“Tomorrow you’ll wish you had started today”. ~ Anonymous
Ever look at an old photo of yourself and think, “That was me? What’s happened? I constantly struggle to get into shape but it’s so hard to lose weight and feel like me again!”
Decades fly by in a blink, so it’s no wonder an old photo or an old pair of jeans that won’t go over one thigh can trigger the startling revelation: “I want me back!” But, what vision of ‘me’ is possible at this age? If a healthy body and brain to enjoy a long active life is your goal, think wellness! You can make friends with and transform who you see in the mirror if you know skinny is out, and fit is in!
Why Do You Want A Change?
Like busy 68-year-old Debra, do you want to be strong enough to lift your new grandbabies, or like Julie, want to up your tennis game and rock your evening gown for next year’s big event How about getting off the medication with its side-effects you’ve been concerned about for years?
How To Change Your Mindset
A transformation to be a ‘fit you’ can only be possible with a resolved dedication to you. In an NBC 5 Today, interview, Reinventing Yourself in Trying Times, CEO Nina Vaca, invigorates women to use difficult pandemic-fueled days to begin re-inventing yourself. Her actionable items start with your mindset and can apply to any area of your life if you begin to:
- Limit the number of priorities and do the most valuable ways to change your life today.
- Protect them. There’s a difference between having the time and making the time so you’re on the calendar today.
- Be kind. No beating yourself up.
Understand How You Got Here
Just as Lisa laments years of failing at fad diets, we all relate to lack of regular exercise, sleep, and changes in our aging female bodies. All create a ‘perfect storm’ of negative health habits leading to an imbalance in hormones and lack of meaningful movement and good nutrition. So, if you’re not happy with you at this very moment, ask yourself, “How did I get here?”
Although bone loss begins in our 30’s, issues compound as we experience peri-menopause and menopause in our 40’s or 50’s. Even beyond the two ‘biggies’, estrogen and testosterone, changing hormones continue to affect sleep patterns that rage the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and depletion of the satiating, leptin. Women see their middles increase not understanding the danger that fat imposes around the waistline. Pile on lifestyle, and the stress hormone, cortisol, and insulin resistance, we look in the mirror one day and shriek, “Where did my waistline go?”
“I’ve not failed, I’ve just found 10 thousand ways that don’t work.” ~Thomas Edison
If the habits you’re living daily are not serving you well, it’s time to envision yourself living the daily habits that make you the fit person you’re impassioned to be!
Transforming Your Body After 50: What Works
Fifty-something Denise Austin, the beautiful fitness expert who, like us, has experienced every fad diet that has not served us well, has the strategy to transform us and continue for a lifetime. “Combine good nutrition, fat-burning cardio, toning, stretching, and plenty of rest to transform your body, your mind, and your life,” she says.
How To Create The Perfect Balance Between Fitness and Wellness
Since all affect the other, wellness consists of daily habits customized for you. Think of a three-legged stool:
- Hormones: regulation of estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, insulin, leptin, ghrelin, etc.
- Exercise: cardio, weight training, and recovery which includes rest, stretching, and sleep
- Nutrition: a balance of whole food carbohydrates and good fats with increased protein for the over 50 needs of women which can be turbocharged with timed eating conducive to your lifestyle. We also happen to have an app for that.
Let’s break it down…
Hormones regulate our bodies and affect metabolism. Begin with menopause information from female conversations to equip you for an open conversation with your healthcare practitioner about hormones and you. All three legs of the wellness stool affect hormones and vice versa. Just make sure to consult your healthcare practitioner for proper screenings appropriate for you.
*ALWAYS Consult your healthcare practitioner for proper screenings appropriate for you.
For exercise, you need to get Moving. Research proves movement affects our bones, joints, muscles, heart, brain, mood, and more! And there have never been more exercise choices available, from beginner to advanced. Are you new to exercise? Train like the former Supreme Court Justice, RBG with her Super Diva Workout, or walk your way fit. Here are some other ways to make exercise work for you:
- Work with a trainer to get a detailed accountability plan for you. Call your local gym and ask for one experienced in training women in midlife.
- Begin by or amp up your daily movement by walking your way healthy. Fitness trackers keep you on task and congratulate you when you meet your goals!
- Life is movement so, “Taskercise!” In her book, Timeless Beauty, Christie Brinkley shows your how to incorporate cardio, stretching, and balancing into everyday activities.
Cardio and Strength Training
Your exercise plan must include cardio. The American Heart Association says 150 minutes a week of moderate or 75 of Intensive is a must. You can also talk to your doctor about how much and what type of strength training is best for you. Then work with an instructor or trainer to learn proper form. Research suggests 2 sessions of 20 to 30 minutes each week. Be sure to leave two or three days for rest between each session.
You can also opt for other forms of weight training that include resistance bands, barbells, exercise machines, or moves that only use your body weight. Choose weights or resistance bands that tire you out after eight to 12 repetitions. That’s one set. Aim for two or three sets of each exercise.
- Understand why muscle matters.
- Advanced and want to ramp up by increasing your weight training?
- Is Heavy Weight Lifting for Women Over 50 a Good Idea?
- No time, no gym? 4 Minute Workout…AKA Nitric Oxide Dump
- Best HIIT Workouts for Women Over 50
- If you do not know how to start consider taking the Fitness Challenge.
In Today’s Dietitian “Flourishing at Age 50 and Beyond — A Healthful Diet Plus Physical Activity Are Essential”, Lenora Dannelke dishes on what expert dieticians from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say works: exercise, nutrition, vitamins, and hydration.
Vitamins vital over age 50 are B12, for memory and to combat fatigue, for bone loss, Calcium, Vitamin D and K2, and Vitamin C for immunity and healthy gums.
Hydration – How much water should you drink a day? Experts say it depends on your weight, advising to drink ½ ounce per pound of bodyweight, depending on your activity and where you live. Caution! Don’t go overboard! It is possible to drink too much.
Make it easy – QUIFIT gallon motivational water bottle cheers you on as you drink through the day.
By now, everyone has heard of the benefits of following certain diets, but a busy life can make us lazy. Make nutrition easy by trying PLATE.
This is the first weight management program designed exclusively for women approaching or over 50.
The program was developed in collaboration with Dr. Kathryn Waldrep, practicing OB-Gyn, with 35 years of experience in treating and counseling women from childbearing age to end of life. She has witnessed firsthand the havoc hormones play on a woman’s weight and her ability to lose weight. After menopause, a woman’s metabolism is likely to go down 10 to 20% each decade. No wonder losing weight after 50 is so difficult!
The PLATE acronym stands for:
: Weight management begins by getting your portions correct with nutritionally balanced meal plans designed specifically for women near or over 50.
LIFESTYLE: For an eating program to work, it must fit within your lifestyle. PLATE allows for eating out, traveling, family gatherings, and indulging in wine and other adult beverages.
ACCOUNTABILITY: The app not only allows you to plan your meals and keep track of substitutions, but also sends notifications to you when you are missing a meal, when to break your fast and when to start it.
TIMING: When you eat your meals is integral to the program. PLATE allows you to gradually practice intermittent fasting. It also reminds you when to start and end your fast.
EXERCISE: Participants are encouraged to do some sort of exercise such as walking every day and two days a week of strength training.
Since this eating program was designed specifically for women approaching or over 50, the guidelines include specific needs for our age group that are not a part of many other eating programs, such as; additional protein and calcium, reduced calories due to hormone changes and aging, and dairy alternatives as many women become lactose intolerant as they age. This is not a program that requires you to track calories. If you keep your portion sizes as recommended, you will stay within the correct calorie range that will help you lose weight slowly, yet maintain muscle mass. We provide specific guidelines around what we recommend you eat for optimum health and the proper portion sizes.
There are a lot of ways to lose weight. Some diets show quick results, reducing calories by severely limiting a food group like carbohydrates. However, the weight is likely to come roaring back when you tire of not being able to eat some of your favorite foods. We believe the wiser plan is to go back to eating the way our parents and their parents ate – in moderation. Plate sizes were smaller then and so were the portions. Weight management was a byproduct of their lifestyles.
Therefore, the two key components to the PLATE program are portion control and daily accountability reminders. If you will embrace these components from the beginning, healthy food choices will follow.