I was in Pittsburgh over the weekend and Sara was very upset when she called me. Sara turned 40 a few years ago and has been on every cleanse, low-calorie diet, and food fad since I met her.
Today was her anniversary and she was panicked. Nothing in the regular section of her closet fit, and only thing she could wear was the ugliest dress in her “big girl” section. She asked, “why is it so hard to lose my stomach in my 40’s?!?”
I was glad she called. I was ready to help.
These are the 3 keys to losing fat around your middle after 40:
1. Mind your muscle:
muscle is your metabolism. While you must cut calories to lose weight, cutting calories without strength training means losing more muscle than fat. When you regain the weight you do not replace all of the muscle you’ve lost. The more times your diet or cleanse without strength training the slower your metabolism gets because you lose muscle each round. Getting 2-3 total body strength training sessions per week will change your body and your life.
2. NEAT can’t be beat:
high intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage, however it’s got nothing on walking or doing chores. Getting to 7,200 steps per day makes a huge difference in your hunger hormones, the quality of your sleep (which impacts how much you weigh), and will burn far more calories every day than the most vomit-inducing interval workout. (More on this here… as in, “what the hell is NEAT?”)
3. Think like a turtle:
Getting off to a fast start feels good – it’s exciting. However, it’s usually unsustainable. The slow starting tortoise beats the hare every time I read this book to my kids. Be less concerned with how much weight you’re going to lose in 21 days, and more concerned with how much you will keep off in 21 months. Everyone who wants to lose weight has already lost 10, 20, 40 or more pounds. Keeping it off is where you win.