Here’s how to set lifestyle changes that last, and fit back into your favourite clothes before summer’s over.

Summer is just around the corner. Recently, we’ve been speaking to a lot of women who are hoping to lose a few pounds before the holidays and social events begin ramping up.

So many women we’ve spoken to have already tried all the things which worked in their 20s and 30s – yet, no matter what they try, they can’t seem to get the scales moving. And this is a priority before summer comes.

They’re spending all week dieting, then stepping on the scales and seeing ZERO movement. If you can relate at all, you aren’t alone.

The good news? We’ve helped thousands of women to remove the barriers that were blocking them from seeing results. They’ve been able to lose excess weight, regain their confidence, and get back to feeling amazing!

If you’re wondering how this was possible, you’re in luck. In today’s blog, we’re going to lay out, step by step, how you can fit back into all your favourite clothes before summer. You can also listen to this blog as a podcast.

Reset your food choices before summer

Start by resetting your food choices so they work with your body and hormones – rather than against them.

Trying to eat better when your brain is hooked on sugary foods or alcohol never works. It’s even harder when your hormones are changing in the run up to menopause, so women over 40 have a particularly tough time.

Certain foods can disrupt your hormones and make symptoms worse, so you’ll be more likely to gain weight. This can look like:

  • Pouring a glass of wine on the sofa after a stressful week
  • Opening a sharing bag of crisps or chocolate
  • Snacking on biscuits between work meetings

Having disrupted hormones can also lead to joint aches and pains, increased night sweats, poor quality sleep, and low energy or low mood.

It can create a vicious cycle of relying on sugar and alcohol as pick-me-ups to deal with stress, when half the problem is created by the food itself.

In our experience, it’s almost impossible to just wean yourself off gradually. Instead, you must go cold turkey to reset your cravings and habits.

We recommend cutting out WADS foods (wheat, alcohol, dairy, and sugar) for 1-2 weeks to reset your cravings and get into better habits with food and drink.

We do this inside our Fit Over 40 program using a process called the Diet Makeover. Our clients often lose up to half a stone and their energy levels and mood are transformed within just two weeks!

Exercise in a way that keeps stress levels low

No exercise or movement plan should mean you have to starve yourself to see results. That’s unsustainable. It can be very common with working from home, as many clients are sedentary at a desk all day.

Yet, the opposite also doesn’t work. Too much intense exercise combined with a stressful job or lifestyle causes chronically high stress hormone levels. This is because the stress response increases with age, and over stressing the body triggers the Weight Gain Triangle:

  • Leptin Resistance
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Thyroid Deregulation

This makes it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it.

Most forms of popular exercise also over stress the body for women over 40, including:

  • HIIT
  • Spinning
  • Long runs

These movement types are stressful for the body and joints, and require a lot of effort for minimal results.

Instead, do exercise that keeps stress hormone levels low but delivers BIG results. Such as LIST training (low-impact strength training) and upping your step count. These exercises:

  • Build muscle and tone your body
  • Burn fat
  • Keep stress levels healthy

We do this inside our Fit Over 40 program with just 3 LIST sessions a week, for 30-45 mins. Our clients typically drop 1-2 dress sizes over a 12 week period!

Eat the right amount for you

This might sound boring and obvious, but this is the reason that ALL diets work: you need to eat the right about.

Calories are measure of how much energy is in food and drink, and you must consume the right amount of calories consistently over the whole week in order to lose weight – not too much and not too little.

A lot of diets will hide this from you using points systems or other rules to effectively achieve the same thing. They tend to make it seem like they’re doing something special. But it all comes down to eating less calories than you’re burning.

But it’s not just about calories. Not all foods are created equal, even if the calories on the packet are the same. Calories in food are measured by burning the food in what’s known as a “bomb calorimeter” and seeing how much heat comes off – and that’s not a true representation of how our bodies digest food.

The makeup of food changes how many calories are actually taken in by the body. For example, with protein, 10-30% of the calories in the food are used to break it down – so you only end up with 70-80% of the calories.

In highly processed foods, such as crisps, chocolate, cake or pasta, you’ll absorb all of the calories and they’ll digest quickly, meaning they won’t keep you full for long.

You need to track the key 3: calories, protein, and fibre. For all of these groups, it’s about finding the right amount for you.

Inside our Fit Over 40 program we give every one of our clients specific nutrition targets right for their bodies and hormones, and they’re usually surprised by how much they can eat! They STILL typically lose 1-2 stone every 12 weeks in a way that’s flexible and means they can still eat the things they like.

Proactively manage your stress levels

You can’t get rid of all the stress coming in: whether it’s work pressures or family responsibilities. These can disrupt stress hormones further, which triggers the weight gain triangle mentioned above.

This can send cravings through the roof, leading to overeating, drinking wine to destress, or mindlessly snacking at the end of a long day.

Not only is it important to use an exercise and nutrition approach that keeps stress levels low, but it’s also important to proactively bring down stress levels on a daily basis.

We do this inside our Fit Over 40 program using a process called the Stress Shield. This is a daily mindset routine that takes 7-8 minutes a day and avoids stress levels becoming too high.

Stop struggling alone

If you knew how to get results on your own, you’d have already got them. Just like it can be more difficult to stay motivated when you’re working from home on your own, it can be really difficult to stay motivated to exercise and eat well when you’re doing it all by yourself. 

And when you’re over 40, it’s a new challenge that can be hard to figure out. Hormones are different, so it requires a different approach. Your lifestyle is busier too, and more stressful than ever.

It’s difficult to know what to change if your progress slows down and stalls, but if you have an expert to consult with – they can quickly and easily get you making progress again.

Being part of a group of like minded women on the same mission is a game changer, so you don’t have to struggle alone.

And that’s exactly what our clients get when they join Fit Over 40.

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