I remember when I hit 30. There were changes in my body that seemingly happened overnight. Like I woke up on my 30th birthday and something was different. Not a lot different, but enough for me to notice. The changes weren’t really drastic and didn’t really bother me too much. Nothing I couldn’t work around.
And then I hit 40. I remember everybody telling me how my body would change after I hit 40 but I didn’t really think it would be an instant, hello-you’re-40-now everything is going to slow down and get weird. But it did. I feel like things got weird first and then by the end of the year my metabolism noticeably slowed down.
Now I’m nearing 42. In 5 weeks to be exact. Over the last several months I have noticed even more changes that are simply a sign of “aging.” (I am not fond of that word) In my discussions with other women in my “over 40” age group, I have learned that I’m not alone and these issues are a common thread among us. We can’t eat the way we used to eat. One glass of wine has repercussions it didn’t have before. Our joints are creaky and sometimes achy. And we don’t put on muscle the way we used to and we lose it twice as fast.
I have no intention of growing old gracefully. I intend to fight it with all my strength. If you’re over 40 too, I would encourage you to resist and take some easy steps to fight mother nature. So, what can you do? Here are 5 easy things that we can do that will help us stay healthy, boost our metabolisms and keep us fit with minimal risk of injury.
- Eat Frequent, Small Meals - I learned this when I started bodybuilding. I ate every 2-3 hours. After 7 years of this and strict meal planning, I got real tired of it. It became a chore. So I stopped. I went to more like 3 meals a day and noticed that it did no favors for my metabolism. In my quest to go back to the more frequent, small meals I decided to do this in a way that made it easy without feeling cumbersome. These meals don’t have to be labor-intensive. Grab a container of high protein Greek yogurt. Eat a protein bar. Drink a protein shake/smoothie - add berries, peanut butter, spinach, whatever you like. Batch cook things you like to eat that you can take on the go and reheat easily. The worst thing we can do as we age, is to run on empty too often. Give your body a little something to work on.
- Add Fats, Subtract Carbs - it’s not about removing calories, it’s about shifting your nutrient partitioning. You still want to have complex carbohydrates in your diet but your body needs less than it did when it was younger. What it doesn’t need it will store as body fat. Swap out some of your carbs for healthy fats like salmon, avocado, EVOO, coconut oil, nut butters.
- Supplement with Fish Oil - Fish oil actually aids in fat loss. It’s an essential fatty acid that our bodies need for proper functioning. It also helps with joint and bone health which is very important for women, especially. Fish oil is also found to support serotonin levels which boost your mood and help lower stress levels. If you already consume a healthy amount of fatty fish in your diet, you will not need to supplement as much…but you’ll still need to supplement.
- Take a Fat Burner/Fat Loss Supplement - there are many non-stimulant fat burners on the market these days. Two of my favorites are SlimTox by NDS Nutrition - this blend has an appetite control component, sleep aid and probiotic and supports healthy digestion. This is a stimulant free supplement taken before bed. The other that I like is Slimify by Siren Labs. This product helps fat loss by suppressing appetite and the mild stimulants help with metabolism and aid in fat loss. The metabolic boost by this type of product is very helpful for women over 40. I had removed this from my supplement arsenal and added them back in several weeks ago and have noticed positive changes as a result.
- Hydrate! - It’s not a health blog if it doesn’t advise proper hydration, right? Water is critical for our bodies to do their work. Our digestive systems require proper hydration to function effectively. Dehydration is one of the worst things you can do to your body. In the winter months I tend not to love plain water like I do when the weather is warmer. I drink lots when I exercise but throughout the day I find myself turning towards tea, fruit infused, zero calorie waters.
These are some simple steps that won’t require a huge time commitment or life change. They’re easy and effective. While we can’t completely stop the hands of time, we can take some easy steps to slow them down. What we didn’t “have” to do in our younger years are now necessary for us to keep getting results out of a body that wants to slow down.