Finding it harder to lose weight as you age? If you’re still using the same diet techniques you did in your 20s you need to stop. These tips from new book The Age-Defying Diet will show you how to lose weight quickly by outsmarting the hormonal shifts that are making you fat
In your 20s and early 30s weight loss can, for some, be the same foolproof routine. By exercising more and eating less, shifting those few pounds can always be done with a little determination. But what happens when your go-to diet regime stops working? In your late 30s, 40s and 50s, hormone changes and the onset of menopause mean weight loss can seem nearly impossible. In her new book The Age-Defying Diet, Dr. Caroline Apovian reveals how you can outsmart your metabolism and lose up to 20lbs in 21 days.
you can outsmart your metabolism and lose up to 20lbs in 21 days.
6 simple steps to revitalise your metabolism
Ageing and hormonal changes particularly from menopause can lead to complete metabolic meltdown. Feeling constantly sluggish, forgetful, easily distracted or over emotional? These can all cause your metabolism to age. Dr Apovan reveals the sex simple steps to revitalising your metabolism, rejuvenating your body and brain and kick starting your wondrous weight loss.
1. Eat more protein, vegetables and fruit
Not eating enough protein, cutting carbs, and shunning specific food groups to lose weight can massively backfire on your metabolism. A lack of health promoting (good) carbs such as fruit, veg and whole grains will slow down your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.
2. Eat your amino acids
The building blocks of protein these acids are responsible for generating, regenerating and repairing all cells. Get your aminos from meat, fish, eggs and other protein rich food.
3. Eat to maintain hormonal balance
Some foods can help ward off the symptoms associated with age-related hormonal changes, whilst others worsen any changes taking place. Check out the list of foods for hormone balance below.
4. Eat the right foods to fill you up
If you’re eating the same amount of food you ate in your 20’s, you’re eating too much. With the natural decline in muscle mass, hormone levels and metabolism you need fewer calories as you get older. The super charged smoothies, soups and whole-food meals in the age defying diet will keep you satisfied and prevent cravings.
5. Exercise properly to lose weight
Doing hours of cardio to burn fat can actually cause your metabolism to slow down. Strength training using weights burns more fat and calories than any other exercise and drastically increases your metabolic rate. You even carry on burning calories long after you’ve finished your workout. More muscle = more weight lost, as muscle burns seven times more calories than fat.
6. Get more quality sleep
Not getting enough zzz’s disrupts the natural muscle repair and regeneration process. This contributes to even more muscle loss and more fat gain. Also did you know your appetite hormones are primarily regulated while you sleep? Just one night of tossing and turning can turn your hunger hormones up and lead you to consumer more calories.
How sleep affects your metabolism
If you’re a woman in right in the pit of mid-life hormonal changes, you know how much harder it is to get a good nights sleep. A staggering 40% of pre-menopausal women and 61% of post-menopausal women say they have trouble sleeping. Put a stop to tossing and turning with Dr. Caroline’s tips on getting a good nights sleep.
The hunger hormone Ghrelin actually increases with lack of sleep and this pesky chemical alerts your brain your hungry
Being tired actually does make you more likely to snack and overeat as it affects your hunger hormones that are regulated when you sleep. The hunger hormone Ghrelin actually increases with lack of sleep and this pesky chemical alerts your brain your hungry. So more Ghrelin, more hunger and more food. To get the maximum fat burning and muscle building effects of sleep you need at least seven-eight hours uninterrupted.
8 ways to get metabolism-promoting sleep
1. Avoid excess alcohol within 6 hours of sleep
Although alcohol does see to send you to sleep, it turns on its head and will disrupt the second half of your night
2. Set the mood
Get a pink noise machine or white noise app on your phone and use low wattage light bulbs in the bedroom.
MORE: 5 best sleep apps
3. Reserve your bed for sleep and sex
Don’t watch TV, eat or spend the evening in it. You’re mind will then only associate your bedroom with sleep.
4. Turn off technology two hours before getting into bed
Bright artificial light shining into your eyes from your favourite devices makes you body think its day time and its harder to sleep.
5. Have a small bedtime snack of foods high in tryptophan
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that has been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, increase sleep time and reduce those super annoying middle of the night wakings. Foods high in tryptophan can help you sleep and improve your quality of sleep – Low fat yoghurt is full of tryptophan.
6. Create the perfect sleep environment
Make your bed irresistible with soft luxurious bedding and try keep the bedroom at a temperature of 15-20 degrees Celsius. The body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level during deep sleep. The sooner you get to that level, the sooner you’ll get to that stage.
Just a small amount of whole grains at dinner may increase your brains ability to absorb L-Trytophan and increase levels of sleep promoting serotonin
7. Eat and drink foods that will enhance sleep quality
Protein induces the release of various gut hormones such as CCK (cholecystokinin), gherlin and peptide tyrosine-tyrosine which have been found to have a huge effect on sleep. Eat foods that contain L-Tryptophan. This wonder chemical increases melatonin, a sleep regulating hormone. Foods to eat are poultry, red meat, fish, eggs and low fat yoghurt and cottage cheese. Cows milk also contains melatonin.
Make sure to eat whole grains. Just a small amount of whole grains at dinner may increase your brains ability to absorb L-Trytophan and increase levels of sleep promoting serotonin. Tart cherry juice concentrate is also one of the worlds best sources of melatonin.(Add two tablespoons to evening smoothies or in water before bedtime). Herbal teas are also a total go to. Apovian reveals many of her patients tell her that drinking a cup of chamomile or passionflower tea in the evening helps them relax, unwind and fight off the temptation to snack.
6 foods women should eat to maintain hormonal balance
1. Poultry, fatty fish, and soya proteins
Research has found that pre menopausal women lose more weight when most of their protein comes from these foods. Soya foods can also alleviate hot flashes and reduce your risk of breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and pack choi may fight excess estrogen and lower the risk for breast cancer. Excess estrogen occurs in pre-menopausal women who are overweight.
3. Whole grains
Lacking Vitamin B van cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Eat whole grains – think quinoa, oats, rye and brown rice – and lean beef to keep emotions (and emotional eating) at bay
4. Asparagus, melons and watercress
These foods combat one of life’s annoying middle aged symptoms… the dreaded bloat.
5 foods women should avoid for hormonal balance
1. Sugar. Brown, white, golden, syrups, they’re all bad
Sugar actually exaggerates hormonal symptoms in women. Not a good idea for the already super hormonal pre/post menopause.
2. Caffeinated beverages
You can Drink your coffee and tea with a tablespoon of non fat or low fat milk, calories free energy drinks and diet sodas. But remember caffeinated beverages can trigger hot flashes and sweats.
Boo, I know, but like caffeine alcohol can spark the dreaded hot flashes. If you really can’t do without, drink one glass of wine or beer with your whole food dinner in place of dessert.
4. High fat foods
An Australian study of 6000 women found that those eating high amounts of bad fat foods such as bacon, french fries, ice cream and cheese also experienced higher rates of hot flashes.
5. Spicy foods
Hold the hot sauce to hold off hot flashes. Stick with herbs and mild spices for flavour.
About Dr. Caroline Apovian MD
For over twenty-five years, Dr. Apovian has held a position at the forefront of the weight-management and nutrition field. One of the world’s premier weight-loss experts, she has distinguished herself as a leading researcher, treatment provider, teacher, and New York Times bestselling author.
Her latest book The Age-Defying Diet is available from Orion Books on paperback and eBook. The diet provides a revolutionary solution to unwanted weight increase in your 40’s and 50’s. Packed with recipes and workouts , Dr. Apovian has created a simple 3-week plan that reveals exactly hoe to combat the effects of ageing.