Is weight loss possible after 50? Do you wonder that? If you’re just trying to lose those last few pounds that came on during stress or hormone change, what does that take? How is it different than if you have 50, 100, or even 20 pounds to lose?
[Originally published in August 2017, this popular post has been updated – just in time for a special Fit-U program launch.]
Or rather, how should it be different? “It” being the process that you go through.
On this post I look at parts of the process that deserve attention. If you’re reading this you know very well by now what permanent weight removal is not. Take Carla*, one of my clients. When we met she was walking two to four hours a day, and eating as little as 800 calories per day. Her weight at the time was well over 200 pounds. If weight loss were a math equation, Carla, should be skinny. Here’s why.
Her estimated calculate Basal Metabolic Rate was a little more than 1700 kcals.
[By the way when I searched Google for the phrase “how many calories to lose a pound” it’s clear we still think weight loss is math and someone is still writing this B.S.: 17 million pieces of content were found. Confused? No wonder.]
Even walking slowly, at her start weight Carla would burn over 300 kcals per hour. She was burning 600-1200 daily.
Exercise calories are added to your resting (basal) metabolism for total energy daily expenditure. The total kcals to maintain her current weight were, depending on her activity that day, were 2300 – 2900.
Consuming 800 kcals per day she would easily be at a deficit. Repeating that day after day using an average exercise of 3 hours walking, she needed of 2600 to maintain her weight and taking in 800.
If this pure math solution was right, she was creating an average deficit of 1800 kcals a day. If it takes 3500 kcals to lose or gain a pound it should have been easy for her to lose a little more than 3lbs a week.
Yet, that’s not what happened. She didn’t lose. She reached a plateau pretty quickly. She got injured. She had insomnia. She gained. She got nervous when injured and unable to exercise. She feared eating more food or even the amount she was eating when she was exercising.
In spite of evidence (weight loss plateau, frequency of injury, even weight gain) suggesting that so much exercise and so few calories were actually slowing her metabolism, she held on to old emotional ties to the theory that exercising more and eating less will achieve weight loss.
I won’t leave you hanging! Carla did eventually lose. A sluggish metabolism from years of slow down and unintentional sabotage takes time to bounce back. But she did. She’s lost close to 75 pounds at this point and she’s well past 50.
It’s hard to let go.
Some of us are emotional eaters. Some of us are emotional food avoiders. Both emotional eaters and avoiders have a dysfunctional relationship with food. Many of us have an addiction to struggle. Hard work, discipline, and control feel better than relaxation, acceptance, and trusting your body’s signals. That kind of dysfunction extends to exercise, too. It’s easy to get into a cycle of taking out big loans, payback, and withdrawal. This is more noticeable in women who seek weight loss after 50. In that bank analogy sequence two out of three actions are taking away energy and only one is paying back. That’s where we get it wrong with exercise and nutrition. We’re never filling our cup. Our tendency is to mentally believe we’re being “good,” we “have” to suffer through some form of exercise and deprivation, in other words: mindset matters.
If you think you’re being good… you probably think you get rewarded for that behavior at some point instead of believing the behavior itself IS the reward (e.g. enjoying good-for-you food because it’s delicious, and liking the way you feel when you’re doing exercise that’s right for you).
If doing things you love brings a second set of rewards, even better. In regards to eating good food and exercise you can expect rewards like better sleep, less fatigue, more energy, optimal weight, and body confidence. Not so different than people who are able to take a passion and make it a profession. The successful ones are not without a hard work ethic, but they love waking up every morning to work and even the tasks they don’t love they can tie to the passion for the outcome.
#joyinmotion is non-existent in the majority of diet & exercise to weight loss plans out there
(Have you noticed? Torch calories! Burn fat! Even free consults promise to tell you “how many calories you need to eat and burn to lose weight” lead you to a dead end: this is not your health GPS.) This is true whether you have 5 or 50 pounds to lose, but the longer you’ve carried additional weight and the more you’ve limited calories the more TLC your metabolism-controlling hormones need in order to reboot.
Eating, avoiding eating, and exercise are too often punishment. While it might seem compulsive eating is a reward, if you’ve been down this road before, it’s more like punishment because you know what’s coming next in the cycle. You’ll feel bad and the underlying purpose was to create those bad feelings. That’s bizarre, right? But true. It’s almost as if, the bad feelings are more comfortable. They’re at least more familiar. You can busy yourself with more exercise, fewer calories and get “back on track.” That feels like a game you can win. But then it backfires again and you’re right back where you started. Or worse.
You’re not right back where you started from because…losing weight you lose fat AND muscle. Regaining weight is 100% fat.
Exercise as a punishment is like paying the interest on some huge loan. The cycle usually goes like this: you’ve overeaten something you wish you hadn’t, and you’re going to compensate for it with excess exercise. You might also use exercise as a coping mechanism for emotions you don’t like feeling. Frustrated, angry, sad or feeling inadequate, your exercise gives you a fix of mojo, at least temporarily. If this is you, you like exercise. Or you did, until you began abusing it.
The payback is the overcompensation that happens after being particularly “good,” which in my experience with is restricting calories or foods they love, and you got it, dieting. You’re “on something.” It may be legal but it’s not good. The off ramp on that diet highway has a lot of roadblocks on it. You end up eating because you deserve it, you can’t resist any more (there’s science behind that: your body is doing everything it can to tell you to eat more).
Then there’s the, “I exercised today so I can have this” and the opposite, “I haven’t exercised so I can’t eat.” Certain types of exercise actually make you more prone to over eating afterwards. You can sabotage yourself in fact with some of the recommended activities for weight loss. Longer extended walks are recommended. They’re lower impact, anyone can walk, and yet, if you get that information and you’re gung ho whether it’s January 2 or not, you’re likely to take that downtown with the if-a-little-is-good-more-must-be-better and you’ll over do it.
Certain types of exercise actually make you more prone to over eating afterwards.
The withdrawal is getting a great (long, or exceptionally hard, or both) workout in or dieting all week so that you can do the payback. You might have the special event and the dress to fit into. You might be planning it. You might not. You’re just trying to get ahead and “work hard” to get results until eventually the payback comes. That’s what clever programs call “cheat” days and what I call binge days. It happens if you’re starting something that you can’t possibly ever sustain. If it feels temporary, it will be, and it usually doesn’t end well.
My girlfriends and I used to joke that we each had to have (or in this case we were talking about someone’s daughter) a “bad boy” relationship. It was that one that everyone else knew wasn’t good for you, wasn’t going to last and yet you couldn’t resist. Yep. A bit like a diet or exercise plan that you start thinking that you can make it through this eight weeks and be magically transformed, skinny, and then you can do it normally. It never works that way.
Diets or crazy kamikaze bootcamps full of burpees, squats, and lunges that send you home unable to sit down and bring you back the next day more sore than you should be starting a new exercise session don’t instill #joyofmotion in most of us. Granted there are possibly the less than 1% of you reading this who are saying, yes, I truly LOVE to do punishing workouts, but the majority of us who follow human nature seek pleasure and run (or walk or bike) from pain.
The reality is that whatever you do to get to a goal – weight loss- fitness, you have to do MORE of to sustain. Why? Because a 250 lb body requires more calories to move, and sustain than does a 150 lb body.
You will slow your metabolism by becoming a smaller person. The good news: By changing the way your body burns fuel and adjusting it to becoming a higher fat burner, and increasing lean muscle tissue you can overcome and offset this seemingly BIG obstacle.
The truth about weight loss that isn’t done correctly is your metabolism will slow. If you regain weight (reminiscent of Biggest Loser participants) your metabolism could STILL BE LOW, if you’ve not released toxins that are stored in fat, or not paid attention to lean muscle creation. Those who are slaves to cardio and ignore weight training will be most likely to experience this.
Why can some people lose 50 or 100 pounds and keep it off? They’ve adapted eating and exercise habits that change the way they eat and exercise permanently. They’ve looked far beyond calories and looked at hormones and quality of food vs. quantity of food.
Hormones, not calories, control your weight.
You have an abundance of hormones. So at first glance, it’s a challenge less simple than addition and subtraction required to do calories in calories out. It’s like me and trigonometry. I had the multiplication tables down, damn it. Who moved the cheese?
But it’s also easier to balance out hormones. [The hardest part is reconciling your brain with the idea that less exercise is more, and more good food is more.]
It’s not punishing exercise. It’s exercise you like and less of it but with more purpose.
It’s not dieting or deprivation. It’s flipping foods you love that negatively impact your hormones into foods you love made with food that loves you back.
You don’t need bootcamp 6 days a week at high intensity. You don’t have to say no forever to dessert or to snacks. That would be unrealistic.
Remember this one thing about your body: It wants to be at ideal weight.
Now, your ideal weight might not look like the cover model on a magazine. (Even the model on the cover doesn’t look like the model on the cover). Your body wants the path of least resistance as much as your mind does. So if you feed it and move it optimally, it will respond by releasing fat it no longer wants to carry around.
If you have tried or are trying to burpee and starve your way to get there, or you “have to have” some crazy concoction of foods made or delivered to you to make your goal a reality, chances are this is not sustainable. If you want weight loss and yet your relationship with foods that feel comforting (momentarily) is so great you can’t or you refuse to break that cycle, now may not be the time.
What? That’s not where you thought this was going? I wish I could give you a program that works even when you aren’t ready to change. But, I simply can’t.
No one can want it worse than you.
This place you’re in could be your upper limit. You’re possibly afraid of changing so much that you won’t. Something about your struggle is working for you. You may associate yourself with the struggle. You spend time, energy, maybe money investing in new programs, or finding new experts to ask about what to do. You get a lot of answers. But you don’t DO any of them.
Then nothing I say can help.
If you are ready to make changes, to see changes, there are things to consider. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, the changes you need to make with mindset become more important.
Women over 50 have a unique set of circumstances:
You need to address the whole person you are. You’re going to be either positively or negatively influenced by each of these:
So if you’ve skipped or ignored any one of those needs during a “diet” or a “bootcamp” or delivery of food to your door, there have been potentially more obstacles than solutions. It’s not your fault.
You can’t diet the way a 20-year-old does. You can’t fast the way a 30-year-old does. You can’t exercise the way you did even at 40. Make no mistake, you can look and feel as good (and often better – we’ve been beating ourselves up for a long time) as you did at 20, 30 or 40, as long as you don’t attempt to get there the way you did at 20, 30 or 40. For two reasons:
This is an integrated relationship and successful integration determines your success. At midlife and beyond the impact of hormones is amplified. [You’re not off the hook at 60 or just because you’ve gone through the other side.] You can’t outwork hormones and you can’t out-diet them; you can outsmart them.
To learn more about how to get fit after 50 if you have 20 or more pounds to lose, click here. Fit-U is designed for you. Fit-U starts now. Early access materials are ready now. There’s never a convenience time to do anything worthwhile. Do you want support? If you do, and you want it to be me, let’s do this.
If you want to learn more about the difference between:
Watch this special master class. I’ve rounded up all the research about weight loss – that is FAT loss – after 50 (because the last thing you want to do is lose muscle. Temporarily that will make you feel a false sense of success, but when the muscle goes so too does your metabolism. That my friend, is the vicious cycle that’s caught up with you. And yet, yes you can change it. Start watching. Then jump in right now.
What do they Mean? Inflammation, Stress, Microbiome, Antioxidant, Functional Digestion? Are you kidding?
The limiter for fitness results for far too many of the women I work with in perimenopause to post menopause (that’s til the end, sister!) are these. One can be a challenge, and combined which often occurs, they caused so many of the issues that keep you from feeling good. When bloating, gas, discomfort, constipation or diarrhea (or both) keep you from exercise and your best energy it’s time to look at the causes really closely. Inflammation is often a part of the unseen problem. This post is all about it.
You hear these buzzwords all the time when you’re floating around in cyberspace. Sometimes your friends drop them in casual conversation.
What goes on in your brain when you hear these buzzwords? You might be thinking, “These words don’t make sense to me. Can someone lay it out on the table for me so it’s easy to understand?” Well, here I am, your fairy godmother… here to explain these buzzwords in an easy-to-digest way!
According to modern science, the microbiome is an organ unto itself. It is made up of trillions of bacteria living on our mucous membranes and skin. It’s a combination of good bacteria, like probiotics, and bad bacteria, that my friend Dr. Marisol has coined “conbiotics™”. These are microscopic con-artists, occupying space in your gut but doing nothing good for you. Probiotics create B vitamins and short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid, which are super good for you. The conbiotics produce noxious chemicals and rob us of our vital reserves. We must promote the balance of the microbiome in favour of the good guys in order to be healthy.
A natural physical function that is healing, when in moderation; but if excessive, can rage like a destructive wild forest fire. Hippocrates would say, “Give me the power to create fever (a different form of inflammation), and I will cure all disease.” We want it, but not too much of it. The greatest source of inflammation is found within the gut.
These are powerhouse molecules that are necessary for natural detoxification and cleansing to occur. Without them, you are weak and susceptible to chemical injury. Antioxidants are protective and life-extending. Examples include glutathione, nitric oxide, fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E, omega 6 and omega 9.
It’s not only about digestion, but how we absorb and how we eliminate everything is very important. Digestion is the hub of the hormonal, nervous and immune systems. Did you know that there is more melatonin in your digestive tract – actually 10x more -than in your brain?
Coal, under pressure and stress, creates diamonds. So clearly, stress can be good for us. But the same goes for inflammation; a little bit is good and too much is damaging.
Well they are all part of the foundation of feeling great. When these are all in check, everything you take (supplements), eat (food) or do (therapies), all work better. You can build a home, only when the foundation is strong and stable.
What is the only health tool that sets the foundation right? Castor oil packs. This is why we have focused on these amazing health promoting packs so much. When you’ve been around the block in the natural health industry as long as I have, you get to know a thing or too.
You know all the old sayings:
“Mama knew better”
“Stick to the basics”
“What’s old is new again”
“The old stuff just works better”
“If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” (just tweak it!)
You know in your heart this is so often the truth, and it’s no different with castor oil packs. This age old treatment has withstood the test of time because it WORKS.
If you haven’t read, watched, or listened to blogs, videos, and podcasts here on FlippingFifty.com about castor oil and castor oil packs yet, check out the link below.
Here are some handy videos about castor oil packs – Check them out now!
Here is a live video I did with Dr Marisol Queen of Thrones all about castor oil – Start at 4:30 and avoid our technical issues!
Last but not least… this is crazy good: castor oil is good for SO MANY things. Sounds like snake oil right? Or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, when Windex cured everything. But seriously good simple things are truly best. Sleep an issue? A few hints specific to it in this one:
Want to get your own Castor Oil Bundle?
Click the image or HERE and and follow the instruction below.
That’s it – so simple, natural, and safe. You can feel good about it. And then feel good.
Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely (insert name of your business here) will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends and family. If you ever have an issue with anything we share, please let us know. We want to make sure we are always serving you at the highest level.
When you’re walking around feeling like you’re carrying a few too many, and life just feels really heavy… Are they extra pounds or is that just poop? You’re not sure, but let’s face it, you try to drop them but they just aren’t cooperating the way Mother Nature intended.
Why is it like this for you? It’s as hard for you to lose weight as it is for you to go to the bathroom. Seems like since the change (menopause), all sh*t broke loose and your body simply isn’t responding the same when you do all the ‘normal’ things that used to work before.
Let’s face it, do you even know what normal is anymore? Should you be going daily, or maybe every 3 days is fine? Ever since the hot flashes and night sweats started happening, it seems like nothing is consistent.
I invited Dr. Marisol Teijeiro (her bio is below) to write this guest post because this is a common – but not normal- issue that haunts women (of all ages) especially in menopause and after. I’m after every way possible to make your life more comfortable, fun, and limitless!
Here you will learn what is normal after 50, plus find out about my number one tool that changed (and I’d venture to say saved) my life and the lives of thousands of my patients. It is the legendary castor oil pack. It helps you to reset the foundation of health and feeling well, helps you to poop like a champ and drop that extra weight like a ton of bricks, going back to feeling like a bombshell instead of feeling like a dud.
The most telltale sign of constipation is how frequently you go. Conventional medical doctors are often quick to say that every 3 days is fine. To me, that is NOT fine, and here’s the reason.
We follow natural rhythms in accordance to Mother Nature. We wake and sleep according to the light. We eat according to our hunger (daily). Because we eat daily, we should be pooping daily as well. In a well balanced system, what comes in – must go out.
The problem is that your body is probably not well balanced since the change and loss of menstruation, so all of your cycles are thrown off. You may not be able to regain your menstruation, but you can most definitely reset your poop cycle!
Your stools can actually give you clues about what is going wrong inside, and lots of tips on how to regain that balance. There are actually 11 golden nuggets (criteria) that you can learn from your stools that tell you everything from hormone, immune or nervous system imbalances to vitamins and nutrients you may be deficient in.
Colour is the first and fastest golden nugget that you can help you gain valuable information from your poo. It is so important because it dictates the mechanisms of action of your digestion.
Normal stool colour is all the 50 shades of brown. I love this analogy because it’s like the sexy, racy movie, 50 Shades of Grey. None of us really like to admit that we like to look at it, but when we do, oh boy! We simply cannot take our eyes off of it. This is how I want you to feel about examining and checking out the colour of your poo.
I tell my patients to use soil as an example. It comes in many shades of brown, and as long as it is not the colour of clay, or black, we are good!
My handy Grateful Dung™ Bracelet is an education tool about the normal colour of poo. Wear this bracelet as a reminder to peek after every time you poop, and compare the Tiger’s eye beads to the perfect colour of stools.
Stomach acid is incredibly valuable to start the digestive process off right. Without adequate amounts, you have a tendency to be more constipated because the chloride in stomach acid (hydrochloric acid), stimulates water shifting into the intestine to create laxation.
As we get older and move into our golden menopausal years, we have a tendency to produce less factors important to digestion, because many are related to hormones and this causes us big-time gut problems2. Many of you may be dealing with low stomach acid, experiencing symptoms not only of constipation but also heartburn or acid reflux.
Two of the biggest signs that your stomach acid is low are:
Your stool should always be brown, regardless of the amount of green smoothies or spinach that you had the night before. With sufficient stomach acid, any green substances containing chlorophyll will be oxidized to brown. Just think of what happens when you leave a salad that has been in vinegar on the counter, all the leaves turn brown.
In order for stomach acid to be produced, you actually need to have a few physiological functions working well in your body, namely reduced tension and stress in the intestine, as well as healthy antioxidant status, including zinc and the B vitamins.
Also note that stomach acid-reducing drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors, can cause the same problems. Since you don’t have stomach acid, you lack the ability to absorb nutrients and get your body going to the bathroom properly. What a tragedy!
There are also other colours that could indicate problems, but green stools are the one that tend to be directly linked with constipation.
In practice, I realized that I needed to find a way to help my patients to go to the bathroom well in the long run, instead of just taking a laxative (that are often uncomfortable due to urgency, pressure and gas). For those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), laxatives are a nightmare.
Plus, taking laxatives isn’t getting to the root of the problem, and likely just causes more complications.
A better solution is the legendary castor oil pack. Why? Because it not only helps you go to the bathroom, but it actually helps with resolution of the problem. Castor oil packs help in a variety of ways. I love using the acronym FAITH to describe all of the beneficial effects.
Castor oil packs reset the basic physiology of the body, which means they help to create the environment in your body so you can heal and thrive. They improve:
F – Function of digestion, absorption and elimination
A – Antioxidant status via topical nourishment5 as well as glutathione preservation
I – Inflammation reduction
T – Tension and stress
H – Host microbiome
This acronym, FAITH, is so appropriate, because for me and many of my patients, castor oil packs have helped them to regain faith in their bodies, that they can heal and feel good again.
When practiced nightly, castor oil packs are very easy and can create such powerful fundamental changes, it just makes sense to make them a regular health practice.
To get your very own Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack Bundle, click here!
If you’re already familiar with the castor oil pack method, you probably cringed when I mentioned it. You see, in the past, castor oil packs have been incredibly cumbersome to do. But no more!!
I knew I needed to innovate and make these packs easier, not only for myself but for my patients too, because otherwise I knew they wouldn’t do them and reap all the awesome benefits. I wasn’t willing to put up with a messy disaster either, so I created an easy and less-messy way to do them.
I figured it out because after just a few treatments, I inherently knew that they were the best thing for me and my health struggles. Since then I have been using these packs with thousands of patients, both male and female, helping them to own their throne – day by day, one bowel movement at a time! No more uncomfortable constipation.
Doing these packs is as easy as 1, 2, 3, C. O. P!
To get your easy 3-step, mess-less castor oil pack today, click here!
My other go-to for healthy digestion and toning the core is the Grateful Dung™ Daily Dining Practice. Using the same bracelet that we use to assess our healthy colour of stools, it can also be used for a quick and easy gratitude practice done before each meal. This simple practice calms your body down, and prepares you for your meal to come.
This helps to increase stomach acid naturally and gets you ready to receive food and ultimately, nourishment! Having an attitude of gratitude before meals calms you down, when you are unable to focus on negativity, your body does a better job at digesting, especially as you’re working on healing this vital process. Daily gratitude practices have also shown to have long-lasting positive effects on happiness and interpersonal relationships.
The Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack and Grateful Dung™ Bracelet are two easy tools to help you implement small changes that can make massive differences in your health and in your life and stop constipation. Imagine if you added these into your daily practice. In no time at all you would be more vibrant, energetic, fun-loving, feeling less like a ‘dud’ and more like a bombshell than ever before.
So let’s get you started on having royal poops that are 50 shades of brown, a colour you’ll be proud to brag about!
You can order a Castor Oil Pack here.
3 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.
4 Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395
5 Holm T, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.
6 Marwat SK1, Rehman F2, Khan EA1, Baloch MS1, Sadiq M1, Ullah I1, Javaria S1, Shaheen S1. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827.
7 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8
8 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.
9 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.
10 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.
11 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.
12 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.
14 Martin E. P. Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park, Christopher Peterson Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions. Positive Psychology 1 https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/application_uploads/Seligman-PosPsychProgress.pdf April 22, 2005
Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything I promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Flipping 50 will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, I only promote content and products that I truly believe in and share with our friends and family. If you ever have an issue with anything I share, please let us know. I want to make sure I am always serving you at the highest level.
What do you think of when I say blood flow restriction exercise?
Without checking Google, most of our Flipping 50 tribe would think this sounded like something terrible. It sounds like something that happens in a lab and not on purpose in a workout session. If you think it sounds like there’s risk involved and it might be bad for blood pressure or increase heart stress, you’re not alone.
But if you Googled (odd how that is now a verb to anyone else?) it you’d find that there’s emerging science around Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training. And some of it has promise for older adults, and you. In fact, it’s quite exciting.
Originally developed in 1966 by Yoshiaki Sato in Japan where it was known as “kaatsu training,” meaning “training with added pressure.” It’s performed all over the world. So why haven’t you heard of it before? A quick look on Amazon for BFR bands shows images of (big) body builders, 98% of which are male. It doesn’t look like something you or I would naturally gravitate toward. It certainly hasn’t made it to Prevention or Reader’s Digest… yet.
But it might. Very soon.
Essentially, BFR training involves preventing blood flow to working muscles (or those at rest I’ll discuss later). That tricks the body into thinking it’s doing hard work to increase Human Growth Hormone (or GH), which burns fat and builds muscle.
If you don’t like hard work, won’t or can’t do hard work… blood flow restriction exercise may be your next best friend.
Though some studies have suggested yes, for you and I, no, or very minimally. Only with instances of growth hormone deficiency in young male adults, or with unexplainable osteoporosis in male subjects was there any positive effect on bone density. There’s no evidence of bone support for women with age-related bone density declines. So, heavy weights when possible are still the answer.
Yet, there is some correlation with reduced fracture risk from increased GH. That may be due to increased muscle strength lending to better strength, reaction skills, and balance.
A review of literature for a position statement with older adults with frailty, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), and prior existing Venus Thrombeoembolism, conclude there is no additional risk, “though further studies are encouraged,” Always your selection of appropriateness should be made on an individual basis together with your physician and a medical exercise specialist. Blood pressure response can be higher if cuffs are not removed during the recovery interval periods.
In one research study, adults in a large review of literature were between 57 and early 70s. BFR was effective in developing muscle in low load (walking) compared to walking without BFR.
Positive results are reported in both muscular strength and muscle mass from use of BFR exercise.
It’s important to note that most research confirms the BFR results are similar but still lower than that from High Load (HL) strength training. That is, if you can safely, and are motivated to lift heavy weights, it will still provide the most benefit. If however, travel, special conditions, or you’re unwilling BFR opens up alternatives.
Optimal strength response was found in subjects (without physical limitations) from Heavy Load strength training combined with low load walking with (BFR) restriction.
For older athletes BFR may enhance performance by allowing combination of low load training with restriction and heavy load more typically used (requiring less of heavy load yet more overall training without damage and risk of injury).
Personally, during training for Ironman, I’m usually an advocate of heavy weight training for avoiding lean muscle losses and bone density benefits. [Yes, more exercise can be a risk just as too little exercise can.] However, as training volume increases for an endurance event balancing sport-specific activity with less strength is better for reduced overall physical stress.
So I’m wearing BFR bands walking the dog before a run and then cutting the volume of training runs significantly. I’m able to optimize hormones this way instead of impose constant fatigue so common in endurance athletes.
For older adults who are unable (or unwillingly, untrusting) to do heavy load training BFR provides a viable way to increase strength and maintain lean tissue, specifically Fast Twitch (FT) muscle fiber. Adults can lose Fast Twitch fibers twice as fast as they age. FT fibers are responsible for metabolism and reaction skills – so you can catch yourself and prevent falls.
It depends. Don’t you love that? (sarcasm) Yet, truly it depends on you now and why you’re implementing it. Do you need this to allow you to do something while you’re recovering from an injury? Do you need a good substitute for your regular exercise while traveling? Are you looking for a way to supplement a very active life and fitness program to boost progress without burning out or injury? Use your answer to determine how you start:
You’ll see in the video I discuss the 7/10 on a “tightness” scale. You’re doing this at your perception of tightness. You may need to experiment a little. I find it easiest to go to the point I couldn’t stand it and then back off slightly to get to my “7.” If you’re in our Flipping 50 tribe you’re used to rating your effort level on a 0-10 scale for various exercise so this is familiar.
Proper use of the bands creates greater metabolic stress that brings about greater release of growth hormone and IGF-1 – key for gains of lean muscle and prevention of muscle loss.
By inducing greater muscle fatigue with lower loads there may be more Type II fiber recruitment for the relative load. (You’ve heard me talk nation-wide about Fast Twitch Muscle loss prevention.)
Enhanced muscle protein synthesis that occurs with resistance training is another huge win. Research shows clearly that resistance training offsets reduced muscle protein synthesis (ability to use protein you consume to benefit muscle) that can otherwise occur with age.
Enhanced Human Growth Hormone (GH) is an important advantage of lifting heavy weights and intense interval training as you age. Nearly comparable results are reported with BFR bands. Heavy lifting seems to still have the positive edge. This is one of your biggest hormone benefits of resistance training. Feel like you can’t get the muscle tone you once had? Decreases in GH are a part of that.
You can overcome reduced production of GH with age by resistance training at proper intensities. If until now you haven’t chosen or haven’t been able to do resistance training, you have a lighter load option.
Each of these aforementioned benefits point to reducing the signs of aging. What has been “accepted” as normal no longer has to happen. You’re in control. You can prevent and reverse aging.
When high intensity interval training may not be appropriate (due to fatigue or cortisol levels, current injuries, or lack of access while traveling, Restricted Blood Flow exercise (low load) may be a good option to prevent muscle and strength losses.
For an idea of activities and intensity that work with BFR exercise:
Choosing the Load
Loads for resistance training in most studies feature loads of 20-30% of 1-rep max. Now, I’d never suggest you do a 1-rep maximum test. I’ve discussed that many places in books and posts. It is however the language of intensity in resistance training. If you can lift a weight only once and reach fatigue you’ve found the ultimate of “heavy.”
To give you an idea of 20-30% you’ll need an estimated one-rep max. If you can lift something 10 times to fatigue it’s about 80% of your 1-rep max. (This by the way is the best protocol for bone density). With a little math you can determine your 1 rep max is about 12.5 lbs. So 20-30% is 2.5-3.75 lbs. I’d suggest starting with a 3-lb dumbbell.
As you perform the exercises you can experiment with what truly causes fatigue in the muscle. The biggest take-away? You’re going to use far lighter weights (or resistance) than you would without the bands.
These types of exercises performed are performed at about 40% VOx2 max which is about the equivalent of daily activities of living. So in theory you could wear bands while going up and down your stairs to do laundry or clean for 20 minutes. Some aerobic protocols use intermittent exercise. For example, intervals of pedaling for 3 minutes with bands used alternated with 2 minutes of removing or undoing the bands.
Larger cuff size requires less pressure but movement is restricted. Choose based on your frame and size. Typically, recommendations are 1-1 ½ inches for upper body (bicep) and 2 inches lower body.
Aerobic Blood Flow Restriction Exercise Intro
For those more sedentary doing 1-2 times a day, approximately 3 weeks is suggested time to experience benefits. For those already exercising that incorporate BFR training into their program 3-6 weeks is the suggested time frame. (Think about weight loss, the more weight you have to lose the faster you’ll see progress. So it is with BFR, the more fit you are, the less impactful BFR training may be for you, though that slight increase in fitness can be significant when it happens.)
Studies suggest that even in instances where exercise is extremely limited or not possible, use of the BFR bands can prevent muscle and strength loss. Wearing the BFR bands intermittently 1-2 times a day even while sedentary is beneficial compared to not using BFR.
BFR show promise during times you might be recovering from surgery or plantar fasciitis. Whenever you’ve got weight bearing restrictions for a period of time and are unable to apply pressure to a limb, or you’re on crutches. For someone undergoing treatment with low energy levels deeming a regular exercise plan implausible, this opens up possibilities to prevent a downward spiral that can easily occur. The BFR bands may provide a means for sparing what can be devastating muscle losses, often the beginning of weakness if not frailty, making falls more likely.
Interested in more information? The best next step is to get STRONGER! When I open the doors for enrollment a few times a year you’ll be the first to know. Click here.
I’m including some BFR training in this 12-week resistance training program. Whether you’re more athletic and want to keep your hormones balanced (not stressed) or you have limits about how much you can lift, or find it hard to reach intensity levels you need…. This is for you!
Fall fitness is in full swing and I gathered a few of the events that have been popular among our community members here. If you’re seeking a little mojo or want to learn more about how to feel your best.
This free, online 50 Ways to Women’s Wellness Summit taking place September 9-15, 2019 — created for women, by over 50 women to help YOU cope with the exhausting pressure of being a super woman expected to do everything perfectly, all the time.
One of the women on the summit is my friend JJ Virgin. If you haven’t tried gluten-free yet to see if it helps reduce belly bloat. She’s got a book to make it easy.
Get JJ Virgin’s gluten-free cookbook
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and other grains that can wreak havoc with your immune system and gut health. While only about 1 in 133 people have a complete inability to digest gluten (also called “celiac disease”), many others suffer from gluten sensitivity.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include headaches, joint pain, brain fog, digestive issues, anxiety and depression. They can occur hours or even days after you eat gluten. And a gluten- free diet has been proven to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance (an early warning sign for type 2 diabetes).
Eating gluten-free isn’t just a diet fad. Hard science proves that eliminating gluten from your diet can improve issues ranging from ADHD to autoimmune disease to leaky gut; help you lose that stubborn weight; and stop symptoms like headaches, gas and bloating, digestive problems, skin trouble, mood swings, joint pain and more.
In this delicious guide, get the supporting facts to go gluten-free, plus recipes to help give up gluten without giving up your favorite foods.
Try being gluten-free for just 3 weeks, and see results that inspire you to make the change for life!
When you grab this gift, you’ll also save a seat for the free, online 50 Ways to Women’s Wellness Summit taking place September 9-15, 2019 — created for women, by over 50 women to help YOU cope with the exhausting pressure of being a super woman expected to do everything perfectly, all the time!
After hearing what these experts have to teach you about fixing what’s broken in your body so that unwanted pounds can literally melt away, you’ll be shocked that no one is talking about this!
All you have to do is register now for free to get the secret sauce of from these experts who can help you get real results even if you think you’ve tried everything!
The best part of all about this online summit event is that it’s free – but only for a VERY short while!
Be sure to register here while the Ultimate Science of Slimming Summit is still free.
During the ANNIVERSARY special (ends Labor Day weekend) but hurry… these bonuses:
Join by Labor Day weekend to get all the goodies (in addition to the course, the Bone Health mini course, AND the Adrenal Fatigue audio master class already included!)
These extras opened August 20th… join now and get started to get them all…! The daily tips 20th-Sept 15thwill help you get a strong start by working on your beliefs about exercise, hormones, and menopause. Will I see you there today?
***Bonuses will be available for a limited amount of timeand not a part of the course long term. So you’ll have longer to watch them when you get in right away before they disappear September 15. You can only get in if you start by LABOR DAY! This fall fitness can get kicked off right understanding natural hormone balance better.
Menopause. The word conjures up lots of feelings, doesn’t it? As women go through it, we often experience physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual changes. And it’s not always pretty!
If you’re navigating it now, you may know exactly what I mean when I say you likely just don’t feel like yourself.
What if we were to change the conversation around this transformation? What if we considered it an opportunity to create exceptional health, develop more meaningful relationships, and reconnect with ourselves?
That’s exactly what my colleague, ReNee Greenberg, is on a mission to do. A practitioner in Chinese and functional medicine and a specialist in women’s hormone health, she’s bringing together more than 20 experts, including me, to share our advice about how to step into your power and embrace this time as YOUR time.
Join this complimentary interview series, More Than Menopause: How Women Are Creating Exceptional Health & Vibrant Relationships Through Menopause and Beyond!
When you go to the link above and sign up to join us for this series of powerful conversations, you’ll discover expert advice on how to heal and balance your body, naturally, and how to reconnect with yourself and your significant other for deeper, more meaningful relationships. You’ll get inspired to get healthy, rediscover your authentic self, and step into your second half empowered and with purpose!
You’ll walk away from this series with the sense that, when you change the conversation and your beliefs around menopause, you can truly enjoy this chapter of your life!
It’s pretty exciting, isn’t it?
Just register here
If you feel like you’ve tried everything to get back to feeling like YOU, and nothing has worked, join us for this interview series, More Than Menopause: How Women Are Creating Exceptional Health & Vibrant Relationships Through Menopause and Beyond! because we’re sharing what really works to reclaim your life and LOVE it.! Register here– it’s already started but you can join us now!
What’s the role of exercise in hormone balance, exactly? We know these facts. Exercise influences hormones. Hormones influence exercise. You, already know this. I’ve said it before here at Flipping 50. But you already know because there are days you don’t feel like exercising, or you feel like the mirror isn’t reflecting the consistent hard work you’ve done.
And it feels relative to hormone changes. Whether you knew you were in perimenopause or not– that period of time lasting up to 10 years for some women, you realize that other things were changing too.
Your skin seemed to be thinning, maybe showing more signs of wrinkles or more cellulite than you had before. You may deal with both breakouts and fine lines during this time. You notice more hair loss in the shower.
So is the answer hormone replacement? What if you are and you’re still not feeling 100%? It doesn’t do all the heavy lifting, or shouldn’t. And you’ve got a lot more control than we ever might have known. The foods you eat, or don’t, the sleep habits you have, or don’t, the way you handle stress or don’t, and exercise type and timing play a factor.
This episode is sponsored by The After 50 Fitness Formula for Womencourse, it’s my signature course and companion to You Still Got It, Girl! the book. In it I teach you module by module how foods have an effect on hormones, how stress influences hormones, and sleep, and of course exercise.
One thing I know better than anything after 35 years in fitness primarily working with women over 40 from the very beginning? We want to know WHYand so we can connect the dots to why it’s important to do this in the HOWwe’re being taught so we understand the reason to commit to doing it.
There’s no lack of motivation or discipline. I just don’t buy into that. There’s usually a belief about what, how, and why something works that either propels you or stands in your way. Right now during this After 50 Fitness Formula course anniversary you get not just the 8 modules Plus a bonus module demonstrating examples of exercise, you get:
THEN I’ve created 5 bonusesyou get NOW… but it they go away Labor Day weekend so get in now!
These extras opened August 20th… join nowand get started to get them all…! The daily tips 20th-Sept 15th will help you get a strong start by working on your beliefs about exercise, hormones, and menopause.
***Bonuses will be available for a limited amount of time and not a part of the course long term. So you’ll have longer to watch them when you get in right away before they disappear September 15. You can only get in if you start by LABOR DAY!
So enough on that, let’s talk specifically about exercise and hormone balance.
So, you are more in control than you may have thought. And it’s less complicated than you think. So this episode is about really unraveling the hormones we’ve got changing most, what they do or did, and don’t without help as they decrease…and how exercise can help.
First let’s look at the role of sex hormones in the body. Then we’ll look at how exercise influences hormones.
1.Grows the lining in the uterus so that the fertilized egg can implant.
2.Increases collagen production in the entire body, most notably in the blood vessels, skin, vagina and bladder.
3.Maintains cardiovascular elasticity and blood flow.
4.Prevents the body from losing bone densityby inhibiting osteoclasts.
5.Increases vaginal lubrication and sex drive.
6.Augments sexual desire.
7.Fuels fat metabolism.
8.Facilitates mental health by increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
9.Stimulates the production of progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, and more estrogen receptors.
10.Modulates adrenaline levels.
12.Modulates immune functions.
13.Increases melatonin levels.
1.At its peak, stimulates apoptosis (cell death/anti-cancer).
2.Increases bone density.
4.Lowers blood pressure.
6.Acts as a natural diuretic.
7.Improves insulin sensitivity.
8.Increases GABA secretion.
9.Is a precursor to cortisol, and all the steroid hormones.
10.Modulates immune functions.
1.Plays a role in healthy heart and blood.
2.Supports a body to makeless fat, more muscle.
4.Improves verbal memory, spatial abilities and mathematical reasoning.
5.Improves libido& erectile function.
With hormone decline, physical health may deteriorate, mental wellness decreases, and chronic diseases may creep in. At least this is what you’ve been taught and the correlation that has been true until now. Until this time when more of us have been exercising for decades or are starting now.
This is important: understand that the science that’s collected data up until now is looking at the past.It is notlooking at your future.
What if you chose not to believe it?
During the recession, about 14 years ago I heard a speaker get up and talk about just how much we were hearing how bad the economy was at the time. She began with, “what if we decided not to participate?”I challenge you to think the same.
What if you decided not to participate in what you were told is coming with menopause and with aging? What if you rejected it? Instead, what if you went on believing you could enjoy an even more vibrant life now because of your life experience and wisdom and personal insight into what makes you happy?
1.Increased resting heart rate
2.Rise in blood pressure
4.Decrease in short term memory function
5.Changes in body fat distribution and composition
6.Thinning hair on head, arms, legs, and pubic area
7.Increased facial hair
8.Blood chemistry changes such as:
How did that list make you feel?
Think about it?
If it makes you feel like you’re fighting a war, it should. It’s not much of a party, right?
I encourage you to reject the idea these things WILL happen, or that if they do they are permanent.
They are merely signs and symptoms. Signs that you indeed are having changing hormones. Changing hormonesisa part of the evolution of a woman’s life whether they occur at menopause or with surgery.
You can opt to change. Change exercise. Change nutrition. Change lifestyle habits and break old patterns that will no longer work for you (hint: they weren’t working for you… you were lucky).
The science we had decades ago was the best we had. But if 39% of all sports medicine and exercise research features females right now,imagine the low percent that featured females 30 years ago.
Exercise plays a role in balancing these hormones and their reactions IF we use an exercise prescription that is HORMONE BALANCING, and not all people all the time.
Mass bootcamps with all ages and levels … is very attractive to gyms and trainers. Let’s pack them in and charge a nominal rate but with dozens in a session it’s still a huge win. The energy and excitement is contagious. Unfortunately, injury rates climbed. There is no modification when it’s one or two trainers to 2, 4, or 6 dozen attendees. When others are driven you are driven and yet, that isn’t what every hormone imbalance needs.
Classes are no different. Groups of 25 or 30 adults coming together to do either a workout dictated by the instructor’s mood or energy, or a pre-scripted program may not be what any individual needs at the moment. Once you know how hard you need to work and what kind of workout you need, group may work well for you. You know you and then you can choose the best options – and frequency for yourself.
Let’s talk about weight training.
Weight training is one of the absolute best things you can do for your hormone balance. Specifically targeting growth hormone, testosterone, cortisol, and insulin, with strength training you can introduce exercise without a sweat if that’s something you can do without.
Though estrogen isn’t necessarily effected by weight training, it’s effects are addressed as bone density losses are slowed by weight training (and only weight training).
There’s more. Additional hormones positively influenced by strength training are endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Though aerobic activity has always been associated with endorphins, don’t overlook strength training because the benefits seem to be equal. These hormones also bump cognitive performance long term. After a year of strength training women improved on executive planning abilities (problem solving and memory). There’s also a reduction in anxiety and depression.
High volume lower-to-moderate intensity sets with short breaks works.
Low-volume, high intensity sets with longer rest intervals works better.
If you’re scared, just starting, opt for the high volume. Progress as you can (and assess on a joint by joint basis) to heavier weights for optimum hormone, bone, and muscle benefit.
STRONGER I is a moderate to heavier and STRONGER III is a lighter weight higher volume program for both beginners and for developing “cut” or definition.
Focus on an aerobic (or higher intensity which is referred to as anaerobic when you can’t sustain for periods longer than 30 seconds) with intermittent recovery periods. The total sessions should last 20-30 minutes at most. Weekly total HIIT times should be 45 minutes or less. After that time injury rates increase and benefits decrease. The body needs recovery from hard work in order to reap benefits.
Disruption of the endocrine system tends to occur at varying levels for individuals. It is more common however in women who focus uniquely on endurance exercise without weight training or HIIT, and or who only add rather than removing to find a balance between activity.
Intense early and light late is the Flipping 50 guideline. Testosterone levels are naturally higher in the morning. Strength and HIIT sessions that occur early also work with natural healthy cortisol patterns.
Late day cortisol drops but your body is warm and loose. It’s the perfect time for “light late” activity like stretching and yoga or a light walk. If you need to accommodate your schedule, later in the day is fine for weight training. Optimal effects of exercise in hormone balance may not be available if you exercise of the wrong type at the wrong time.
Keep your exercise pre-dinner. Avoid any exercise within 4 hours of bedtime.
The key to benefits from Interval Training is high enough intensity. There’s got to be metabolic demand sufficient enough to cause change. That is why Flipping 50 recommends always reaching fatigue when you’re focused on body composition, metabolism, and positive hormone influence of exercise.
The role of exercise in hormone balance can’t take the lead if you’re not using the right exercise.
Fatigue during strength training is getting to a repetition that truly is the last one you can do. During intervals that is breathless. If you’re not doing either of those, you’re not influencing your metabolic-driven hormones and won’t experience the beneficial changes.
Whether you want to boost libido, regain lost muscle tone, decrease fat, increase muscle mass to boost metabolism, or regulate blood sugar levels, proper intensity, in other words, training with purpose, not just random exercise is your goal.
Testosterone slowly declines in women leading to menopause and then can drastically drop off. Bye bye libido and maybe your confidence at work. Increased testosterone can be induced by resistance training. Again, provided the stimulus is intense enough.
Growth hormone and testosterone have been examined for their role in boosting strength or muscle mass. Especially among body builders. The actual role of them is backward. Resistance training improves levels of growth hormone and testosterone, not the other way around.
Increases in growth hormone benefit collagen synthesis and fat burning. Testosterone as stated above supports better libido and energy. Both GH and testosterone support more muscle and lower fat.
Resistance training supports the fountain of youth.
If you’re looking for support and understanding the science behind what’s true and what’s just always been accepted.. I’d love to see you in the course.
Are stubborn weight and belly fat not responding to the rigorous exercise you’re doing? Or maybe it’s just habitual exercise? that 4 mile walk you do every day not doing it any more? Maybe even making you more tired?
“I’m exercising all the time and barely eating and I still can’t lose weight”
Ring a bell?
The obvious never seems so clear when you’re living it.
When you’re tired, rest.
You’ve been led to believe that energy creates energy. That can make you feel guilty for not exercising. At the least it can make more exercise the intuitive answer.
Constant fatigue however in a world where we’re constantly “on” means you need to catch up by slowing down. Rest more during the day and sleep more temporarily so you can fill that hole you’re in. Once you support yourself back to feeling like you again there’s always time to begin exercise – that’s potentially more effective.
Instead of 8 hours of meetings, appointments, and phone calls strategically schedule 30 minutes ever 90 minutes or two hours to regroup. During that time get up, get outside or a view from a window, rehydrate, and or use the restroom. Watch a funny video or talk to a funny friend or colleague.
You’re trying but it’s not going so well? Breaking some of your old patterns will help that. You may be thinking “it’s hormones” and you’re a victim. You’re not. Yes, things change. You can also change your approach and thoughts and sleep again.
I tucked all the facts and actions about improving your sleep into a little book [Sleep Yourself Skinny]and you can get it free.
You’ve got to start with your mind. If you tell yourself “I have insomnia” or “I’ve never been a good sleeper,” you’ll keep the pattern you’ve got and prevent the optimal progress. If you believe all the things you’re told and read about menopause causing sleep disturbances and weight gain, it may happen to you too. If you believe it won’t happen to you? Better chance it won’t. If people with chronic illness can heal themselves with the power of thought (called placebo), you can do it with sleep too.
Get the book. Do the things that help. Stop doing the things that don’t. And believe they’ll work.
Optimal weight and belly fat have much to do with cortisol optimization. You need it for energy and but not too much as evidenced in times of high (or lasting chronic) stress.
Rest applies to several levels of exercise:
This is an entire module in The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women. Did you know that if you’re not resting more between your workouts than you did a decade ago you could be limiting your fitness?
Research tells us that most older adults increase their fitness with 72 hours, instead of 48 hours between workouts. (e.g. skip the Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine and opt for a Monday, Thursday schedule). You have the capacity to work just as hard (relatively) as you did 20 years ago, provided you rest more than you did then.
There’s the obvious, tired all the time – that doesn’t fit the definition of a “fit person” at all really. You may be able to sleep any time during the day but not sleep at night. You’re sore when you go to exercise again. You don’t see muscle tone comparable to the exercise you’re doing. But… there’s a good chance you’re on a hamster wheel repeating the same workout routine daily or weekly. You’ve got to break that pattern and drop some exercise.
Weight lifting however should stay. It might need to change to get you better results, however.
When you lift weight and belly fat improves it’s due to changes in metabolism. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen when you just “burn calories” doing endurance exercise. You’ve got to create more lean muscle and reduce fat storage. The right dose of “sprint” or interval training can help both – recent studies show increased muscle after “sprint intervals” in obese perimenopause women. That until now was rarely heard of, the conversation around interval training was only about fat burning.
If you want more than the 5-minute blog, the After 50 Fitness Formula for Women course features 8 modules – one dedicated to rest & recovery. In addition you’ll understand how nutrition, exercise*, stress, sleep and your hormone status all play into your IDEAL exercise choices. *If you’re doing all the exercise – but not in the right intensity or doses – changes will turn things around.
Join by Labor Day weekend to get all the goodies (in addition to the course, the Bone Health mini course, AND the Adrenal Fatigue audio master class already included!)
These extras opened August 20th… join now and get started to get them all…! The daily tips 20th-Sept 15thwill help you get a strong start by working on your beliefs about exercise, hormones, and menopause.
***Bonuses will be available for a limited amount of timeand not a part of the course long term. So you’ll have longer to watch them when you get in right away before they disappear September 15. You can only get in if you start by LABOR DAY!
The After 50 Fitness Formula course is my signature course created as a companion to You Still Got It, Girl!
Other resources about adrenals:
“Your skin is glowing.” Glowing skin is enviable at any age. But at a time where you look in the mirror and seemingly detect new signs of aging daily, a compliment like that is gold.
Gotta say I did not hate that. I heard this half a dozen times the past weekend. It made me do a lot of reflection on what garnered the comments. I think it’s ALL the things it’s not one thing. It’s not just doing but specific things exercise, sleep, hydration and nutrition-wise. I can’t cut corners.
But it’s also a few extra things I’ve learned along the way. Some products are just better. Better not just by not being worse (toxic): by creating a better environment in the body. Here they are… all the things to love your skin with inside and out.
Sweat is detox! But greater good happens when you’re moving that energy through your body than just sitting in 100 heat or having a hot flash. (We’d all be glowing if it just took that right?) Get oxygen-rich blood flowing and bring heat release to the surface of your skin.
Get a good sweat on several times a week. Turning upside down occasionally (in down dog or handstands) is also beneficial!
Then rehydrate. Do the push or pull test. If you grab a little skin from the back of your hand or you push your arm how quickly does it return to normal? Instantly? You’re well hydrated. Does the skin stay disrupted for longer? You need to you’re your insides sister. Drink up.
I love to make a lemon or limeade during the afternoon to keep up my water intake. I start out well in the morning but can slack in the afternoon. I don’t resort to coconut water (sugar water in my opinion) but I will squeeze a little lemon or lime and add a couple drops of stevia into a BIG Yeti full of cold water and ice.
I’ve been lucky to have facials and massages and be told what great skin I have. I always passed it off as nice, but never really took it in. (Because we always want better, right?) Yet, when someone sees lots of skin regularly, it’s probably a real compliment when they tell you that! The thing is, I don’t feel I do anything anyone else doesn’t do. But it may be that the consistency of outdoor exercise, plenty of excusing myself early to get to sleep, little alcohol, and a sense of purpose actually add up to good skin.
Tons of vegetables are always a part of my diet. From breakfast green smoothies (I’ve also been known to feast on leftover broccoli along with my protein choice for breakfast) to dinner I’ve usually not got less than 2 cups at any meal. Then you know I am a protein believer. Whether you take protein from plants or animals, test your needs yourself, but for muscles and skin, you need it.
Yet, none of us gets good nutrition we need all the time. Constant attention to healthy fats, protein and collagen, and veggies even will find you at the airport choosing from bad and worse at some point. A multivitamin is a minimal must. I rotate two. (I believe in complimenting every healthy habit with an alternate).
My two multivitamins favorites both cater to women’s needs. We’re typically deficient in specific vitamins and minerals and both my choices (see flippingfifty.com/resources) contain more of what we need. Nutreince also features non-compete technology – in a powdered form to drink – so you absorb more goodness instead of flushing it.
If you don’t like powder (dissolves in liquid and is absorbed more completely) they do now make capsules and I stopped them recently to ask why now.
Your skin does an overnight makeover for you if you let it. There is nothing like a deep sleep for better skin. (I wear and swear by an eye mask at home and traveling. It boosts melatonin production.)
Last but not least is sunshine and fresh air! If you work inside, workout inside, and don’t make it a point to get outdoors you’re constantly in stale air. If you travel in ubers, airports, planes, hotels… even more so. Get outside and breath in some fresh air. Green space is best. No telling whether this is from the outside or the inside or both but happiness and calm from nature is real science. Relaxing some of those fine lines can help your glowing skin cause.
I can’t leave this out… happiness. Happiness does amazing things for your hormones. If you love your life, love what you’re doing every day you get up with purpose excited about possibilities? It will show. If you don’t love your life start there. Imagine a life you WOULD LOVE. What would you love?
I recently had the pleasure of hearing Mary Morrissey speak (and her husband sing). It was the question she posed. How rarely we ask that of ourselves. What would you love? And for women I’ve worked with since 2000 when I because a “life” coach (which is a title a little too God-like for me: I do not us ever), the question “what do you want” was the hardest to answer.
If you can’t answer or imagine and vision it into reality, you can’t have it. So start nailing this one.
Inside out. I start with Annmarie Skincare products and yet, I rotate. Like my vitamins (see above). You can get a free sample kit of Annmarie products (based on your skin type) – you just pay shipping, they give you a $10 gift certificate to use if you love it!
The other new love in my skincare life is the Natural Facelift by my friend Trina Felber. Hello, game changer. We just recently did a podcast on label reading and talked about this. If you’re stuck between skincare products like I was five years ago (fine lines AND breakouts? no thanks)– my own personal climate change – these have both been great changes for me. So much that friends this last weekend were saying I was glowing. I’ll take that!
Do you remember 10-0-Six lotion and Love’s Baby Soft? My earliest beauty products. Somehow that memory makes me want to reach for a Teen magazine. Anyone else want to kick herself for thinking she had problems then?
One last secret to share…
So I mentioned above, sweating during exercise is more beneficial than just sweating. But sweating in a sauna has benefits. You’ve got
to be in the right amount of near, mid, and far infrared. (mid targets soft tissue and joints so it’s excellent holistic pain relief) The benefits of the right sauna are amazing. I used mine all spring for detox.
I’d been using it for about 7 months, but I was diligent when I wasn’t traveling from January to June. I had mold in the house I was renting after a septic tank back up December 23. It took far too long to get the water cleaned up, the area wasn’t sealed off, and the mold was still there after supposed mitigation. Then a landlord who opted not to do anything further. I was sick three times in eight weeks and lived with low level feelings of ick for months until it was confirmed. I moved as quickly as possible.
The windfall from the sauna was not only the mold detox but the residual glowing skin. Though I’m in Scottsdale in high temps right now, I am unpacking that and I now have a dedicated “sauna room” even though I use a personal (and portable) option.
Psst… if you’re reading this is August.. it’s Sunlighten’s 20th anniversary.. so don’t delay if you’re considering it! Listen, sauna in a snowstorm in Boulder is delicious warmth, but even in Scottsdale the benefits are too good not to use! Where ever else you live… you live in that skin!
As long as I’m renting it’s the easiest thing to do. And much as I thought it wouldn’t compare to a sit-in style, I LOVE it. It’s a short power nap for me in addition to the sweat-fest for 35-40 minutes a few times a week. I tend to use it to listen to a podcast or audio book and catch up. I’m a believer in the power of subliminal listening.
and… the folks at Sunlighten have a new baby! The LumiNIR wand is a light handheld device that is turning back the clock. It’s super cool and if you (like I) love the idea of stimulating natural rejuvenation? You’ll love it. More on that soon with Alicia because we are talking that up! Watch for it the end of the month but if you can’t wait? I’ll share a link to see it.
Should you do 1, 2, or 3 sets of strength training for hormone balance? Research about strength training for women in menopause has answered that in a recent study. This study adds to mounting evidence of the best methods to support hormone balance and optimal aging.
In a true Bruce Springsteen description, strength training is muscle-making, fat-baking, figure-shaping, torso-trimming, mood-boosting, happiness-hacking, exercise.
I hope you live in a world where there’s no debate whether or not you should be strength training. The question is how do you do it best so there’s no injury all rewards?
So, just in case you want to know how that muscle loss shows up I’ve got the details. It’s not good. Your metabolism slows by about 5% every decade because of that muscle mass. Now, let’s say you also gain fat while you’re losing muscle, that’s not just a slower metabolism. It’s more risk for disease, more lethargy.
On the flip side, muscle is metabolically active. Some studies say it requires 35 calories to maintain a pound of muscle and 2 to maintain a pound of fat. (Yet, most of us will eat the same no matter what our weight). See the problem? That 33 calories per pound of muscle difference every day all year can help you with what should never have been accepted as “middle-age weight gain.”
It’s actually only middle-age inactivity, or middle-age inappropriate activity. You can aerobicize your way of this or randomly lift weights at the end of your fitness class. You can’t for that matter strength train on the whim of a fitness instructor’s decision the day you drop into a class. You need a strength training plan.
The best strength training plan would have been a progressive strength training plan begun in your 30s and 40s to prevent losses. (Muscle loss begins at 30 if you’re not lifting). Next best? Start now. You’re reading this. Did you lift today? or yesterday? Got two workouts on your calendar?
You lose (unless you’re lifting and eating correctly) 5-8 pounds of muscle mass every decade. If you eat too few calories and/or protein? You could lose muscle faster.
The percent of muscle mass you have can change by gaining fat too. So if you’re indulging in 2-3 glasses of wine, high carbs, and otherwise consuming sweets (it’s all sugar) regularly? As fat weight goes up, muscle mass declines even if you aren’t losing it.
It’s time to up your game.
What if you were to follow a simple weight training routine of 8 exercises 10-15 repetitions for 12 weeks?
A recent study adds to a growing research pool suggesting more sets within a strength training session is best if you’re flipping 50. The study on older women compared 1 vs. 3 strength-training sets effect on change in body composition.
The loss of body fat for the one set group was 2.4 compared to 6.1% loss of body fat in the 3 set group.
Loss of trunk fat only occurred in the 3 set group. That was a significant 6.8% loss in 12 weeks.
Ready to lift? Before you pick up your dumbbells, there’s even more good news.
Other health biomarkers were also positively affected in the 3-set group:
Many studies are showing less is more when it comes to exercise, and my After 50 Fitness Formula featured in You Still Got It, Girl! supports that. However, it’s less frequent, less duration exercise of adequate intensity. Intensity with strength training comes through safe progression, and reaching muscular fatigue.
That’s not to be confused with simply fatigued, or tired.
If you’ve gone through an hour class jumping, battle roping, punching, doing burpees… you may be tired. But if each set of those 8-10 major muscle groups did not reach fatigue at the end of each set? You missed the metabolism-boosting fat loss mark. Bruce would be disappointed. Strength training for hormone balance includes optimizing cholesterol, fat, inflammation, and muscle.
Flipping 50 exercisers who want to make a difference is reaching fatigue in every set. If muscles aren’t brought to temporary fatigue they will not respond optimally for body composition or strength gains.
If you’re looking for a program designed for hormone balance (and inclusive of your joint needs and back-of-the-closet wants) Flipping 50 STRONGER was designed for women Flipping 50. We launch again soon.
Hormone balancing exercise is not just “any” exercise. Nor is it any time of day. Your specific signs and symptoms dictate the right exercise prescription. You, however, are not sick. But the signs in this case are… inability to lose weight, exhaustion when you wake, inability to sleep, belly fat, signs of cellulite and water retention. That’s not an all-inclusive list, by the way.
Those signs tell me as a hormone balancing fitness expert how to help you. Your current exercise program can use tweaking and I know how to do it if I know how you’re feeling.
What else might be helpful to know before we start if we’re working together or you’re in a group program?
Because, this needs to be said:
It can help or hurt. Exercise can definitely help your hormone balance. If you make changes in a routine that’s not working.
We female humans have a tendency to do more of what’s already not working.
Me too. Because I LIKE exercise. We who do often need the most support!
Here’s the truth though… trainers notoriously will TELL you to do that. (work harder, do another workout between our sessions, etc) It’s a bit of an ego hit for a trainer when clients aren’t getting results. Even they (who are not tuned into to Hormone Balancing Fitness programming) will tell you… work harder, do another class a week, get in more activity, eat less, etc. All things that could cause further hormone imbalance, which is likely the obstacle between you and better results.
Weight training with adequate intensity for short duration boosts testosterone, growth hormone, and optimizes cortisol
Sprint intervals and HIIT (Sprint Intervals are edging out HIIT) for short duration and done safely to avoid injury boost testosterone and optimize cortisol levels
But you’ve got to KNOW.
You can’t guess. If you’ve been dealing with fatigue, lack of motivation, or frustrating weight gain for too long – with what you’d call “good habits” it’s time for another step.
First, I always advocate getting more knowledge about what is truly hormone balancing. Get those habits changed. The 28-Day Kickstart is a good place to begin. If you’re not sleeping, pooping, eating, or exercising RIGHT, then exercise will not help you.
Next, you’ve done that and you still struggle a little with compliance (don’t we all?) Or you’re want to consider a boost from HRT, then testing is a must.
Here’s a last chance to watch a replay video and take advantage of a super Flipping 50 special so you can go over lab results and get answers. It will not be available forever. If you’re seeing this after the special… the information in this video is still KILLER! Watch it! (click to watch this private video – only available for a short time except for our Cafe members)
[If you’re interested in testing, stop the video as it plays to catch the URL and learn more or get it. But don’t wait. I partner with Yourlabwork specific times of the year for crazy specials like this, so if you’re a member of the Flipping 50 community, you’re set, these announcements are something I only share on email]
Less exercise is so often the answer. Lower intensity, consistent, but shorter duration exercise is best if you’re really suffering from the “I’m always tired,” syndrome. Next, add intense strength training. Still short. Next, add intervals or sprints (watch for a special edition post about Sprint Interval Training coming very soon!)
Your brain is going to say, “Wait a minute! Less exercise, no you don’t understand… I HAVE to exercise!”
You, sister, are the one who needs to step back most.
Where are my endurance girls? My gotta-have-an-exercise fix before work gals?
I know you’re out there. But… that thing you’re hooked on is socially acceptable yet probably keeping you from feeling good and getting your mojo back.
Do get some exercise… just walk instead of run. Get outside instead of doing the dreadmill. Go lighter or shorter or both. Then do some yoga or stretching or get in the sauna. It feels like you’re doing something, you’re just doing it differently. It’s temporary, tell yourself.
When you feel good then you can increase again. Test what works for you. That’s a little trial and error. Some of us thrive on endurance (it’s genetic). But even I who have that long-slow gene.. HAVE to do intervals to keep fast twitch muscle fibers. It’s how we keep our metabolism and reaction skills.
Want to avoid both belly fat now and falls later? Move quickly for a few minutes during each workout or lift with power (a wee bit of speed when you lift but always in control).
Assess your own workout (and your daily habits with the You Still Got It, Girl! checklist. Download it from flippingfifty.com top of the page. Print it and check your score. Focus on anything that surprises you, areas where you’re not doing well… and get it right! It matters. These are the habits that support natural hormone balance.
Exercise can help your hormone balance. As can the right nutrition before and after exercise. The sleep you get makes exercise better by assuring the right hormones are in place at the levels you need them.