weight loss exercise log bookIs 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.

An Example of Failed Weight Loss After 50

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.

After 50 Weight Loss Success

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).

female celebrating Flipping 50 Fit-UYour Motivation for Weight Loss After 50

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.

Weight Loss After 50 and Exercise

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.

woman floating on inner tubeUnique Needs for Weight Loss After 50

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.weight loss program 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:

  1. Fat loss and weight loss
  2. Fat loss after 50

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.

Healthy at-home exercise is a must-have for anyone today. Even if you belong and love your gym, having an option for those days when you can’t make it is paramount for consistency. There will be those days you’re stuck with too little time to commute there and back, or you’re caregiving, or waiting for “cable guy,” or stranded in a blizzard.

This post is quite unique. I’m introducing the Flipping 50 Membership 2.0. The “Café” as we call it, the place to stop in and fill your cup with a community of women on the same journey is 3 and a half. It’s the first and only membership designed for you in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond. It’s a virtual gym and your source for virtual coaching, education, exercise nutrition, and more.

The Café is perfect if you’re looking for “what’s next” after a Flipping 50 program and want continued support, motivation, and more workout challenges you can choose anytime, anywhere… with like-minded women who want the hormone-balancing fitness difference.

Enrollment is open right now… and closing soon. This is new. We’ve decided to bring in a group of new members only limited times of year to really take you on a journey together.

Just added bonus…Complimentary Private Session with Debra to kick off your membership ($300 value)

First & Only Hormone Balancing Fitness Membership

It is designed with you in mind. It is based on research featuring women in perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause. It’s about getting stronger, inside and outside. I work with you on mindset and shifting what you were taught and learned decades ago about diets and exercise that simply, does not work. Why?

First, because your hormones now need something very different than they once did (and psst…. It’s less not more). Second, science has advanced tremendously in 35 years I’ve been involved in the fitness industry. Yet, you’ve been busy right? And there’s an “infobesity” of content coming at you. It’s hard to filter was is BS and what is really in your best interest.

Look, I get it.

That’s why I want you to stick with me for a year. This isn’t a quick fix. Not if it took 50 years of habits to get you here. But you will feel and see results quickly AND continue to see them as you stick with me. You want and need to know not just what but why. That keeps you motivated. I teach you how to connect the dots between the actions and plans I lay out and the results and benefits you get. That helps eliminate “motivation” and “willpower” and enhances commitment.

It’s Not Motivation

I don’t believe any of us lack discipline. I don’t believe that’s why you’re not getting results, or right where you want to be. I believe there’s a combination of missing science, misunderstanding what your body is telling you, and a need to know exactly what to do. So, you need a trusted source.

If you are willing to make changes – and hey, we’re all busy. That one just doesn’t work. You’re not too busy for disease. You can’t be too busy for exercise and lifestyle habits that make it work. We all have a story. But just because you’re crazy making, don’t expect me to get in there with you. If you can’t exercise for a time, you dial in that nutrition, sleep, and daily habits. If you can exercise for a shorter than you want to time? Then we just need to nail what is that most effective use of those 10 minutes. I look for answers, not problems.  Still with me?

Then here are the details.[or if you’re already thinking, “yes,” you had me at hormone balancing fitness – click here!]

Your Membership Includes:

There’s More…

Plus…

 

BONUS Exclusives

So now is the time! You get Flipping 50 Membership 2.0 with over $800 of programs, you’ll save up to $200 off protein products, and get the ultimate… looking good and feeling great. This program for instance, STRONGER 3 is only available inside the Cafe!

We close doors Tuesday July 16, 11:59pm then close the doors for months.

Open Enrollment is limited going forward to two times a year. Enrollment is open in July and January of each year. So when enrollment closes, only students who’ve recently finished a Premium Program have a one-time opportunity to join until the next enrollment period.

This is for you if:

This isn’t for you if:

Ready? Join Now

FAQs

Q: Can I join if I haven’t done a program or coaching with Debra yet?

A: Yes, during this enrollment period we welcome you. I will suggest you turn right around and join a Premium Program asap, however (perhaps with your new member’s discount on regularly priced programs!).

 

Q: What’s the refund policy?

A: See below for additional details. Once you’re in the Café and have access to all of our intellectual property we don’t refund. You can at any time cancel the renewal for your annual subscription by sending an email tosupport@flippingfifty.com.

 

Q: Do you do a payment plan?

A: There currently is not. Please reach out to support@flippingfifty.comand share your situation.

 

Q: I’m a vegan/vegetarian does this work for me?

A: Yes! The only area where you will find less content applicable to you is in the recipes section. Many of them will work for you. However, main dishes are skewed to our animal protein members but can be tweaked for the plant-based lifestyle. If you’ve gone through a Premium Program you’ll have the best insight into this being a fit for you.

*Once you have access to the Café membership you have access to all of the intellectual property inside. For that reason we do not refund for the Café once you’ve been sent and opened access. You may cancel your renewal for the following year with notice to support@flippingfifty.com.
The Flipping 50 membership is intended for one user. Shared access to your personal account is prohibited and considered abuse.

Need to see it? Watch the behind the scenes video here I created for our members to see what’s coming with the 2.0 upgrade!

Your New Reading List!

Kickstart your summer with a few of my best health & fitness guides.

Looking for health & fitness recommendations that are made for you, and only you?

Are you done with the one-size-fits all ages, sizes, and both genders approach?

You’re in the right place. I’ve designed several health & fitness guides to help with some of the biggest problems (more on that below) women face. Whether you’re seeking exercise advice, energy answers, want to solve menopause mysteries, or love your libido again… Flipping 50 is made for you.

These are a collection of the best blogs compiled into “guides” for a quicker-than-a-book yet comprehensive look into topics you- blogand book readers, and Flipping 50 podcastlisteners, Flipping 50 TVviewers –have expressed the most interest in.

In a hurry? 

Skip right down to the guides and get started. I’ll imagine you on a lounge chair with a big brimmed hat and a drink with a little umbrella facing the ocean while you read.

I’m 55 in the boat rowing with you. I’ve observed aging fitness professionals, aging athletes, less active folks who float in and out of exercise, and enthusiasts that either accelerate or slow aging. After 35 years of research, observations, and applications I’ve got the after 50 fitness formula for women.

Women Over 50 are Unique

The fact is your hormones, metabolism, body composition, socialization, are different.

They’re different from younger women.

They’re different from younger, older, or same age men.

Yet, just 39% of all sports medicine and exercise research features female subjects. No matter how many times I say or write this it astounds me. At the rate of women turning 75, 65, and 55 (baby boomers at this minute, Gen Xers soon) that’s absurd.

The only thing you can do about it right now is demand that fitness programs, trainers, and health coaches use THAT sliver of research for you.

You have to ask.

or demand. There’s a little too much paying for a group approach from a private personal trainer going on with personal training services for my taste today. Don’t mistake “a personal trainer” for a “good personal trainer.” There are good ones but you’ve got to know what to ask.

Why Flipping 50?

At Flipping 50 working with women in perimenopause and beyond is all we do. Every day. I’m not a doctor pretending to diagnose. I wouldn’t expect a doctor to suggest training protocols for you either. Ideally we work together. As a Medical Exercise Specialist and Hormone Balancing Fitness Expert I rely on physicians in functional medicine and on physical therapists to support my clients. A team approach eliminates you running from one to the next trying to pull that together yourself. As a health coach I support your lab interpretation so you have the right questions to ask and next steps to pursue.

Once you cross the threshold of perimenopause, you go through the biggest changes. It’s why “flipping 50” is for and about women in their late 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

When women ask, what about 60? I know I’ve not communicated Flipping 50’s mission clearly to you. Don’t misunderstand Flipping 50 to mean this is for a 50-year old. It’s NOT. The biggest changes occur both mentally and physically when a woman hits 50. It’s not about age though really it’s about phase. How you show up and how you see yourself matters.

Flipping 50 is about changing your expectations:

not all women gain weight with menopause and those who don’t are not just “lucky”

not all women get hot flashes and night sweats

not all women have their libido crash (it’s actually better after for some of us)

not all women get that belly fat just because of menopause (let’s check in with your eating, your wine, your sleep and your exercise before we point a finger at some mystery menopause bs)

Mastering Menopause Can Start Anytime

Yes, things change. Yes, you’ll have to change the strategy. Guess what? If you’re a woman in her 30s or 40s and you change NOW… YOU will flip 50 so much better. You’re going to get here. Ready or not. Your needs are slightly different than a women in perimenopause (and beyond) but you can prepare to sail through it more easily.

Sure all women have estrogen, progesterone fluctuations from the time they hit menses to post menopause. But in perimenopause and menopause it’s very different. If feels unpredictable. If you listen to what your body is telling you, rely on your own changes and not a pill, shot or cream (though you might decide, hey you want some support), you can change the way you feel. The daily choices you make matter.

After menopause, don’t think you’re out of the woods. The hormone fluctuations that dictate health are not the same as when you were wired for reproduction but hormones are still calling the shots. Your mood, energy, sleep, appetite, bones, muscles… you get the idea? Pretty much everything is dependent on hormones ‘til death do us part.

Just Exercise? Or Exercise for You?

Before you jump into activity because an article said it’s good read the study. Research subjects should be in perimenopause, menopause, or beyond if you’re to take an announcement like, “New study says HIIT is the best for burning fat” seriously. That’s just one example of media-hyped and overgeneralized studies that could sabotage you.

[The real news is injury rates have gone up 144% since the introduction of HIIT as a household word and regular workout “thing.” In real application, if HIIT is done longer and more frequently in a midlife woman already experiencing stress and fatigue, adrenal stress can make her storemore fat rather than lose it.]

If you’re still reading, naturally you want to dig into fact about YOU, proven practices for YOU, and I’ve got it below. Choose the topic that’s the biggest source of confusion right now and match it to the guide I’ve created.

Plus, I’d love your help. Is there another topic you want more information on? Share it in the comments below this post. I’m listening.

The Flipping 50 Health & Fitness Guides

Jump to the guide that speaks to you or consume them all!

The Ultimate Guide to Menopause Belly Fat

Has menopause caused weight gain and or belly fat?  Of all my health & fitness guides this one gets under the hood of deceptive lie you’ve been led to believe about menopause belly fat. Hint: it isn’t inevitable. I say menopause and weight gain & belly fat are headed for a divorce.

The Ultimate After 50 Smoothies Guide

Confused about whether food or smoothies are best? What kind of protein is right for you? Or how to know if your protein has toxins in it sabotaging your fat burning and in fact making you store more fat? This is the best of health & fitness guides for you.

Flipping 50’s Ultimate Recovery Day Guide

Do you know – or need to – that your recovery from exercise is MORE important than your exercise?

Truth. But it doesn’t mean lying on the couch eating grapes (or sipping smoothies). Not that a modern woman has time to do that. Or will let herself do it if she did.

There isan art to recovery. Recovery starts even before and for sure during your workout. Between sets, some say even repetitions. Then there’s the between workouts and weeks or months of workouts. But how? What does it really look like? How do you know if you are or you’re not? It’s in this, my most recent of health & fitness guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Lunges and Squats After 50

Do squats or lunges hurt your knees?

This is the conundrum for many of my Flipping 50 students and clients. So often the very thing you’re told repeatedly to do for metabolism can hurt or leave you paying for it for days after.

In this guide, an episode of Flipping 50 TV I give you specific reasons these exercise might hurt, tips for changing your technique to see if you can be more comfortable, and alternatives that work instead if you need them. No matter which category you’re in, I’ve got you covered.

Helpful? I hope so! I’d love to hear from you! Comment below!

Do You Want More Step-by-Step?

Would you like more support? I have programs specifically for exercise, and more comprehensive ones to help you really get the whole “formula” since it takes “a village” more and less.

Browse exercise here. My top pick? STRONGER 12-week programs

Browse coaching programs here. My top pick? Start with the 28-Day Kickstart.

20 or more pounds to lose? Fat loss after 50 is unique. I pulled all the science together for you.

It takes a more comprehensive, whole-istic approach to lifestyle habits than just exercise alone can give you. And, it takes less exercise once you know which exercise is right for results.

If you love exercise, I get you. I’ll help you determine where to set your activity and recovery levels so you can do what you love, feel the way you love, and get the results you love.

If you prefer to have one-on-one coaching, you can start with 90-day or do a 6-month coaching package. More details here.

Testing to Reach Your Health Potential

When you were 20 you had your whole life in front of you. You were testing limits. All that really mattered was the weekend. The formal. Who to ask to the formal or who would ask you. The next exam or paper that was due. And you’re workouts were about running past the frats where the guys were throwing Frisbees. You had all the time in the world.

After 50, testing is about medical rights of passage when you get your bone scan, your colonoscopy, and marked by less frequent OBGYN tests. Except when you want to either solve a mystery or you want to nail this aging thing like a lady boss.

I’m of the former when it calls for it and the latter all the time.

This post is in response to the frequently asked questions our community is asking about what, why, and how testing is the way to answers.

First and foremost, there’s self-testing. I’m all for it and I’m for it no matter what else you do. Your body and how you feel never lies. So whether it’s how you exercise, how much sleep you need, or how you respond to different foods, testing your response is a must.

testingWhat other testing should you do?

There are three areas where I personally and as a coach recommend testing: micronutrients, hormones, and DNA. I’ll start in reverse order.

DNA Testing

This is from Jan, who recently had her DNA tested and spent time with me talking about what results could mean combined with her signs and symptoms (energy, sleep, results from exercise, past health “numbers”):

“I wanted to share with you what I got done and the results after we discussed my DNA report. 

I had my women’s yearly wellness exam – PAP smear- and it was negative. I was able to have my GYN order my lipid panel, Mammogram, Thyroid, Vitamin D and DexaScan. 

He called me back today and let me know that my Cholesterol was XXX and LDL was XXX- both have gone down since doing your program! yippee!! They aren’t perfect, still working on them.

My Thyroid is off and he suggested either further testing or seeing a Primary Care Provider- since he does not specialize in this area.

My Dexascan report said that both my hips were good – He asked if I exercised and I proudly said YES!!- and he said that was definitely why they were good!!

He also said the Dexascan showed I have slight osteopenia in my Lumbar area and recommended that I start taking Calcium with Vitamin D.

My mammogram also had negative findings!!  

So- I will be seeing another Physician to go over my lipid panel and my Thyroid to discuss where I need to go from here. I am so happy I got my DNA testing done to see what else I needed to do and what I should we looking at for my fitness and health journey!”

I share this with you so you can see some of the benefit of the DNA testing. Results are best used in combination with other pieces of information. DNA is not going to change, but the other things you’re doing can so you take advantage of the insight you gain, data from past results when you’ve exercised or altered your diet, to know what steps to take.

It can offer more insight when you next see your health care practitioner for annual check ups so you take full advantage of the opportunity to ask for tests in that short time you may have with your physician.

For other clients, DNA has been a way to gather details for how to optimize habits for aging better.

When I review DNA testing with someone I cover specific areas:

testingI have used my DNA results in two ways:

1) I’ve altered my workouts slightly and skewed them a little more toward endurance exercise again (not at the cost of bone and metabolism benefits of strength training). I integrate hormone balance exercise practices with the DNA info to arrive at the best weekly schedule for myself just as I would for any client.

2) I’ve reduced my fat intake in favor of a few more carbohydrates. Those two changes alone have resulted in a boost of energy during workouts and effortless loss of a few pounds and inches.

While DNA may seem like just nice-to-know information it actually points to small daily changes that make a big difference.

I also followed up with a micronutrients test and added a few lesser know supplements to reduce an inflammatory marker I’m predisposed for (thanks mom!). After a few months of consistently taking the right supplements, my homocysteine level is down.

Compliance

No one loves to take supplements. So it’s easy to skip, “forget,” or just not buy into the need. When you test, see levels of a micronutrient that are below optimal and you can tie them to a sign (of fatigue, or lack of sleep, slow metabolism, for instance) or to other numbers in my case like homocysteine (and hey, to a fitness professional that’s like an insult! How can I be at greater risk for heart disease!? Seeing it in the test results helps you help yourself.

=>Homocysteine is tied to heart disease. So even with good health habits, exercise, having identified foods that make me thrive and what I need to feel great day and night, that genetic piece was there. You don’t know what you don’t know and so you can’t do something as easy as adding a digestive enzyme daily to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Just because you have a predisposition for something – cholesterol, heart disease, dementia, or Alzheimer’s (all things a DNA test can show) – does NOT mean you have to go down that path. If you, like me, want to do everything to avoid disease and optimize your health, DNA testing can definitely be a way to discover what else you want to learn.

Seeing this in February? Because it’s Heart Health month and my own DNA revealed heart disease risk, but also helped me get in better shape by suggesting the fitness activity my body responds to quickly, please enjoy 20% off – only through the end of February. Use: HEART20 when you choose your test.

How: DNA testing is done with a swab of your cheeks. You’ll get a kit of cotton swabs complete with simple instructions and just need to mail the samples in for results. It may take several weeks but it’s a one and done – your genetics don’t change!

testing

Micronutrient Testing

Let’s say you’re average. (You’re so NOT by the way!) Seventy percent of the population is Vitamin D deficient, 80% is deficient in Magnesium, and 90% are deficient in Omega 3.

If you have something skewed in your blood tests, like me with high homocysteine levels, it may indicate a need for a specific micronutrient. In my case, B12 supports optimal homocysteine levels. So does Choline. My guess is if you’re reading this you don’t immediately think of Choline supplementation! Only a test that’s interpreted with a health coach or practitioner can suggest to you – in combination potentially with DNA testing, how to improve your levels.

You want optimal Choline especially if you’re exercising. Sixty-five percent of exercisers are deficient in Choline, especially if they limit protein. Decreased B6 and decreased selenium (also tied to thyroid issues) effect GABA (an amino acid tied to anxiety and depression), serotonin, and dopamine – all your mood-related hormones.

Stress and exercise deplete Vitamin D. Are you a woman who negates stress with exercise? It creates a challenging situation for micronutrients – unless you look under the hood. If you’re depressed or anxious, or you participate in “heavy” exercise, your B12 level definitely something to check.

Zinc deficiency is tied to thyroid issues.

If your CRP comes back high from a routine annual blood test, CoQ10 and Vitamin D are often deficient.

Magnesium deficiencies are tied to increased cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation.

Stress depletes Vitamin C. Those levels often need a supplement boost if you’re under additional stress, have frequent illness, and you need C for adequate dopamine levels (feel good hormones).

The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women includes the right individual dose of:

Exercise + Micronutrients + Recovery + Sleep + Stress + Hormones + Whol-stic Integration = You Still Got It, Girl!

Since 2015 when that book was written based on observing thousands of women who were exercising and either getting results or not getting results, I can add one more piece, the DNA. The collective whole of your puzzle pieces will include your genetics. They don’t control your outcome but then hint, very bluntly, at how to change your daily habits for the long game of a healthy life you love today and in decades.

Providing information about common deficiencies is a step in the right direction. Yet, supplementing without knowing your status and testing the outcome of a certain protocol (or amount of supplement) is not the most direct method to improve your health. Too much Omega 3 for instance can result in Vitamin E deficiency.

“Your complex.” A girl doesn’t forget a comment like that coming from a boy she likes. And yet, it’s true for me and for you.

Your health is based on the integration of everything you do. Nothing is as closely tied to health as nutrition. You make multiple nutrition decisions every day.

Things are no longer “not good for you.” They’re detrimental if they don’t support your health. If you’re over 50 you were raised on a kind of negotiations formula: if you eat this, then you can have that. Unfortunately, women still operating that way are often THE most frustrated. A woman admitted the other day – just after lamenting that she’d only lost 3-4 pounds in the last month – that she “treats” herself to several foods that she’s likely to be sensitive to every week, regularly.

There are fewer true mysteries than you might like to believe.

I know we’d all love to think moderation is still the rule. It’s not. What you do is either on solution side or the problem side. It may be on the 40-yard line or the 10-yard line but it’s not “neutral.” You change your score every time you make a choice.

How: Micronutrient testing is done via blood draw. You’ll go to your local lab with the lab order and have it done. Fasting is not required.

Hormone Testing

“Testing” your hormones begins by assessing the signs and symptoms that your hormones aren’t balanced. Your digestion, elimination, skin, hair, joints, bones, muscle, response to exercise, feeling of fatigue or roller-coaster moods and energy, brain fog, lack of libido, all should be taken into consideration. There’s the more common signs too of sleep disruption, hot flashes, night sweats, and belly fat.

No one should tolerate any of the above. For goodness sake, run from those who define physical changes like “menopause belly.” That perpetuates your expectation and believe that its normal and just a part of the deal. Um, no. Only if you decide to follow the path of those who got it and kept it.

The After 50 Fitness Formula course and the You Still Got It, Girl book contain a signs and symptoms chart.  If you have three or more symptoms from any particular category there’s a strong chance that’s your imbalance. In fact, if you strongly connect with two in any category, I’d be willing to be your gut is already telling you where to focus. When you know the imbalance, you’re given the means to put balance back. Changes in type and timing of habits, some dumping of old habits in exchange for new ones is in order. But none of them are turn-your-world-upside-down habits. They’re “flips” – tweaks to your existing habits that make a big difference.

However, if I had to guess about you – not seeing you, not meeting you – I would guess you need to work on two hormones: cortisol and insulin.

No woman I work with loves to hear this: sugar is one of the major root causes of hormone disruption. (Chemical consumption and use is another). It affects testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Wine and alcohol are sugar. You can’t out-fitness damage you do with your food choices.

testing

When do I recommend hormone testing?

There are two times I recommend it and it depends a little on who you are.

Here’s where I suggest you start though. Unless you refuse to comply with the suggestions that will come from your self-assessment of symptoms I’d save the lab tests for after you’ve made all the natural changes you can.

After all, medicine, pills, creams, and supplements are meant to help boost the things you have already put in place. Sometimes you can change your status enough all by positive life habits. Others will need some additional support. But bio-identical hormones aren’t meant to do ALL the heavy lifting.

Even if you’re feeling good, I often recommend a woman test. Get that baseline now. Then if things do go awry, you have a benchmark for you “normal” and feeling optimal energy and at your ideal weight. I take a snapshot every 6 months if I’m making big changes, or every 12 months if not. You can’t “feel” the ideal pathways of your estrogen taking place. Check in on what’s happening and you can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.

How: Hormone testing is done via blood draws. You’ll go to a lab with your lab order and have the draw in minutes. Fasting is not required but it’s often recommended if you’re using hormone supplements you abstain for a period of time before testing.

Micronutrients – and specific types – may be recommended for you if your hormones are not optimal. Your DNA can tell you if you have the MTHFR gene mutation and methylated forms of folate will be absorbed better. Many conditions like migraines, depression, anxiety are impacted by hormone imbalance tied to micronutrient insufficiency that your genetics (DNA) can provide insight about.

A health coach can help you determine the questions to ask a practitioner, steps you can take yourself, potential other tests, and habits that you want to set for yourself to see positive changes or maintain a path already going in the right direction.

testingWhere should you start with testing?

A good start is assessing what you want right now. Are there things you’d like to change? Are you looking to optimize your future as well as the way you look at feel now? Then do a self-assessment of your hormones and jump to the habits that describe women who have achieved hormone balance. Then decide if Micronutrient, DNA, or Hormone Testing is your next step. If you have amazing insurance and a practitioner on board with optimal aging for you too, start there. If you want to take things into your own hands, order what you want when you want it, self-directed labs are a quick way to order, test conveniently, and get results that you choose what to do with.

Resources:

The After 50 Fitness Formula Course

You Still Got It, Girl! habits quiz

You Still Got It, Girl! book

Micronutrient Testing (use: Flipping50 for $ off)

Hormone Testing (use: Flipping50 for $ off)

DNA testing (use heart20 in February 2019 for a 20% savings!)

Protein Recommendations After 50 Confusing You?

One of the most commonly overlooked parts of fitness after 50 is protein. Strength training is crucial, yet misunderstanding protein recommendations after 50 can sabotage strength training results. Why is it so very confusing to find and follow protein recommendations after 50?

I crack open this question in this post. I leave you with the research I’ve done since 2013 focused on protein recommendations after 50. In spite of good persuasive arguments in several directions I’ve chosen one.

Both in primary research and personal research [I’ve tested the results of different diets with a stable set of activity and lifestyle habits on myself], and the observations I’ve made over 35 years of working with older adults, I’ve witnessed a similar outcomes. That is, some groups will continue to follow and believe one method, others follow other diets, the real outcome will be best visible in body composition and signs of aging in the 8th or 9th decade of life. There is either more disease, more vibrancy, or more frailty present. Usually the signs of optimal metabolism, body composition, and hormone balance during the 6th and 7th decades indicate a right personal path.

protein recommendations after 50 The Purpose of this post and of protein

This post is meant to proved a method for you to identify your protein needs and ways those are established, as well as evidence you can use to know if you’re meeting those or not. Clearly, we’ve witness endurance athletes and strength-trained athletes who thrive on plant-based diets. We do need to look at over 50 athletes to be relative in comparison at least of age-related changes (protein synthesis, muscle loss without the presence of strength training). There are some, but fewer. One thing to consider is the switch to a vegan or plant-based diet is often from that of a high sugar, high processed food diet. Can we say that shifting to a mediterranean diet (inclusive of animal protein) wouldn’t produce similar results? Not without testing.

I’ve found that most people look for something to follow. A lifestyle change is hard without a map. It’s easier to eliminate entire food groups and be left with I can eat this and not that, than to make illusive “healthy choices.” Because for  you, and I, and even others around your table, our gut health, our activity needs, our hormone balance, and goals all change “healthy.” Why are protein recommendations after 50 so confusing?

Here are five reasons.

protein recommendations after 50

1 Advocates of plant-based diets claim

… there’s no scientific proof that protein needs hover at 30 grams of protein per meal, and that this prevents muscle wasting and frailty later in life. That is baffling when leading authority’s say it, yet there definitely are studies- supported by leading protein researchers, registered dietitians, and presented at leading fitness association by other authorities listing evidence-based recommendations inclusive of 25-30 grams (or more) protein per meal.

It’s also hard to get 30 grams of protein per meal from an all plant diet without getting full as all plant-based protein sources include high fiber. That’s not claim, it’s just fact.

Plant-based diets repeat the same foods over and over in order to include adequate amounts of protein – which can quickly get stale and also is more likely to cause food sensitivity.

2 Soy is questionable

… given it’s status as an obesogenic (just as it sounds: causing obesity by increasing fat storage), a goitrogenic (interfering with thyroid function), and an estrogenic (confusing your endocrine system by mimicking estrogen).

Soy is either recommended or discouraged. I’m of the latter thinking having witnessed many private clients with diets high in soy (I come a midwestern state where soybeans are harvested). They had increased hot flashes and night sweats that all but disappeared with the removal of soy. This includes a client who at the time we worked together was stationed in Okinawa – where you would suspect that GMOs where not a part of the problem.

If you’re plant-based and relying on soy for protein I recommend that you:

A) Test for yourself by eliminating it 100% for at least a week then reintroducing it by eating it 2-3 times a day for at least three days.

B) Start with – or reintroduce first- fermented soy products like tempeh and miso which are often tolerated better.

3 A Growing body of research

…supports 20*- 30 grams protein per meal, specifically for older adults. It’s not just more for athletes which is very unintuitive. Actually, there’s more of a bell curve in that very active athletes do need more protein, while sedentary older adults on the frail side also need more protein. Muscle breakdown or wasting occurs as a result of age, exercise, and or too little calorie intake especially on a diet of low protein intake. Advanced age coupled with inactivity increases muscle wasting accompanied by weakness and spirals downward to falls and fractures as a result. The discussion about protein need becomes one about cost of health care services that could be prevented as well as one about quality of life.

“High quality” protein mentions these sources in order of highest to lowest concentration of essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids (for more detail see resources below).

A) lean meat (it runs)

B) chicken/turkey (it flies)

C) fish (it swims)

D) plant based sources** (usually don’t appear on “high quality” protein source lists)

Dairy products like yogurt, cottage cheese do also appear below fish, yet many elimination diets and the doctors fully supportive of them find that women in peri-menopause and beyond feel better off dairy products and eliminate many of the frustrating symptoms they experience with hormone changes.

*20 grams for those most active “athletic” older adults who synthesize protein better than those less active, whose protein recommendations after 50 are closer to 30 grams. This is not intuitive. Most adults believe the opposite is true.

**I won’t go into the existing controversy about amino acids and their prevalence or absence in plant based foods. Yet, this is a source of continued controversy. There is a full essential amino acid (EAA) profile available in plant foods but the key EAAs in muscle metabolism are lacking. That’s an important distinction to make.

Flip: Test dairy consumption against your own digestion, elimination, bloating, gas, and skin clarity. No problems when you reintroduce it after leaving it out for at least a week? Rotate it into your diet every 2-3 days if you want to include it. Focus on lactose-free items.

4 You resist change

Everyone does! Even if you don’t like your current results, change is hard. It is specifically hard due to socialization you may have had your entire life. Born before the mid sixties, you grew up encouraged to eat in a specific way. Dairy was likely a big part of your life growing up. You may still feel strongly about it. (It’s easy to get emotionally attached to a way of eating, in fact defensive. )“I like milk.” Yet, that’s not what’s being challenged. It’s not about keeping or eliminating what you like or don’t like. It’s about finding a way to test the results you’re having right now, and determining why you may not be at the weight, energy level or mood you want to be regularly.

Notoriously, in the sixties, seventies and eighties diets that cut out fat and meat – even before bread became the villain were common. Those absurdities that you may laugh about still shaped early thoughts. It’s hard to lose them. Protein was among the first things to go in favor of “rabbit food” and lettuce salads back in the day.

As women of all ages embrace weight training and strength, it’s important to realize muscle is protein. Without adequate amounts of:

  1. Quality Calories
  2. Protein
  3. Recovery time between workouts
  4. Strength training that adequately overloads muscle

… you slow or completely halt results. It’s as if you put your foot on the gas, and then on the break, making it impossible to get anywhere by exercising but without the adequate detail to fulfill the results you want.

protein recommendations after 50 5 Protein recommendations after 50 increase

Your need isn’t static. Even advocates of plant-based diets often recognize that after 60 or 65 it does become important to get animal protein back into the diet.

You don’t synthesize protein as well as you age. If you’re 55 and eat the same amount of protein at a meal as your 35 year old self, your body isn’t able to use all of it for the benefit of muscle repair and rebuilding or to benefit your immune system. To experience continued benefits you’ll need to increase protein.

One study of older adult males (average age 70) compared to young adult males (average age early 20s) found that on similar intensity exercise programs, the older adults experienced comparable results only if they consumed 40 grams of protein in post-workout meals compared to half that protein (20 grams) consumption in younger males.

End of life frailty and sarcopenia – significant muscle loss that occurs with aging IF weight training and diet are not adequate stimulus for maintaining or increasing it- are preventable. The side effects of doing now what will keep you on track for a longer healthspan later are increased metabolism, energy, and vitality.

An increase of protein should not be at the expense of plants or the beneficial components of a plant-based diet but can co-exist. You can get the amazing antioxidants as a result of a variety of plants in the diet daily as well as spare muscle loss with high-quality protein sources.

Common questions about protein recommendations after 50

What does 30 grams of protein look like? 

What can I eat for breakfast?

What if I get too full to eat that much?

It’s definitely possible! (on the other hand if you’re “hungry all the time” your probably not eating enough at meals and certainly not enough protein, fat, and carbs (plus fiber) in the right amounts. Protein offers satiety- fills you up and keeps you comfortable for hours. But getting more may take some getting used to, so let your body get used to “more” instead of going right for a quota.

Little amounts throughout the day are not beneficial in the way a bigger amount at each of three meals is unless you’re ill or old and frail and can’t tolerate. Your body has a sweet spot for simulating protein that is right at 28-30 grams per eating. Too little or too much doesn’t have the same effect. Stop grazing to develop a better appetite at your eating events and fat burning will increase as your hormone balance improves. Protein recommendations after 50 include when you get that protein. Like a dose of medicine, it’s key.

protein recommendations after 50 Additional Resources:

Are You Getting Enough Protein podcast

Breakfast Bowls Powered with Protein

Debating Real Food vs. Smoothies 

You Still Got It, Girl! 

Hot, Not Bothered

The Protein Report

The Ultimate Smoothie Guide After 50 blog

travel well
Order this not that at Starbucks

Instead of your Carmel Mocha Latte >>> Matcha latte with almond milk and stevia

You’ll get a natural boost of energy without the sugar, that doesn’t leave you wired and reduce your risk of cancer.

Instead of your Smoothie (sugar and sugar with dairy-based whey) >>> Oatmeal (without brown sugar and raisins) and stir in your own protein shake mix (carry 2 baggies of serving size in your purse). There’s no excuse not to have a good choice. It’s hardly an inconvenience and security will allow it.

travel wellPick up this not that at the News Stand

Instead of salted roasted nuts>>>raw almonds

You’re avoiding types of oils you want to avoid or at least controversial. You’re getting an unprocessed version.

Instead of the yogurt fruit parfait or fruit cup >>> hummus and veggies

You’re replacing sugar and very little protein with a slight about equal protein and fat and fiber that will keep you full longer. If you’re choosing between fruit and veggies, choose veggies. If you do enjoy yogurt (you’ve tested and tolerate it) you want plain to avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Instead of depending on what’s at the airport to fit your goals>>>bring your food in 3 oz containers and an insulated bag (if you’re serious about your health you will). Especially if you’re a frequent flyer being prepared is a must.

Pretend You Missed It

Instead of camping at the gate waiting >>> find & confirm your gate then walk for 10 minutes as if you were late for your flight and it was boarding (we’ve all done it, right?)

Instead of grabbing a chair when you do arrive at the gate, stand or sit on the floor and do some stretching. Yes, they’ll stare potentially. Make it worth it. In reality, they’re going to be thinking, wow, I bet that feels great. I wish I were that confident!

The big message here is to travel well, allow yourself extra time so you’re not stress, it’s only to pretend that you’re late!

Consistent Not More

It’s the overzealous ones among us who get sick. Travel well by doing your more moderate exercise plan. Whether that’s doing less overall but still consistent, like ditching the gym workouts and including walking, site-seeing, skiing, or golf, or it’s just relaxing about your usual routine, it will leave you revived not stressed. And that’s buffing up your immune system. Adding extra travel, change in time zones, family tensions, emotional highs and lows to the normal expectations can leave you tapped.

Less exercise can often be more hormone balancing. Just stay consistent and appreciate the reason you exercise. Is it really because you have a problem with anxiety or it helps you avoid something else in your life? Or is it to enhance your life? If it’s the latter (and I hope it is), this is life. Enjoy your life during the holiday by stick with it in the modified way that helps you most enjoy the people and experiences in it.

Hydrate

Buy a bottle of water AND ask for water on the plane. Drink a cup before take off. Drink a cup an hour while you’re in flight. Finish the water when you get off the plane while you’re standing at baggage claim. (Certain airports that give you more than enough time to do this shall rename anonymous).

Yes, this will increase the need to use the bathroom on the plane. This is not a tragedy. This is a good thing. If you don’t, you’re probably cranky or dehydrated. Travel well by making this the way you do things, always.

The more you travel the more you want to make it consistent with what you do at home. Treat yourself well everywhere.

Go Ahead and Check It

If staying consistent and feeling good means you need room for the swim suit and goggles, or the running shoes and sweats, or the yoga mat, and that overnight bag that fits everything else don’t allow it, check the bag. The extra fee is worth feeling good as oppose to a percentage of yourself isn’t it? Shouldn’t it be essential to feel good? Like a toothbrush essential?

Bring It

Essentials in my travel kit are items for gut health, an eye mask, and things I add to my coffee in the morning. There’s no way I’d use one of those non-dairy creamers or little yellow or pink packets of cancer sitting in the room waiting for me. If I were sleeping at someone else’s house, I’d add ear plugs. In a hotel, I’ll use the fan as white noise to get a great night sleep. Be ready for anything and you’ll travel well so you enjoy it there and arrive home rested too. If you know your sleep needs, you know how important it is to your hormone balance that you get it! And yes, if you’re saying I wish I could.. there are half a dozen steps to take to improve sleep, none of which require medication.

For more on gut health while traveling don’t miss this round up of seven expert friends who shared their tips.

Think Travel Well Thoughts

If you’re thinking that because you sit next to someone with the sniffles or a cough you’re going to get sick you will. If you have a strong immune system from getting the appropriate amount of sleep, exercise, and you’re hydrated, you don’t have to get sick because you’re exposed.

Of two-dozen trainers I used to supervise, I had two or three trainers who were frequently sick. They also happened to be the ones more strung out and stressed or the ones who liked to both exercise hard and party hard. The problem wasn’t exposure to a greater number of people including sick clients.

Travel well by being well at home and you’ll have a buff immune system before you board.

For extra insurance you can begin boosting with a little higher dose of Vitamin C before you board. It’s a travel well tip my friend Dr. Robyn Benson gave in a Flipping 50 podcast. 

Get back on track! Identify the foods you love and love you at home so you can travel well too! Understand how to fit exercise into 10 or 20 minutes if that’s all you have! The best choice is to kick off your month with the 28 Day Kickstart. 

Your Fitness After 50: Right Now and In the Future

Fitness is so much more than what size you wear or your resting heart rate. It’s not about how fast or far you can go. It’s not a matter of what workout you’re going to do. 

Your fitness after 50 has the ability to decrease your risk of disease, increase your longevity and the number of years you live healthfully (your healthspan). It’s dependent on so much more than whether you go for a walk or lift weights today. This is the big picture. Your fitness after 50 will be influenced not just by exercise but by so many more things. I’m including a comprehensive list here. 

I encourage you to go through this list and see really consider how well you’re doing each. Here’s the Cliff notes list in case you’re in a hurry. You can jump down to read details about the ones that interest you most below.

your after 50 fitness

1. Lift Weights

Your fitness after 50 depends on muscle. Muscle is now recognized as a key factor in bone density- or prevention of osteoporosis, as well as increased metabolism, and necessary for thriving in life rather than simply preventing frailty. 

Increases in muscle through overload improve body composition.

It is no longer about the amount of time spent lifting weights.

The longer your weight lifting session the longer the rest between exercises and it is not about time it is about the intensity of the load.

Bone doesn’t benefit from “more” repetitions of lighter weight – only from heavy weight you can lift few times.

Quality not quantity matters. That is, reaching fatigue, not the number of repetitions nor how long you do it matters. Like we’ve seen results from as little as 6 minutes of high intensity exercise a week (intervals) we have seen muscle-fatigue-inducing strength exercises in minutes reap better results than hour-long classes. 

Strength and endurance benefits is necessary for the ability to do additional work of interval training that you will see offers big benefits. Weight lifting also increases bone density so that additional beneficial activity is safe. Any cardiovascular exercise is good for the circulatory system, but only weight training targets the skeletal system in a way specific to improving bone density.

In studies of weight training, interval training, and combined training weight training increases muscle mass and strength most. 

2. Move More: Exercise Less

Your fitness after 50 has less to do with cardio than you might think. Make cardio about your mitochondria and hormone balancing. Use your DNA.Studies show that men age 70 can reverse aging with mitochondria regeneration comparable to subjects in their 20s. Why is mitochondria important?

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of energy in the body. The aging process – if you do nothing – will negatively affect the production of mitochondria. Small doses of high intensity exercise have proven to support mitochondria function – by as much as double in three or four months in minutes a week. 

You will spend more energy all day by doing 2 training sessions a week than either one or three training sessions. That’s two sessions of strength, two sessions of intervals, and some additional exercise that’s more endurance based or simply a lot of movement daily. 

Samples of Intervals:

Perform 8 seconds on and 12 seconds of recovery 20 times. This is easiest to do on a bike, but it’s a challenge with almost any kind of exercise because it’s a very short amount of time to increase your work capacity to full out. Be sure your well warmed up before you begin. That’s a little over 2 and a half minutes of high intensity exercise. It’s been proven to increase fitness (in women in midlife). 

In the Wingate Test protocol you do 30 seconds of all out exercise and 2 minutes of recovery 4 times for a total of 2 minutes of work. You can run or power walk up hill or an incline, go as hard as possible on an elliptical or bike or do it in a pool. 

You can reduce time needed to exercise by doing these types of interval training sessions for 20 minutes twice a week (in addition to strength training twice a week), in order to have more energy for being active all day. The result is greater overall energy expenditure and reduced obesity and overweight. That’s less exercise and more movement. 

your after 50 fitness

3. Sleep Deep

If all you had to do was sleep more to lose weight would you go to bed sooner? Long sleepers compared to short sleepers lost more weight and more of the weight lost was fat (less muscle loss that is a natural occurrence with weight loss). Perimenopausal women all in the same weight loss program with similar status were subjects. So yes, it applies to you. 

The regeneration of the mind and the body that takes place at night is the glue that holds all your other positive habits together. Pad your sleep time like bookends with habits – a routine – that prepares you for better sleep every night. If you’re not sleeping at night, tell yourself it’s just that you haven’t prioritized it. 

Tell yourself that you haven’t yet found the right habits. Tell yourself that it’s possible to recondition and reset your circadian clock for better sleep. 

Hormones responsible for decreasing stress (cortisol and melatonin) and promoting lean muscle tissue (growth hormone and testosterone) require deep restful sleep. 

Eat carbohydrates later in the day, close the kitchen after dinner, get exposure to sunlight early in the day, and exercise – even 10 minutes daily improves sleep – just not too close to bedtime. 

Your fitness after 50 will be limited or supported by your sleep. 

4. Stress Less

If you have a rich life full of family, work, and activities you love, you’ve got stress. There’s no way around it. So this is no empty “lower your stress” advice. Embrace it! 

The only time you won’t have any, you’re close to dead. Your fitness after 50 is a dance between exercise stress and other stress in your life.

By increasing physical strength with the right exercise you enhance resilience

Increasing the joy factor (laughter, love, relationships, experiences)

Decreasing the toxic exposure (chemical exposure>food, water, air, products)

Physical stress from toxins, lack of sleep, dieting or over exercise, as well as emotional stress all contribute to your stress load. Control what you can. Small daily actions add up. 

What you’re taking out and what you put in both matter. Know that some of us do handle stress better than others naturally, but it’s also possible to adapt so you can handle stress better. If you have a strong “why,” what I call a “cry why,” that makes it all worthwhile, it helps. Make sure there is purpose to your life in ways you need it. Exercise is a big part of increasing your resilience to all kinds of stressors.

Boost removal of toxins stored in your body by gradually adding more fiber. Start with this healthy chia pudding recipe. Use this base or start getting creative with your own ideas. 

Chia Pudding

Ingredients: 

Instructions:

Pour the chia seeds into a bowl. Blend the protein powder and milk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the chia seeds. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy. This high protein pudding can double as a breakfast or a post-workout snack, depending on your goals and needs. Either way, it’s a craving killer that can satisfy you for hours. Make a couple and take one with you when you travel. Pop it into an insulated bag. Don’t forget the spoon! 

5. Get a Community

Socialize with people doing what you do or want to do, thinking the way you think or want to, you soon change your thinking>actions>habits and life

We know it to be true of cults and in scientific experiments.

Research tells us that resistance to change both internal and external is one of the greatest obstacles we have. When you’re surrounded by peopledoing what you’re doing or what you want to be doing you are more successful. 

If you have kids you know this one well. Remember how important it was that your kid’s friends were good kids? It’s no different for you.

It’s not that you won’t have resistance to change, but when you have more people going the same direction around you that resistance has less chance of stopping you. Your fitness after 50 is a factor of who you surround yourself with. Who do you spend the most time with? 

6. Stop Your Limiting Beliefs

You’ve first got to identify that you have thinking that’s holding you back.  That’s part of joining a community or having a coach. How else would you know? 

Next, you have to want to change. In the past 25 years many women (who were only doing body weight exercise) ask about body weight exercises for bone density and changes in body composition. When I share the science there are about 50% that will respond, I’m going to stick to my body weight exercises, thank you. 

Your fitness after 50 can’t be better than the expectations you have for it. 

If you believe something is true, the biology of that belief, (it’s not just a thought), has the potential to change the expression of your DNA. If there is any tendency for it to happen genetically, your belief will be fertilizing it. Or you can pull a bad weed by believing and acting in a way that won’t allow a genetic predisposition to occur.

I’m sharing the example of the famous hotel maids study in our masterclass to illustrate this. 

7.  Start Amplifying Your Good Habits

The thought that a good habit is good for you (like going for a walk every day) makes it more beneficial. If you remind yourself that by being busy at work even if you have a fairly sedentary job is good for your brain health and lifting weights over your lunch hour three days a week is keeping you fit the affirmation and belief has the potential to enhance your memory and the benefits of strength training sessions. 

If we could test you for 8 weeks with your normal habits, and then test again after 8 weeks of thinking it was true, science has proven that you would experience all the benefits of weight training (strength, endurance, decreased body fat, increased muscle tissue) more significantly during the second eight weeks. 

That famous hotel maids study illustrates this point perfectly, too. (Are you getting invites to join my free monthly masterclass? You can get the juicy stuff I only share via email here.) 

Your fitness after 50, therefore, can improve without more time and energy, so long as you’re already employing good habits. 

your fitness after 50

8. Cook Your Own Food

Almost anything you eat out of convenience (with a few exceptions popping up) is going to have more sodium, sugar, and saturated fat than you would cook at home. Further, even the salad bar is not safe with chemicals added to the greens to preserve them. 

On average eating out increases caloric intake by 200 more calories per meal. If you eat out the average 5.8 times a week, that’s 1160 more calories a week – of more saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. Your fitness after 50 will be enhanced by the right nutrition and sabotaged by poor nutrition. 

In addition to cooking at home, eat slow. Eating fast – the 20-30 minutes per meal Americans spend on average… often rushed, checking email, means you don’t even have the enzymes to digest food, leading to digestion and elimination issues. 

your after 50 fitness

9. Stop Making Excuses 

Nearly every excuse you give for not exercising is a reason to exercise. You have achy joints and muscles… exercise. You are afraid of falling or getting injured… exercise. You never have enough time… exercise. You are too tired… exercise. 

Ask, do I want that to be true?

I’ve been there. Married with kids, jobs, and a dog. Single parent with a house, a yard, two jobs, constant contact to hundreds of clients and students, writing a book, training for an Ironman, at every golf meet. I know about busy. Don’t talk to me about busy. You just decide. 

10. Stop Thinking Its Optional 

If you were sick and needed lifesaving medicine, you wouldn’t dream of not taking it. Exercise prevents nearly every major disease. Why get it in the first place? 

The terms Exercise is Medicine, and Food is Medicine have both become not just mantras and memes but scientific solutions to contemporary problems. 

If you develop a daily regime of movement your fitness after 50 will improve. Your commitment to the exercise gets easier. When adults who exercise regularly don’t get their regular dose, they don’t feel as good, sleep as well, think as clearly or handle stress as well. 

You can become one of those people.

your fitness after 50

11. Stop Doing More of What Doesn’t Work

When you’re not getting results from your current exercise program, there is no logic whatsoever in doing MORE of it. Increasing frequency and or duration of exercise is often the first default. Women assume that it’s their fault and they need to exercise more. But more exercise that isn’t already making you feel good… is certainly not going to make you feel great. 

If you’re not seeing and feeling better from the exercise you do now, don’t increase the frequency of it expecting to see better results.

Improving your fitness after 50 isn’t about doing “more” if it’s going in the wrong direction. Check in with your exercise prescription now and be sure it is in alignment with your needs and not based on some arbitrary governmental recommendation or you 20 years ago. 

If you’re exercising all the time, you may need to stop!  Doing less can be smarter. Figure out some other way to pacify or calm yourself. 

12. Eat Protein On a Per Meal Basis 

It is no longer a grams per kilogram body weight, or a total at the end of the day, or worse a percent of your total diet. It’s a much more user-friendly meal-based number of grams of protein. 

Early and continued research by Rasmussen and Jones and now an expanding number of protein experts both from exercise science and nutrition are coming together on this. 

Much of this research compared younger and older adults to each other. Older adults actually needed more, not less, due to decreased muscle protein synthesis. Your fitness after 50 is dependent on muscle. No matter what else you want to do or measure of fitness you want to improve you’ve got to have protein, the building block of muscle in order to enjoy optimal fitness. 

your fitness after 50

13. Identify Your Personal Food Blueprint

Your stress level, prior eating history, exercise, exposure to foods that cause inflammation all influence your personal ability to breakdown food and digest it optimally. 

While it’s true few individuals have Celiac disease, many functional doctors who work with women in midlife recommend omitting dairy and gluten because they find that 90% of their female patients feel better when they do. 

You can test for yourself on several levels. Your body never lies. So removing and reintroduction is a step I recommend every woman do. Lab testing can confirm or reveal additional information. DNA testing can show what may be true of you and encourage greater commitment to solutions. Testing: 

Use“Genes” for DNA testing 20% off (ends Dec. 20)

“28for10” for the 28-Day Kickstart January 

“Flipping50” for $20 off your Micronutrient testing at yourlabwork.com/flipping-50

14. Identify Your Personal Fitness Plan

The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women is about optimal hormone balance. A 2 x 2 program following a foundation of hormone reset optimally improves fitness and negates the negative effects of stress that can occur from exercise. 

From your DNA, and your personal preference or dread, you can determine the best way to spend your exercise time to get optimal results. Your fitness after 50 journey should be fun, uplifting, and exciting. If you haven’t found those activities or motivators keep looking! 

15. Rest During the Day to Sleep Better at Night 

What’s referred to as “wired and tired” can be avoided by avoiding the feast or famine adrenalin rollercoaster most of us are on during the day. 

If you’re constantly in fight-or-flight mode your body can lose the ability to rest-and-relax. Those systems, your sympathetic and parasympathetic system are meant to balance and in contemporary life, unless you override the constant on call and unplug, they fail to work correctly. 

Fight-or-flight will eventually begin to store fat for you to protect you. Rest-and-relax won’t work at night if you’ve not balanced that on and off switch during the day. 

It works occasionally: it was meant to, but unfortunately, we’ve turned life into constant flight-or-flight. 

your fitness after 50

16. Exchange Your Placebos for Real Energy  

Reaching for sugar and caffeine to wind up and wine to wind down or numb yourself all increase your weight, interfere with your sleep, and accelerate aging. 

Caffeine consumption – if it’s abundant – is actually related to weight gain. It increases insulin resistance and signals your body to crave glucose-containing foods because it reduces blood sugar. 

The simple advice is this. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re no longer hungry. Sleep when you’re tired. Drink before you’re thirsty. When you’re upset with someone have the difficult conversation. 

If you’re not doing that, start. If you’ve ignored the urge to go to the bathroom, the need to drink more water, the need for sleep you’ll need to retrain your brain to pay attention. 

One more energy placebo is adrenalin. You know you’re operating on adrenalin if you’re always waiting ‘til the last minute, or adding something to your to-do list, you’ve always got a dozen projects and your pushing to get something done. You’re always running late, or close to it. You might complain about it, but you actually don’t know how to exist with sustained stable energy. 

Unlearning your old habits and replacing them with new ones can reverse aging, increase energy and you can start feeling it in days or weeks. 

Have you got a story to tell about your fitness after 50 journey? I love to hear from you. Our community is inspired to hear real stories of people defying old limiting beliefs! 

Resources: 

https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2012798

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28373411
 
https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-choices-health/food-consumption-demand/food-away-from-home.aspx

Hot, Not Bothered: 99 Daily Flips for Slimmer, Trimmer, Fitter Faster So That You Can Master Metabolism Before, During, and (Long) After Menopause 

You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula for Women

Ever wonder why you train and you eat right but you’re not seeing that reflection in the mirror you want? This post is about results of my DNA test and how it’s given me – even a 34-year medical fitness expert and strength & conditioning coach– insight into exercise, nutrition, and recovery habits – that have in a very short time boosted my fitness level.

my dna test resultsMy DNA Test Reveal

Get fit faster, in less time. That’s the dream for so many of my clients. Granted you may really enjoy exercise and like training but there’s a better chance that until you turn a corner on feeling better you aren’t quite there yet

Whether you are a woman who wants to reclaim her body or you are one who wants to see what her body is capable of in this second (and make-it-better) half, this is for you!

If you find yourself dealing with a chronic injury or one after the other and stuck in a rut repeating the same kind of exercise and nutrition habits without better results, this is for you too.

Before I dive in, I want to remind you who I am. I do love exercise. I wish I had more time to not have to “bookend” workouts with appointments and obligations. I do though. That’s just the moment I’m in and I choose it, so it’s OK! That said, if you don’t have the time to exercise, maybe don’t love it, this makes me a little more like you. I don’t love a lot of things about exercise right now: the shoving it in when I’ve got too many other things to do; the fact that it seems like a chore instead of a pleasure some times. I know and have for 36 years that I never regret it and always feel better/work better/am me better after. Even then I suppose I’m tied to doing rather than being, which… is an entire other post for another day.

I’ve studied exercise physiology, kinesiology, and hormones, and I’ve listened to myself for 34 years. (exercise & sport psychologists tend to be good at that) And I had a lot of things right. But there is more.

I’ve learned from a simple swab on the inside of my cheeks that either confirmed things I was doing already, informed me of things I should be doing, and suggested things that will make my 2019 the most fit year of my life.

Are you, by the way, interested in having your fittest year too? (Hop down to the bottom of the post!)

And since September when I began applying changes? I’ve lost a few pounds and enhanced my energy level… without much effort. (Oddly, sometimes I find myself thinking, huh… usually I’m tired about now… and I’m just not!)

my dna test results

Can you tell which one of these I share DNA with?

My DNA Test Results Confirmed

>>I “rise & rest early.”

Yes, yes, I do. Always have. I smile in fact when people tell me, “I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning…” or even, “I woke at 4 today…” because I’m like… and?  I’ve always liked getting a head start on the day. On the flip side, I have been known to go to bed before it’s completely dark in summer.

>>My current supplements D3, Omega 3, Probiotics, C, and multivitamin of choice are right on target. They’re related to metabolism and stress so it makes sense for women in midlife to be aware of possible deficiencies.

>>I need a little more D (it comes up in several areas of my DNA results) so my habit of taking 3000 IU daily I’m actually bumping up during winter months. Though there’s ample sunshine here, I tend not to get out nearly as much in the winter so I’ll be missing D from sunshine.

>>I am predisposed to gluten sensitivity. This has helped me feel committed not crazy. Know what I mean? You have the suspicion you feel so much better without it but no confirmation on that …and its harder to follow through. Now it’s easy. I thought this for a long time and it will inevitably creep in because I don’t have Celiac I don’t have to be so careful, but I know now to ask and be more careful.

>>Carbs of choice for me (as for all women flipping 50) are important. For me there’s higher risk of obesity due to insulin response. Supplementing with Conjugated ALA supports insulin so I can keep an eye on a few things. If for example I had belly fat not budging in spite of quality sleep and exercise for instance, I would consider supplementing.

>The best way to enhance my fitness level is … endurance activity. So in spite of interval training benefits and anaerobic (weights) training, which science tells us balance hormones optimally (by negating negative effects of cortisol while working magic), I personally want to slide that to a smaller percentage of my exercise time. Longer bikes, hikes, runs and swims will do my body a fitter faster good. For someone who did a single sprint triathlon, two Olympic-distance tris, and then moved right on to Ironman distance and never looked back? This is no surprise.

>My sleep habits are right on target! Excusing myself early from parties is smart! I have a higher sensitivity to blue light. Since I am predisposed to a shorter sleep length and deep sleep (which was one big surprise my DNA results delivered: this confirms my habits make this no problem at all: win!) The blue light glasses I got my son for Christmas should likely be on my own list. Done.

my dna test resultsMy DNA Test Results Informed

>>Even though I deal with stress like a “warrior” and endurance exercise is my jam, I am predisposed to oxidative stress and more prone to ligament and tendon injury. What’s that tell me? Fit the yoga in girl. Keep up with strength training. Warm up and cool down like a boss. Doing hills? (hello, I live in the mountains) longer warm up and occasionally a drive to a flat is not silly, it’s smart. I also want to increase antioxidants in my life. Keep taking that vitamin C and collagen.

>>A high fat diet is not my best friend. For me there is an increased association of saturated fat and obesity. Along that thread high protein and more carbs (resistant starches and plant-based nutrition) will fill my energy needs. I’ve never had a problem with a higher carbohydrate diet as long as protein was also higher. The place where this resolves the most confusion is during longer training. I do better with a higher protein and carb combination than I do one too high in fat. Though I’ve experimented with shifting my ability to use fat at higher levels of intensity, my body’s preference is carb. A hike? Fats are fine. A long run or bike ride? I’m going to need carbs.

>>I have a predisposition for choline deficiency. Interestingly this is tied to liver enzyme levels.Last year mine were off for reasons we never really detected given my lifestyle doesn’t suggest anything that would contribute. Supplementing with choline however wasn’t suggested. I did stop drinking tap water which could have heavy metals in it, and used infrared sauna regularly (gladly!) I will keep tabs on my choline and liver enzymes and have this information to use if needed.

>>I’m more subject to oxidative stress. Taking conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) can benefit me in a few ways. Reducing oxidative stress I can decrease risk of injury. CLA also supports a decrease in body fat.

>My higher homocysteine levels revealed in my recent lab tests are genetic. I have less frustration now over why I would have these levels given my healthy habits. So I’m adding probiotics, folate, and Betaine HCL to my regime consistently to see if a focused effort for three months will reduce homocysteine (an inflammation marker).

my dna resultsMy DNA Test Results Suggested

>>A twice annually micronutrients test will be helpful to determine my levels in order to adjust my micronutrients. Since I already order a full panel of tests annually and this is such a simple daily habit to enhance lifetime health, I’m in. I’ll test again at the beginning of the year, adjust if needed, and retest in the summer.

>>I want to check my B vitamins, D levels, Omega fat ratios, and magnesium levels specifically.

The goal is to take supplements I need and eliminate those you don’t. It’s not a one and done kind of thing however, your body’s needs changes with activity, stress, rest in this integrated thing called life. Your body simply can’t have a thriving metabolism or balanced hormones if you’re not getting or absorbing micronutrients.

It’s two months since getting my results and implementing changes (or simply following through better with existing habits). I’ve lost a few pounds without really trying and my fitness level has improved, not measured from testing but in energy. So much energy.

I’m not done though. Beginning January 1, 2019 will be my fittest year. I’m committing to it and to myself. I want to see what difference a year of focused training makes at 54-55 on speed, VO2, body fat, lean muscle, and cholesterol, heart rate and of course, hormone levels.

I’ll assess my fitness, health, and wellness throughout the year, including hormones, micronutrients, VO2, body composition, and health markers so I can adjust as needed. I’ll be posting about it in so many ways, beginning January 1.

Want to join me and create your fittest year ever with me as your coach? Here’s how to get started.

Watch this.(all the way to the end!)

Or skip to the order form.

Register for I’m all in or (12) monthly installments.(contact me for no-interest 12 pay)

P.S.I hear your resistance because I’ve got it too. If you’re thinking this just sounds like a long list of supplements I have to take, it does. I think it’s fair to ask why we don’t question the increased toxic exposure we have, the increased pace of life, and decreased time to relax and yet still think we don’t need a little help from the positive side.

The elephant in the room… no one ever said to me, “I love taking supplements.” But I’ve heard hundreds of thousands of women say, “I like feeling good,” or “I want to feel good.” Testing helps you see what’s true right now about why you don’t feel as good as you could. Whether it’s a complete panel, micronutrients, food sensitivity, or it’s DNA or all of them, when you know better you do better.

Are you flipping this second half with me? I’d love to hear which tools (DNA testing, full lab panels,  micronutrient testing, food sensitivity testing you’re using to stop guessing and get great results!)

Ready to Test? This Month it’s a great gift for yourself or someone else! Choose from GOLD, PLATINUM, or ELITE. Click here or the image to learn more about each. use code: genes for 20% off right now!! Includes a personalized results form and full session with me to go over recommendations. Limited time offer!

Debating “Real Food” vs. Smoothies?

Compared to other nutritious choices green smoothies give you some of the best value for nutrient dense calories and for cost.

The cost of a green smoothie is about $4 for 16-32 ounces.

Plus you get fiber, fat, protein AND several servings of vegetables and fruit in one convenient and quick meal. To make it just a little bit easier to save, use this 10% off coupon right now. It’s GOODFOOD10 (You can save 15% every day on your order of 6 or more at a time: round up your girlfriends!)

A plateful of cooked veggies plus protein, plus healthy fat OR a salad could cost you 2 or 3 times that and take 4 times the two minutes a smoothie takes to make (including clean up). Even then it may not have the same nutrient-density you can pack into a smoothie.

You can choose from dozens of ways to boost the nutrient-density of your smoothies with ideas right here. You can even support your hormone balance further by adding some adaptogens (hormone-balancing ingredients that work when you need them) listed here.

The secret to loving the body you live in now and having longevity later is eating moderate amounts of the highest nutrient dense foods. In other words, make every bite, or sip or spoonful, count.

smoothies

Recover Better With A Smoothie

I’ve had a smoothie following tough workouts or runs since I was 31, that’s 23 years and counting. For almost that long it’s been my go-to breakfast or even lunch if I’m on a tight schedule. That all was long before I knew I some day wouldn’t synthesize protein as well and would want every boost possible. But then I fell in love with the way I felt and the rest was history.

I’ve used a lot of commercial protein powders – before I realized the chemicals and sweeteners lurking in some of those I used for too long. Then there was the discovery that estrogen dominance was much more likely using soy powders (and other soy products). I ditched those years ago.

I swore I’d never… famous last words… carry protein supplements. Frankly, dealing with products and inventory, depending on suppliers and delivery trucks is not a party. But it’s the only way I feel comfortable recommending something that is void of toxins and increases your results. Muscle IS the organ of longevity. Micronutrients have to be present in adequate amounts to produce hormones. Without hormones exercise and nutrition can’t work.

To combat muscle loss that will otherwise happen with age you’ve got to LIFT right, REST right, and eat adequate protein along with a veggie-rich diet at each of three meals. If you struggle to gain lean muscle, you’re already frail, or you’ve got evidence of collagen losses (crepe skin) you will benefit from a protein powder that’s also rich in collagen.

smoothies

There is no shortcut to keeping or rebuilding muscle you’ve lost. It’s not personal opinion. It’s science, and it’s proven in the 34 years I’ve trained older adults. If you’re muscle and fat percentages are not as good (or better) as they were when you were 30, the first place I look is your nutrition. The second is your exercise, and third your recovery.

Green Recovery Smoothie

Ingredients:

Blend. (save $20 and shipping)

Where to Start?

First time with protein shakes and smoothies? My bestseller is vanilla Plant Power. Vanilla is just versatile! If you’re feeling like a tropical mango smoothie is your jam it works, and if you want to add cacao for a chocolate treat, you can do that too. It’s no surprise though that Chocolate Paleo Power is my next bestseller. Add a dollup of nut butter and half a frozen banana and you’ve got yourself a chunky monkey craving killer. [recipes here]

Perfect Craving Killer

Did you know that protein + fiber kills cravings? Yep. It’s proven in study after study. Women with higher fiber intake tend to have less fat too. Fiber sweeps toxins from your body where they otherwise get stored in fat, making fat harder to lose. That’s your body protecting you from allowing toxins to circulate in your body. Adding chia seeds, ground flax, or Fiber Boost to smoothies is an easy way to bump your fiber intake starting in the morning.

Where’s the Texture?

Can’t imagine being satisfied with a liquid meal? (Have you seen my smoothie bowl? It’s pretty rich, thick and creamy!) I can’t imagine not having smoothies! But still, this is valid concern for some of my Flipping 50 students. The answer is, have your solid meal and a side shake to get that protein and fiber level up. A plateful of veggies and eggs plus a shake or a bowl of oats with protein stirred in is a stick-to-your ribs-not-your-hips way to feel good ‘til lunch.

Join us for a happier New Year!

Want to kick your year off with healthy smoothie recipes and real food made in realistic time for busy women? Join the kickstart! It’s on sale for the New Year for a limited time only. Only for January 2019 and it ends soon.


smoothies

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.

belly fat loss after 50

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.

Trouble Getting Motivated? Feed Yourself Fiber First

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.

Recognize Your Sugar Intake

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.

Eat Protein for Breakfast

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.

Higher skeletal muscle is associated with higher protein intake and lower body fat in post menopausal women. 

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.

Boost Omega 3

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.

belly fat loss after 50

Go Gluten-free and Add Pro and Probiotics

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.

Everything in Moderation?

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.

Shift to Resistant Starches

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.

belly fat after 50Avoid Caloric Restriction without Quality Control

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.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

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.

What?

Yes.

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.

Good Night, Hottie!

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”!)belly fat loss after 50

 

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