By Kristin Burgess, RD
Woman: How to Reset Your Diet If You Are Over 40
It used to be an assumption that the reason we gain weight after 40, is due to a decline in our metabolism and change in hormones. Recent research shows that our metabolism can run at the same rate as it does in our 20’s. However, our body can also start to have imbalances that can involve hormone levels (adrenal function), a thyroid imbalance, or even the brain’s neurotransmitter function. On top of these obstacles, women often have stressful lives which can prompt them to turn to high-sugar, low-nutrition foods for quick energy. When a diet of empty-calorie foods is coupled with a metabolic imbalance, it’s almost inevitable that you will develop a resistance to weight loss. Here are a few nutrition tips that can help get you through:
- Breakfast is important. Don’t skip it. If you have been skipping breakfast for years and you have symptoms of weight gain or low energy, it isn’t working for you. Eat breakfast within an hour of waking and aim to consume about 20-25 grams of protein, a complex carbohydrate and a healthy fat. For example: two slices of sprouted grain toast, two tablespoons of avocado and two whole eggs.
- Stay hydrated. Every day. No matter what, unless for some reason your doctor says so. If you are not drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, you are likely dehydrated. Start your day with at least twenty ounces upon waking and finish your water goal by about 5:00pm. Drink from a large reusable bottle, to help with convenience and measuring accountability.
- Plan your day to consume at least three different vegetables, in large quantities, as well as two different fruits.
- Increase your fiber. Consistently eating three vegetables and two fruits will help you meet this goal. Increase your beans and lentils in your diet and plan to have 1/2 cup beans most every day.
- I would recommend not dieting, not cutting calories and try to avoid those tempting trendy diets. This is true especially if you are perimenopause or in menopause. If you find that you are always tired and fighting fatigue, avoid caffeine and limit sugars as you might be fighting high stress hormones.
Life gets crazy in our 40’s. Our family and careers can take over. Be sure to take control of your lifestyle by staying hydrated, limiting added sugars and alcohol, and always getting your workouts in! For more tips and tricks on nutrition, contact Kristin Burgess, RD.