- Using the Scale to Measure Success
Body composition matters most. When you lose weight its part fat and part muscle. The way you lose weight determines how much muscle you lose. By ignoring body composition you set yourself up for more fat in the long run. We lose a combination of fat and muscle. If we regain weight after a “diet” it is 100% fat. That cycle of lose, gain over the years has increased your fat.
Get your weight, your body composition (know your fat and lean muscle weight) and your measurements. Weigh and measure weekly. Measure body fat every 6-8 weeks.
- Counting Calories
Hormones, not calories, control weight. At one time science taught that weight loss was a mathematical equation. Burn more calories than you take in and you’ll lose weight. New information that we have now proves this completely wrong.
Your body on a diet is stressed. Cortisol together with insulin result in fat storage. The ability to burn fat when you diet severely is reduced. Temporary results usually result in weight regain that far surpasses the loss. When you eat less you tell your body to burn less. It does. Slowing your metabolism then going “off” your calorie counting diet will mean you eat far more now than your newly slowed metabolism use. So you store it.
The quality of your calories matters much more than the quantity. We’re finding now that high fat diets result in lower fat people. By default that’s going to mean higher calorie foods.
- Going Low or No Fat
This is a sidekick to low calorie. The result is inflammation. While once we did think eating fat makes you fat, and eating cholesterol containing foods raises cholesterol it’s no longer a steadfast science-based rule.
Fat is crucial if you want to create a physical environment with less inflammation as well as an emotional environment that leaves you satisfied after a meal.
- Everything in Moderation
Some foods just don’t fit anywhere in your diet. There are general rules we all need to live by. Msg, arsenic, heavy metals – these things in our foods should be avoided yet they are a part of ingredients of every day foods including some protein powders – which you’re taking for health purposes!
You need to identify your own food sensitivities and eliminate those foods at least temporarily. The internal damage to your gut health reduces absorption of nutrients leading to greater risk of disease.
- Overdoing Cardio
If you’re a woman who exercises there’s a strong chance you do more cardio than is optimal. Too much elevates cortisol levels, increases inflammation, and if you’re already stressed and tired puts your adrenals at risk.
Yes, exercise, but at the right time, intensity, and duration according to your hormones and health not according to a text book.
- Not Lifting Weights or Lifting Without a Plan
Strength training is a woman’s best fat-fighting friend. Too little weight provides too little stimulus to muscles to either create shapely, lean tone or help boost metabolism for fat burning.
Women tend to follow the same routine without change for too long or do random exercises in random order. Your large muscle groups determine your metabolism to a greater extent than small muscles. So, while you may want to do arm exercises to go sleeveless, you’ll have an easier time getting shorts on and your shirt buttoned with squats, lunges, pressing and pulling exercises for major muscle groups.
- Thinking If You Can’t Exercise You Can’t Lose
Nutrition is responsible for 80% of success. Inactive women can be just as slender and slim as athletes as long as they eat well. It’s not the hour of exercise a day that matters most for metabolism and long term weight control. Non Exercise Activity Time (N.E.A.T.) is showing up more and more in studies as the key to fighting obesity.
If you can’t do all exercise there is likely something that you can do. If you’re restricted by a joint or body part strength train with the rest. Avoid impact with bicycling, water walking, or swimming.
- Eliminating Foods without Adding Micronutrients
Your body is a machine and all parts need to function properly. If you’re missing just one micronutrient it affects your body’s ability to function. It may also affect your absorption of other nutrients.
- Timing Your Food Wrong
Timing is everything. Good foods at the wrong time can be detrimental to weight management. Carbs are necessary but you’re eating them at the wrong time to balance hormones. It’s counter intuitive, but if you’re stressed you will do better shifting carbs to later in the day.
The amount of protein you need is specific per meals not based on a total per day. Not everyone needs to snack.Eat to work with your hormones, remember, not about activity and calories.
- Ignoring Sleep Needs
Exercise all you want and eat as clean as you want, without sleep you won’t lose fat weight. The difference between longer sleepers and short, deprived sleepers in both weight loss, and specifically the amount of weight loss that is fat is dramatic. Sixty percent of the weight lost by short-term sleepers is muscle. That is not going to help your case. Think of sleep as your secret weight loss weapon.
Stay tuned for the follow up blog where I’ll share some of the steps I use in The After 50 Fitness Formula course to break these old diet cycles and rev up your metabolism. Slow now doesn’t mean slow forever.
For over 30-years as a Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, I’ve worked with women and have helped thousands crack the code to weight loss after 40. It can work for you too.