How to Stay Fit After 40
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 24, #1 2016
By: Julia Lohre
Fit women over 40… are they really just genetic anomalies who miraculously keep their six pack abs well into their 40’s and 50’s?
Do they spend hours upon hours in the gym sculpting the perfect butt and snacking on celery…. Well, if you have ever wondered how to stay fit after 40, I have some really good news for you. It is absolutely possible. In fact, I am proof. Just before I turned 46 this year, I took part in the fitness photo shoot that ended up on the cover of the newest FITBODY Magazine.
As an online fitness coach and entrepreneur running the full FITBODY brand, I work every day with women. Your time is tight. Most women do not have the luxury of spending hours upon hours a day working out. Food-wise, we want to enjoy our food and to be able to EAT! Personally, I happen to like celery, but l am also partial to the occasional burger and wine.
So how do you do it? How do you stay fit when you are heading into menopause with hormones shifting, skin sagging and energy waining? Whether you are noticing that it is easier to gain weight now or that the same old tricks that helped you drop that last 10 pounds before just don’t work, let me share with you some of my best fitness secrets…
Start the Morning the Right Way
Breaking that fast first thing in the morning might not be in vogue with the latest intermittent fasting gurus, but what I can tell you is that including a healthy breakfast packed with protein has been the recommendation of health experts and doctors for ages. And for good reasons. A healthy morning meal can curb early afternoon hunger helping you avoid that snack attack mid-day.
There is also something deeply profound about starting your morning in a positive direction. When you eat a healthy breakfast you set the rest of your day on track to keep making healthy choices. Additionally, high protein breakfast foods are recommended for women as they enter menopause because of their high protein and iron content. Over the last month, I have started each day with 2 scoops of Beverly International’s PBP (Plant-Based-Protein) with 12 ounces of almond milk and a few ice cubes. Literally the best plant-based protein I have ever tried. I crave it every morning!
Fill Up on Fruits & Veggies
Fit women know that vegetables and fruits are nutritional gems with tons of nutrients and super low calories. And talk about fiber. Veggies in particular are super filling and help stave off hunger allowing you to eat less total calories in your quest to stay fit over 40. I suggest filling your plate half full of veggies for lunch and dinner meals and then including fruits as a snack 2-4 times a day. Fruits, like grapefruit and berries along with leafy green vegetables tend to be excellent choices.
Load Calories Earlier in the Day
While the quality of your food is most important, there are benefits to eating the majority of your calories and carbs early in the day if you want to stay fit over 40. Ideally try to get in about 70% of your daily calories before 4 pm.
Be Your Own Chef
Whether you realize it or not, restaurants load seemingly healthy options with extra oil, sugar and butter that can add up calories quickly. They also have ridiculously large portion sizes that can derail your best efforts to stay fit and healthy. While you don’t want to avoid eating out altogether, be sure that most of your meals are cooked at home in your own kitchen. When you are in control of your food preparation, you make better choices.
Watch Your Calorie Intake
We all know that eating too many calories causes weight gain but did you know that too little calories can be just as damaging to your metabolism. Finding that happy medium where you are taking in enough to fuel your workouts and day, but not so much that you add fat, takes some balance. I recommend women that want to lose body fat start with their resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns at rest) and adding 200-300 to account for daily activity. Be sure you are also exercising at least 30 mins every day. If you are trying to stay fit and more so want to maintain, take your resting metabolic rate and add 500-700 calories. Tracking your calories with an app like My Fitness Pal helps you pay attention to your food and make better choices for the long haul.
Avoid Sugar, Except in Moderation
Sugar is enemy number one for fit women over 40. Sugary coffee drinks, sodas, juices, desserts, energy drinks… no matter where it comes from added sugar spikes your insulin and causes serious cravings. Cut back on sugar to avoid adding bodyfat. Making the jump to water or zero-cal drinks can also lower your risk for disease like diabetes.
Wine Once a Week
While there is some research that moderate alcohol intake can be beneficial for certain groups, the bottom line is that most alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories that lower your inhibitions and make you more susceptible to snacking. Have you ever noticed that your will power to avoid those fancy cheese and crackers seems nonexistent after a few drinks? Women should keep alcohol consumption limited. I recommend having 1-3 drinks once a week if you really want to stay on track.
Fire Up Your Metabolism
Pound for pound, muscle burns more than double the amount of calories fat does while your body is at rest. While you may think of cardio as fat burning, putting on more muscle will actually help you burn more fat while you sleep or sit on the couch. This is key for a speedy metabolism because even the most active woman likely spends more time sitting and sleeping than moving.
Over 40, there’s a pretty simple rule when it comes to your muscles: you have to use them or you’ll lose them. While nutrition is a very important part of the picture, in order to maintain, let alone build muscle mass, you need to be lifting weights. Your muscles are constantly going through a state of being broken down and rebuilt. That’s part of life. Your muscles grow when the amount of protein synthesized within them eclipses the amount that is broken down.
People naturally lose muscle after 40, especially women after menopause. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, this can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to shake those stubborn pounds. Strength-training exercises like lifting weights can help you keep those muscles. I recommend that you train with weights at least three days per week, and preferably five.
Have Your Thyroid Checked
If you’re eating healthy and exercise regularly and are still finding you can’t lose weight, your thyroid may not be working as it should. This happens in a small percentage of people, and it’s most common over 40. In addition to weight gain, it can also cause fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and depression. There are medications that can help, so check with your doctor if you think that might be an issue.
Include the RIGHT Supplements
For the last 20 years I have diligently included Beverly International supplements in my own overall health plan and recommended them to thousands of women for two reasons. One, because Beverly literally has the highest quality supplements on earth and two, because they simply work. I have seen consistent, solid results from their time tested, no nonsense formulas. There is a reason that Beverly has been around so long when many supplement companies have come and gone over the last few decades.
You can count on Beverly to deliver for you again and again. Truly, finding Beverly changed my life all those years ago and I count on them to support me and my clients for the next 20 years as well!
A must-have for women and offers a unique formula that works in two ways to create a metabolic environment optimal for getting lean. First, it helps your body transport fat released from adipose tissue to other tissues like your liver and muscles where it can be burned as fuel. Second, it helps your metabolism handle carbohydrates more effciently. Personally I find I have significantly less cravings for sweets when I take Lean Out regularly.
GH Factor supports healthy growth hormone (GH) secretion, naturally, with a clinically based blend of arginine and lysine. This combination of amino acids has been shown to raise GH levels by up to 8-fold. Your body secretes GH in pulses throughout the day, with the biggest pulse typically occurring in the early stages of nighttime sleep. With increasing age, the secretion of GH tends to decline. I like to keep a bottle in my bathroom so I can take it first thing in the morning and again right before bed as it works best on an empty stomach.
I HIGHLY recommend women over 40 incorporate Quadracarn, especially if they are experiencing some of the very common issues women have like decreased libido, decreased energy and mood. Most women notice improvements in energy, mood, cognitive performance, sexual health, testosterone (yes, we actually need that too), vascularity, pumps, muscle hardness, stamina, and recovery.
Glutamine Select supports the fastest possible improvements in the appearance and performance of your physique by tackling a little known but pervasive condition known as "anabolic fatigue". Use before, during, and/or after training. You can also take Glutamine Select between meals to sustain blood sugar levels while dieting. I notice a huge difference in post workout soreness and how quickly I recover when I include Glutamine Select.
ULTIMATE MUSCLE PROTEIN
This delicious 5-star protein powder will simplify your diet while helping you build and preserve lean, strong muscle as you loose fat, which is critical for women heading toward menopause. Lean, sexy muscle is key to boosting your metabolism and that is where UMP really shines. Did I mention how amazing it tastes? Seriously the best tasting protein powder I have ever tried. AND you can cook with it! Check out some of my favorite recipes (julielohre.com/best-protein-powder-recipes)
Get Support & Accountability
Having a trusted coach who cares about you and your goals can impact your ability to stay on track. With my online training program, I work exclusively with women world- wide that want to look and feel their very best. Many of the women that I work with are busy and in need of a straight forward plan to help them focus specifically on their goals. I take the guess work out of both training and nutrition while providing structure, guidance, and accountability. If you need an online fitness coach to not just line out your nutrition and workout plans but also to be there throughout the whole process, I would love to see if we might be a match. Check out JulieLohre.com for more details.