What happens to your body after 40?

You may have already realized that you are not at the age of 20 and you can not afford to eat as much as you want and not to sport and still be in shape. But why is that so? What is the reason why your body should turn against you and stop listening to you? The reason is that in the period of 35-40 to 50 years the female body undergoes many hormonal and physiological changes:

1. Loss of muscle mass and bone density
After 35-40 years of age, the body gradually begins to lose muscle mass. And since muscles are metabolically active tissue, their loss leads to a slowing of metabolism.

In addition, bone mass and density reaches its peak when you are 35. From then on about 1% of bone mass is lost each year, and after menopause, the process can accelerate to 2-3% per year. This of course inevitably increases the risk of injuries.

2. Increase the percentage of body fat
Body fat begins to grow gradually, up to 30% by menopause. The body fat distribution itself changes – subcutaneous fat decreases and visceral fat is increased (fat deposited around the internal organs).

3. Change in the hormonal environment
During the transition to menopause (the so-called perimenopause), the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen. When estrogen levels begin to decrease, levels of cortisol and insulin are rising. High levels of these two hormones significantly contribute to the accumulation of fat – mostly visceral fat.

As the age develops thyroid function is also disturbed and as a result, it produces too few or too many hormones  resulting in weight gain, heat or cold intolerance, fatigue and digestive problems.

4. Disturbed sleep and incomplete recovery                                                                                                                     During perimenopause and menopause sleep cycle disturbances occur. Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night – all these factors contribute to the build-up of fatigue. Chronic sleep deficiency increases cortisol levels (and you already know what this leads).

But what can you do about it?

Everything said so far is alarming. But I do not want this to despair you – I do not want you to be reconciled to the status quo. My purpose is to motivate you to take the necessary steps to slow down and even reverse the normal course of aging. All these unfavorable processes have one thing in common – they are preventable.

Salvation lies in strength training and balanced healthy eating. Which brings us to the next point.

How to Eat To Restore Your Hormonal Balance:

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I’ll go back to the estrogen (we’ll talk about it for the rest of the article). It is a really interesting hormone. Besides being responsible for the development of typical female features such as bust and feminine figure, he also participated in many other processes:

Regulates appetite. Studies in mammals have shown that animals with reduced estrogen levels take significantly more food than those with normal levels.
It regulates the accumulation of fatty tissue. Low levels of estrogen lead to increased absorption of lipids from the bloodstream.

Regulates the insulin response. The main function of insulin is to clear excess blood glucose. When insulin resistance develops, the body stores excess glucose in fat stores.

Reduces energy loss during physical activity. Other studies have shown that animals with depleted levels of estrogen move less and burn fewer calories during physical activity than those with normal estrogen levels.
But what does this have to do with meals? Very simple – if you want to lose and maintain your weight during perimenopause and menopause, you have to eat to control levels of estrogen and insulin and to prepare your body for the upcoming changes.

Here are some tips on how this can happen:

1. Limit sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol
These 4 substances are particularly troublesome in people with compromised hormonal balance. You do not have to completely deprive them, but just limit them to safe doses – you will feel almost instantaneous change.

When your estrogen is low, the likelihood of excess sugar becoming fat is greater. Excessive salt intake will lead to fluid retention. Alcohol and caffeine in turn interfere with the fight against osteoporosis and will further disturb your sleep.

2. Take enough protein
Proteins stimulate the synthesis of muscle protein. To support and stimulate muscle tissue growth, you will need 20-40 grams of main meal protein (depending on your physical activity and weight). It is important to distribute the protein intake evenly throughout the day. Also, never fail to add protein to your post-nutrition diet.

3. Control carbohydrate intake

Replace foods with high glycemic index (pasta and processed foods in general) with low-food foods. You will control blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes. Consume carbohydrates mostly at breakfast and after workout when the chance to accumulate as fat is smaller.

4. Experiment with dairy foods
In many women, restricting dairy foods relieves swelling and enlarged stomach. However, do not exclude them completely because, owing to the increased risk of osteoporosis, the body needs more calcium (about 1,200 mg per day). In most cases, swelling is due to lactose intolerance, so you can avoid fresh and yogurt and head to other dairy products such as cheese, curd and butter in which the lactose content is less.

5. Increase the intake of soy products
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring substances in plants that in their structure resemble estrogen produced by your body. In theory, phytoestrogens can alleviate the symptoms associated with decreased estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause. I advise them to buy phytoestrogens through food rather than in isolated form in the form of supplements. The natural soy products are tofu, soy milk, tempe, and others. Although the effect of phytoestrogens is many times lower than that of estrogen in the body, it is good to include soy products in your menu for a month or two and decide if you feel better.
6. Consume legumes
Beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas are rich in fiber and protein. This will help you maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. In addition, they are not so caloric and have a high content of B-group vitamins, including folic acid (B9) and pyrodoxin (B6), which serve as cofactors in the estrogen metabolism.

7. Increase the intake of vegetables
Vegetables are easy to shed due to the fiber content and will help with the supply of calcium and magnesium that are so important for bone metabolism. It’s good to include vegetables at every meal – just choose the most traditional for the season.

Do you need to take food supplements?download

It depends. It is always best to get all the necessary nutrients from the food, but unfortunately nowadays it is not always possible. And during perimenopause and menopause, the body has increased needs for certain nutrients. It is for this reason that I recommend that you consider taking the following dietary supplements:

Calcium
As I have already mentioned, the need for calcium is increased to 1200 mg per day. Get the most of your calcium through food, and if necessary, supplement it. Do not take more than 500-600 mg of calcium at a time because the body can not absorb it. When choosing an additive, avoid those containing calcium carbonate (the cheapest form, harder to digest). Looking for calcium citrate or phosphate – these are the forms that are best absorbed.

Vitamin D
It’s not enough that you need more calcium, but your bones are no longer absorbing it so efficiently. Here comes the role of vitamin D. Since this vitamin is synthesized from the body when exposed to sunlight, most people think it is not necessary to take it as an additive. But global statistics show that about 20% of the population suffers from a pronounced vitamin D deficiency. It is good to have a blood test to establish serum levels and supplement as needed. Reference values ​​are between 30-70 ng / ml, but the “ideal” level is above 50 ng / ml. So even if you fall between “normal” levels of 30-50 ng / ml, you can still take it as a supplement, especially in the winter months. The daily dose is between 400-2000 UI. The form you need to look for is D3, not D2 (biologically inactive form).

Probiotics
As the age increases, the number and variety of “good” probiotic bacteria decreases. So it’s good to eat fermented foods or a quality probiotic rich in beneficial bacteria – especially if you’ve used antibiotics over the years. More about the intestinal flora and its health role in this article – https://fitvisionbypolina.com/supplements/probiotics-do-we-need-them-and-why/

Codliver oil 
The risk of cardiovascular disease increases after menopause, so you should increase the consumption of oily fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel) 2-3 times a week. If this seems expensive or time consuming, you may take fish oil in the form of a supplement.
So, once we have specified everything important about nutrition, it’s time to move on to the training …

How to train so that your body can thank you

We all know that sport is good for us. Physical activity improves the function of the cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular system; improves metabolism; reduces body fat; improves bone density; has a positive impact on our mental health, and so on.

We all know that sport is good for us. Physical activity improves the function of the cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular system; improves metabolism; reduces body fat; improves bone density; has a positive impact on our mental health, and so on.

But despite all the benefits, we need to be aware that training is a type of stress for the body – not just mechanical (joint wear, muscle breaks) but also hormonal.

During prolonged exercise, the production of cortisol is increased to provide the necessary energy for the efficient functioning of organs and systems in the body. Constantly elevated cortisol levels are undesirable because they lead to chronic fatigue, impaired immunity, increased fat deposition, and so on. These adverse effects would be even more prominent in an organism that is preparing to get into menopause.

Of course, this does not mean you are forbidden to practice at all. You just have to look for a balance between the benefits and potential harm of the training. Now is not the time to improve personal records!

To ensure this balance, you can follow the following recommendations:

1. “More” does not always mean “better”
Short, intense workouts will do much better without raising cortisol levels above the upper limit. Train 3-4 times a week, trying to fit a workout within 30-45 minutes of strength and 15-20 minutes of cardio.  Even if you can, you can split cardio and strength training on separate days.                                                                                                                                          2. Bet on basic exercises
There is no clear boundary between which exercises are isolated and which basics, but the general rule is that the more muscle groups load an exercise, the more basic it is. When you activate more muscles at one time, you not only burn more calories, but also reduce the duration of the workout. More about basic exercises you will learn in this article.

3. Be active also in non-training days
It’s important to have activity every day. Instead of using elevators and escalators, climb the stairs. Instead of driving to your workplace, walk on foot or by bike (if you can). Instead of pushing your purchases in a cart, they carry them in a basket. All of these activities speed up metabolism without exerting hormonal stress on the body.
And the last but not the less important component:

Sleep and recovery

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Sleep is another factor influencing the hormonal balance. Some of the hormones he has influence on are cortisol, leptin and ghrelin – all three of which have a direct bearing on fat and obesity processes.

Therefore, it is not surprising that lack of sleep is associated with increased appetite (especially for sweet foods), uncontrollable hunger, decreased insulin sensitivity and increased fat deposition in fat stores.

I know you’re busy and the only time you have to pay attention to yourself is late at night and early in the morning – but as much as possible, try not to sacrifice your sleep and give yourself a little more time to rest – your body will thank you!

In conclusion…
As you already know, after 40 years of age, you have some curious changes that can lead to undesirable effects such as increased appetite, overuse, and fatigue.

The good news is that you are not doomed – your best years have not taken off!  Things are in your hands and with the right diet and training program, you can regain control of your body and your health.

Everything else is up to you! 😉

 

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