Are you hoping to lose weight this year? Here’s our number 1 secret to drop 2 dress sizes this year for women over forty.
If you’re anything like the women who have been signing up to our Fit Over 40 programme this week, there’s a chance you may have a few extra pounds to lose this year! Most people tend to start a new fitness programme in January, yet how many actually go through with it?
We speak to so many women in their 40s and 50s who start out with loads of motivation, only to fall off track after the first few weeks of the year. One of the main reasons this happens is because of a lack of results in the mirror. Nothing is more frustrating than spending all week on your new diet plan only to step on the scales and see ZERO movement.
This usually happens because of changing hormones and high stress levels, which can make it more difficult for women over 40 to see results from normal diets and slimming clubs. And this leaves SO MANY women stuck and feeling like they are unable to lose weight!
And in our recent podcast episode, we break down the exact strategies we use with our clients to help them turn it all around, get the weight off and keep it off for life!
First of all, the number 1 secret to drop 2 dress sizes this year is going to be different for each person. There’s no one-size fits all solution, and that’s something you should be very wary of.
What your solution is depends on what you struggle with the most. For example, do you struggle with being consistent, but not seeing results, or not being consistent enough to see results?
If you’re in the first camp – being consistent, but not seeing results – then it’s all about figuring out why you’re not seeing results. This could be for a number of reasons…
Being consistent, but not seeing results
Physical and hormonal changes can start 5-10 years before clinical menopause for women. This leads to a heightened stress response, changing levels of progesterone and oestrogen, joint aches and pains, and changes to metabolism.
All of this can make it easier to gain weight and more difficult to lose it again (especially around the middle) and leave many women stuck and unable to see results.
Rather than just taking a general fitness approach, designed to work for your average dieter (usually in their 20s and 30s), choose an approach specifically designed for women over 40. One which works with your changing hormones, rather than against them.
The key things to look out for are low impact, weights-based workouts, and a sensible nutrition approach. One which doesn’t involve anything too extreme. Keeping stress levels low is also really important, and we’ll cover that in more detail later.
It is possible to eat healthy foods but still be eating too many calories. You can’t escape the basic science of weight loss – in that you must consume less calories than you burn in order to lose weight.
Calories are measure of how much energy is in food and drink. You must consume the right number of calories consistently in order to lose weight. This number is unique to you, and must take into account your current age and hormonal situation, as well as your height.
Your portions must be based on this, and be right for you and your body as it is now in order to see good progress. This doesn’t mean starving yourself, rather just making up your meals with the right foods that aren’t too high in calories but still fill you up.
It’s possible to eat healthily and not eat too much, but to then to consume plenty of alcohol on top of that and put the brakes on your progress.
Alcohol contains a lot of calories, at 7kcal per gram (carbs are only 4kcal per gram). Therefore, it’s very easy to consume hundreds of calories of alcohol. For example, a bottle of wine is about 700 calories, which is the equivalent of 3 large jacket potatoes (and everyone thinks carbs are bad!)
Alcohol will also make side-effects of hormonal changes like menopause much worse.
A lot of people are able to stick to healthy eating and exercising in the week, but when it comes to the weekend, it all goes to pot! They eat too much, drink too much and undo all the progress they’ve made in the week – which is easily done if you make the wrong food choices.
This can lead to a cycle of “I’ll start again on Monday” which repeats over and over again. This leaves people trapped in a situation where they’re dieting most of the time, but still not seeing any results in the mirror.
The key is the total amount you eat over the week. If you eat the right amount of food and do enough exercise, you WILL lose weight. This can be done by either eating slightly less in the week to allow for more food and drink at the weekend, or monitoring your food intake at the weekend and being flexible with food choices so you can still indulge.
Not being consistent enough to see results
When it comes to the number 1 secret to drop 2 dress sizes this year, you might also be in the the second camp – those who are not being consistent enough to see results. Some of this we have already covered, but there’s a couple more things to take into account.
Consistency is key to seeing good results, and in our experience it’s one of the main reasons people struggle to keep the scales moving.
It’s very easy to fail alone. When you have a tough week at work and it’s cold and dark and you just want to comfort eat and drink a bottle of wine… what happens? If you have no one to answer to, then most likely, you turn back to the old habit. You undo the hard work from the week and you’re back at square one.
Every week, we have catch up calls with clients and they tell us that they still stuck to it all, even when things were really stressful. Why? Because they knew they’d have to report to us on how the week had gone.
It’s like having a boss and knowing you’ve got to report what work you’ve done to them. It means you show up and get the work done even if you didn’t feel like it some days. You can learn more about how Trinity can help you with accountability here.
Even with accountability, it’s possible for stress to cause things to unravel. This can lead to being sat on the sofa with a sharing bag of chocolate and a bottle of wine… and that can lead to waking up tired and hungover and a weekend of eating and drinking crap.
Once it’s hit that point and you’re tempted to hit the “f**k it button” – it’s too late. So, you need to reduce stress levels proactively and regularly.
Our clients do this using a powerful daily mindset routine called the Stress Shield. This takes less than 10 minutes a day and helps to dissipate stress proactively, before it ever becomes a problem. Plus, this stops you turning to food and alcohol and means they stay consistent.