A common complaint I receive from women is their lamenting about how they are NOT getting the results they want from their fitness and diet program. I also hear women who tell me that they are doing the exact same things they used to do to lose excess body weight, and aren’t having success. Ladies, I know why your diet program isn’t working.
The number one reason you are not getting the results you want is because you are over exercising.
When you’re younger and you make dietary discretions you can often offset this by dialing up the exercise. It might’ve worked for you back in your twenties to do some extra cardio and the pizza and beer nights were “fixed.” This will absolutely NOT be the case as your body matures.
If you begin exercising and doing intense cardio multiple days a week, if you are doing this on days you have had little sleep and high stress, it is quite possible you will trigger your body to go into fat-storing mode. The literal opposite of what you desire. If you are over-training you are at greater risk for over-taxing your hormones, generating too much cortisol and setting off a ripple effect of unwanted outcomes. Estrogen rich tissue that accumulates more as we age, will impact our struggles as we try to lose weight as well. Be kinder to your body and it will respond accordingly. Please incorporate deliberate daily activity. Enjoy a hard workout when you’ve fueled your body properly the day before and when you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep.
The second reason you are not getting the results you desire is because you are under eating.
Calorie restriction can appear to be the logical route when you want to lose weight. I understand the compulsion to go this route. Especially because so many programs have touted calorie and macro counting to an extreme. When I speak with women and hear about what they are actually eating, I know many women are down to 800-1000 calories a day in an attempt to get lean. When you do this, your body thinks it’s starving. And when your body things it’s starving it will hold on to fat stores. Please read that sentence again… your body will HOLD ON to FAT stores.
You must be consuming a sufficient amount of calories, and quality macronutrients.
Ideally you are prioritizing healthy fat and protein with every meal. You should be cutting back on the carbohydrates. This is not to suggest that you never eat a carb. Those “fun” carbs need to go! Cakes, pies, pastries, bread, and pasta can’t be consumed everyday. Please understand that as women get older, our carbohydrate needs change. Eat protein and healthy fat with every meal or snack, and become very conscientious about carbs. This is a recipe for maintaining a healthy weight with longevity.
The third reason you are not getting the results you want is because you are not sleeping.
You are not getting quality sleep every single night and it is costing you your health. Americans in general do not prioritize sleep. You can’t make up for it on vacation, on the weekends, or my favorite excuse, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That is not the right philosophy.
We need 7-9 hours of high quality sleep, every single night.
Growth hormone is secreted at night and it is the hormone that is going to help your body heal and is key in terms of developing lean muscle mass. This secretion isn’t going to happen unless you get into a deep sleep. If you are waking up between 2 and 4am you aren’t getting into the deep sleep you need to lose weight. Waking up in this pattern is indicative of poor blood sugar and hormone dysregulatin.
The fourth reason you are not getting the results you desire is because of stress.
Stress that is going on inside your body must be addressed. Please note that your body doesn’t care if the stress is personal, professional, physical, actual or perceived… it will respond in the only ways that it knows how, by secreting hormones that combat stress.
Too much of this hormone secretion will lead to retention of adipose tissue.
You must prioritize an action plan to handle stress. Whether that be mindfulness, meditation, journaling, therapy… it must become a part of your daily routine or you will not reduce the cortisol output.
Once you become 35, 45, 55 and beyond, our body needs different solutions than it did at 25. I believe in long term strategies and diving into the WHY of our body systems.