Already thinking about wanting to shed a few pounds in time for summer?
A time when you will be bearing a little more skin and hopefully seeing some actual sunshine. Being from the UK we always have to be a little optimistic about that one, right? Thankfully summers in the French Alps are usually pretty bon!
I really don’t like the idea of wanting to slim down just for a certain season or event, I believe in year-round health and well-being.
But, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel more confident in your body, in wanting to feel empowered and inspired by your health and nutrition choices.
It’s the time of year to be getting out and making the most of life, and I want you to have that fire for life and the energy you need to go out and live your best life.
Life is really f*cking short and it shouldn’t have to be about constant restriction or continually feeling sh!tty about how you feel when you go to try on your new summer wardrobe.
I want you to be able to go and try on new clothes, look in the mirror and think, damn who is that hot piece of ass right there, yes it is possible to feel that good as a 40+ woman.
Yes, some of that will come from your health and fitness practices, but a big part of doing that is also about your mindset and how you choose to look and talk to yourself.
I make a big point of covering both parts in Better Body coaching.
You are way more than what your body looks like!
But feeling good in your body impacts every other area of your life too.
When you feel fitter and healthier, you feel happier, more confident, more positive, you have more energy for life and when you approach it in a balanced approach that is focused on self care, things all round just get better.
Ok so let’s get into the actual summer body strategy (that’s not really just for summer but lifelong health and longevity)
Everyone’s journey will look a little different to another persons and why setting your mindset first is important. These are the best ways to help you manage your body weight and adjust to the hormonal changes that are happening to the female body as we approach the menopause and beyond, and ultimately help you to reach your weight loss goals.
Get Honest With Yourself
Self Awareness is having an honest look at where you are at. Acknowledging what are some of the things that hold you back when it comes to your health practices, why you action those things and what are the small steps you could take to start making micro improvements with what you already know? Consider how you talk to yourself and also how you view your health journey.
If you are starting from scratch and aren’t currently working out. Going from 0 to 5 sessions a week is probably not realistic. Look, I’m a lover of setting big goals, but we also need to realise that you probably aren’t going to lose a stone in a month. It absolutely is possible to do that, but if you want to keep it off this time then you need to give yourself more time to hit those health habits in a way that you can stick to them. Anticipate that it may take you a year to lose that stone, but when you do it will be gone for good!
Could You Do This For Life
Leading on from the above point. When you start to implement any habit, ask yourself…. Could I do this for the rest of my life? Sure you have to be a little more intentional when working to lose weight (or more specifically lose body fat) in the beginning, but for the most part, any new health habit you start, you want to be able to keep up with FOREVER. This is NOT a quick-fix fad, this gets to become now just part of who you are.
Check Your Hormones
If you feel like you are already experiencing peri or menopausal symptoms, stop guessing and instead go and get your hormone levels checked. Then if you need to get support from your doctor to help balance them, you then can be more informed by what your body needs. Hormone replacement therapy can be life changing, but it is also something you want to go into with your eyes wide open and speak with your health care professional.
Increase your NEAT
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, this is all of the movement you do outside of any formal exercise and makes up the biggest part of your daily calorie burn. This is walking, moving, doing chores or manual work. Get up, move and keep active throughout your day. Be someone who has an active lifestyle, and also look for the activities and hobbies that you actually enjoy. The lifestyle changes of just getting up and moving more on a daily basis will increase your general activity levels and increase your overall daily energy expenditure.
Increase Muscle Mass
As we age we all start to experience a loss of muscle mass at a rate of 3-8% per decade after the age of 30. The good news is that we can do something to prevent that, weight training or resistance training will help you increase, or at the least sustain your lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate will be and the more efficient your body will be at weight maintenance and help you to define a body shape that is much easier to sustain. plus the benefit of confidence to live in a body that is strong for life, as well as the millions of other benefits of strength training.
High cortisol levels caused by chronic stress are a big issue for the 40+ woman. Stress is catabolic and eats into muscle, and also why long steady state cardio no longer needs to be a priority. If you love it, then continue to do it, but you don’t HAVE to do it. Cardio is actually very stressful on the body so if you are doing it then rest and recovery is key. Many menopausal women also suffer with poor sleep (menopausal night sweats anyone?!?!) and getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to combat stress levels. Work to reduce mental and physical stressors and make sure that you work towards getting more good quality sleep and recovery.
Prioritise Protein Intake
I know you have heard this one before, but do you know how much protein you should be getting v’s how much you currently are? This one shift can make the whole weight loss process feel much easier as you eat more, feel fuller and aren’t constantly craving foods. Though everyone’s needs are different, a good guide to work towards is to get 30g of protein at each meal. This is not a low carb diet, but making protein a priority can help you manage portion control and better manage your food intake.
Rebalance Hormones Through Smart Nutrition
Calorie intake matters, so the number of calories you eat are important, but it’s also the quality and types of foods that you eat that will help to support hormonal balance as well as gut health. Eat real food!!! Eat more natural and whole foods, whole grains, fresh fruits, healthy fats and increase your fibre intake. All of this will help to manage insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance, reduce health risks and help you to see those body composition changes. Minimise ultra-processed foods, reduce sugar intake and sugary drinks and you will soon start to see and feel the benefits. 80% of your results are going to come from your nutrition and having a healthy diet so stop burying your head in the sand because you don’t want to.
Track & Measure
So this isn’t something I want anyone to have to do forever, in fact for some people I don’t recommend it. But it can have a place and it’s more of an opportunity to just check in with where you are at, so you know the areas you can make improvements. It really is an added awareness to the self-awareness piece. Even just tracking your food for a week can allow you to see where those snacks start adding up the calories and seeing if you are getting remotely close to your protein targets. I like to take this approach and work it alongside mindful eating to help find that healthy lifestyle balance.
There can feel like quite a lot to get right here, but we are not looking at perfection, more about asking yourself am I doing these habits more often than I’m not?
Be patient and kind with yourself.
If you feel like you could do with some extra help and support, I’m guiding our members on how to apply these strategies into their lives.
You can nowget the FREE 5 Day Better Body Kicksart to head you in the right direction