Five Ways to Manage Midlife Weight GainJan 01, 2023
Exercising a minimum of 150 minutes per week ☑️
Incorporating strength training into your program ☑️
Following a healthy diet full of nutrient dense foods ☑️
Watching your calories and portion sizes ☑️
Moving your body throughout the day ☑️
Gaining weight ☑️ ☑️ ☑️ 😳
I know!! 😭
You’re exercising daily, you're following a healthy diet, you're doing all the things that used to bring you great results — or at least they did!!
When you’re putting so much effort into achieving your weight loss goals, it can be frustrating when the scale either refuses to budge, or even worse, goes up instead of down.
But before you throw in the towel, wave the white flag, and give up - you need to do some self inventory!!
As we begin to evolve and make our way through perimenopause to menopause to post-menopause, it’s important that our habits and lifestyle evolve and change as we continue to change.
Here are 5 simple ways you can start managing that midlife weight gain today!!
It’s time to switch it up a little sis!! Your workout routine may be working against you. When you do the same workout routine every day, your body gets used to it over time. As your body adapts to the exercises, it will burn fewer calories, possibly leading to a weight loss plateau.
As a personal trainer I encourage my clients to incorporate a combination of resistance training, low-impact training, balance training, flexibility training, cardio and HIIT.
When it comes to training over 50 it’s important to add that resistance training to help improve the body’s ability to absorb the proper nutrients and make the best use of the calories you are consuming. It also improves insulin sensitivity, reduces the risk of age-related sarcopenia (the loss of muscle), and improves bone density.
Your diet is too restrictive. At this stage in the game we want to enjoy life and that means the occasional glass of wine, piece of chocolate cake, or slice of pizza.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your diet. The goal is to find a plan that works best for you, your lifestyle and your dietary needs, and that is going to provide you the proper nutrients it needs to function effectively.
A restrictive diet, combined with an intensive exercise program, could be the reason you’re losing your weight loss battle. As we get older and slow down a little that affects our metabolism.
So we really have to be aware of how much we are consuming. Living by that 80/20 rule is a great place to start - focusing on fueling your body for optimum performance but also allowing for a little enjoyment in moderation!
As a nutrition expert I encourage my clients to try to incorporate a more plant centered style of eating. This is great for energy, gut health, brain fog, and weight loss.
You’re stressed sis!! Well welcome to midlife in 2023. When your body is stressed and constantly in that fight or flight mode, you are totally doing a disservice to your health. When you are stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol into the bloodstream.
This heightened cortisol impacts blood sugar and insulin, which can cause food cravings. It can also impact the utilization of fats and sugars for fuel. This can lead to slower metabolism or storage of excess glucose and fats in the body.
Stress is usually one of the main factors in my clients that are struggling to achieve their desired results. When talking about stress, we tend to focus on the psychological and emotional responses due to financial, work, or relationship pressures. But stress can show up in a ton of different ways, including: not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water, working out too much or too hard.
Listen closely girlfriend, your body won’t prioritize weight loss if it’s in a constant state of stress. To effectively lose weight, you’ve got to make stress reduction a #1 priority!!
You have a hormone imbalance. No surprise there, right? I mean your in midlife - hormone fluctuations are just a given. Unfortunately, yes that's true, but there are ways to level the playing field just a little! If you are dealing with a hormonal imbalance the best place to start is with a simple blood test to check for hormone levels. Thyroid, estrogen, and cortisol levels are just a few hormones that need to be evaluated.
During the menopause transition, a woman’s estrogen production begins to decrease, which has a big influence on insulin sensitivity, hunger and cravings, muscle density, mood, and cognition. This creates somewhat of a “cocktail” for weight gain, especially today where calorie-dense foods are everywhere, and we are primed to use food as an emotional crutch.
Another thing that is common is midlife women is the development of food sensitivities. This too can lead to a hormonal imbalance. If you are starting to notice that when you consume specific foods that your digestive system is irritated, causing inflammation, you may want to try a little elimination strategy. Taking those items out of your diet then slowly, one by one reintroducing them. Diary and gluten are the most common that I hear about with my clients.
You’re not prioritizing sleep! Many women report difficulty sleeping as they get older. Sleep disturbances like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, or bladder issues are all reasons why you may not be getting the quality sleep your body requires and why you may be waking up not feeling rested which then leads to less energy, which leads to being less active, which leads to weight gain . . . see where I’m going with this!
Your sleep, or lack thereof, affects everything else in your life! Including your cravings and your relationships (no wants to be around a cranky sleep deprived individual! Remember when your kiddos were toddlers? It's kind of like that!) So making sleep a priority by creating a bedtime routine, limiting alcohol, caffeine, and sweets in the evening may help, and also dressing in light clothing to help keep you cool and comfortable.
It may take a bit of time to see the results from tweaking your lifestyle or updating your habits and routines but it is possible to get results. I encourage you to reach out and get additional support if you continue to struggle long-term. That support could be in the form of a personal trainer, a dietitian, or health coach.
As a certified health coach and personal trainer I can help you create a plan with action strategies and help you work through that plan until you get the results you desire.
Download the FREE Guide: 5 Ways to Manage Midlife Weight Gain eBook for additional resources.
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