Are you following diet plan after diet plan or you’re “eating right” and exercising, but still aren’t seeing the results you want or maybe you just can’t seem to lose that belly pooch? As women over 40, we’ve tried every trending and latest and greatest diet plan under the sun, right, but regardless of what you’re doing, the scales keep rising, you want to tone up and can’t seem to lose body fat? AmmIRight?
The answer may as simple as the common things you do over the course of an average day—those habits we think may be the exact thing we should be doing to lose weight, but may be in fact sabotaging all your weight loss efforts.
Of the hundreds of women I’ve coached one on one and in weight loss groups, these are the top culprits each of them shared in common that resulted in a weight loss plateau, or even worse, caused them to gain weight all while they were putting their best foot forward in actually trying to lose it.
Too Much Sugar
Even if you’re trying to ‘eat right’ or ‘watch what you eat’, too often we forget to pay attention to detail. For example, we may spend way too much focus on counting calories or portion sizes but don’t take into consideration where those calories come from or how those nutrients are broken down in our body, mainly sugar.
Taking in too much sugar in the form of fruit juices/drinks, fruit-filled yogurt, granola or protein bars can quickly sabotage even our best weight loss efforts….products that may even be advertised as healthy.
Here’s why: While sugar is needed for the body to have energy (this energy not only comes from obvious sugars, but also starches), sugar is still sugar. When we eat sugar, it causes a rise in our blood sugar, causes insulin to be released and insulin causes fat storage. #boom Nuf’ said?
A good rule of thumb is to always pair your fruit with a protein and fiber. Eating these together will slow down the absorption of that sugar and help you also feel fuller, longer.
Too Much Cardio
You’ve become a gym rat, and running on that treadmill would impress the best of them, but unfortunately, too much cardio will not only cause you not to lose weight, it can increase your stress hormones and cause you to gain weight.
Muscle fuels metabolism and by doing too much cardio only (especially when you’re not eating enough to feed those muscles), without any weight/resistant training along with it, you are burning and whittling away your muscle which >>> fuels metabolism, therefore your metabolism will slow, you’re muscles will weaken and you’ll gain fat.
The solution? Consider shorter, but higher intensity workouts that include a mix of both strength and resistant training and cardio.
Did you know your thyroid is responsible for your metabolism and energy? So if your thyroid is a bit helter-skelter, then it stands to reason that your metabolism and energy levels will also be helter-skelter as well.
Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland is not producing enough of those two hormones to keep your body functioning like it should. Research shows that the leading cause of low functioning thyroid is auto-immune or Hashimoto’s Disease.
When your thyroid levels are slow, just think about everything in your body is slowed down. I liken your thyroid function to a gas pedal. Pedal to the metal? Then everything is racing (your heart rate, your energy, you may be skinny as a rail regardless of what you eat, and you may have diarrhea). But if there’s no pressure on the gas pedal, then everything is just the opposite and slowed down.
Too Much Stress
Changes occur in both the brain and the body that encourage weight gain during periods of stress. You may have heard of the “fight or flight” response that occurs when we are stressed. The brain signals the adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol that helps release sugar into the bloodstream, a slower metabolism and increase in blood pressure…all to gain instant energy so you can well….either fight or flight.
So with constant levels of high stress resulting in a constant flow of cortisol you can predict the damaging effects it can have on your body: high blood sugar, slow metabolism, fat storage, weight gain, Adrenal Fatigue and even Heart Disease.
You’re Not Eating Enough
This is a common thread that runs through most of my weight loss clients. Too often the standard American way of dieting is to cut back or watch our portion control. But in reality, this is far from the truth. Anytime we cut back too much or follow calorie restrictive diets, our body will hold on to whatever energy and fuel supply it can in order to preserve itself. I liken it to ‘storing up for the winter’ because, in a sense, that’s exactly what the body thinks you’re doing–holding out on it. And with that, it’s going to slow your metabolism and hold on to any extra body fat it can to use for energy.
Poor Gut Health
Don’t lose me just yet! Having a healthy and active digestive system is critical to not only your health but also your weight loss. You’ve probably heard the saying that 70% of your immune system lies in your gut right? And guess what? It’s true!
Your colon is not a solid pipe – it’s semi-permeable, meaning that what flows in also flows out. Ok that’s a nasty visual, but it’s still the case. When we have too much junk in the trunk, think about that visual and what could be flowing out….literally releasing toxic waste into your system. No wonder we are sick with immune disorder and inflammation! Our body is fighting our own toxins simply because our digestive system isn’t working daily like it should be. Eweee.
Nutrition is also affected when there’s not enough eh, hem activity going on in the colon. If there’s too much blockage and gunk built up, even your best ditch efforts at taking in good, fresh nutrients can be hindered because the nutrients can’t be absorbed through the gunk.
Do any of those resonate with you? Could you be an unintentional victim of these weight loss busters?
Finally, a permanent solution to achieve your weight loss results.
Through my own struggle with poor health and floundering with my own ups and downs with what to eat, I have found the solution to losing weight, losing body fat, losing inches and keeping it off….all while still feeling good and not feeling deprived and have put that together in a complete weight loss guide for women over 40. I’m determined to feel good (instead of worse) as I get older. We are not destined to poor health or a life of inactivity and obesity just because we’re aging. Aging is inevitable, but the rate and speed at which we age is solely up to us and in our control.
Our health is not a right, but a choice.