Here are 9 mainstream diets to avoid in the new year to see results
With the New Year approaching, it’s common for women over 40 to jump onto the next mainstream diet. Yet, in our experience, these diets are never really a sustainable or long-term approach… and honestly, most of them are best avoided!
Year after year, we see women try to lose weight in January… but fail to see any long-term changes on the scales. This can be incredibly frustrating… and leaves these ladies feeling trapped and unable to lose weight.
We’ve seen hundreds of women in their 40 and 50s start the year with good intentions… only to give up by February. This constant yo-yoing leads to putting on more and more weight every year. this leaves many women dressing to cover up ‘problem areas’ instead of wearing clothes they like and constantly worrying about their weight spiralling out of control!
This is never a nice position to be in for anyone.
Luckily, there is a way for women over 40 to see rapid and sustainable weight loss. It comes down to 2 simple things:
1. Avoiding approaches designed for men and women in their 20s/30s
2. Choosing a method tailored to your body and age.
In our latest podcast episode, we revealed 9 common diet approaches to avoid for women over 40 in the New Year… and what to do instead if you want to drop a couple of dress sizes and feel confident in all your clothes by summer!
1. Exercise-only approaches
Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand.
From couch to 5k to taking up cycling… there are many weight loss strategies that only involve exercise. Obviously, the benefits of exercise are incredible. From the mental health boost to burning a few extra calories… these approaches are always a go-to.
However, there are some drawbacks to exercise-only approaches…
Intense exercise can raise your stress hormone, cortisol. This is especially impactful for women over 40… and it can actually block weight loss results. Plus, elevated cortisol (stress hormone) causes insulin resistance, leptin resistance and decreased thyroid function… which can make cravings worse, increase fat storage and slow metabolism.
It’s a common fact: you can never out-exercise the wrong diet. So, rather than opting for an exercise-only approach, try something more rounded!
2. Nutrition-only approaches
On the other hand of an exercise-only approach is an approach which only considers nutrition.
There’s no getting around the fact that nutrition is the number one driver of fat loss… you have to have the right diet to lose weight. This is especially true as a woman over 40.
But nutrition only diets need to be very extreme to see quick results. Without exercise, you have to eat a VERY small amount to lose weight. This can lead to muscle loss, which ultimately slows metabolism and makes losing weight even more difficult.
This approach can be especially problematic for women over 40. With muscle mass and metabolism already decreasing due to age, this can make things even worse, so it isn’t a great, long-term strategy.
Additionally, restrictive diets are hard to stick to. This can lead to blowouts, binges and overindulging on the weekend. You can easily undo all your hard work in just a few days… and this can lead to a cycle of yo yo dieting.
3. Very low calories
In theory, eating very few calories can lead to quick results. You won’t need to exercise, saving you time and effort… and this is a common go-to method for many women over 40.
However, in our experience, the drawbacks are plentiful.
Low calorie diets can be detrimental in the long run. From losing water weight to seeing intense muscle loss… low calorie diets can cause weakness. Plus, they negatively affect metabolism and cravings!
The disruption in hunger hormones can cause dramatic cravings for up to a year after dieting. Additionally, these low-calorie diets increase stress levels… so your body is more likely to hold onto fat, even though you are eating less!
Essentially, low-calorie diets are not sustainable long term. As tempting as these diets can be for women over 40… we recommend saving time. Find something with long-term results!
4. Low carb and ketogenic diets
An ever-popular go-to diet for women over 40 is keto; another diet to avoid. Some swear by low-carb diets for quick weight loss… but in reality, they’re incredibly unsustainable.
While keto is simple, this initial weight loss is problematic.
In the first few weeks, the weight low-carbers lose is temporary. This ultimately means the results will always be temporary. So, you’re not actually losing as much fat as you might think!
Unless you want to give up carbs forever… keto doesn’t teach you how to actually fuel your body. So, once you go back to eating ‘normally’, you’ll regain this weight and more.
5. Plant-based diets
In recent years, plant-based diets have soared in popularity. There are more and more options for plant based foods on the market, and plenty more variety.
While going plant-based can be healthy for you… it might not be the best option for long-term results.
In our experience, a lot of plant-based eaters tend to believe that ‘anything is healthy if it’s vegan’. In reality, there are plenty of vegan junk foods on the market which are terrible for you!
At the end of the day, if you consume too many calories… you won’t lose weight! Regardless of how many veggies you consume…
6. Intermittent fasting
If you’re prone to disordered eating, intermittent fasting might be doing you damage.
The reason intermittent fasting works is due to the restricting of calories. Like all diets that work, limiting calorie intake is key. However, with this method, it’s certainly still possible to overeat.
In reality, intermittent fasting isn’t a long-term solution. While it may work in the short term… you’re much more likely to overeat when you go back to eating ‘normally’. You’re better off finding a diet which works around your lifestyle… not the other way around.
7. Juice/shake diets
While juice cleanses and shake diets are easy to follow… they’re not sustainable in the long run.
These cleanses are often jam-packed with sugar, so they’re never particularly healthy anyway. Plus, they require an exceptional amount of will-power, and they’re difficult to follow.
In our experience, women over 40 who juice cleanse always put back on the weight afterwards. Instead, find something which will work for you in the long-term.
8. Just trying to “eat healthier”/clean eating
Eating healthier foods will make you healthier. You’ll benefit from increased energy, and you’ll likely eat less if you stick to it. So, in theory, this will work for weight loss…
However, it can be hard to ‘just eat healthier’. Plus, it’s still possible to gain weight from eating too much healthy food!
Eating ‘healthy’ all the time don’t offer much flexibility… so many people find they feel guilty when eating out with friends and family. This makes it hard to stick to long-term!
9. Mental health/mindset without exercise
Working on your mental health is always important. From increasing overall happiness to reducing stress, mindset is vital for overall wellbeing. However, exercise is also crucial to a healthy mindset.
Health is a combination of mental and physical health; they go hand-in-hand. Simply put; it’s hard to feel great without exercising and eating well.
There’s a strong correlation between people who don’t exercise and those who eat low-quality food. That’s why the first thing a doctor will recommend to those struggling with low mood is exercise!
At the end of the day, there are many mainstream diets to avoid. From low-carb to exercise-only approaches, so keep in mind these diets to avoid in the new year. Instead, try something which will leave you with lasting results…
If you’re interested in finding a long-term approach to diet which is designed for women over 40, you can find out more about working with us here!