Tag Archives: weight loss

Staying Fit Over 40 and Dangerous Visceral Fat

If you miss the days when you could buckle down on diet and exercise to drop a few unwanted pounds within a reasonably quick period of time, you’re not alone. Older adults, especially women, face physiological changes that can promote weight gain and, even worse, muscle loss.  I know, Talk about a midlife crisis.

Once women reach 40, their likelihood of becoming overweight or obese sharply rises. In fact, about 68 percent of women aged 40 to 59 are overweight or obese–a 17 percent increase compared to women between the ages of 20 and 39–according to data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)). Hormonal changes may be to blame, researchers suggest.

Everyone has some subcutaneous fat but the dangerous fat is the visceral fat that hides in-between your organs. Visceral or “deep” fat wraps around the inner organs and spells trouble for your health. How do you know if you have it? If you have a large waist or belly, of course you have some visceral fat but if your stomach protrudes and is tight too the touch, it could be a sign of visceral fat. Visceral fat drives up your risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even dementia.

Visceral fat is thought to play a larger role in insulin resistance which boosts risk of diabetes more than other fat.  It’s not clear why, but it could explain or partially explain why visceral fat is a bigger health risk.

A large study conducted by the International Menopause Society found that hormonal changes in women alter the way the body distributes fat in the body, making it more likely to accumulate in the abdomen as visceral fat. Visceral fat worsens existing  hormonal changes by acting as an endocrine organ itself, pumping out hormone-like compounds that increase inflammation and the risk of insulin resistance related to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Another study from the Mayo Clinic investigated what was going on at the cellular level during menopause by comparing fat tissue of pre- and post-menopausal women. They found the two enzymes that work to produce and store fat were more active in the postmenopausal women, increasing their risk of having a higher body fat percentage (3).

How to battle the middle-aged spread?

Exercise intensely. Engaging in exercise, especially resistance training at high intensity, helps stimulate muscle growth, which in turn boosts metabolism and burns fat. Studies show that physically active women who enter menopause are leaner than sedentary women and have a decreased risk of developing metabolic disease (4).  What’s more, postmenopausal women who exercise daily maintain their weight while those who have lower activity levels have been found to have increased body fat, mostly around the midsection (5).

Eat a balanced, protein-rich diet. What you eat can also influence midlife weight gain. A study with 17,000 postmenopausal women assigned to either a control or a diet group (who were encouraged to eat healthy, balanced meals) found that those in the diet group had less severe menopause symptoms and were three times more likely to have lost weight (6).

A diet lacking essential nutrients and high in refined carbohydrates and empty calories will accelerate the aging process including age-related weight gain. Instead, eating a balanced diet with the right amounts of high-quality protein  can stimulate muscle synthesis and boost metabolism, turning the scale in your favor.

For the working Executive or traveling sales person, I recommend high protein meal replacements. They are great to fill you up before a business lunch or dinner and can help you get through airports without grabbing high calorie and processed foods. (contact me for recommendations).

Hold on to muscle. Loss of muscle is a common result of the aging process with women losing about 1 percent of their lean body mass per year after age 40 if they aren’t physically active (7). Because muscle is more metabolically active than fat, a muscular body composition burns more calories and uses fat tissue for fuel rather than stored energy. Eating a protein-rich diet and engaging in muscle-building exercise helps establish a healthy balance of fat and lean body tissue in the body.

Get quality sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 61 percent of postmenopausal women have issues with falling asleep or getting enough quality sleep most nights . A major reason for this loss of sleep is due to instances of hot flashes. Hot flashes can disrupt sleep because body temperature drastically increases, leading to discomfort and waking. Consequently, lack of sleep has been associated with increased levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and decreased levels of the satiety hormone, leptin, leading to overeating and weight gain.

To improve sleep quality, it’s best to avoid caffeinated beverages before bedtime, follow a regular sleep routine, and exercise during the day. If sleep issues still persist, it’s best to see your doctor for further guidance.

Make sure to get enough fiber. Middle-aged women commonly face gastrointestinal changes caused by fluctuations in hormones that lead to bloating and sluggish intestines. These feelings can affect appetite and energy level–two important aspects of staying on track with diet and exercise goals. To support bowel health, drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat sufficient amounts of fiber. In addition to getting fiber from whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, supplement your diet with extra fiber to reach the recommended 25 grams per day.

While there may be additional challenges when trying to lose weight midlife , sites like www.SummerBodyNow.com can provide you with the tools to alter your lifestyle and reach your weight-loss goals. They specialize in coaching over 40 men and women through diet and exercise programs individually designed for  your unique situation and body type.

Take your health into your own hands and make 40 and above feel like 30 all over again.

Jason@SummerBodyNow.com

References

  1. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Curtin LR, et al. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999–2004. JAMA. 2006;295(13):1549-1555.
  2. Davis SR, Castelo-Branco C, Chedraui, et al. Understanding weight gain and menopause.Climacteric. 2012;15(5):419-29.
  3. Santosa S, Jensen MD. Adipocyte fatty acid storage factors enhance subcutaneous fat storage in postmenopausal women. Diabetes. 2013;62(3):775-82.
  4. Sternfeld B, Dugan S. Physical activity and health during the menopausal transition. Obset Gynecol Clin North Am. 2011;38(3):537-566.
  5. Sternfeld B, Wang H, Quesenberry CP Jr, et al. Physical activity and changes in weight and waist circumference in midlife women: findings from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.Am J Epidemiol. 2004;160(9):912-922.
  6. Kroenkw CH, Cann BJ, Stefanick ML, et al. Effects of a dietary intervention and weight change on vasomotor symptoms in the Women’s Health Initiative. Menopuase. 2012;19(9):980-8.
  7. Paddon-Jones D. Lean body mass loss with age. Abbott Nutrition websitehttp://images.abbottnutrition.com/ANHI2010/MEDIA/14-110th AN Conf Paddon-Jones Final.pdf. Accessed march 31, 2014.
  8. Menopause and sleep. National Sleep Foundation website.http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/menopause-and-sleep. Accessed March 31, 2014.
  9. Heitkemper MM, Chang L. Do fluctuations in ovarian hormones affect gastrointestinal symptoms in women with irritable bowel syndrome? Gend Med. 2009;6 Suppl 2:152-167.

Diet Myth #3.8 – I Need to Starve Myself to Burn Fat

I NEED TO STARVE MYSELF SO MY BODY WILL BURN FAT

Wrong! Your body is the master compensator. When you drastically cut calories, your body goes into survival mode and slows down your metabolism. Yes, as crazy as it sounds, that’s what it does because your body’s first priority is survival. Also, if you just cut calories but don’t focus on nutrient dense, well-balanced meals, you also end up loosing muscle. The amount of muscle on your body is one of the main factors that determines your metabolism (how many calories you burn). So, if you end up losing muscle then you lower your metabolism. This can be a disastrous combo of losing muscle and damaging your metabolism. 


This is one of the main reasons that people rebound after a “diet”. They loose “scale weight” but don’t realize that a lot of it was muscle and for the reasons listed above, lowered and perhaps even damaged their metabolism. So when they resume eating normal again, their body regains the fat and sometimes even more…Summer Body Now Body Comp


It is very important to know your body composition and body fat percentage before you start any dietary change to reduce your weight. You need to focus on well-balanced and nutrient dense meals, evenly spaced throughout the day. Make sure you take measurements and use the mirror more than the scale. This is where a coach can save you a ton of time and frustration because they can get you started on a personal plan that is as unique as you are…

jason@summerbodynow.com

To Whey or not… Not all Whey is the Same.

Most Whey Today: Not so great

I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 25 years and I see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes in the supplement industry. Don’t think for a second that they are looking out for your best interest. Most of these companies are a “for profit organization” and must please the share holders before you.. If you do a little research, you can make sure that you’re hard earned money is working for you and is well spent on quality. Remember to, “buy for quality, not the picture or phrase on the bottle”!

Whey has been used in traditional cuisine for centuries, and was known by Greek doctors as “healing water” for it’s strength-building properties.hercules-statue

Today however, whey is considered a waste product of the cheese and yogurt industries. The wildly popular greek yogurt industry has been under scrutiny from environmental agencies recently for the gallons upon gallons of “whey waste” that they must get rid of after processing their strained yogurt products. For every four pounds of milk, only one pound of yogurt is made, and the rest is a mixture of whey, chemicals and other acidic byproducts. Industries drowning in whey have been scrambling to figure out just what to do with all of this tangy liquid and many have found an outlet in the sports nutrition industry where leftover whey is being powdered, flavored and marketed as a muscle-building, energy-boosting supplement. Sounds like a very solid plan, except for the fact that the whey from big industry is truly waste- high heat pasteurized and subject to several acid baths. Any potentially beneficial nutrients are obliterated and mingled with nasty toxins during production. Supplement companies have tried desperately to “purify” their products by isolating different parts of the protein portion of the whey, which is why you get so many different formulations on the market such as isolates, hydrosylates, concentrates, etc. This fractioning subjects the already destroyed whey to even more sketchy chemical processes and eliminates co-factors, rendering any possible remaining nutrients completely un-bioavailable. So despite the luring claims on those big black tubs of peanut-butter chocolate whey protein, most of these commercial powders are certainly not superior and spend more on marketing and magazine ads than they do on what’s inside the bottle! In fact, most of the “added” amino acids that they tout as a bonus, on the label, are only added to bring the amino profile back to “complete”, since many essential amino acids were killed in the high heat or acid based denaturing process! Many whey protein supplements on the shelves are the same quality of whey that is found in your puppy chow. Mmmm, makes me want seconds. Seriously though, if you’re using cheap, low grade whey, much of it is wasted and not even assimilated in your system…

When made properly in small batches from cultured dairy, whey has incredibly unique healing properties. Rich with biologically active proteins and protein fractions, it has a high concentration of essential amino acids that are readily used to support vital biological functions in the body. Among these beneficial factors is:male-and-female-muscles-e1338389654312

Lactoferrin, a multifunctional protein with iron-binding properties that acts as a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory

Bovine serum albumin (BSA), a substance high in amino acids that has been shown to support infection-fighting white blood cells, increase antioxidant activity and maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body

Immunoglobulins to support disease control by bolstering immunity

Probiotic organisms to promote optimal digestion and full nutrient absorption by balancing the gut flora

Essential amino acids in a highly bioavailable form to act as building blocks for proteins

Glutathione precursors, to boost production of the body’s most powerful antioxidant

Minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc in balanced amounts
Vitamins notably vitamin B2 or riboflavin which helps the body to convert carbohydrates into fuel

If you are looking for a whey protein that is whole, complete, that will boost your immune system and either pack on the muscle or hold it while dieting down, you need organic, New Zealand, un-denatured whey. The whey of the God’s!

It’s all I use and I’ll never go back!

Want to get your hands on some? Contact me here:

Also Check Out our  30-Day Metabolic Reset