Have you found that it can be tougher as you reach your 40’s and upwards to keep in shape? And have you ever wondered why this was?

It is pretty simple really, as we approach middle age our body can start to lose muscle mass mainly due to hormonal changes. But don’t panic yet, all is not lost- there are some simple things we can teach you to ensure that you are get in great shape and maintain perfect health in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond.

What I would say for starts is that you now need to be smarter and take a more holistic approach to your health and fitness. What worked for you in your 20’s and 30’s is less likely to be as effective in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.

1) Reduce alcohol intake

Alcohol can contribute to weight gain at any age, the fact that it is high in calories; spikes your insulin levels; lowers your body’s ability to utilize fat and increases your cravings for sugary and fatty foods has always been there but there are some additional things to consider in middle age. Alcohol has a direct impact on your hormonal system which plays a key role in your body’s regulation of fat storage . An example of this is in a process known as aromatisation, this is where the body changes testosterone into oestrogen which is catastrophic for both your body shape and your health. This is why you can see men with flabby chests and women storing fat around their hips and thighs.

2) Train smart

Now even more than ever before you need to train smarter. It is vital that you have a game plan for your exercise. The main aim should be to overload the body at an appropriate level so as it is continually having to adapt and change. This is the sweet spot where the body will be building lean muscle and ramping up your metabolism.

You also must learn to listen to your body more, you can no longer ignore those aches and pains as they will become a chronic problem that will result in you having to take time off from exercising. You must also take heed of how you feel each day, training hard when your body is stressed or fatigued can actually cause your body to store more fat. At times when you are particularly stress or fatigued doing lower intensity exercise based on replenishing energy levels would be a smarter move.

3) Get to bed early

Sleep plays a vital role in our health and going to bed late at night or having poor quality of sleep can be a major contributor to gaining fat and being unwell.

Early beds will really help to combat the declining levels of testosterone as our testosterone and growth hormone levels are higher between 10pm-12pm in the sleep cycle. If you are having difficulty getting a full night sleep this is a red flag to say that something is out of sync in your life and this needs to be rebalanced.

 4) Avoid being over stressed

Over the years we have worked with countless clients who were struggling to shift weight because they have high levels of stress. This elevated stress can be due to be emotional, physical or chemical stressors or a combination of all three. Chronically high levels of the stress hormone cortisol lowers testosterone levels; puts the body in fat storing mode; increases the levels of circulating sugars and supresses the immune system.

A clear indication that you have elevated cortisol level would be storing excess fat in the tummy area. All the sit ups and cardio in the world won’t shift that tummy fat. You have to address whatever is elevating your stress levels

5) Don’t go on diets

As mentioned above one of the main reason why it becomes harder to keep weight off in middle age is the lowered metabolism and the biggest flaw of dieting is that the body will react to the sudden lowering of calorie content by slowing down the metabolism.

As humans we have not evolved a great deal since we had to hunt and gather our food; when food was scarce the body responded to this by burning up muscle for energy and storing fat for reserves. The same thing happens when you go on diet.

You can see that as you get older this would be an absolute disaster as this perpetuates the natural reduction of muscle that can already be occurring. It is vital that you lose weight in a way that maintains the metabolism. Fuelling the body with the correct foods at the correct time becomes even more important to ensure elevated metabolic rates.

 6) Avoid sugar

This one is not exclusive to over 40’s but I thought I would remind you off this as it is the number one reason why people can’t lose weight. If you are regularly eating foods that are high in refined sugars (breads, cereals, processed foods, jars of sauces, sweets, crisps, cracker biscuits, cereal bars, energy drinks,  chocolates, fizzy drinks, pasta, fruit juices and low fat products) your body will be constantly converting all that sugar into fat!

At Get Results we have many clients who tell us they feel better and look better now than they did 15-20 years ago. This really excites and surprises many of them as they had started to believe that middle age spread and everything that comes with it was inevitable. With our support we have helped them overcome these challenges and they are looking forward to many years ahead with their leaner bodies and more importantly with their improved health and energy levels

Ps if you are over 40 and would like to get some expert advice on your health and fitness goals we have a few spaces left on our program. You can contact us today to book your FREE body transformation session and start your journey to a younger, happier, fitter and leaner you info@getresultsfitness.co.uk