Weight loss success often requires a different approach for women over 40!
The struggles are real. You are not alone. Losing weight is hard.
But . . . . often times we get in our own way. Consider these strategies to set yourself up for success! Try these 8 strategies for a new approach.
1. Practice thinking of yourself and your healthy as a priority.
Managing weight in mid-life should be more about health than how we look. But let’s be honest we all want to look good too. Women are good at taking care of everyone else but not always so good at taking care of themselves. Staying well is more work as we age and we have to make it a priority. You are worth it!
Think about what you do when you have an important appointment. Do you put it on a calendar?
Do that same thing for your health habits that you want to change.
2. Find positive support.
At mid-life we are often set in our habits, whether good or bad. Because it is so difficult to change habits, we need lots of support for weight loss success.
I would highly recommend joining a program where you have members or a coach cheering you on with positive feedback and guidance. One of the biggest reasons people succeed in structured weight loss programs is due to having accountability. If you have made a commitment to your coach that you will do something you are more likely to follow through and work on it.
Be careful when it comes to friends and family support. Some will be very supportive and others can make it more difficult. Positive support means they are okay with you trying different foods or cooking differently. They may join in and be more active with you or at least encourage you on your efforts.
Family members are not always on board and can actually sabotage your efforts. If that is the case then you really need a program where other members can be your support system.
3. Stop making excuses.
For us in Minnesota, one of our biggest excuses is the weather. It’s too hot or too cold or too many mosquitos or too icy and dangerous. I will agree that the extreme weather days are probably not safe to go out in, which makes it a necessity to figure out an at-home exercise we can do and will enjoy doing.
You can check out this John Hopkins resource for ideas and tips on getting more active.
Challenge yourself right now. Write down 3 activities you enjoy and make sure at least one is an indoor activity you could do in case of bad weather. Here are some ideas to get you thinking: walking, hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, yoga, golfing, treadmill, gardening.
4. Map out your journey. Know where you want to go (your goal) and how you will get there (the path you will take)
In the words of Zig Ziglar, “if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time”. You need to be realistic when choosing your end goal, but you definitely need a goal to work towards.
For example, if your overall goal is to lose 10 pounds, then think about how you will get there or how you will make that happen. What habits need to change? Will you focus on exercise or carbs or learn how to shop and cook healthier? Don’t make it too overwhelming.
This is the part of my work as a dietitian that I love – helping clients choose the weight loss success strategies that will get them to their goal in the easiest and quickest way. If you would like to chat more about my programs send me a message!
5. Choose a system that will keep you on track.
Women tend to be great at multi-tasking, which means we are not always staying focused.
Find a system you like that will keep you and on track. This could be an app such as MyFitnessPal, Fitbit or other apps. Or it could be writing in a journal. In my program I have several tools including journal forms, a meal planning app and continuous glucose monitoring system. Each person is different and will prefer different tools. Even though I have to do alot of online work, my favorite is still pen and paper. Maybe that’s part of the 50+ age thing?
Think of your tracking system like rumble strips on the road. When you stray off the path to your destination the rumble strips (a.k.a. your tracking tool) should let you know. How your clothes fit, especially around the waistline is an easy way for most women to mentally track if they are on the right path to reaching their goal.
Your tracking tool will also come in handy when you feel like you are stuck and not making progress. This is how I help clients get unstuck, by reviewing and discussing their data from their app reports or journal or other tool.
6. Change your thinking on food and exercise. Think of movement as your medicine and food as medicine.
It’s not just something we SHOULD do. It’s like taking our daily medicine. Why do we take our prescription medication faithfully as prescribed, but then ignore exercise and food medicine?
Maybe we just need to change the way we think about food and exercise. As we age we are fighting against chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
You may love sugar and you may not enjoy exercise, BUT – would you rather have to take more pills and lose your vision or toes or would you rather reach your weight loss success goals AND reverse diabetes AND feel better AND have more energy?
7. Get a personalized plan.
This is especially important if you have tried losing weight on your own or with a cookie cutter program and it hasn’t worked.
You need help figuring out the root cause of the problem. It may be basic things or it may be more complicated. You may have gut issues, food sensitivities or intolerances. You may respond to certain types of exercise better. Or it may be you just need help with a different approach to your meal planning. Or getting to the stressors that trigger the carb cravings and binges.
In my program I have a long list of weight loss success strategies to choose from to personalize each client’s plan.
8. Remember Practice not Perfection!
It’s not all or none. There will be good days and bad days. But once you figure out the success strategies that work for you, and practice your new habits most days, over time you will see results.
I would love to help you reach your weight loss goals. Please contact me for more info on how I can help!