Stubborn Weight Loss After 35

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Are you doing all the right things but can’t seem to shift the weight?

Watch this video to find out what you may be doing wrong.

Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit, healthy and strong at any age.

Are you eating right and exercising, but you’re not really getting the weight loss results that you want?

I specialize in helping people over 35 overcome those weight loss hurdles, and I’ve been doing that for over 20 years.

Just to make sure that you do have those basics in place.

Doing Too Much Cardio

A little bit of cardio is fine and I definitely want you to be as active as possible so that you’re burning additional calories throughout the day. So, just keep moving, keep walking as much as you can, those sorts of things.

When you’re talking about being at the gym for long periods of time spending say 40 minutes to an hour on the treadmill jogging or on the cross trainer or maybe pedaling on the bike, those kinds of activities can increase your hunger, which means that afterwards you’re probably going to eat too much and then you’re going to end up wasting all those calories that you burned because you’re eating more.

That type of cardio has been shown to increase your appetite, which is not a positive thing if you’re looking to lose weight.

The other thing is if you’re doing too much cardio and your body’s a bit overwhelmed and stressed when combined with work stresses and your family stresses, then your cortisol levels will increase.

If you’ve got your cortisol levels and that’s your stress hormone, if those kind of stay up, elevated, you may find that you’re more likely to store fat.

So, particularly around the midsection.

If your cortisol levels are chronically high, then you’ll find that you’re more prone to fat storage.

Doing too much cardio, you may also start to lose your muscle mass. As you know, if you watch my other video, muscle mass is really what you want to focus on.

As you get over 35, you want to build and maintain muscle as much as you can.

So, too much cardio can be a problem.

Not Eating Enough

So, this sounds a little bit counterintuitive, but if you do what we call crash dieting, when you reduce your calorie intake way, way, way too low, your body’s going to initially respond to that, but eventually adapt to those lower calories.

So, that’s not really what you want and it’s also going to build up your appetite. If you’ve been avoiding certain foods, you may actually end up in a complete binge afterwards and that’s going to mean your calories will skyrocket again and you’re going to end up exactly where you started. So, a more gradual decrease in calories is warranted.

Normally, I start my clients off with maybe 250 to 500 calories a day, lower than what they were already having.

That gives you a gradual and sustainable weight loss.

Your body not being shocked by this really, really low calorie thing. Psychologically, it’s a really challenging thing because you know you can’t maintain that. So what’s going to happen to you afterwards, that’s something that you need to consider.

People are very good at losing weight the short term, but afterwards, everything kind of goes amok and then you end up eating more than you did before and the weight comes back on again, sometimes plus more than you had before.

The other thing with crash dieting is that you may start to lose your muscle mass and that’s really, really key. You want to maintain your muscle mass as much as possible because that’s going to keep your metabolism up as you start to lose weight. So, you want to maintain as much of your muscle mass as you can as you’re dieting, restricting your calories by a little bit. That’s going to give you the best result.

Not Doing Progressive Weight Training

Progressive weight training is really simple. It just means that if you’ve been using the same weight for a period of time, you need to increase that weight. So, if you keep going in and doing three sets of 10 and you’re using the same weight all the time say for whatever exercise you’re doing, a front raise, a lateral raise, bicep curl, squats, that type of thing, if you keep doing the same weight, you’re not going to see any progress after a period of time.

The period of time is determined by how experienced you are.

So if you’re very experienced, it won’t take you as long before you’re no longer seeing the effects of that.

If you’re a beginner, it will take several weeks to perhaps a couple two or three months before you need to progress yourself. It’s very important that you do a progressive weight training plan.

As soon as you feel stronger and you can push a little bit more, as soon as you’re outside of that rep range that you’ve given yourself, then make sure that you get that weight up. Then you can stimulate the muscles and they’ll grow again, so that gets you a little bit further.

Your hormones are out of whack

Now, the first one that I want to talk about is cortisol, which is the stress hormone. It really like if you’re tired and stressed and overwhelmed with work and your family responsibilities, your cortisol levels can go up, and they do go up and down and that’s fine.

If they’re chronically elevated, so they stay in that elevated position, it can make it really difficult for you to lose weight. So you might be doing the right things, but your body’s holding onto the weight because cortisol is going to increase fat storage to a certain degree.

Check For Underlying Conditions

The other thing you want to look at is that you don’t have some sort of underlying condition that maybe affecting your weight loss. So something like hypothyroidism, so that’s like low thyroid levels.

That’s something that your doctor can check out for you.

Also estrogen, testosterone levels, that sort of thing where the balance is, whether you’re male or female. You want to find out that your sex hormones are in the right place for your gender and for your age. It’s not common that these things would be a factor, so don’t think that that’s, “Oh, that must be my problem.” These are not common problems, but if you have been trying to lose weight for a period of time and you’re not seeing results, you definitely want to check with your doctor and get blood tests done to make sure that everything’s in the right range.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

This is such a key thing. I constantly have to remind people just how important it is. You should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night. That’s what’s recommended. Very few people fall outside of that range, so don’t think that you’re one of those.

Especially if you’re one of these types of people who needs like four or five cups of coffee, you’re not getting enough sleep. One or two cups of coffee is okay. That’s fine. If you’re functioning on that, that’s great, but if you find that you’re relying on caffeine to pick you up, you’re not getting enough sleep.

The other common sign is that you just fall asleep very, very quickly when you go to sleep.

It should take about 10 to 15 minutes for you to fall asleep when you get to your bed.

If it takes you much longer, that’s also a problem.

If you’re just out every time you get into a moving vehicle or in bed, that’s another sign that you need more sleep.

Sleep affects everything in your life.

When we think of it directly for weight loss, you’re less likely to get to the gym and when you do get to the gym, you might not be putting in the effort that you need. So, we talked about progressive weight training. You’re not going to push yourself to get to that higher level if you’re super tired every time you go to the gym.

The other thing is of course, the nutrition side, which we know is super key. If you don’t have the energy to prepare meals, maybe you’re getting a takeout because you really can’t be bothered to prepare a healthy meal, that’s going to affect it too.

You may just be like, “Oh, I’m so tired.” and the only thing I want is fill in the blanks for whatever your favourite comfort food is, your lazy food.

So, that’s going to affect your weight loss from that side as well. So, get enough sleep.

I want you to comment below with which of these things may have been holding you back and what you’re going to do about it.

Hopefully, some of these things will help but the last thing that I want you to remind you about is that it’s super important for you to be patient. So, if you’re seeing a loss of like half a pound to a pound every week, that’s great.

That’s awesome.

Don’t think that it’s not working just because you’ve been doing something for a month or two months.

If you are seeing some weight loss, even if it’s a quarter pound but it’s all going in the right direction, keep at it, because patience is really important with this. Don’t just give up when it seems like you’re stuck. If it’s a week or two weeks where you’re stuck and then you’re probably dropped down again, so be patient.

Weight loss takes patience.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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