My first boss in the personal training industry always knew when I was having a fat week.
It was the only time I did regular cardio.
Every morning for ONE WEEK I hit the tediously-hateful-boring cardio machines for around 45 minutes of hell. You can tell by the language I’m choosing it was highly unsustainable.
However that’s also all it took.
One week of extra cardio in addition to my non-negotiable lovely weights and great food and I was back on track.
Back to my goal weight… in a week.
In todays show: Does Shedding Fat Get Harder As You Age?
I’d be lying to you if I said no. Ten years ago I was still in my twenties and I could shed stubborn fat in a mere week of awesomeness with training and food.
In my late teens I lived on bread, muffins, scones and vodka orange.
Ok, I am exaggerating. Pizza and pasta and creamy cocktails would feature too. Also hot chips, banana smoothies and soft serve yoghurt ice cream.
I really could go on and on. Actually I’m hunting for evidence of anything green or fibrous OR ONE INGREDIENT from those late-teens-first-job-first-flat days and I’m drawing a blank.
As long as I exercised I could live off this food and still be pretty confident in how my body looked.
The way I eat now could not be much further from what I ‘got away with’ back then.
I’m guessing it’s the same for you too.
Today’s show isn’t meant to be all doom and gloom. More so, it’s here’s the facts AND THEN here’s how to make it work for you.
First the facts: the primary reasons it’s harder to lose fat as we age are:
A) We naturally lose muscle mass as we age and MUSCLE IS METABOLISM. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. It burns fat to maintain itself so if you lose muscle you lose fat burning potential.
B) We are less active as we age. It’s easy to deceive yourself on this one. Perhaps you still do some form of structured exercise several times a week… even daily. However when you’re not doing that hour or so of structured exercise, what are you doing?
I know I’m not racing round the play-ground playing bull rush and tag as I used to. I’m not spending my weekends riding to the BMX track with mates or shovelling horse manure for hours on end at the local riding school.
Although I still am active in part of my career, it’s not on my feet for a 12 hour shift like I was in my first job in hospitality. I don’t do 30-40 hours Personal Training a week like I used to either.
Even though I still walk to and from work it’s 20 minutes each way, not an hour as it has been in the past.
And I certainly don’t suck down those vodka oranges and dance for 8 hours on a Friday and Saturday night like I used to in my younger days!!!
Now I SIT.
I write and read and watch and plan AND SIT.
Can you relate?
If you’ve been analysing your current lifestyle as I share some of the downgrades that have snuck into mine over the years then the good new is these downgrades are absolutely within OUR control. Let’s cover what to do in 3 steps:
Step One: Prevent a natural loss of muscle mass by lifting weights consistently. Any sort of activity helps however weights is your best choice. Ideally at least 2 times a week. More if you love it.
It’s not just about prevention. You can of course even add muscle mass. That’s been my approach. In my late 30’s I have a lot more lean muscle mass than I ever had in my 20’s. That’s a good thing too as I’m not quite so on track with…
Step Two: Get more active! This one is a trade-off. It’s very possible you simply can’t be as active as your were 10 – 20 – 30 years ago. There are more responsibilities to be accounted for.
As much as I’d like to go for a 90 minute walk along the beach each morning that’s 90 minutes of prime time work I’m not doing.
Perhaps you have kids… a partner… a business or any number of super important responsibilities to squeeze into your every single day?
It becomes a matter of getting honest and prioritising what you can realistically commit to.
=> Less T.V. at night and an early morning work-out before work may well be doable – not easy at first – however when you’re honest with yourself: Is It Doable?
=> Turning a couple of catch-ups with friends into more active activities may also be doable. My mum does yoga with a friend and although yoga isn’t crazy active it’s super valuable and hugely preferable to the movie and choc-top combo they used to choose instead!
Step Three: Utilise the knowledge you’ve accumulated as you get older. This is the MINDSET COMPONENT.
Please don’t discount it. It’s vital. Even though absolutely it can seem harder to lose fat as you age do you know what’s easier?
You have a vastly superior understanding of YOU!
It’s time to take that knowledge – the past failures – the habits that work – the mind games you play with yourself and use them to your body gaining advantage.
In my 20’s I knew nothing about aligning my values and beliefs with any goal.
All I knew was I wanted a smokin body… that’s pretty superficial and not always hugely compelling.
I also believed eating fat made me fat. That cardio was the best way to get lean. That I could keep my fav cereal in the house and not demolish it mindlessly straight from the box each evening.
I’ve learnt a lot about what works for me and my body as I’ve aged and I know you have too.
It’s this knowledge that makes shedding fat, getting lean – sculpting your best body… however YOU want to describe it 100% possible and sustainable as you get older. At any age.
It doesn’t need to take more time than it used to either.
It’s about working smarter not harder.
To get actionable today I’d love you to do a honest audit of the way you eat, move and think now compared to the way it was when you were most happy with your body and your health. If right now IS the time in your life when you’re most happy with your health then GO YOU THAT ROCKS!
If that’s the case then today’s an actionable free day – you’ve earned it.
If you have some changes to make then be patient with yourself. Awareness is the first step. So that audit is awareness and from there it’s simply a matter of gradually replacing the downgrades that have crept into your life with realistic, sustainable upgrades.
One upgrade at a time.
If you’re at a bit of a loss as to where to start my free 7-day Body Gain course walks you through your first week. One easy to implement action at a time.
It’s basically all the upgrades I made to my food, exercise and especially MINDSET when I found myself struggling to maintain an unrealistic amount of exercise, existing via restriction based eating and still unhappy with the body I had to show for all my hard work.
Here’s the link to the course:
That’s it for this week in Healthification. Thanks so very much for spending this time with me, I genuinely appreciate it.
If you liked this you’ll also like: How Quickly Can I Lose My Belly Fat?
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