As I shared last week with you, “Why Can’t I Lose Weight?” is the question I get asked most often by busy moms of all ages. But throw in the fact that you are now over the age of 35 and you’ve just made losing weight even harder. UGHHHHH! I know, right? Why is that the case? Is it because a woman’s body starts to change hormonally after age 35? Is it because women in general are trying to do too much and stress prevents them from losing weight? Or is it because women tend to develop thyroid issues, auto-immune issues or begin to deal with the repercussions of injuries from when they were younger?
While volunteering at my son’s school earlier this year, I chatted with another mom while we waited for our responsibilities to begin. She politely asked me what I did outside the home. After discovering I help other women with their health and fitness goals she began to tell me her story. She began by saying, “I don’t know what to do. I enjoy going to my hot yoga class several times a week and I feel like I eat relatively healthy. However, I just can’t lose weight. In fact, I am heavier now than I ever have been! Do you have any suggestions?” I shared with her this is a common concern of women and I was in the process of researching why women over the age of 38 struggle with weight loss so much.
After careful research here are the reasons I found that women over age 38 continue to struggle with losing weight.
#1- Muscle Burns Fat
As you age you lose muscle. Muscle turns to fat; fat weighs more than muscle. End result? You gain weight! If you desire to have a lean trim body then you are going to need to do some strength training. Many ladies only focus on cardio. Cardio is great for your heart but it doesn’t build muscle. Walking, running, and using an elliptical are all great activities for your heart but if you really want to trim up you gotta start lifting weights! You aren’t going to look like a body builder! No worries there. Your testosterone levels would have to be much higher! And since your testosterone is also declining that compounds the problem because your metabolism also begins to slow down.
#2- Eat Clean
CLEAN UP YOUR DIET! Stop eating processed food and eat clean healthy food! Eating cleaner helps support your immune system better. Treat food as fuel not the focus of your day. What you eat needs to be giving you sustained energy to get through your day! Plus, cleaning up your diet can also help jump start your metabolism!
#3- Your Body Is Going Through Hormonal Changes
You already have lots of hormonal changes happening in your body. Estrogen levels start to drop because your ovaries are no longer putting out estrogen levels as they use to. When this happens the body begins to look for estrogen in other places. Did you know that fat cells also contain estrogen? And those cells are working hard to convert calories into fat. Fat doesn’t burn calories at the same rate as muscle so you begin to put on more pounds! And many times those pounds tend to accumulate around the middle causing increased risk of heart disease and insulin. So what’s your secret weapon to combat this from happening? It goes back to strength training. Strength training helps to fight against hormonal weight gain!
#4- You May Be Eating Too Much Or Way Too Little
Most women are not taking in enough calories in their day to sustain them, much less give them energy! If you are only eating something light with your morning coffee, then grabbing a bar and piece of fruit for lunch, maybe an afternoon snack, you are not getting enough food! No wonder you are having to run to the local Starbucks drive-thru at 3:00pm to get your afternoon caffeine “fix” to get you through the rest of your day! This is how most women eat. Then at dinner, when they finally sit down, they eat the bulk of their food for the day, which is when your body no longer needs that sustained energy. So what happens? You body says, ” Girlfriend, I have no idea when you are going to feed me again, so I’m gonna hold on to ALL of this just in case for later!” And that delicious meal you just had for dinner sits and then becomes fat, causing you to gain weight!
#5- You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep
Do you struggle with getting enough sleep? Me too! In fact, this is one area where I tend to fail miserably. I know I need more sleep but between the kids activities, cooking and cleaning up dinner, chores around the house and helping with homework there are many nights I do not get to bed until late. Can you relate? Women on average do not get enough sleep. In fact, most women only get between 5-6 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep can contribute to sabotaging weight loss results and could be contributing to health problems you may have. We need to be getting between 8-10 hours of sleep a night. So work on getting to bed earlier!
What Does this Mean For You?
There is good news! Gaining weight is not inevitable! Studies show that women whose nutrition includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can not only combat hormonal issues, but also are 3x more likely to have lost weight! See, I told you there is HOPE! This means that eating a CLEAN DIET and WORKING OUT are more important than ever! Strength training in particular is your secret weapon to help you look and feel better! “But I don’t have time to go to the gym!” I can hear you say. No problem! In fact, I have found that working out from home is my “secret weapon”. It’s super convenient and I can do my workout in privacy on my time and schedule. If you would like to learn how you can also workout from home, check out information about my virtual 30 day challenge group for busy moms. Or if you would like to schedule a free one on one consult or you can email me at [email protected]
Some of the programs that I have experienced myself and seen my own clients have success with moving the scale are 21 day fix, Country Heat or PiYo. You can find information about all of those programs here on my website.
Let’s combat this hormonal mayhem together!