Are you over 40 & worried that you’re going to fail in your weight loss efforts because nothing has ever worked consistently for you before?
Now that I’m a certain age, most people have some opinion on how age affects our body composition and also our weight.
I’m 42, and yes, it’s not been as easy as it was when I was in my 20’s or 30’s. I am finding different issues are coming up for me that I never knew were possible! Are you finding that there are differences in the way your body responds to food, stress and sleep deprivation? I know that my energy levels are not as high as they once we. Lack of sleep does get to be a lot more than a youngster, and stress has an even more powerful negative effect on my nervous system.
Now, I’m not sure what age bracket you fall into, but despite this fact, we all have challenges of some sort, to maintain our ideal lean physique. One thing I always struggled with keeping the weight I wanted and had tried various food plans. The list goes from Paleo, Vegan, Raw, pure protein and vegetarian. All of these messed up my metabolism, energy levels, as well as my allergies. Sometimes too much of one particular type of food can cause digestive issues, and you may come up with some allergic symptoms.
When I started dieting for my first physique competition, my success stemmed from cutting out sugar, white starches and high fructose fruit. All my life, I had been eating these things and wondered why I had love handles, cellulite and gut issues. Cutting those out of the picture made it so much easier to cut weight quickly. Adding in high protein meals 5–6 times per day was another bonus. I remember showing a male colleague my diet (as he was interested in my transformation and wanted to know the lengths I had gone to for them). He took one look at it and said to me “wow, this is hectic. How the hell do you stick to this daily?” There was no question that I committed myself towards achieving a specific type of physique and go on stage to show it off. There was no way I was not going to be the absolute best that I could.
Imagine my surprise when I started experiencing weight gain problems again, and I went back to what I knew worked best. And guess what? That didn’t work! I would be eating a higher protein, bland chicken breast and broccoli again, regularly. Then the results were absolutely nothing but more bloating, water retention, and still feeling tired, cranky and losing muscle mass! How is this possible, you say? Well, I’m not sure why it wasn’t working, but a friend of mine did say “what do you expect Ange, we’re getting older now, and this is inevitable!” Rubbish I said under my breath as she muttered those words — I’m not getting that much older, and how the hell could some food affect me this much?
Let me be completely honest and tell you that I’m not too fond of it when age is referred to as a negative aspect of life and that we are expected to roll over and be happy with what comes to us. I’m not one to accept things that did make me feel good, so I went on the weight loss path to find out what I was doing wrong, and how I can change it.
I tried everything from gut cleanses, excess cardio, cutting out carbs entirely again, and barely eating anything. Do you know what happened? In the beginning, I got leaner -which was great — but then after a while, the same thing happened to me as it happened hundreds of times before. As soon as my body got to a set point of energy consumption and energy excretion, the same thing would take place as it always did. I started to put on weight. It crept up on me slowly, until one day, my pants and tops got tighter!
I wasn’t happy, and I had been on this stupid routine for a couple of years. I had turned 40 when I started up again on dieting, and now I was 41, and things were not working also. What was left do to? I had tried EVERYTHING!
That’s when a lovely friend suggested (after hours of me whinging and whining about how fat I was) that I try intermittent fasting. Those words created a long stretch of silence. What, you mean don’t eat food at all? You mean I can’t chew anything for some time? Won’t that burn off my muscle mass, decrease my energy levels and leave me feeling the need to have a nap? These are the questions I yelled to her after that stretch of silence got too much. She replied “no, not at all the opposite happens, and you lose heaps of body fat with minimal effort. Well. This made me sit up straight and start searching for hours on google. I wanted to know the ins and outs of fasting, and how it would benefit me, my age and my weight gain problems.
Then after that conversation ended, it was my first ever fast, after a failed attempt many years ago. I was willing to give it one more try. That night, I committed myself to start with a 12 hour fast.