Let’s talk about being 40 and fabulous. Is it possible?
You have always been a fit and slim woman and you could eat pizza on Friday night or a juicy grass-fed burger for lunch. You go to the gym after your busy day at the office and you burn your calories with ease. You always stay slim and fit. You do not worry about eating an occasional dessert and having a glass of wine or two at dinner with friends.
Then you turn big 40 and your body starts getting curvy and you cannot believe that you are no longer a slim gal and you are not able to eat what you used to. Your mood has changed. Your energy levels dropped. You notice it takes more effort to lose weight and you start researching various diets and even try a few of them.
According to the research, women tend to gain weight after 40 due to lifestyle factors that range from working more, eating more, exercising less and more stress caused by career choices, relationships and just life in general. If we sit down and look at our life we will be able to recognize that we are eating more than we should and we do not move and exercise as much as we should.
Let’s talk about the top five reasons why we gain weight after 40 and what we can do to slim down, feel younger and lighter and have more confidence.
According to Mayo Clinic research many women gain weight during perimenopause and menopause phases
1. Eating big portions: We love to eat. Our entertainment on Friday night is usually about food and drinks with friends. We love cooking big Sunday meals with our family. We order big size fast food meals. We often do not notice how much we eat at the party as we chat with our friends. We are not mindful of our food choices. We can start food journals and use daily apps on our phones to track our food. We can replace meals with high quality shakes to keep our calories under control.
2. Exercise: we forget to exercise, or we do not exercise enough. With busy schedules we are not consistent with our workouts. Increasing daily activity and adding fun exercise programs from dancing to HIIT short workouts can boost metabolism and put a smile on your face.
3. Stress: Do you remember Cameron Diaz in the movie Holiday talking about stress and that she wanted to get out of town? She says “Severe stress makes women age prematurely because stress causes the DNA in our cells to shrink until they can no longer replicate. So when we're stressed we look haggard. This is just women not men.” Yes, stress affects our beautiful body. We start eating more. We drink more alcohol and eat more carbs from pasta to delicious breads as a temporary pain relief method. We binge on free donuts on Friday morning at the office while stressing about our crazy deadlines and dread what our boss would say. We add more stress!
The research shows that chronic stress is dangerous too because it affects our hormones and changes our ability to lose weight. Our body ages faster and we experience exhaustion. Do everything you can to reduce stress in life. Do you meditate in the morning or at night? Do you go for a walk or turn music on and dance? Add extra exercises to reduce stress if needed. Rest as much as you can. Sleep helps with stress management.
4. Hormones: Hormones play a role in weight gain in gaining more fat and losing muscle. Good eight hours of sleep and eating healthy meals will make a big impact in managing hormones. Do you sleep enough?
5. Sugar and alcohol intake: Who doesn't love a good piece of cake and a nice glass of French Bordeaux? You can have it and enjoy it but not every day. Listen to your body. Be mindful. Avoid hidden sugars in your daily foods, not just desserts.
If you even start with one small change and make brand new steps towards your transformation, your body will thank you in the end. When you choose a new you and take care of yourself, it is the best form of self-love and that is something we can talk more about later in our upcoming series about self-love and getting sexy and fabulous!
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