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Why Weight Loss Over 30 Is not Mission Impossible

Updated: Apr 23

Fed up with that stubborn scale? Have you realised that since you turned thirty it’s like the rules of weight loss changed overnight? Here we are going to look at why weight loss over 30 gets harder and how you can still achieve sustainable weight loss.


Why is Weight Loss over 30 Harder, but Possible?

The Triple Threat: Slower Metabolism, Declining Muscle Mass, and Hormonal Shifts

Slower Metabolism

  • Why It Happens: Our metabolism slows down approximately 1-2% per decade after the age of 30. This is due to hormonal changes and decreased muscle mass.

  • Impact on Weight Loss: A slower metabolism sadly means you burn fewer calories at rest, making it easier to gain weight.

  • Useful Strategies:

    • Consider incorporating more protein into your meals.

    • Include metabolism-boosting foods like chilli peppers and green tea.

    • Small, frequent meals can keep your metabolism humming.

Remember a slower metabolism isn’t a life sentence; it’s something we can impact by how we live and look after ourselves.


Declining Muscle Mass

  • Why It Happens: The rate of muscle loss accelerates as we age, partly because of hormonal shifts, particularly the decrease in testosterone, even in women.

  • Impact on Weight Loss: Muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even when you're doing absolutely nothing. Less muscle equals fewer calories burned.

  • Useful Strategies:

    • Prioritise resistance training to build and maintain muscle mass.

    • Adequate protein intake is critical for muscle repair.

Remember, muscle mass is your not-so-secret weapon in the war against weight gain.



Hormonal Shifts

  • Why It Happens: Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone begin to fluctuate and generally decline as we age.

  • Impact on Weight Loss: Hormonal changes can lead to increased appetite, cravings, and fat storage. They also have the power to affect your energy levels and mood, which indirectly impact your motivation to exercise.

  • Useful Strategies:

    • Incorporate foods that balance hormones naturally such as flaxseeds and fatty fish like salmon.

    • Exercise can help regulate hormones to some extent. Even something as simple as a walk can make a difference.

Hormonal shifts are a pain in the proverbial, but they're not insurmountable.


So there you have it, the triple threat that makes weight loss after 30 feel like climbing Everest. But just like any climb, it's doable with the right gear and guide😉


How to lose Weight Over 30?

The Power of Habit: Consistency

When it comes to achieving long-term fitness goals, consistency is your golden ticket. Why? Because consistency cultivates habit, and habit is your secret weapon for the days when motivation is MIA. Think of it as compound interest for your body—those small gains add up over time. To set yourself up for success, start with small, achievable changes that you can sustain. Consider using tracking apps for both nutrition and exercise to hold yourself accountable. Building a routine you can stick to will pay dividends in your overall health and wellbeing.


Balanced Nutrition

The key to maximising the benefits of any exercise routine is balanced nutrition. A well-rounded diet not only fuels your workouts but also aids in recovery. Its impact on weight loss is equally noteworthy. By controlling your appetite, improving your metabolism, and reducing cravings, a balanced diet is your best ally. What should be on your plate? Protein, fibre, and healthy fats should take centre stage. The extra step? Meal prepping to ensure you make wise food choices, especially when pressed for time.


Regular Exercise

Exercise is the universal remedy for enhancing not just your physical state, but also your mental wellbeing. The contributions it makes towards weight loss are invaluable—increasing your calorie-burning capacity, boosting muscle mass, and improving metabolism. The strategy here is to find an exercise you genuinely enjoy. A mix of cardiovascular and strength training will give you the most bang for your buck, keeping your workouts balanced and effective.


Resistance Training

Benefits

Resistance training is often thought of as the domain of men and body builders but it is an untapped resource when it comes to boosting your metabolism and so much more.


Resistance training enhances your resting metabolic rate, meaning your body burns more calories even when you're off-duty. It also has a positive effect it has on bone health. The stresses induced by resistance training stimulate bone-forming cells, acting as a frontline defence against bone-density decline. But the benefits don’t stop there.


Resistance training also impacts your functional fitness, improving your ability to carry out everyday activities, from hauling groceries to navigating a flight of stairs, with ease.


How to Start Resistance Training

When beginning a resistance training journey, there's no need to overcomplicate things. A strong foundation can be built using simple bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups. These exercises offer the versatility of being equipment-free, meaning you can perform them anywhere— from your living room to a hotel room.


Progressive Overload

As you become more comfortable with bodyweight exercises, it's essential to add some resistance to continue progressing. This concept, known as 'progressive overload,' is your ticket to consistently improving your strength, muscle mass, and overall fitness. Introducing weights or resistance bands will add a new layer of difficulty and effectiveness to your workouts. If you're working with a PT-written programme, rest assured that progressive overload is likely already factored into your routine.


Be Realistic

Now, let’s talk about consistency (again). While it's tempting to dive into an all-or-nothing approach, a balanced and manageable routine is crucial for sustainable success. Aiming for 2-3 sessions per week, lasting 45 minutes to an hour each, is an excellent place to start. However, the key is to find a routine that integrates seamlessly into your life. If five shorter sessions per week fit better into your schedule, then go for it! Remember, the best workout routine is the one that you'll actually stick to.


Nailing Nutritional Basics

When it comes to nutrition, protein is your best ally. High-protein foods aren't just for bodybuilders; they're for anyone looking to stay fuller for longer and reduce impromptu snacking. Protein helps build and repair tissues, making it crucial for those engaging in any physical activity.


But let's not overlook fruits and vegetables. The phrase "eat the rainbow" isn't just a catchy saying; it's sound advice for achieving nutrient density in your meals. A colourful plate is a visual cue that you're fuelling your body with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.


The Magic Pill: Walking

Walking is the unsung hero of physical activity. Aim for a daily step count between 7,000 and 8,000 if you're focused on health benefits. For those targeting weight loss, elevate that number to between 10,000 and 12,000 steps a day. It may sound daunting, but every step counts. Simple changes, like taking the stairs or parking a bit farther from the supermarket entrance, can contribute significantly to your daily total. And let's be honest, who needs an excuse to have a solo dance party in their living room?


Navigating Through the Hormonal Maze

When it comes to exercise, particularly during hormonal fluctuations, flexibility is key. On days when you're feeling less than stellar, be prepared with lower-impact workout alternatives. The important thing is to keep moving, even if it's less intense than your regular routine.

Trusting the process is also essential. The journey is full of ups and down but even a light workout can turn your day around, offering both psychological and physiological benefits.


Patience is a Virtue

We’ve all had that moment, stepping on to the scales only to find that the numbers aren't dropping as swiftly as we'd hoped. But here's the reality: especially as we journey through midlife, weight loss is more a marathon than a sprint. We just explained how your body's metabolism isn't what it used to be, and that this is completely natural. Expecting quick results can set you up for disappointment, and frankly, it’s not a fair assessment of your efforts. Weeks to months is a more realistic time frame to see meaningful changes and the upside is the more moderate your weight loss the easier it will be to maintain. Don't let the scale dictate your mood or self-worth (if the scales fill you with dread and are likely to de-rail you then acknowledge this and measure progress in other ways that are less triggering for you (e.g. photos/tape measurements).


Being attuned to your body is key. So much is within your control to slow down the effects ageing has on the body. Weight loss after 30 is not just attainable, it is doable


I hope this has helped you understand more about why Weight Loss Over 30 is hard but not impossible. If you need some support along the way, you know where to find me. 😉 While I can't give medical advice, I'm always here to guide you through your fitness and nutritional challenges. For matters requiring medical input, never hesitate to consult a healthcare professional.


Follow for science-backed advice on fitness and nutrition to help you live your best mid-life. If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me.

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