker and barely shuffling to my summer classes. During those months of rehab I studied everything core and back care, and I have ever since. It was a learning experience I wouldn’t have chosen to have and I was very lucky then and in these last three decades – to have the empathy, wisdom, and understanding of injury and how to help so many avoid it.
If fact, performing these two exercises are closely correlated to lower back injury. They aren’t the only risky core exercises (hyperextensions at the gym, rotary torso machines, forward flexion machines are big ones too) but because they are the most commonly done, the most frequently done, they do the most damage.
Whether you feel it or not it’s happening. For those us who have a thicker spine – risk is greater but it exists for all of us. The more you do forward flexion the more you’re accelerating your lower back vulnerability. It’s like this: you only have so many forward flexions in you. You’re accelerating your injury risk every time you do more.
A Flipping 50 podcast interview with Dr. Stuart McGill will help you understand the core and what happens. Dr. McGill is a world-renowned back and core exercise expert. LISTEN NOW!
In today’s episode I’m sharingsome exercises that allow you to keep your back safe AND still tone, tighten, and flatten that belly. Sit-ups and crunches don’t work for anyone optimally. They carry a greater amount of risk than they offer reward. These are excellent exercises for anyone.*
*It is important that you know not every exercise is appropriate for every person. If you have a special condition ideally you’ve worked with an allied health practitioner on what your limits and guidelines are before attempting mainstream exercise. Always check with your physician.
When you have these strong foundation-building exercises down, you can always progress. But going too quickly to more difficult exercises sets you up for injury.
But something you may not suspect will help you lose weight. Here it is…
Karla mentioned that the quality of the 6 hours of sleep she’s getting is a 5 on a 0-10 scale. Both her quality and quantity of sleep have room for improvement. No one but you – by testing – knows exactly how much sleep you need – but quality of that sleep we want as high as possible.
If you’re waking up naturally – feeling rested – the right hormones are in place to help you be at your optimal weight and reduce cravings that sabotage you!
Next on this episode I headed into the kitchen for Minute Made ways to find ways to help Karla eat MORE and eat to sleep better!
Knowing sit-ups and crunches don’t work toward reducing weight we head to the kitchen to explore that adage: abs are made in the kitchen. If you have anything in common with Karla there are three things you want to focus on here.
and increasing foods that reduce it (healthy fats like those in avocados, olive oil, flax oil or ground meal, chia seeds)
Smoothies are an easy way to begin. Get protein, fiber, healthy fat in first thing and studies show you’re more likely to choose healthfully at the next meal. That’s how important breakfast is to the rest of your day. Keep the sugar down and increase the greens and fiber. Multiple studies show that weight loss is easier due to reduced cravings with a breakfast of 30-35 grams of high quality protein.
Here’s my Flipping 50 smoothie formula:
FLIP: you want to drink it all at once. So make it small enough (by adding less liquid and extras) if need be that you get the full serving of protein at that breakfast meal.
**Make this in your own kitchen and avoid smoothies out at a stand that feature fruit only or processed mixes full of sugars and chemicals that make your body store fat! My favorite 10 second smoothie chef secret is NutriBullet. Get yours with a Flipping 50 link and save $20 and up to $15 in shipping.
As a part of your routine make more dinner than you need and put those leftovers into a convenient-to-reheat glass container for lunch the next day.
Protein, healthy fat, and add a bit of healthy carbs like leftover spiralized sweet potato or berries for dessert.
Use glass containers… you can reheat safely in. Minimize your exposure to toxins in plastics as another way to reduce inflammation. Carry them to work in an insulated bag.
Karla mentions something that’s true for many of us. She works 8 hours or more a day at a desk. Small things matter- little movement breaks. Let everyone believe you have a small bladder – even if you don’t – just so you can get up a few times in the morning and afternoon.
Mowing and working around the house are core exercise and movement that count too. Focus on what you’re doing. You’re potentially a more active person than you know. How you think about what you’re doing matters. Studies show that if you think everything you do contributes to you being an active person the health benchmarks improve (weight, fat, blood pressure) where as women who do the same activity who tell themselves they are inactive and think, “this job is going to kill me” don’t have the same results. Your body is listening to what you’re thinking.
For Karla, it would be easy to think that she’s vulnerable or weak because of a past injury. What if instead she looked at how she’s gotten through the acute problem, recovered, and now is more aware of proper exercise so she could think of herself as stronger and more informed now to be better than ever? It changes everything when you reframe your thoughts.
The Key Flip of the Day:
It ALL counts… what you put in your mouth and the activity you CAN do all matter, and the way you think about it can have a big impact on the effectiveness of small habits too.
Is a slow metabolism the obstacle between you and your best you? For a lot of women 50 and over, it is. If you too are realizing that you’re doing the same thing and your weight or waistline or both are increasing, and trying to modify what you’re doing isn’t working, then this post is for you.
It doesn’t matter if you think you have always had a slow metabolism or if you feel it suddenly has slowed (because of weight loss, new medications, or hormone fluctuations you haven’t yet figured out how to dance with), revving up a slow metabolism is more than physical.
If you don’t believe that a slow metabolism is temporary, and that you can do something to change it, you’ll struggle to change it. If you believe this is just you, and you keep it as a part of your identity – even defend that this is the way you’ve always been and the way you’ve always done things – you get to keep it. So before you read anything more, realize that you will choose to find fault or a reason to think, “this won’t work for me”if you really are not ready to change. Your current status is somehow working for you if that’s true. Not well, but it’s a form of self-protection you’ve landed on to keep you from doing something else, or being vulnerable somewhere else. That’s not an exercise or nutrition problem. That’s a self- efficacy, and self- esteem challenge you need to overcome before any superficial fitness program will work.
There are a lot of fitness options out there. There are still a lot of overweight, obese, out of shape people out there. What’s the problem? Should there be such a gap if all these programs are viable ways to get fit?
The problem is, they’re not. They’re not all just items on a menu you can choose, order, eat and be full. You can’t just choose the one you like the best (or hate the least) and use it expecting results. That includes boosting a slow metabolism. Not just any exercise is going to work effectively. Will it increase the calories you use if you’re doing pilates vs. lying on the coach? Yes. But not significantly. Will it increase your lean muscle tissue and decrease your percent body fat? Not significantly. If you’re looking for time efficient lean muscle increases, fat reduction, or both, then weight training is your best option.
But which kind of weight training boosts a slow metabolism best? There are two kinds of weight training to consider and under them more variation than that even. Again, you can’t just decide, hey I prefer body weight, or hey, I love barre classes, and use that as your resistance training and expect the change in lean muscle that effects metabolism that you would if you overloaded the muscles in a complete way. Getting tired or feeling like you worked hard is not the same as reaching fatigue that is oh, so necessary beyond 50 for metabolism boosting (and bone density). You’ve been lead astray if you’ve read that. From couch to light weights or yoga, yes, you’ll make small improvements in bone density. They will stop after a certain point, the same way walking does not improve bone density after you’ve walked regularly for a period of time. It’s not additional stress enough.
So what does work to fix your slow metabolism? Here are the two types of weight training protocols most often used – and confused.
Full Body Exercise Workouts
There are two types of Full Body workouts and you want to be sure you make the distinction between them. The first type can improve movement mechanics by integrating and creating core activation, creating motor learning patterning. These can use muscle within a workout but don’t provide enough load to boost metabolism.
The second type of full body workouts optimize metabolism by increasing lean muscle tissue (increasing energy expenditure at rest) long term.
This form of exercise breaks down a whole body targeted workout into body parts. To do this you’d focus on specific muscle groups on specific days.
You Still Got It, Girl describes various repetition ranges (to fatigue) for various goals.
It’s not a one-protocol-fits-all, not even for your midlife goals. Your best protocol may depend on whether you need to gain weight (muscle), lose weight (fat), increase bone density, want to improve your movement mechanics or your golf performance.
It does depend on your status and hormone balance. So if an over 50 athlete is striving to do better at triathlon her strength triathlon specific training protocol should take into consideration her hormone status. She’s more prone to negative effects of stress that might require less volume and more intensity or strategic planning of workouts instead of slogging in more miles (traditional endurance training). The same goes for a woman over 50 who has had breast cancer, and or any women in hormone flux that began in late 40s and ends with death-do-us-part who wants to become her best fitness self.
Your first solution for a slow metabolism won’t necessarily be your last one. Fitness requires progression. The workout you need today isn’t the same one you need in three months or six. In fact, if you were doing the same without progression, reaching fatigue, or variety, you’d regress. The body adapts quickly so there must always be an element of change in the sequence, the timing, or the weight in order to arrive at overload. Yet, random change doesn’t work to advance you the way planned and specific does.
Someone who wants to do a half marathon can’t randomly drop into group fitness classes. A woman who wants to complete a hike to a specific summit can’t just “go for a run.” When you want to do a specific goal better you need a specific plan for that goal, including weight loss, which ultimately is fat loss combined with lean mass gain or maintenance.
A woman with cortisol elevation causing ghrelin and leptin issues can’t do the same 5:30 pm bootcamp her best friend thrives in. What about Beach Body or P90x? They’re purchasedby millions, should they work for you? I’ll let you answer that for yourself. Do you hear constantly that someone you know is using them and at their best weight and energy level thanks to one of them? I never do. I often hear, I used to do that, until …or, I’m a coach! (from someone with no previous fitness education or certification).
Finding the right program you can do forever is like finding a lifestyle pattern of eating you do that makes you happy, healthy, and full of life. It’s not hard to follow and it makes you feel better not tired. You look forward to it, to the way it feels during and after. Sure, some parts of it may be challenging, the chef doesn’t come over and some of the exercises take effort that may cause sweating and breathlessness (if you don’t like that) but it’s worth the small extra effort it takes to make a new pattern of doing something a habit.
Your Current Status and Need
Your Exercise Goals
Your slow metabolism solutions will change as your status does. If you’ve currently got an injury or you’re participating in some seasonal activity that will change what you choose. If you’re schedule and time demand changes that will change what you do.
The opposite of a random “exercise” program is one with purpose. Athletes don’t exercise they train.You should too. Train with a purpose every time you exercise. Sometimes that is for recovery and or relaxation. If the purpose is metabolism, then whatever weight load option suits your needs, it must take you to fatigue.
Heavy weights may not be the answer for you – now or ever. You can increase speed (use power), you can emphasize the eccentric (lowering) contraction, and you can slow the speed overall to reach overload with lighter weights so that you don’t have to do dozens and dozens of repetitions.
Heavy weight training and power weight training have the greatest influence on excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC). That is the energy it takes to bring your body back to it’s pre-exercise state. The higher EPOC the more influence on metabolism. As long as you reach fatigue, however, even with light weights, you will be enhancing this EPOC.
In order to put purpose in your exercise sessions you first:
Compound exercises: use multiple joints and therefor multiple muscles in the same exercise. Squats, lunges, chest press, and rows are compound exercises, bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, and lateral raises are not.
Power: strength + speed, despite popular information that supports super slow, in general research supports using powerful movements as quickly as possible without loss of control boosts energy expenditure and “cost” of exercise more.
Eccentric: the contraction that occurs when you lower a weight, you’re going with gravity but you want this to be under control. Not controlling it, such that you are swinging and allowing momentum to occur both reduces the benefit of exercise and increases risk of injury
EPOC: excess post oxygen consumption is what you’re really hoping for with the right exercise. That is, if your body has worked hard during exercise, it has to “payback” and work hard to bring you back to a pre-exercise state. It requires energy, sometimes up to 24-38 hours of excess energy is spent after a vigorous exercise session to return you to normal
Recovery: This piece can’t be skipped. If you’ve deduced that boosting your caloric expenditure for 24-38 hours after exercise every day would be good, you’re incorrect. You have to recover between or all of the good is washed away.
Protocol: the sequence of exercises and the way they are repeated is the protocol. Circuit Training, Paired Supersets, and Tri-sets are among the biggest metabolic boosters.
Major muscles: Includes 8-10 muscle groups, often stimulated best by compound leg exercises, compound push and pull exercises for upper body. The metabolic benefit of exercise comes from working largest muscles in the body first and foremost. If you’re short on time and want sleeveless-worthy arms, choose squats, lunges, chest press and rows over those arm exercises. What? Yes. You’ve got to boost metabolism if you want to uncover pretty muscles. If you don’t boost your metabolism, and don’t burn fat to see tone you won’t see those pretty arm muscles. Indirectly you are working those arms. They play a supporting role in every upper body exercise. Seen a swimmer? They don’t spend time doing biceps and triceps. Don’t swim? Try boxing for 8 weeks and you’ll love your arms (and your core and reduce your stress level!)
The thought of participating in the Senior Games as an athlete may have not even occurred to you, yet. That doesn’t mean it’s too late.
I’m forever telling clients to get off that scale. They nod and agree. Then the first thing that comes out of their mouths when we talk about status is about either losing a few pound – or gaining a few pounds – or the dreaded plateau.
What would shifting your goal to a starting line do for you? What if it weren’t about weight loss at all or about what to eat or a forever search for the right workout?
What if it were about getting better at a sport, performing optimally, and getting focused on something fun for you yet bigger than you? Enter my guest on this episode, Kyle Case of the Huntsman World Senior Games.
Huntsman World Senior Games:
The Huntsman World Senior Games is the largest annual multi-sport event in the world for athletes age 50 and better. Every October the Games welcomes more than 11,000 athletes from all around the world to St. George, Utah to compete in their choice of 30 different sports.The event was founded in 1987 and continues to strive to achieve its mission of fostering worldwide peace, health and friendship.
Kyle M Case is the CEO of the Huntsman World Senior Games. He has managed sporting events for over 15 years and loves the life-changing impact that these events have on individuals.
Questions we answer in this episode:
Today you can participate in any of 30 sports at the Senior Games including racewalking, swimming, golf, basketball, swimming, and so many more you can learn about when you connect with Kyle.
Get Connected and inspired:
Does the idea of spot toning exercises for back fat appeal to you? You’re not alone! It’s a popular question and a picky irritant for many of our Flipping 50 community! There are hormones involved for sure. We’re going to address this question of spot toning exercises for back fat (often due to testosterone levels) in this episode of Flipping 50 TV.
Today’s question comes from Michelle who’s 49 and she writes her biggest challenge is,
“Back fat and love handles and overall fat around my middle.”
Right away, you have to know we’ve been trying to do spot toning exercises for decades unsuccessfully. The answer isn’t in micro-movements for one small area. You can’t get the look you want without improving the root cause fat is there. That has to do with choosing hormone-balancing exercise (not too much and not too little), and overall all major muscle group focus to boost your metabolism.
Next, there’s no ignoring your daily habits (hello, sleep! and stress reduction) and the way you support exercise with nutrition. There are things you can do for natural hormone balance all day every day, and things you could be doing that unknowingly contribute to hormone imbalance. Target testosterone that’s responsible for this particular back fat issue by reducing your overall stress levels (add joy!), reducing alcohol and sugar, and doing not more exercise (that kills testosterone) but the right kind and intensity.
Your “first two” hours of the day are so important to the rest of your day and to your metabolism. Protein at breakfast – you’re shooting for 30 grams of protein – studies show up to 35 in fact, can help your choices later in the day. So if you’re overwhelmed focus on getting your first two hours right and so much else falls into place.
A smoothie is the fastest flip at breakfast. Overnight oats is another. If you’re doing eggs make them with veggies – pair them with half a smoothie for more greens and to reach that protein goal deliciously.
Here’s a list of other ways to increase protein at breakfast if you’re not yet a smoothie girl.
Plan your weekly movement. If you’re randomly doing “more” exercise to get rid of fat you dislike, flip your thinking. Focus on a plan of action so you’re not doing too much and focus on creating what you do want. It’s a flip your mind has to make before your body will change.
Michelle has recently been using The Whole Flip but isn’t sure how or where to start. So I help her… and you… plan the week!
Using The Whole Flip (and the bonus planning guide that comes with sample workout plans) Michelle’s schedule looks something like this:
Michelle said she used to clean houses – a great kind of Non-Exercise-Activity-Time NEAT movement that may have meant she didn’t require a lot of additional exercise. Once you stop activities- even work that you may think is more sedentary – it still takes energy… it can easily add up to extra weight.
Boxing is a great workout for so many reasons. Not only is it easy on joints it engages some of the muscles in the shoulder and back as well as the chest – so it’s great for the cardio segment of workouts – and targets core, arms and that under bra fat. The reason fat is there now and wasn’t is due to changes in hormones, like testosterone when it comes to back fat at the bra or lower back upper hip area.
I’m going to just give you a little sample of The Whole Flip here during a warm up and demonstrate moves that increase circulation to those tough spots.
Then we’re going to go right into a special back fat attack workout. Spot toning exercises are not a girl’s best friend unless they’re preceded by metabolism boosting exercise. Keep this in mind: you can’t spot reduce or spot fat loss. But we can spot tone. If you exercise to tone the muscle there is some increased circulation to the area and subcutaneous fat- lying on the top – will be reduced when you add shape to the muscle. Focus first on exercise that boosts your metabolism by targeting major muscles then target those tough spots and fat it will become less visible.
Here are a few of my favorite exercises in a routine for a strong and sexy back.
Repeat it – 2-3 times (total)
Twice a week you want a full body workout including legs [try the Knee-Friendly Flip if your joints don’t allow squats or lunges] plus this series with an emphasis on your back. The weight day* on Wednesday can be more functional and could again include back-specific exercise. (Functional weight training requires less recovery and is a perfect mid-week workout if you need and want to do more. More, however, is not better. Effective exercise in less volume is often the best answer).
The Key Flip of the Day:
Elevate overall metabolism instead of only using spot toning exercises for the best Flipping 50 transformation.
Have you caught all the episodes of Flipping 50 TV? Here’s your FLIPPING 50 TV GUIDE to find the topics you care about most fast! (seasons I and II included, season III is in progress and will be added soon!)
Exercise after 50 can optimize your muscles, bones, brain, and energy! It’s quiz time! Do you really know how to work your workout so it gives you the best results? Take this 10-question quiz HERE!
Do it before you read the post below – no peeking – where I share the right answers along with a few details about why it’s correct or how to tweak your workout. (All the responses are based on most current and up-to-date research collectively as they pertain to women in peri-menpause, menopause, and post menopause).
Click here and the quiz will open up in a new window.
Then come back and you can see how to perfect your exercise after 50!
** You’ll find the answers are numerical instead of alphabetical options which is different from the QUIZ.
1. Which is BEST for bone density?
The correct answer is 4, heavy weights. If you can safely use a weight that you can lift no more than 10 times, you’ll illicit the greatest change in bone density. Always consider your risk: reward ratio however. So if you’re putting yourself at risk by lifting that heavy or have a joint prone to injury, opt lighter and still go to fatigue. You will still benefit muscles and staying strong will support bone as well as reduce your risk of falling.
2. Which combination is better for changing body composition?
The correct –general – answer is 1, weight training (to fatigue) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). However, it does depend on you. If you’re in adrenal fatigue, I wouldn’t recommend doing either one of these now. You’ve got to know you and your status to choose the best exercise. But these two can eventually be the best fat burners if they are not overused. That’s true not just of exercise after 50 but for all ages.
3. What is the optimal frequency (per week) for weight training?
You’re going to love this answer! It’s “2,” or two days a week strength training gets best results across the board all things considered. It’s the sweet spot where you can work hard enough during those two sessions to reap almost as many rewards as three times a week gets you AND it still leaves you with plenty of energy.
Study subjects who weight trained twice a week were more active overall in life and had greater overall energy expenditure than did subjects who did either less (no surprise) or more. The bottom line is if you’re exercising in the gym so much you go recover on the couch you actually may hurt your fitness level compared to finding that dose of exercise that gives you energy to play all day.
4. Which of the following repetition ranges is recommended for bulk-building (gaining size)?
Sadly, the answer is “2,” 10-12 repetitions. I say sadly because it’s the protocol which most of us were taught. Is it any wonder that we’ve been fearful of weight training causing bulky muscles? There is much more too it, and at this point in life this protocol may work very differently than when you were in your 20s 30s or 40s.
For your bone best, you would do less than 10 repetitions so “1” is the best answer here. If you can’t safely do that with all your exercises, you simply want to do the best you can safely. Is bone density a concern for you? You might be interested in this.
6. Which is the best example of work: recovery ratio for a beginning exerciser?
The correct answer is 4. For a beginner the best ratio is 1:3. You may rapidly progress but at the very least a beginner should do 1:1 and never jump into the 20 seconds of hard intensity followed by 10 seconds of recovery. That’s an advanced protocol (used too often with everyone) that should be preceded by a smart progression.
7. What is the optimal number of rest days (also in hours) between weight training workouts?
This is a trick question. Both “2” and “3” are acceptable answers. Seventy-two hours, or “3,” though is the BEST answer to this question after 50. The biggest limiter to progress after 50 is adequate rest and recovery. You can work just as hard as you did (in relative terms) as long as you rest and recover slightly longer.
So skip that old habit of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and shift to a Monday Thursday schedule – yes, even reducing the number of weight workouts in the week – can get better results because you’re stronger, fresher and better able to work up to capacity when you do exercise. In You Still Got It, Girl I outlined a 10 day rotation instead of a 7 day we’re so used to.
8. For optimal recruiting of muscle fibers and strength gain, how much rest do you want between sets of exercise for the same muscle group?
The answer is “3,” 3-5 minutes is optimal for strength from exercise after 50 in beginners. That means you can create a time efficient sequence of exercises if you’re thoughtful. If you start your set with a bent over row, you want to do at least two other exercises for other body parts before you repeat that exercise again.
9. After a strength training session how many grams of protein does research suggest is optimal for muscle protein synthesis?
For adults over 50 the answer is “4,” or 30. There is a study comparing men in their 70s to young men in their 20s reporting that while 25 grams of protein was adequate for young men, it required 40 grams of protein to reach similar recovery in older men. That said, when those adjustments were made, fitness improvements were similar regardless of age.
If you finish a moderate to vigorous workout and follow that with 30 grams of high quality protein you’ll be boosting your recovery and enhancing metabolism. In the exercise after 50 formula, age is not a limiter if your exercise is adequate and recovery fuel is adjusted. My favorite way to make this easy and delicious is a smoothie and you can sit down to a regular meal too.
10. After a high intensity workout what’s the ideal window for a woman over 50 to ingest a high protein meal?
The answer here is “3.” Protein ingestion after a workout is important, but there is a blunting effect on your muscle protein synthesis after exercise that lasts for about 60 minutes. The sweet spot for having a high quality protein meal is 90 minutes post-exercise.
How did you do on your exercise after 50 quiz? (add to comments!) Are there habits you want to tweak to improve your results? Which ones will you try to change first?
Hint: change one thing at a time! If you’re restarting, you can start knowing you’ve got the best combination for fitness results.
If you’re looking for support in starting or sticking to an exercise, specifically weight training habit, this post might help you choose an exercise option. Some of our Flipping 50 exercise options are for those who say “I’ve got this, I just need a program to follow that’s proven to work” and some offer more support for how to plan a week, and how to eat before or after exercise for optimal energy and recovery. Some are digital and some are DVD.
Exercise after 50 is exciting. The science is emerging rapidly to help us help you more and get better results. There’s never been a better time to be flipping 50 (all 50-99 years of it) with a fresh attitude and feeling of renewal.
How would you like to talk to the skin whisperer? Identify how to care for your skin, reverse sun damage and feel more confident in your own skin. Skincare for the now in your life.
Dr. Keirra Barr is a cutting edge Dermatologist, who is known as an innovative thinker. A dual-board certified dermatologist, Dr. Barr has shared her life-changing ideas in business, educational, health and professional seminars on how to rejuvenate and amplify skin health naturally; reverse sun damage, prevent and manage skin cancer and how to build confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem and resilience.
Dr. Barr shares her expertise as a domain subject matter expert, advisor to numerous start-ups, an editor of leading medical journals and a researcher in ongoing clinical trials. As the Chief Wellness Officer of Resilient Health Institute (RHI), by embracing what is on the surface as well as what’s below it, she is redefining the delivery of skincare.
Questions we discuss in this episode:
Quotes and Insights you don’t want to miss from this episode:
Get a free copy of The Skin Whispererat: website: www.chooseresilience.com
Connect with Keira about skincare at:
Want more on skincare? Visit this recent episode of Flipping 50 TV