Women over 40 are a special group when it comes to weight loss. Weight loss methods that work for women in their 20s and even 30s just don’t seem to do the job for women over 40 and especially after menopause.
Often women in this age group continue to use popular weight loss plans which are not tailored to meet the unique needs of their changing body.
Add to this the crash dieting or “yo yo dieting”, where the body goes through a physical and emotional roller coaster ride every time the person loses weight only to gain it back.
This is not only devastating to the self esteem but has a harmful effect on the body.
And when was the last time you went on a diet? I bet it was also not the first time you tried dieting. Dieting does not work, at least not for keeping weight off.
There are many weight loss programs and diet pills that help with temporary weight loss, however majority don’t address the root cause of the problem. Most strict diets are hard to maintain and dietary supplements with stimulants are often very harmful for the body.
Weight loss supplements with stimulants often speed up the metabolism, reduce the appetite or act as diuretics, eliminating water weight. Though these often help with quick weight loss, the lost weight is hard to maintain and often gained back quickly.
Stimulants can also cause sleep and mood disturbances, nervousness, insomnia, high blood pressure, digestive problems and rapid heart rate.
For women over 40 the body goes through a series of changes which can cause fat gain. Though a lot of these changes are a natural part of the aging process, there are some key reasons why women over 40 have a hard time losing weight.
I often teach my patients that the root cause for excess weight gain or even early aging is an impaired digestion, accumulation of toxins in the system with imbalance of the hormonal and nervous system.
Key reasons for difficulty in weight loss for women over 40
- Poor digestion
- Slower metabolism
- Hormonal imbalances
- Accumulation of toxins
- Chronic stress and lack of sleep
I am going to share with you simple yet powerful tips to break the body’s old patterns to improve digestion, boost metabolism, detox, manage stress and lose weight naturally and safely.
Without having to spend 2 hours a day at the gym, often resulting in excessive wear and tear on the joints and tendons.
Without having to starve yourself regularly or jumping from one diet to another.
Without feeling guilty about enjoying a satisfying full meal or your favorite foods.
According to Ayurveda, improving digestion is the key to weight loss and slowing down the aging process. If you are experiencing heaviness, gas, bloating, heart burn or indigestion of any kind, you are experiencing digestive issues.
Macro and micro digestion should be improved to allow the body to break down food, extract and assimilate nutrients properly while eliminating toxins from the body.
Macro digestion is controlled by the Gastro Intestinal system, Liver, Gall Bladder and Pancreas. Micro digestion is digestion at the cellular level, the enzymatic reactions that allow for uptake and assimilation of nutrition for the cell.
Tips to improve digestion, boost metabolism, balance hormones, detox, manage stress and eliminate inflammation
1. Eat when you are hungry not when it’s time to eat. You should have a good hunger before your meals. If you are not hungry, better to skip a meal than overload the system with more food.
2. For each meal, your stomach should be 2/3 full of food and 1/3 empty. This allows for some space in the stomach to properly digest the meal.
3. Eliminate all processed, frozen or canned and old foods. Cook fresh meals every day. Have Kitchadi 1-2x/week – it’s a nutritious and light dish made of Mung beans, rice, vegetables and spices.
4. Eliminate all foods and drinks with high fructose corn syrup – so no sodas or artificial sweeteners.
5. Ginger and weight loss: Small piece of fresh ginger sprinkled with a pinch of salt and few drops of lemon when eaten before each meal helps improve digestion.
6. CCF Detox Tea taken after each meal will helps improve digestion, detox and helps with weight loss. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon of each – Cumin+Coriander+Fennel whole seed and boil in 4-5 cups of water for about 5 mins. Enjoy a cup after each meal
7. Intermittent fasting for weight loss is very effective for allowing the digestive fire to rest and become stronger. It helps improve digestion and helps burn fat. Slowly increase your fasting time up to 24 hour once a week.
8. Herbal weight loss supplements for improving digestion, detoxifying and weight loss include: Shilajit, Guggulu, Triphala, Turmeric and Neem. Most of these are in our weight loss formula Weight Care
9. Best detox formula: Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal formulation very effective for gentle elimination, to detoxify and for improving digestion.
10. Intake of good fats is essential in not only losing weight but also maintaining health of the joints, nervous system, etc. Regular intake of Omega 3 fatty acids from fish, flax seeds, walnuts, etc. can be very help as a anti inflammatory and provides good fats for proper functioning of the body.
Moderate intake of Ghee (clarified butter) helps improve digestive capacity by improving secretion of biliary lipids and secretion of stomach acids. Ghee contains conjugated linolenic acid which is helpful in weight loss.
11. Some form of regular exercise everyday – walking, tai chi, yoga, swimming, weight training, or a combination of all these should be done everyday for 30-60 mins. This is important more for overall health, especially since most of us live very sedentary lives.
12. Pranayama or yoga breathing exercises can be a very powerful tool to balance the nervous system and hormones, for relaxation and improving sleep. Lack of sleep and rest is a major culprit in weight gain.
A good night sleep is one of the keys to losing weight. Research has shown that lack of sleep is connected to weight gain. Two hormones Leptin and Ghrelin which control hunger and satiety (sense of feeling full) are affected with lack of sleep.
Resulting is an increase in your Ghrelin levels and a decrease in Leptin levels, causing more cravings and feeling less full. Add to that lack of sleep and increased stress from our busy lifestyles, which causes even more cravings for sweet, salty and heavier foods.
The following Pranayama breathing techniques have been very effective for helping my patients lose weight and become healthier – Bhastrika (breath of fire), Kapal Bhati and Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing). Even practicing these for a total of 10-15 minutes can have a profound effect on the body.
13. Regular whole body massage with warm oil is one of the best anti aging and stress relief treatments you can do for yourself. Massage not only helps improve circulation, promotes lymphatic flow, removes toxins, but also increases growth hormone production. Increased growth hormone helps with rejuvenation and weight loss. Sesame, coconut, almond or sun flower oil can be used depending on the person’s constitution.
Remember to make 25% change in your diet and lifestyle every 3 months, so in one year you will have 100% change. This will not only help with permanent weight loss but improve your health.