I like to keep things simple. Staying fit and healthy when you’re a middle aged woman is no easy task — even those of us who follow a good nutritional and exercise program have problems figuring things out. Sometimes I like to mix things up but there are some rules I always adhere to.
follow along with me...
Here are fifteen rules I always follow:
- Breakfast. For every study that says eating breakfast will make you thinner there’s one that says it will make you fatter. If you’re hungry you should eat but if you’re not skip it. Listen to your body — it will tell you what to do.
- White is not the enemy. I eat white potatoes and white rice. I eat sweet potatoes and brown rice. Real food that grows in the ground is healthy, regardless of the color.
- I drink when I’m thirsty. While I believe it’s important to stay well hydrated I don’t usually drink a gallon or more a day.
- Suppress the sweet. Make sure to always look at your labels. Sugar is hidden everywhere. While fruit is nutritious, too much is not good when you’re over fifty.
- Keep it real. Your diet should consist of whole, real, fresh foods. Processed foods should be kept to a minimum.
- Wait 10 minutes. Sometimes hunger kicks in when you see an ad or catch a glimpse of something yummy so give that urge a chance to go away. When I want something to eat I always wait 10 minutes to see if the hunger passes.
- Have a kids’ meal. I’m not advocating going to your favorite fast food place and buying one of those kiddy meals that comes with a toy. What I am suggesting is that you begin with a child’s size portion of food at dinner. Many of us eat less during the day because we are busy running around. But at dinner when we sit down for our main meal of the day we tend to mound our plates high and eat like little piggies. Eat small — you can always eat more.
- Limit alcohol. I like to drink occasionally but I keep it to 2 – 3 drinks a week. I find that alcohol bloats me terribly and when I go off the sauce I always lean out. Additionally, alcohol causes most of us to let our guard down which leads to overeating.
- It’s better in the morning. Exercising first thing in the morning is best for two important reasons: First, you get it done ensuring you won’t find a million reasons not to do it later. Second, it jump starts your metabolism for the day.
- Make your workout count. I’m a social person but I keep my chatter to a minimum in the gym. I leave my phone in my locker. When I exercise, whether at the gym, at a class, or in my home, I try to stay 100% focused on ME.
- Resistance training trumps cardio. Go to any gym and you’ll notice that most women are doing cardio, whether it’s on the elliptical, treadmill or in a Zumba class. While cardio is very important it will not — let me repeat — it will not reshape your body to a major extent. Cardio will get you thinner, may tighten you up a little, but resistance training is the most effective way to reshape your body.
- Four to five times a week. Ideally you should do 30 minutes a day six times a week but I know it’s unrealistic for most.
- Cardio first thing on an empty stomach. If you really want to burn the maximum amount of fat do your cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you eat your body will start to break down the food in your stomach before it breaks down the fat. I know that this is not possible all the time but when I want to jump start weight loss, I always go to this.
- Workout solo. That’s right, you heard me — do it by yourself. I have read over and over how having a partner to exercise with is a great help, especially as a motivator, someone to be accountable to. I have been working out for over forty years and I have found that for the most part this strategy doesn’t work. Having a partner makes it two times more likely to find an excuse and not go. Trust me on this one. Be accountable to just you.
- Make believe it didn’t happen. While most of us think exercising aids weight loss, for many women the opposite is true. Too often we over estimate how many calories we burned (those numbers on the machine mean nothing). Forget you did it and don’t add anything extra as a “treat.”
This is one of my favorite fitness posts:
5 FAB FITNESS TIPS TO JUMP START YOUR OVER 50 BODY