Six Strategies for Midlife Weight LossJul 06, 2022
I recognize that weight is just one measure of overall health, but it is one that many of my clients are concerned with.
If seeing the scale move in the direction of your goals is something that is important to you, I promise you are not alone!
Not-So-Fun-Fact: two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the United States are either overweight or classified as obese.
While I’m all for embracing different body types, loving your shape, being proud of all your imperfections (Lord knows I have many of my own to show off!), being overweight increases the risk of many health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Achieving a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, and being physically active can help improve your health and reduce your risks, and YES you can still love your body!! This isn’t about being smaller, it’s about being healthier!
So let’s start by ditching the old thinking of eat less, move more.
At this stage of the game, we are ready to enjoy life!! That means enjoying good food, partaking in a fun adult beverage, saying yes to dessert every now and then!!
We didn't get this far to live off lettuce wraps and carrots (though I do love both occasionally).
Weight loss is very challenging for many reasons:
There is an abundance of food available around most of us 24/7
Eating isn’t just something we do for sustenance; it’s gratification, a social activity, and sometimes even a reward
Convenience has contributed to a much more sedentary lifestyle
Reducing calories voluntarily is really, really hard; it’s a huge challenge to change habits
Many diets work in the short term, but fail later on because they’re simply unsustainable
After losing weight, maintaining weight loss is extremely difficult [(and this is particularly true for women going through the beginning stage of menopause.
Your weight is based on several factors, some are controllable and others are not. For example, your genetics, family history, and hormones can impact your weight, but there’s not too much you can do to significantly change those.
On the other hand, how much and what you eat, the medications you’re taking, the amount of stress you’re under, and how much sleep and physical activity you get also contribute to weight, and are a bit more controllable.
Your behaviors and habits have a huge influence on your weight and you have the power to adjust as needed.
So instead of the basic, old school thinking of move more and eat less, let’s dive into the top six strategies I share with my clients to help with midlife weight loss:
Set specific, realistic goals [I love using the SMART goal method of goal setting]
- Instead of a goal to “lose weight,” try smaller and more specific goals that you can attain.
- Daily or weekly goals can be, for example, to cook a vegetable-rich meal on the weekend, decrease food cues (hiding cookies out of sight or disregarding food ads), or walk at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week.
- Try to stick with a new habit for at least a week or two to start making it routine. Then when one habit becomes consistent, add another one.
- Remember, it’s not uncommon to take 6 months to lose 5% of your body weight, so that may be a more realistic goal to aim for.
Ditch the “diet” mentality and focus on making lasting improvements for sustainable health
- Focus on improving your food choices for overall health, rather than “dieting” for weight loss.
Enjoy lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Replace saturated and trans fats with healthier choices such as olive oil, nut butters, avocadoes.
- Try eating a different way and see what works for you.
There is no one size fits all, so being will to experiment with new ideas or combine two methods and create your own version.
- Enjoy your food more and listen for fullness cues that subtly signal when you’re getting satisfied and it’s time to stop eating. Ideally, each meal should take at least 20 minutes to eat, so eat slower.
- Eat more mindfully by focusing on and enjoying what you’re eating while you’re eating it. Pay attention to your food’s smell, taste, and texture as you’re eating it.
- Try putting your fork down or sipping water between bites and thoroughly chewing before swallowing.
- If you have a habit of snacking in front of the TV or computer screen, try getting used to replacing that with a glass of water or unsweetened beverage instead.
Variety is key. Focus on ways to improve your overall physically active (more movement, less being sedentary)
- Boost your activity; move for at least 30 minutes per day (even three 10 minute sessions can help); more movement can bring greater benefits.
- Aerobic activity (e.g., walking, bicycling, etc.) is the most efficient way to burn calories.
- Weight training builds your muscles which increases your metabolic rate; ideally you’d include at least two weight training sessions per week.
- Don’t forget intentional movement throughout the day - can take the stairs, park further away, walk a bit faster, or do housework or gardening—it all counts!!
- Remember that any physical activity is better for your health (and weight loss goals) than none at all. So don’t discount quick sessions. Take a 5 min walk at lunch, step away from your desk and stretch, squat, lunge, do a few jumping jacks!!
Reward your hard work!!
- Frequent small rewards, earned for meeting smaller goals, are more effective than bigger rewards that require a long, difficult effort
- Each time you reach a goal, however small, reward your success with a non-food activity or item.
- Put a small amount of money away as you hit smaller milestones to save up for a larger reward (like new shoes, gear, or equipment) .
- Rewards don’t have to be monetary. You can take some time for yourself like have a bath, do your nails, or enjoy a craft or hobby you love (or try a new one).
- Losing weight is very hard and most people have to keep trying before they find a way that works for them.
- Every day is a new day. If you go off track, get back on track and try again.
While weight is only one measure of progress and overall health, it is a big concern for many women navigating this new season.
Is your metabolism causing issues? Need help to lose weight or maintain weight loss? Looking for ways to lose weight beyond “eat less, move more”? Book a call with me to see how we can work together to get you back to making healthy progress.
>>> For a nutritious approach to metabolism and your weight join me Tuesday, July 19 for the LIVE workshop NUTRITION FOR OPTIMAL METABOLISM.
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