Brenda stated exactly what so many women have struggled with in the past, including me. As a doctor of gynecology, I frequently get 40-something women in my office working through self-sabotaging menopausal issues including hot flashes, low energy, near-zero libido, weight gain, and weight loss resistance. Hormonal imbalances contribute to many of these problems. When hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) nose dive, you’ve got the perfect storm for menopausal miseries. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
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And you don’t have to listen to it. “It doesn’t matter what other people think or say about us. Anyone can say anything about anyone, that doesn’t make it true,” says Cynthia Rowland, author and beauty expert. “What matters is what you think and know about yourself.” And you might want to avoid being the target of gossip by avoiding the 40 Things No Woman Should Ever Wear to Work.
Being over 40 doesn't automatically mean that you now have to cut out certain foods to get (or stay) slim—unless you know deep down that a food is truly getting in the way of your goals. "If having a square of chocolate leads to eating an entire bag of chocolate, having a square of chocolate does not work for you," Cederquist says. (Regain control with these 6 tips to stop overeating.) How to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat After 40
You've heard this one before, but it's worth repeating! Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can help fire up your fat-burning furnace. Susie Akers, director at the Aamoth Family Pediatric Wellness Center at MetroHealth and gastroenterology dietitian, recommends you consume at least three to four times a day instead of only one to two times to keep your metabolism up and avoid excessive portions with large meals.
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Don't think you have time to hit the gym circuit? You can get great results with only two 15-minute lifting sessions a week. Westcott's research, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in January 1999, found that doing just one set of 10 reps reaps about the same muscle-building benefits as three sets, as long as they're performed to muscle fatigue. Bonus: Weight training also gives your metabolism a short-term boost. When women lift weights, their metabolisms remain in overdrive for up to two hours after the last bench press, allowing them to burn as many as 100 extra calories, according to a study published in June 2001 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.