The Challenges of Losing Weight As You Age
January 24, 2024
We all fear the day that our metabolism stops working and we can’t get away with what we did in college. Yes, things change and we do in fact get older… but there are things we can do to keep us feeling our best. Why not get older and better?
As we age, our hormones and behaviors change and over time can lead to inflammation and weight gain. Our blood sugar, known as the insulin hormone, responds differently to certain macronutrients such as protein, fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. Sugar is what gives us that immediate spike in blood glucose that we have to work hard to bring back down if we aren’t healthy. Hormones are literally the directors of our body. Sleep, stress, diet, and exercise are what dictates all of this. We must act our way into thinking and these four pillars are the foundations.
That’s why at Awaken180°, we create individual meal plans and meet you where you’re at to create long lasting habits for success.
1. The Order of Eating
When we fuel ourselves with protein, healthy fats and fiber, our blood sugar is stabilized. Our insulin response depends on how we eat and what foods in particular. Look to eat veggies first, followed by protein and fat! By the time we finish those up, we will most likely fill up on nutrients that our body actually craves, which leaves us satisfied. If it’s necessary to have a higher carb food on your plate, eat this last. With steady blood sugar we can feel energized and manage our weight easier.
2. Get Quality Sleep
Our bodies also produce hunger hormones called leptin and ghrelin. Leptin tells our brain when we are full and ghrelin tells us when we are hungry (more like “Gremlin”, right?). Have you ever felt ravenous and an insatiable hunger the day after a terrible night’s sleep? That’s because those hunger hormones are imbalanced due to stress hormone cortisol, which stimulates ghrelin. Sufficient rest and recovery is necessary for longevity and health, and that’s why you hear all the hoot about 8 hours of sleep.
Menopause can be a tricky time where estrogen levels plummet and women may find they gain more abdominal fat. Estrogen is essential for cardiovascular and bone health, and even impacts our mood. Stress and emotions in general impact our food choices and physical behaviors. Protein is optimal for our bodily functions, muscles, hair, skin and nails and fats are specifically beneficial for regulating hormones and providing energy! Imagine what your body can do when you feel satisfied and energized! That weight loss is going to feel much easier.
3. Eat More Whole Foods
Another strategy we can do is intentionally avoid ultra processed foods! You know those foods that come in bags and boxes? Those foods that we can’t resist once we open the seal? Junk food is chemically engineered to make us eat more, what a smart business move! Our hunger hormones are hijacked so that we ignore how we feel as we stuff ourselves into a food coma. It feels amazing at the moment, but soon enough we regret that sluggish and overstuffed feeling. When we mostly eat whole natural foods, our body can tell us when we are naturally satiated. Pro tip is to eat until 80% full, and energized!
Find a physical activity that you love! When you love something, you’re more likely to stick to it. Whether it’s a 10 minute walk after each meal (which does wonders for your blood sugar response, by the way) or your favorite sport with friends, movement is always encouraged. Something to keep in mind that is often overlooked is muscle! Unfortunately, as we age, we lose muscle naturally. To maintain it, we must eat enough protein and place a stressor on our muscles to grow (aka strength training). Muscle is a great insulin regulator and is protective against disease. Not only does it look amazing, but it keeps our bones, insulin response, and internal systems working well.
Once our hormones balance out and our metabolism works well, we can treat ourselves in moderation to enjoy the sweet things in life. It might be hard at first. But remember, our body will crave what we feed it. Here at Awaken180°, we provide you with the right food and guidelines to train your body to crave these foods that will keep you healthy! Soon enough it will be second nature and you’ll be feeling vibrant and youthful again…so what are you waiting for?