So remember when you were like 20 and you thought 50 was old. YIKES, its so funny as we approach the age of what we used to think was old. We quickly change our thoughts to hmmm, 50 is young. Or better yet remember when you look at those pics when you were 20 and thought your were fat and wish you could be that fat again :).. ha! Total buzz kill right ?  Well truth is as we age a lot of things happen and

I think for many women its 39- 40 when this SUDDEN INSTANT WEIGHT GAIN HAPPENS AND I HEAR THIS AS THE NUMBER ONE COMPLAINT WITH WOMEN I CONSULT WITH…  Its like it  happens deep in the night, just after your 40th birthday. The Middle-Age Fairy creeps into your room and loads an extra 5 or 10 pounds right around your belly. This mysterious fat not only appears without warning, it’s also immune to both diet and exercise. ugh.. that fairy… we need to get a hit on him! What happens to our bodies after 40 is evil we start off with the weight gain: Hormones change, metabolism drops and we start to lose a little muscle each year.  I mean seriously WTF??? a triple threat. And there is a another zinger too you may not gain weight per se but the weight shifts. It shifts right to your belly ugh. This weight gain can be so frustrating, it’s easy to become obsessed with losing it, starving yourself or exercising too much or maybe even looking into the latest plastic surgery procedure.
But, is that really necessary? Isn’t there something we can do about gaining weight after 40? There is and it starts with understanding just what’s going on with your body.
[caption id="attachment_10814" align="alignright" width="342"] Digital Bathroom Scale Displaying OMG Message[/caption]

Why We Gain Weight After 40

So, why do we start gaining weight after 40?  There is a multitude of reasons and some of it does depend on lifestyle choices. However, the Big Four include: 1. Hormones: One of the main culprits for weight gain is, of course, our hormones, which start to change right around the mid-30s and into the 40s. This change in hormones, less estrogen for women and less testosterone for men, causes the fat to shift to the middle of the body while abandoning other areas of the body you could care less about. That’s one reason you may get a little fluffier around the middle while other parts of you actually get smaller… like your ass.. I wonder why the fairy didn’t get the memo! KIM K butt is in right now fairy! 2. Heredity:   feel free to call your parents every so often to thank them for your saddlebags, love handles, etc. where we deposit fat.. has alot to  do with our genes.. 3. Lower Metabolism: There are a couple of annoying things that happen to your metabolism after the age of 40. First, your (BMR).. thats a fancy term for your basal metabolic rate.. decreases and, second, you expend less total energy during exercise. Which means you actually need less calories to survive.. total buzz kill I know. If you sit more, eat more, exercise less and deal with more stress throughout that decade, you’ll probably need even fewer calories than that. Add that to the fact that you burn fewer calories during exercise and you’ve got yourself  a recipe for disaster weight gain. Enter your information into my fitness pal to figure out how many calories you need.. this takes into consideration your age and exercise level. you have to know the number truth. 4. Loss of muscle:  Like our metabolisms, we also start to lose muscle when we hit our 40s, experiencing a steady decline each decade. y The biggest factor in losing muscle is the lack of physical activity, which makes exercise SO IMPORTANT TO PREVENTING MUSCLE LOSS… I AM TELLING YOU LADIES MUSCLE IS THE KEY HERE.

What If I Already Exercise? How Can I Stop Gaining Weight?

If you’ve managed to keep your weight the same over the years with exercise, it can be a rude awakening when you get into your 40s and 50s.  It isn’t so much that you gain weight, it’s more that your weight shifts into different places.  Suddenly, the pants you’ve been wearing for years just don’t fit right and you may wonder:  What am I doing wrong? If you exercise and eat right, you’re not doing anything wrong, it’s just those age-related changes happening.  And, think about it…if you already exercise to maintain a healthy weight, you’re in a much better position than someone who hits 40 with a weight problem. Small comfort, I know.  The fact is, living a fit lifestyle doesn’t protect us entirely from age-related weight changes. The question is: If you already exercise every day, is there anything you can do to burn more calories?
The answer is YES! It just means you have to switch your exercise routine.. here are a few ways you can do that.
  1. Change your diet – You know the drill when it comes to a healthy diet, right? Cut out the sugar and the processed carbs. Eat more vegetables and fiber and cut out the alcohol (I know..that’s a tough one). Sometimes a little tweaking here and there, without starving yourself, can help you eek out a few more calories each week.
  2. Be more active – Sometimes, just adding a couple of walks each day can help you manage your calories without going overboard with exercise. Just take the steps vs elevator. or park far away from the entrance.
  3. Add more frequency – If you can, add a day of exercise or you could even consider 2-a-days once in a while to pump up your calorie burn for the week – Doing double cardio or a cardio workout in the morning and strength later that day. I know this takes alot of time… but it works.. OR do body part training this allows you to recover one body part while working another on the next day. for example chest and triceps mon.. legs tues.. back biceps wed .. etc
  4. Add more time to your workouts – For example, if you usually workout for an hour, add 10 minutes to 1 to 2 workouts each week.
  5. Try Circuit Training – Mixing up cardio and strength together keeps your heart rate elevated, helping you build endurance and strength while burning more calories. For example add 20 jumping jacks after a strength circuit.
  6. Try High-Intensity Interval Training – Tabata, interval training or metabolic conditioning workouts are designed to burn more calories and push you to your limits. I add a tabata cardio HIIT after a strength circuit.. holy calorie burn try it.. it works
  7. Hire a trainer– If you’ve tried everything, maybe it’s time to see an expert and get more specific advice for your situation. AND always come to YSF.. we will take good care of you for sure.
  8. See your doctor – If you’re killing yourself and still not seeing any changes, see your doctor and get checked out. Discuss the possible reasons for your weight gain see if there are some solutions out there. Is one of your medications contributing? Maybe you could try something different.
Whatever changes you make, don’t overdo. Listen to your body and back off if you start to feel any symptoms of overtraining.  It’s always best to gradually add more intensity and/or exercise into your routine a few minutes at a time.
The Bottom Line The important takeaway from all of this is this:  We can only control so much of what happens to our bodies as we age.  Some things are going to sag or soften or wrinkle no matter what we do, but it’s much easier to find some …ok this is hard to say but.. ACCEPTANCE of our bodies if we do everything we can to keep them healthy and fit. Aging is going to happen.  The question is, can you do it gracefully.. I know you can 🙂