Reboot Your Metabolism After 40
As women grow older, sweeping changes in their bodily functions emanate from shifts in their lifestyles, metabolisms and hormones.
One of the most tangible after-effects women experience when these factors converge is weight gain. The onset of unwelcome extra kilos usually coincides with turning 40, but accelerates as women venture into midlife.
Age and gender affect metabolism – the interconnected internal chemical processes in the human body, which transform food into energy to maintain organ function and life, including breathing, digestion and the reparation of cells. The preservation of muscle cells burns more energy than the preservation of fat cells. But in women over 40, metabolic lethargy increases for various reasons. Remember, the slowing down in the physiological processes involved in burning energy already begins in 30-something women, but is more visible after 40. This is because muscle tissue is decreasing and fat levels are increasing.
As women’s metabolisms start dwindling, menopause is triggered by a hormonal shake-up. Women stop ovulating and their monthly periods disappear as a result of plummeting oestrogen levels. As oestrogen production declines, the female body struggles to rectify the hormonal imbalance, and produces more cortisol and insulin, which contribute to fat gain and manifest as a thickening around the tummy area, hips and thighs. Other symptoms of menopause that feed weight gain are sleep disturbances and food cravings.
The menopausal metamorphosis which women experience (and fear) is exacerbated by lifestyle changes that typically accompany ageing. These include inactivity and eating habits, which contribute to the weight gain. While women cannot turn back their bodies’ clocks, these changes, which affect the body image and self-confidence of women, can be interrupted, slowed and even suppressed by committing to age-appropriate lifestyle adjustments. Changes to exercise and diet could therefore make a significant impact to halt post-40 weight gain.
The starting point will vary from woman to woman. For some, it will be easier to start with exercise. Others may prefer to start with altering their food choices. The bottom line is that a change of gear will be needed on both fronts.
Increased activity burns kilojoules. Since higher exercise levels build muscles, which are the more energy-hungry cells in the human body, metabolic functioning picks up in pace. Strength training, which entails weights or walking, could be beneficial. About 150-300 minutes a week, which is 30 to 60 minutes a day, could reboot your metabolism. More so, if an increase in exercise is coupled with dietary alterations.
The importance of muscle building for women over the age of 40 means that protein-rich foods, such as eggs, lean meats and beans, could also support efforts to kick-start the metabolism. This should be coupled with slashing about 400 kilojoules from your usual daily intake. This is possible through simple steps, such as eliminating sugar and fat (removing skin from chicken and fat from red meat), as well as swopping full cream milk with fat-free milk.
As older women set out to get active, and eat healthier and slightly less, they should increase their fluid intake. Hydration through more water and herbal teas is a key strategy in losing and maintaining weight levels. Green tea has been linked to weight loss because it has the potential to act as a fat burner, metabolism booster and an appetite suppressant. The dried green leaves of the evergreen yerba mate tree, which is native to South America, also has metabolism enhancing properties.
Another weapon in the arsenal of women over 40 is health supplements that could provide the support, focus and energy needed to make these lifestyle changes. Herbex has developed a product range that is tuned into the weight management needs that women have at different stages in their lives. Drops, tablets and concentrates that harness the powers of 11 different therapeutic herbs have been specifically formulated for women in the age group 40 to 60. These can be used to fire up women’s metabolisms, control appetite, and act as a detoxing, gentle laxative, diuretic and digestive aid.
Our range of Herbex for Women 40 to 60 Years can therefore assist women with weight loss, and help maintain their body mass at healthier and happier levels.