When you have a long list of desire for energy, vitality, tone, balance, strength, better memory, and little time you want the best exercises for getting the most results in the least amount of time. That’s what this post is all about. I’ve selected some big needle movers that should be a part of your workouts.
These strength exercises earn the title as best exercises based on results. They are three exercises that provide the most return on investment (ROI). You get the most results in the least amount of time. If you’re a Flipping 50 TV fan you know that’s the mission of all my recommendations. Time is the most often sited obstacle to exercise for any of us.
These exercises provide bone density (when weight selected is heavy enough for overload), and a metabolism – boost through fat loss and lean muscle increase. Collectively, those benefits add up to longevity with your health in tact. We’re not just looking for a longer lifespan, after all. We’re looking for a longer “healthspan.”
It’s typical for a fitness professional or a doctor perhaps to recommend 8-10 exercises for your 8-10 major muscle groups. Yet, if you dig deeper often those recommendations are based on decades-old text book recommendations and position statements.
Today we know that exercising one muscle group in an exercise is isolating muscle groups. That’s like a solo performance.
In life your muscles perform like an orchestra. No one instrument sounds good without the other. So it is for your muscles. You’ve got to have the whole thing functioning. So while isolating muscles going from one machine to the next machine can be a good place to start, moving on to a new way of moving more muscles at one time provides the best return on investment.
I always, always, include these best exercises for strength in my personal strength workouts and in workouts I design for adults over 50. I also do functional movements but I never do variety for variety’s sake.
You’ve noticed, if you follow Flipping 50 blogs or the podcast regularly, that I don’t do exercises that come with a poor risk: reward ratio. With dozens of exercises to choose from there’s no reason to do that.
Don’t start with heavy weight, even if you’re without joint issues and able to go heavy later. Begin with weight you can do 15-20 times at least. Follow the ABCs below over a period of weeks (even 2-3 months is optimal).
We lose fast twitch muscles twice as fast as we do our slow twitch muscle fibers. They’re important for reaction skills. When you almost slip, almost being the optimal word, your fast twitch muscles help you respond and right yourself. When the sidewalk is a little icy, you have to put on the brake quickly while driving, or you catch something about to fall off the counter… thank your fast twitch muscles.
But if you haven’t been training them on purpose you’ve lost some of them between 30 and whatever age you are now. You can reverse losses and get them back. Here are three ways. This list is by no means all-inclusive, it’s just a few you can begin with. All you need is 2-3 minutes a day of quick moves.
If you dance, you know this is a foxtrot. Nothing against the waltz but the slow controlled flow of waltz is not helpful for your fast twitch muscles. Stand beside a ladder (tape one on the floor, use one in the gym, or imagine one) and step two feet into the ladder then out on the other side using the quick-quick-slow rhythm.
Imagine stepping into the squares of a ladder on the floor. The trick though is to practice leading with your non-dominant side. Does it feel awkward? You need it more.
Imagine facing a ladder on the floor from the side. The length of the ladder is spread out to your right. Step in to a square with your right, then left foot. Step back with your right then left foot. Then do the same in the next square to the right, and continue all the way down the ladder. Do the same on your left foot.
Feeling unstable? You don’t want to risk a fall trying to prevent one! So do any of these drills in the water where you’ll still activate fast twitch muscles without any risk of falling.
You go to yoga to improve balance. You don’t worry about falling in yoga. Why not? Because it’s quiet, calm, with no distractions so you can just focus on balance. That’s really not helpful. You’ll fall when there are tons of distraction from moving people or objects, noise, obstacles on the ground or people bumping into you. So create it once you’re really ready to improve your balance in real life. Three ways to take any standing yoga pose further:
Flip: Falls rarely occur when it’s quiet and you have no distractions. Be on an uneven surface, not always in shoes or flooring designed to make it easy.
If you’ve got a history of falling in your recent past or your balance isn’t optimal, you want to keep yourself safe. It could be you with an inner ear or vestibular challenge, an injury, or it could be a parent.
I observed my mom this week attempting to do two things at once while we were out and about. Why wouldn’t she? It’s what we do, right? We multitask. Yet, when it’s less the norm than the exception and you’re defaulting to something you used to do but don’t so regularly any more, these situations present an increased risk. For example:
Include the strength exercises in your fitness routine twice a week. (contrary to popular belief, more is not better) Include the fast twitch fiber exercises every time you exercise as “finishers” in the last few minutes. Also include balance nearly every day for a few minutes either at the end of a workout or just random times when you’re waiting in line at the store or the bank, when you’re doing your bicep curls or triceps press at the gym.
Are you on Instagram? Follow me for IGTV videos coming with exercises and the WHY they’ll help you and how to do them.
Prefer YouTube? You’ll find lots of videos there, too.
If you like your videos organized into programs for you, check out this blog about the Flipping 50 exercise video options.
Is a functional doctor the answer to more integrated and natural care?
If you haven’t got a functional doctor, chances are you’re wondering where to find a good one. If you’re living somewhere more rural with fewer options, never fear.
As my guest today illustrates, even living in the middle of the midwest, you too can find a functional doctor locally. Here’s a nod to my Iowa roots and subscribers/listeners.
My guest, Stephanie Gray, DNP, MS, ARNP, ANP-C, GNP-C, ABAAHP, FAARFM, has been working as a nurse practitioner since 2009. She completed her doctorate focusing on estrogen metabolism from the University of Iowa in 2011. Additionally, she has a Masters in Metabolic Nutritional Medicine from the University of South Florida’s Medical School. Her expertise lies within integrative, anti-aging, and functional medicine. She is arguably one of the midwest’s’ most credentialed female healthcare providers combining many certifications and trainings.
She completed an Advanced fellowship in Anti-Aging Regenerative and Functional medicine in 2013. She became the first BioTech certified provider in Iowa to administer hormone pellets also in 2013.
She is the author of the FNP Mastery App and an Amazon best selling author of Your Longevity Blueprint. She is co-founder of Your Longevity Blueprint nutraceuticals with her husband, Eric. They own the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic in Hiawatha, Iowa.
Ready for support?
You Will Learn Symptoms of:
Connect with functional doctor Dr. Stephanie Gray:
Visit www.yourlongevityblueprint.com for her book, supplements, blog and videos. For 10% off the book and products! Get her free PDF on 3 Tips to Boost Hormones Naturally.
Her clinic site is www.ihhclinic.com for consultations.
Take charge of your health. From hormones to micronutrient testing (and a complimentary consultation with me after), you’ll find the descriptions you need to choose.
Get Tested:Use code Flipping50 to save $20 now!
Low energy? B vitamins, magnesium, Vitamin D, or Iron could be a part of it. In order for your body (and hormones to function well) and exercise to work, you’ve got to know these as well as Omega 3 levels. It’s easy and it’s your every day energy.
Position a baking rack in center of the oven and preheat to 450ºF. Line a sturdy baking sheet with heavy duty foil.
Combine the melted ghee, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and lemon zest. Gently loosen the skin of the chicken breast and using a brush, brush the skin and the meat with the ghee. Place chicken breasts on one side of the baking sheet.
Combine olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Toss the halved or quartered potatoes until their coated with olive oil. Lay the potatoes on the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes. If the chicken begins to brown too much during roasting cover it with foil. After 20 minutes, check the chicken for doneness, if the juices are running clear, or the internal temperature is at 170 degrees, remove the chicken to a plate, and loosely cover with foil. Otherwise, leave it and add the green beans.
Toss the green beans in with the potatoes and allow the olive oil to coat the beans. Continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
There’s nothing better than one pan and no clean up. If you cover your pan with tin foil you’ll be out of the kitchen in no time. If you’re like me, you had me at “real simple.”
Love healthy things that are simple? Don’t miss the Black Friday to Cyber Monday Specials for 10-50% off your Favorite Exercise videos and programs for shaping up your 2019 in fewer minutes feeling better than ever! Some of the Special Rates End 11:59pm Nov 26 for these favorites:
STRONGER (12- week program starts Jan 1)
Fit-U (20+ pounds to lose?)
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Strength training is beneficial at any age. Strength training after 50 should be mandatory. Health concerns that result in medical costs, loss of independence, and early decline could be avoided or reduced with weight training.
The list of issues that plagues many adults over 50, including women going through menopause, is almost exactly opposite the list of weight training benefits well documented in research. Sleep issues, weigh gain, joint pain, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density, loss of stamina, strength and endurance, low back pain, and digestive issues are common complaints among older adults.
The answer for avoiding or improving any of those issues requires a low investment of time, money, and energy compared to the cost of living with any of them.
“More and more research is finding that it is, in fact, the only type of exercise that can substantially slow, and even reverse, the declines in muscle mass, bone density, and strength that were once considered unavoidable parts of aging.”
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has fitness guidelines specific to weight training for adults over 50. The guidelines state lifting weights 2 or 3 times a week for 8-10 major muscle groups with a weight heavy enough to fatigue muscles in 10 to 15 repetitions.
Reductions in bone density, and even improvements once thought not possible, occur with weight training though not with cardiovascular training. I’ve stated many times that you can’t outrun, out-Zumba, osteoporosis. Avid runners – both enthusiasts and elite athletes are prone to fractures if they are not lifting weights.
You also can’t hope that Barre, Pilates, or Yoga will increase your bone health as effectively as weight training. There will be small gains for anyone coming off the couch, or new to the exercises but all three (and the infinite variations of fusion that exist) lack both the weight bearing and weight load necessary for optimal bone density. The bottom line is if bone density is a concern and it should be given lifespan is extending and losses begin at about age 30, your return from 20 minutes of weight training twice a week is significantly greater than other exercise.
Weight training works on bones in two ways. The increased muscle pull on bones and the increased stress to the bone from the load on the skeleton during lifting both support increased bone density.
For a small investment of 40 to 60 minutes of your week the returns are significant. Impressive improvements in sleep, appetite, blood sugar control, arthritis, injury reduction, fewer falls and improved immunity are a few of the benefits.
Metabolism often decreases with age, due in part to a loss of muscle, which in turn contributes to less activity and it begins to spiral downward from there. Weight training is one of the best ways to stimulate metabolism long term by preventing muscle loss and increasing lean tissue. See below for more on improving metabolism by reducing fat and increasing lean tissue.
You can look at strength training two ways. It will indeed prevent some of the once-assumed “normal” degenerative issues associated with aging. That approach of avoidance however is not a tremendous motivator for most of us. The bigger win is related to enjoying benefits as opposed to not suffering from disease or decline. You can enjoy more energy, vitality, more intimacy (yes, sex is a benefit), more productivity, creativity and better problem solving.
You’re not just reducing your medical bills and insurance rates (fitness habits often result in lower premiums), you’re enhancing your enjoyment of life!
One of our STRONGER participants said it best.
“I do feel stronger. More important than that though: I got myself back. I feel more like me than I have in years.”
That was after just eight weeks of strength training twice a week.
If you’re new to strength training, or you change your program I’m most excited for you! You’ll experience the most results. A study by Wayne Westcott showed study participants doing a traditional weight training program (similar to ACSM recommendations) loss 4 lbs. of fat and gained 3 lbs. of muscle in four weeks. Similar results continued for each of the first three months of strength training.
The end result of 12 weeks of strength training for subjects on average was 12 lbs of fat loss and 9 lbs of muscle gain. That may be just 4 lbs reflected on the scale, yet your body composition improvements will mean a higher metabolism and significant change in inches.
Further, unlike cardiovascular exercise that has limited influence on body shape, weight training can significantly improve body proportion. Nothing will change your shape like strength training, before or after 50.
In addition, the benefits last longer than say micro-movements of barre or other conditioning classes. That’s not to say they have no value, but they are not going to have a major influence on your metabolism (or bone density, mood, cholesterol or blood pressure) compared to strength training. If time is of the essence, strength training after 50 provides the greatest return.
The more you move, the better. The sweet spot for strength training frequency that improves overall activity level all day is twice a week. Those who do more, tend to compensate with couch time and those who train less than twice weekly on weights tend not to experience the benefit of increased energy and desire to be more active.
They never started.
It’s the single biggest reason. Baby boomer women weren’t necessarily socialized to value weight training as young adults. Strength training after 50 will be much more the norm in one or two decades when those flipping 50 have been frequenting the weight room more consistently for decades. [One of the best things you can do to influence the health and longevity of a young woman is to encourage her to get into the weight room now!]
Getting acclimated to a gym or weight room as an older adult can be more intimidating if you don’t already have some sense of what you’re doing.
Fewer than 15% of adults over 60 achieve a habit of weight training twice a week.
Most adults over 60 state reasons like injury (not necessarily caused by the weight training) or illness, or travel were stated as the biggest reasons for dropping out. But a significant number of responses indicate that a lack of support during programs played a part in ceasing to either start or continue strength training after 50.
The anecdote? Start today. Think about what would make it more comfortable for you. Private studio or at-home exercise? One-on-one trainer or a group program? Online coach or commute to a fitness center? With a friend or solo focused on your needs? Until you’re comfortable and intimidation is a non-factor, make sure you’ve got support.
There’s a drop out rate for strength training after 50 of up to 45% percent depending on circumstances (training alone, in a group).
Based on much of the research on retention and on behavior change I’ve studied over three decades, the keys to regular strength training after 50 are not surprising and you may have guessed.
1) Get support from an expert you trust
Find a program, a video, or a trainer with experience working with someone like you. In my hypothesis and experience, none of us is truly lazy, but we are reluctant if we don’t have confidence what we do is getting us closer to our goals. Find a source you trust with a track record of success.
2) Confirm you’re following a program designed based on research about you.[39% of ALL sports medicine and exercise research features females: a fraction of that is based on women in peri-menopause and beyond]. Because you’ve got unique multiple needs: hormones, metabolism, bone density, body composition … you need a program designed based on research featuring subjects like YOU.
3) Make sure the program addresses your priorities.
You probably have more than one goal. If you’re seeking hormone balance, care for joints, increased strength and bone density, go shopping not for a program labeled “strength training after 50” (or something similar which could be a marketing ploy placed on anything). Instead, ask for details about the design of the program and the science behind it.
I’d love to hear from you. Are you strength training after 50? How long have you been strength training? Share your age: it’s relevant! You could inspire someone!
Save 25% on the 12-week women’s program now … before DECEMBER 9 11:59pm MST
“Non-athletic.” That’s how 61-year-old Catherine Thomas described herself to me. As we began her interview so I could share her story of starting to train for a triathlon after 60, she told me she’d been a smoker for 45 years.
Three years ago she quit. She had, that pivotal moment when she wasn’t “trying to quit,” she did. It was then that she began riding her bike.
Questions we answer in this episode:
How did she change her habit?
How did she overcome the triggers to smoke?
What else had to go?
What it was like beginning to train for triathlon as a new-comer after 60?
Catherine’s picture appears above, on the right her image today of an after 60 athlete.
At any age a body composition of 20% is impressive. After 60, it’s rare. The important thing to remember is Catherine didn’t start to lose weight, wasn’t focused on weight loss, she was focused on quitting smoking, then on getting to a starting line.
She bypassed the scale and yet made much progress.
If you let yourself believe there is significance to your age there is and if you don’t let it dictate what you can do you’ll be right either way. There is biology in your beliefs. There is regeneration that is possible in the body. It can heal itself given the opportunity. From smoking, excess weight, emotional eating, sedentary lifestyle … there’s no such thing as “too late” unless you want there to be.
Before 60 or after 60, you’ve got the ability to choose.
(answered Catherine’s question about nutrition needs during endurance training)
(bump your nutrition know-how and find your personal blueprint)
Please respond to this podcast. Tell us if you too would like to connect with a virtual coaching community to get you to your first triathlon starting line.
I’m pulling back the curtain on Flipping 50 programs in this post. Every single belly fat solution here is included in the 28-Day Kickstart and the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women.
Whether you want or need to lose weight or it’s just the belly fat won’t budge, OR you want to get your energy and mojo back, these are the pieces (and each you’ll see is tied to research (included below). I’m a prove-it-to-me girl, too.
It all starts (and ends) with these steps. They aren’t core exercises. Your core muscle may need attention but if you’re exercise habits didn’t change yet belly fat did, you’ve got to look at the whole picture. Exercise alone though isn’t the answer. You’ve got to set yourself up for: wanting to exercise, energy to do quality exercise, and the recovery through nutrition that supports positive exercise change.
Eating 30 grams of fiber each day – even if you do nothing else – could improve weight loss significantly. Subjects in a study followed either a more complex diet and increased fiber or only increased fiber. Both groups lost weight. The group that followed all changes did best, but only by a marginal increase.
Simply said, increasing sugar intake, making no other changes, increases body fat, while decreasing sugar, making no other changes, decreases body fat. When belly fat won’t budge take a closer look at what you’re eating you don’t recognize as sugar.
I say “limit” sugar as opposed to omit because eliminating is almost impossible. Fruit is sugar. A sweet potato is sugar. Beets are sugar. So you want to be aware of the fact that your body just recognizes sugar once it’s in the body. It doesn’t say, oh, this sugar is from pineapple or beets, it’s good, and digest it differently. When food gets broken down and it rapidly turns to sugar as it’s digested, the good stuff too can spike your blood sugar and therefore your fat storage.
Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss.
It boosts metabolism, reduces appetite, and positively changes several weight-regulating hormones (GIP, and ghrelin are two).
Lower calorie diets (moderate intake compared to excess or calorie restricted) with high nutrient density including protein are key to maintaining muscle while losing fat weight.
Per meal recommendations of 25-30 grams of protein benefit metabolism and body composition both. Surprisingly, for my clients energy has also been a big benefit – even within the first week.
Fish oil can reduce inflammation and cortisol, which in turn help fat metabolism and lean muscle gains. In adults over 50 there’s a resistance to gaining lean muscle tissue, so if you do find it harder to lose weight, there’s a reason. But you can overcome it and fish oil may be a part of your arsenal. A study showed taking 4 grams of fish oil daily alleviates that resistance to adding muscle that can come (does not HAVE to) with age. Further, Omega 3 supplementation boosted the ability of the body to gain muscle from protein in the diet. Add that to your proper exercise and you’re golden for longevity you love.
You want to get the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. I know you’re reading that a small percent of the population is actually celiac (allergic to gluten). Yet a high percent of us are actually sensitive to gluten, and it can indeed affect your weight.
No. If you’re sensitive you want to be 100% “in” on getting things that disturb your gut “out.” At some point you may retest (lab or literally with food) to see how you’re doing. You may heal your gut and be able to handle it again. But having some every day, having a little here and there? Just no. If you really want to feel better, you won’t.
If you think some of the foods you have to give up are addicting, wait until you feel good on a daily basis. You’ll never go back.
Oh, and those addictive foods (or over exercise, for that matter?) are exactly a clue (the I can’t give it up, I have to…) that it’s ADDICTION not healthy choice.
Women need carbohydrates to be happy. Carbs support sleep. If your mood and energy tank while you’re on a diet it’s not likely you’re going to see sustained weight loss. You need to identify the right carbohydrates and the right time to eat them. It’s not intuitive! Your exercise will be so much more effective if you’ve got the right fuel.
There are details you want to be aware of when it comes to carbohydrates we’ve been led to believe are “healthy.”
Eating too much lectin could interfere – molecule bind to leptin receptors, inhibiting leptin’s ability to signal that you’re full. Beyond that lectins can cause digestive issues after long time exposure, but can go undetected except for the inability to lose weight. Removing high lectin foods – like the 6-11 servings of grain a day recommended by the USDA food pyramid is a good start. Dried beans, legumes, soy and peanuts, even quinoa and nightshades contain them.
I learned that my DNA predisposes me to gluten sensitivity (and foods with lectin are almost all also full of gluten) so I have a stronger commitment to eliminating them now. More about testing your DNA.
Leptin resistancedevelops when inflammation is present. Reduce inflammation by supplementing with Omega 3 and or eating omega-3 rich foods like salmon and sardines regularly. I do both, as well as avoiding lectin-containing foods whenever possible.
The very thing you’ve been trying to do backfires on you big time. If you reduce calories your body shuts down (metabolism and hormone production – including leptin). For women in menopause fasting may or may not be right for you. Discuss with a coach your past and present situation including relationship with food first.
Fasting? Alternate day fasting did not benefit midlife women in a weight loss study.
Decreasing caloric intake overall combined with increased protein intake and meal replacement (e.g. smoothiefrom clean quality protein) supported not only results but compliance. It seems fasting is just too extreme to maintain and often results in a binge that follows. That said, if you’re inclined and you can, intermittent fasting won’t hurt your results: it just won’t necessarily boost or enhance them.
HIIT stimulates growth hormone (and testosterone) which stimulates leptin.
Long endurance exercise will kill your efforts. More is not more. More is self-sabotage. This is a mixed and complicated message, I know.
Yes, you need to move more.
However, you need to exercise LESS.
You want to do focused short exercise sessions that include HIIT, weight training, AND low intensity movement.
Your effective workouts can be 10 or 20 minutes long most days of the week and then longer “play” on the weekends.
Moving more is about what you do all day every day. The 30 minutes of “exercise” is not going to save you from sitting on your bum 23.5 hours a day.
When you start eating better, and because of it sleeping better, and exercising to get better at life, you will naturally be inspired to move more each and every day. Twenty-three hours more movement daily even at a lower level than you exercise for 30 is what makes the MOST difference between those overweight/obese and not. So yes, exercise, but move more all day for the most impact on your health and hotness.
If you skip sleep and it’s importance or are ignoring the things you do have power over to sleep better, your leptin levels can be 15% lower than if you were sleeping. So Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) production is elevated and Leptin (your satiety hormone) is down without sleep.
Want support with making these changes in a way that’s not overwhelming?
Take 28 Days and feel better fast. Four weeks is going to pass anyway. You A.) change nothing and feel the same, B.) try something extreme and feel worse, or C.) you could do this with me and feel way better! (I’d choose “C”!)
Debra, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you.
I am 53 years old and currently in your 28-day jump start program. I also listen to your podcasts weekly. I cannot even begin to tell you how much they have changed my perspective on things. I was so tired of people (including my doctor) telling me I needed to work out for an hour a day to lose weight. That just isn’t feasible for me and I was just about to resign to the fact that I was always going to be overweight and feel like sh__. You have now given me hope with not only the exercise but my relationship with food. Thank you for all that you are doing for women like me and the knowledge that turning 50 isn’t a death sentence. I just hope that someday I can look like you as you look amazing!
Are you in the calorie counting doesn’t work camp or the calorie counting is king cult?
Then you of course are part of the calorie counting culture. It’s hard not to be with numerous messages coming at you.
A 2018 study showed that there is no universal weight loss approach works for all individuals. There is a wide variability in weight loss response to low fat, low carb and some diets work better for some individuals than others.
You will not lose weight following a strict “diet” though you may, if you work with a blueprint, find your right approach. DNA may have something (a lot, actually) to do with it.
After 54 years on the planet and 36 years as a fitness enthusiast I’ve found by trial and error much of what my DNA testing confirmed about me:
There goes that excuse to add guacamole to everything.
Though I eat a considerable amount of fat now compared to my habits even a decade ago, I don’t follow a high fat diet. I have a predisposition for issues with high saturated fat so I avoid it (although research in the last 10 years has revealed saturated fat is not the villain it once was: it’s the combined intake of increased processed carbs and saturated fats that is deadly). I also do a considerable amount of strength training (relative to total exercise time, not a lot of time per week) because I love my bones and I need muscle. Any woman of 30 who is not weight training should start. Yesterday.
But for me, strength training “more” is just wasted energy. Thank goodness I didn’t have aspirations of becoming a body builder.
You need to know you, and your DNA, if you really want the whole scoop on your exercise programming. If you know the exercise (or diet changes) you’re doing matter, you’re going to be far more committed to doing them. It’s the age-old, what’s measured matters.
I don’t love taking pills or supplements any more than you. But I regularly test my micronutrient levels … and for good reason. I’ve found that I’m predisposed to deficiencies in Vitamin D, magnesium, B6 and B12, as well as have a tendency toward a less-than-optimal Omega 6:3 ratio. Thankfully, I’ve been taking D, Omega 3, and additional magnesium as well as a multi that provides significant levels of B vitamins.
Having my DNA results (for life! They’re not going to change!) I’ll be able to more consciously track my energy, tolerance to stress, and check B levels diligently to determine if I need to supplement. My iron levels also showed up on my DNA. Go figure, I can blame my parents for that one. I’ve always been in low range of healthy and suffer a little at altitude as a result. Ego hit: I’m a poor adapter to altitude.
The study on calories, publishedin JAMA, may kick calorie counting to the curb. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.
Does it matter?
Before you test DNA, based on this study, it’s important first to have a high quality diet. It’s important that you’re willing to commit to that. Subjects in this study were all from the Bay area, well educated, with access to plentiful high quality food.
They didn’t eat potato chips, or pop, or muffins. They chose brown rice, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. The fats they chose were olives, avocado, nut butters and grass-fed pasture-raised animal foods.
Step 1: Flip the carbs you are eating for better carbs, and the fats you’re eating for better fats.
Step 2: Change your food timing to improve hormone balance.
Step 3: Start exercising.
Step 4: Test your DNA and find out what your genetics suggest about additional nutritional changes, testing for micronutrients you may be deficient in, and your optimal exercise programming by consulting with a coach.
Results did show consistent effects of the diets on cholesterol levels. Healthy low carb diets increased HDL and triglycerides decreased. Healthy low fat diets favored improved LDL (decreased) levels. Note: calorie counting does nothing necessarily to influence these outcomes. You’ve got to go deeper.
HDL = “Happy” cholesterol
LDL = “Lousy” cholesterol
The quality of food strategy worked for people (subjects average age: 40) whether they followed diets that were mostly low in fat or mostly low in carbohydrates. Further, their success did not appear to be influenced by their genetics or their insulin-response to carbohydrates.That may sound conflicting to my suggestion to gather all your personal information, but I still stand that the more you know, the better you’ll be able to choose.
It isn’t all calories in calories out. Quality counts. For a woman in peri-menopause and beyond hormones play a big factor. Your “healthy” is not someone else’s healthy. Your gut health (impacted by what you eat and stress and exercise) influences your hormones.
Your genetics do predispose you and yet your actions in your environment change the expression of those genetics. Learn more about genetics and coaching based on your results here.
While in the midst of writing this blog a subscriber shared an article outlining a study published featuring low carb diets may support weight loss maintenance. (I’ve included it in resources).
Here’s how I responded:
Fact: Low fat and low carb diets do EQUALLY WELL when the quality of the diet is changed.
Fact: For women 50+ (My ONLY focus at Flipping 50) hormone status of the woman must be taken into account and diet outcomes must positively influence body fat or it simply doesn’t make long-term success a possibility. Energy expenditure was shown to increase on a low carb diet in the study shared however, body composition change wasn’t documented in the study.
That’s a gap.
There’s not large probability that this research is directly applicable to a women in peri-menopause and beyond given the 18-65 year old male and female subjects. That’s not to say it won’t work, but there’s no direct correlation that can be made.
Always ask: “Was this done on women just like me?”
Weight is relatively easy to lose following any number of plans regardless of who you are genetically if you follow a moderate intake high quality diet.
What we want to know is does it reduce body fat and maintain lean… in WOMEN in peri-menopause and beyond? Few are addressing and advocating for Flipping 50 women. That’s ALL we do here.
In my case they do. Strongly. For myself and the clients and colleagues who have tested genetic markers there’s a correlation between the predispositions and the right exercise and nutrition that provides them with results.
I get it. We crave structure. How ironic! As much as we don’t like rules and limits, we do operate best with them much of the time. There’s truth in the fact structure provides freedom. So if you’re having a hard time actually knowing where to start if you’ve been a calorie counting, point tracking gal for a long time, you are not alone. Work with a coach, whether privately or in a group, to help you make the shift. This is a multiple times of day activity that has a major impact on your living your best life.
Ready to test? If you’re reading this during our week of feasting, my DNA Gold package is on sale. You can read more about it and what the results will tell you here. Use Gold50 for a limited time: it ends Cyber Monday.
Stay tuned! If you’re intrigued about DNA testing I’ll be sharing what I learned from DNA testing I did using each of our three test options.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken on a baking sheet and coat chicken with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. On a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange brussels sprouts and coat with 1 1/2 Tbsp avocado oil plus salt and pepper.
Roast chicken and brussels sprouts for 20-25 minutes or until brussels sprouts are browning and fork tender, and chicken is cooked through. Midway through, flip the chicken and stir sprouts for even roasting.
Once done, remove then lower the oven temp to 400 degrees.
While chicken and Brussels sprouts roast, cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet, drain, and make the sauce:
For the sauce, heat a medium saucepan over med heat and add the 3 Tbsp cooking fat. Add the onions, cook until translucent and fragrant, then add the garlic and continue to cook until soft, adjusting heat if necessary.
Whisk the tapioca flour into the broth and add it to the pan, then immediately add the coconut milk, mustard and nutritional yeast, (if using), while whisking. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and continue to stir and cook for another minute, until nice and thick. Stir in salt and pepper to taste, add the fresh herbs, then remove from heat.
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces, or shred, and arrange in a casserole dish, then add the roasted Brussels sprouts and the sauce mixture, stir to evenly coat. Crumble the cooked bacon and sprinkle all over, then bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through.
Flips for time:buy a roasted chicken and pre-sliced Brussels sprouts
If you’re going for a low carb meal or pairing this with some mashed sweet potatoes or other carbs, and you’re looking for some comfort that hides inside casseroles like your mom used to make, this one is yummy.
This is definitely a way to flip the casserole into the 21st century.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Dice chicken into cubes. Spread them in a single layer on one side of your baking sheet.
Add broccoli florets to baking sheet in a single layer beside your chicken. Cut any large florets in half or thirds.
Slice red onion into strips. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet beside the broccoli.
Add cauliflower rice to baking sheet beside the onion. (If you’re ricing your own cauliflower just add florets to a high powered blender and blend until cauliflower has a rice or pearl-like consistency.)
Drizzle 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar over the chicken and broccoli.
Add minced garlic to your chicken.
Add salt & pepper to everything on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and separate the chicken if it’s sticking together. Drizzle 2 additional tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and chopped basil to your chicken. Place back in the oven and bake for 5 additional minutes.
Remove from the oven and make sure your chicken is cooked through. Chicken should have no pink in the middle.
Layer your cauliflower rice, red onions, broccoli, and chicken in bowls. Add a little more balsamic vinegar if you prefer a stronger taste (I always do). Enjoy!
FLIP: Add cubed sweet potatoes to the veggies so you’re not skipping carbs or have a bowl of berries and coconut cream to follow