Five common weight loss mistakes women over 35 make. These weight loss mistakes are not the ones you've typically heard before. These are the real, raw, hard truth about why so many women struggle to lose weight permamently.
Weight loss is actually very simple. The steps to losing weight are not complex, but most women are making it complicated and making their journeys longer because their mindset and emotions always get in the way of their consistent habits and actions.
Other coaches and diet programs are not addressing mindset and emotions for women over 35 which keeps them on the desperate hamster-wheel of attempting weight loss. Often times, using drastic measures that are doing more damage to their hormones and metabolism.
During menopause and leading up to menopause, the body fights back by putting on a large amount of weight if you have not been taking consistent action to listen to your body and put the right fuel in it.
The only way you listen to your body and put the right fuel in it consistently is if you have the skills to deal with your mindset and emotions. Those are skills you have to build during weight loss and most women are missing this key ingredient causing them to do drastic things to attempt weight loss.
In this 5 Common Weight Loss Mistakes Dish On Ditching Diets Podcast Episode You Will Hear:
- The 5 Common Weight Loss Mistakes Women Over 35 Make
- The Story Of My Dental Hygienist
- Why It Causes Women To Gain Weight Back
- Why Losing Weight Won't Make You Happy
- Why You Have To Lose Weight Like You Will Maintain It
- How Your Mindset and Emotions Get In The Way
Links From This Episode:
- All Or Nothing Mindset
- 1200 Calories Kill Hormones
- Eating Too Little Is Making You Fat
- Why Weight Loss Is Different For Women Over 35
- Hormonal Weight Loss
- How To Stop Obsessing Over The Scale
- Why You're Not A Failure
Common Weight Loss Mistakes Transcript
Hi friends – today I’m sharing with you five common weight loss mistakes women over 35 make, but before I get to that I'm going to share with you a story.
This morning I went to the dentist and I’ve seen the same dental hygienist for about 10 years so we know each other really well and she's a sweet lady, but every time I go to see her she is always doing a diet.
In the ten years that I've known her she's always been on some diet and today she was telling me this story about how she's doing isagenix for the fourth or fifth time.
She was talking about how she did this detox the other day and now she's doing isagenix and how she's going through menopause and she's like it just feels like nothing is working. I don't know what's going wrong. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking the problem isn’t that nothing is working. The problem is you are crash dieting and you’re in menopause.
During menopause the body just says I'm done with you not paying attention to me, I’m done with you eating too few calories, eating too many calories, chronically dieting and you're not giving me what I need so I'm not going to release this weight.
So, I had a nice conversation with her about weight loss and some of the things she can easily start doing, but I guess we’ll see you in six months if she gets off of isagenix and works on the things I mentioned to her. The impression I had was that she was frustrated and that her frustration was making her impatient causing her to do these drastic things.
So, I'm here to tell you that if you're feeling frustrating and feeling desperate to lose weight and considering doing something like a detox, a shake program or a meal replacement program or cutting carbs and sugar drastically because you’re so frustrated and want to lose weight as fast as possible, I want to help you understand that one year from now you're going to have the same problem. You're still going to be struggling with the same problem.
And I was thinking about this on the way home from the dentist like I think what happens is we get blinded by our desperation to lose weight. We are so frustrated and unhappy with where we are at, that it leads us down the path of taking drastic measures even though logically in our brain we know we could never do that thing for the rest of our life.
That is the other thing I think women are blindsided by. The way you lose your weight is how you have to maintain your weight so if you lose weight doing Isagenix then you have to do Isagenix the rest of your life to maintain your weight.
Sometimes I think we have this notion in our mind that we’re going to lose the weight and feel so amazing that when we go into maintenance, we will only want to eat healthy foods, we will never overeat, we will never have a bad day and stress eat. Are those things really true? No.
It’s only true if you’re a robot who has no feelings, no emotions and no bad days. The truth is those are skills you have to practice while you lose weight. Learning to eat all foods in moderation, learning how not to stress eat. All skills you need to maintain your weight long-term unless you want to do Isagenix the rest of your life.
I think we really lose sight of the importance of mastering those skills because our desperation blinds us. Why else would we put ourselves through the stress and anxiety of losing weight - gaining weight, losing weight - gaining weight?
There's so much time and money involved in that process, but to me the worst part of that is the anxiety and the stress that comes from that yo-yo dieting cycle.
Having to get your old clothes out, your new clothes out, your old clothes out, your new clothes out and just what it does to you mentally. To your relationship with your body and food. Your self-worth. Your self-image.
You are human. You will have bad days even after you’ve lost your weight, but you don’t have the skills to deal with your emotions and stress then it doesn’t matter that you lost weight because you know nothing else other than to deal with emotions and stress by eating food.
And a year from now you're going to be stuck with this same problem of weight loss and if you're a woman in peri-menopause or menopause you are going find weight loss is more challenging during this phase of life.
That’s one reason why I started this podcast because I see so many women in this age group struggling and I've talked about previously why weight loss is different at this age and what it means to lose weight bc it’s not just about calories anymore.
Hormones matter too. I have a podcast episode that talks about hormonal weight loss and another episode that talks about why weight loss is different after 35. I’ll link both of those episodes for you in the show notes.
But just realize that if you’re doing these types of short-term fixes, it’s usually coming from a place of frustration, desperation and impatience, and it will make your weight loss longer and harder.
If you’re doing this, I want you to say to yourself “I am choosing to make my weight loss longer and harder.” It is a choice and like I said I think we get blindsided by our frustration which I get it.
Believe me I do. But you deserve better than Isagenix and I want to empower you to do better for yourself!
Ok I’ll get off my soapbox! Let’s talk about the 5 common weight loss mistakes women over 35 make. These 5 mistakes are things I’ve seen with my clients who’ve worked with me over the years and these are certainly things I've done myself in the past.
The first is not taking ownership for your choices. What I commonly see with clients as well as women who come to me who are interested in working with me is that they are not good at challenging themselves and their justifications for why they can’t do things. They also don't set and adhere to boundaries. What do I mean by these things?
Many times women will say they don't have time to do something or that they can’t do something for another reason like they’re injured, don’t have money, too tired, etc.
I truly believe where there is a will, there is a way. There is always something we CAN do to move us closer to our goals. I think we get caught up though in thinking if it’s not perfect that it’s not worth doing. Then we don’t do anything.
For instance, I had a client awhile back who got injured and said she couldn’t cook any food. My response was that you don’t need to be able to cook your food in order to do what you need to do to lose weight. In her mind though, she was injured, and she thought she couldn’t make breakfast.
What I told her was you CAN make breakfast easy by buying a pre-made protein shake. It never even occurred to her to do that. Why? Because she is in the habit of not taking ownership for her choices. She doesn’t have that skill set of owning her choices.
I’m injured so I can’t eat to lose weight was her thinking. See how the injury is being blamed here? The injury is just something that happened. What’s more truthful is I’m injured so I choose to eat foods that won’t help me lose my weight.
This is what I mean by taking ownership. Things are always going to happen in life. There is never going to be a perfect time in your life where nothing’s going to get in your way so you can do everything perfectly. Your job is to figure out how to make it work even if it’s not as perfect as you envisioned it.
Time and money are the other two big things that we often do not take ownership for. Time is
a resource you'll never get back. You can never go back in time, you can never get memories back, you can never go back and participate in events you missed out on.
So, every moment you delay losing weight and feeling your best is more of that time and those moments lost. Life is short and we really lose sight of that. We get so caught up in the minutiae of our day to day life we forget that time is a valuable time resource we can never get back.
We miss so many opportunities because we say I'm going to do this later. I'm gonna deal with this later and we always set these conditions like when I have more money I'll do this or when I have more time I will do this and believe me I'm guilty of this mindset as much as you're guilty of this mindset but there is literally no better time to do what you need to do.
I’ve got this house project, I’m going on vacation next month, my kids have soccer practice next two weeks, my husband is having knee surgery. If you're sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to finish so you can get started, you're always going to be waiting.
The truth is there’s always something that you can use to justify why you can’t do things or why you can’t get started, but the honest truth is it’s a choice and you have to own that. The best time to make a change was a long time ago. The second-best time is right now!
Something I hear from some women is I would love to work with you, I'd love to work in your program, it's exactly what I need to reach my goals, but I have to wait until I have more money.
Money is a challenge – don’t get me wrong. But we can find ways to make more money or save money. I’ve had clients cancel their monthly cable and shift their budget around in so they could get more money. I’ve had clients get part time jobs. There are always ways to make more money or get more money if we choose to take ownership and look for it.
You can always find ways to get money and now is the time because you'll never get your time back. Every opportunity that you pass up, you are wasting time and you cannot get that time back and if you choose to delay you are choosing to sit in your current situation of discomfort.
If you're struggling with your body, you're struggling with your confidence, you're struggling feeling secure with yourself and you're having a lot of anxiety with the scale and your clothes and not having a healthy relationship with food because you're not physically where you want to be and you stare in the mirror and pick yourself apart and you're dreading putting on a bathing suit during summer vacation with your friends and family.
That is pain that you are choosing when you say I can't afford it or I'll do it later or it's my husband's fault he won’t let me do a weight loss program. Which I do hear that a lot from many women – they like to blame their husband. Whatever story you're telling yourself about why you can’t do something, you have to start taking ownership for it.
I know when you are making a change there’s a lot of fear and doubt about your ability, but there should be! You are making a big significant commitment to yourself that means that you're doing something great for you. I think we often look at our fears and doubts as a problem. It’s normal! Many women look at as I’m going to do something and I’m going to fail.
No! We have to look at that as I'm doing something great for myself. I'm making a commitment to myself. A lot of us are scared to make the commitment to ourselves because we don't want to fail, but failure is part of weight loss.
I have a podcast episode on this which I’ll link for you in the show notes too. If you have to make a change that's going to fundamentally change your life, transform your relationship with yourself and food - that should feel a little scary but the more you wait, the more you are choosing misery over an uncertain outcome and deep down you know what you need to do.
Some women will come and do consults with me and decide not to do the program for whatever reason usually it's something like money or time or their husband. A lot of women who blame it on their husband – again that’s the ownership issue.
But then you know what happens? They come back a year later, they start the program and say I can't believe I made the decision not to do it back. All I can think about is where I would be right now if I had decided last year to do this.
What I don't want for you is for you to continue to make that type of decision and let 123456 years go by until you make this realization. Now is the time to do something.
Now is the time to change because you're in pain now so avoiding the pain of change is just keeping you stuck in pain that is permanent. The change that's associated with changing your habits that pain is temporary pain because you will get better at that over time. But if you're choosing to stay stuck because of time, money, your husband that’s a permanent pain.
Remember time is the one resource you can never get back in life so don't push the ownership off of yourself. Instead of saying I don't have time I don't have money or it's my husband's fault start saying things like I'm choosing not to invest in myself right now. I'm choosing to stay where I am right now.
I'm choosing not to get this help right now. Most of us lack ownership of our choices and then we get stuck and we get frustrated. But if we shift how we say things and we start saying I'm choosing not to do this at this time. I'm choosing not to invest in myself at this time. It feels a lot different - it feels a little bit like – ouch, yeah that's a little bit more truthful!
All of that to say we have to get better at taking ownership and not waiting for things to be perfect. Look for the imperfect ways you can do things just like the client example I shared how she’s injured and thought she couldn’t do anything. That’s literally not true. If your kids
came home from school and said I haven't done my homework in two weeks, would you be like OK that's cool go to your room, play your games and hang out on social media for the night or would you be challenging them and saying hey, let’s figure out a solution?
Let’s figure out this homework. I'm guessing you would do the later - otherwise you wouldn’t be parenting your child.
As adults, we have to parent ourselves just like we do our kids and that starts with taking ownership of our choices. Not pushing the ownership off on our injury, our boss, our husbands. All that stuff.
Common weight loss mistake number for women over 35. Using the scale to measure progress instead of habits. Remember I was talking earlier about my dental hygienist - she's looking for a shortcut, she's doing isagenix to give her immediate relief to lose weight.
This is a sign of being impatient and also a sign of not being objectively aware to how she is going to maintain any weight loss that results from doing the Isagenix.
I think a lot of us get into this struggle where we think that if we lose our weight somehow when we go into maintenance, we’re going to know how to eat fun foods. We’re going to know how to eat in moderation.
We’re going to know how not to stress eat because we think we will love our body so much and nothing is ever going to go wrong, and life is always going to be perfect.
When we focus too heavily on the scale what happens is we forget that the most important measurement is our habits. We stop doing the habits because we question whether or not it's working, we don't think it's going to work.
We see the scale going up and think OMG the scale went up today I must have done something wrong, that must mean that I'm it's not working and I'm never going to be able to reach my goal.
I have a podcast episode where I talk about the scale and why it’s an ineffective tool for women over 35 to use to measure progress. And it’s especially not helpful if it's causing you to ditch your habits.
Everyone knows consistent habits is what yields weight loss and if you want to keep your weight off long-term, you have to practice your habits. So, in the beginning, we want to go after the simple stuff.
Drinking water, getting more sleep, reducing stress, walking more, adding some healthier foods to what you already eat.
In the beginning, we want to focus on those habits and what I see many women doing is they're only focusing on the scale that's the only metric that they ever used and even though they are feeling better, they're getting stronger, they're feeling like they have more energy, they're able to deal with stressful situations better, their mood is better, they’re sleep better, their digestion is better… even though those important things are showing progress in the right direction they will only focus on the scale and give up if the scale doesn’t show them what they think it should show them.
That’s a big disconnect which is why I don’t find the scale to be all that helpful in the beginning. Focus on the habits. Measure your habits. Think about weight loss as a bonus to your hitting your habit metrics.
The more you focus on your habits, the more your weight loss will come but if you're only ever focused on the scale most likely you're going to be inconsistent with your habits. That always leads to self-sabotage and jumping around from diet to diet. So, then you never gain any momentum and get the traction that you need because you're always going to be second guessing yourself.
The scale is not the only metric we want to measure during weight loss in fact for women over 35 I don't feel like it's that much of an important metric and the reason why is because the same woman at 150 pounds could look fat and the same woman at 150 pounds could look lean.
One woman who's 150 pounds could be a size 10 and one woman at 150 pounds could be a size 4 because one has more lean muscle and one has more fat so the number on the scale is absolutely meaningless. I’m pretty sure you’d rather be a smaller size.
So body composition is what's important, how you're feeling that's what's important, how you're dealing with life that's what's important, how your digestion is functioning that's what's important.
That stuff is much more important all the way through the rest of your life in the long run than focusing on the scale and the scale is always going to fluctuate even after you lose weight so if you learn to lose weight by practicing fear around the scale then you will take that fear with you into maintenance.
So, you need to stop focusing on the scale and putting so much emphasis on it and it probably is taking up a lot more of your mental space than it should. When you get really dialed in with your habits and get away from the scale you can feel good about accomplishing your habits.
Number three common weight loss mistake women over 35 is impatience. Ah this is a big one! I had someone recently tell me I only lost 6 pounds in two months.
Saying I only lost 6 pounds in two months is a problem with your mindset. You should be saying wow I lost 6 pounds in two months! I wonder what more I can do to keep this going. I wonder if there's anything I can slightly adjust to keep going. Wow I feel really proud about that six pounds! If I keep going in another six months, it's going to be another 18 pounds.
So we get caught up in this mentality of it's not enough, it's not good enough, I'm doing everything right and why is it not happening fast enough? This is something I hear all the time! I’m doing everything right and nothing is working.
This is a mental game that you game you play with yourself. You start to get frustrated that you're doing everything right and in your head, you say well if I'm doing everything right and not seeing the results as fast as I want then why should I keep doing everything right?
Then in your head you're like well if I’m going to be stuck then why not be stuck and have some fun? Notice you’re losing 6 pounds in 2 months isn’t really being stuck. But your head is convincing you that means you’re stuck.
This is when the self-sabotage kicks in. You start doing some extra drinking here and there and extra fun foods here and there and you kind of lie to yourself behind your own back because you're telling yourself I'm doing everything right and I don't know what's happening even though all these things are happening behind your own back right because you don’t believe it’s working. You’re not seeing the progress.
So, you start to believe your own story that it's not working and what happens is you're not as dialed in with your habits even though you're trying to convince yourself and everybody else that you’re doing everything right. If you do this, you are normal.
It is something I see it all the time with clients. In fact, when a client first starts working with me, they will tell me I'm doing everything right Megan. I'm not sure what's going on. I exercise, I eat healthy and then I'll start getting their food journals and seeing their skipping meals, they're hardly eating anything for most of their meals and then there's a lot of snacking and there's a lot of cravings and urges and meals are all over the place.
They're really not putting a lot of intention behind what they're eating. They're also not eating a lot of high-quality foods and then they're wondering why they’re not losing any weight. It's because of this erratic eating pattern and the metabolism hates this.
And if you're a woman over 35 you already have a system that is sensitive to stress due to changing hormones at this phase of life so now you have stress on stress and you're not really fueling your body consistently or intentionally with a lot of high-quality foods. That leads to more stress on an already stressed system.
But what this comes down is you’re not believing that what you're doing is going to pay off at some point. And if you don't believe that weight loss is going to happen or you’re not celebrating your progress through your habits, then you will show up inconsistently with your habits.
I think what most people don't realize is that your mindset is probably almost always flawed from the beginning of any weight loss journey because the mindset of doing everything right - sets you up for all or nothing thinking.
Like right or wrong thinking so how are you judging what's right or wrong? I say this because a lot of women have done crash dieting that has taught them, they should see weight loss rapidly. That is absolutely not how weight loss is supposed to be so if you’re basing your assumption off that, then you’re thinking is flawed from the beginning.
Many people have heard that you should lose 1-3 pounds every week. That’s only really true the very first time you diet. So, if you’re a 25 year-old woman who’s never done a diet, that’s what I would expect.
But not a woman who’s in peri-menopause or menopause who’s chronically dieted. Whatever you are measuring your progress against is probably way off and the timeframe is probably unreasonable too. Two months isn’t that much time. Even 6 months isn’t that much time.
Most likely you are associating doing everything right with being perfect which facilitates this all or nothing way of thinking and you're likely measuring progress by one single metric like the scale and being impatient with results is often a direct side effect of perfectionism.
So you get to a point where you're like I'm being so perfect and I'm not seeing the results so why should I bother and this makes you feel really overwhelmed and stressed. You're like this is so much work for the little bit of positive result that I'm getting.
Being perfect all the time is stressful so you're giving yourself no room for error and you're saying I just need to try harder and do better to get this weight off as quickly as possible.
You're setting yourself up for giving up because perfectionism is never possible. It's not achievable and the thing is that we often overlook the internal environment you're creating with this mindset.
Nothing is working I'm so tired of having to think so hard about everything. I'm doing everything right and then you get really stressed and so then you start to eat more food you start to drink more alcohol, you start to overeat more, you start to backslide in your habits and as you start to do these things, you begin to feel stress and anxiety because you know you're not doing your habits.
You know you're backsliding. This causes a lot of stress and then you jump on the scale to beat yourself up and that causes even more stress, or you go exercise to try to make up for the overeating that causes more stress, so you've got stress on stress on stress on stress.
Not a good thing for women over 35 because we need to really be mindful of stress during this phase of life especially if weight loss is the goal so if you've got stress on stress on stress on stress it's a guaranteed way for you to stay stuck so when it comes to losing weight patience is the best virtue you have to have and it's a common mistake I see across the board.
Women will get so caught up in the metric of the scale and that's the only metric. They don't see the progress they're making with their mindset and habits.
If you're in perimenopause or menopause which you likely are if you're a woman 35 or older then you have to recognize that weight loss at this age isn’t the same as it was in your 20’s or early 30s and while there are a few things you can do to speed up your metabolism the truth is there's not a whole lot you can do.
So be patient with the process, realize it's going to take time and really celebrate your habits. Feel proud of accomplishing them no matter how big, how small or imperfect they are.
If you walked 2 days last week, it’s YEAH, I went on two walks. Let’s see what I can do to keep doing that! Most people would say I only got 2 walks last week and put themselves down, but that feels horrible.
I think I've talked about this before how during the pandemic I gained some weight because I stopped walking and it was really hot in Arizona during 2020 and the gyms were shut down.
So, I stopped walking and I wasn't paying attention as much to some of the food I was eating and I wasn’t eating a lot – there was a lot going on with my Dad with his dementia and at the time he was living with my Mom who just could not care for him anymore. There was a lot of stress dealing with her, trying to find a place for him to be cared for and all the hurt and pain that came with acknowledging that.
I gained somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds. So in November of 2020 I recommitted to walking and started really paying attention to eating enough food because that's a problem for me and when I started doing that it wasn't like two or three months later suddenly I was noticing change.
Oh no! It took me 8 months. Eight months before I started to notice that my shorts were getting bigger. Eight months! I'm 44, I have Hashimoto’s which anytime you have a thyroid condition weight loss is slower.
Now I didn’t have much weight to lose and anytime you are closer to your weight goal it always takes longer, but it took eight months, and it should take this long if you're doing a true fat loss program. It should not be fast results.
If you're seeing fast results, you're likely going to see a rebound effect from losing weight quickly. That means your metabolism will lower your satiety and increase hunger to get you to increase your weight. That’s the consequence of losing weight too quickly.
So, I know the tendency is to get frustrated and put ourselves, down but instead of that when things are moving slow you should be having a celebration and celebrating the progress - like oh yes!
I’m making progress and it’s slow but that’s great! Things are happening, it's moving in the right direction and I'm feeling great about this. I’m choosing to celebrate the small wins - I just have to be patient.
Don't we tell our kids this all the time? Like you have to practice if you want to learn the piano and be patient. You will get better with time?
You probably have said this to your kids or your grandkids a million times about things they were doing. Be patient, give it time. Now you have to start saying it to you OK? Isn't it funny all the stuff we teach our kids that we need to remind ourselves about? Yep!
Number four common weight last mistake with women over 35 is not planning and being intentional about what they're eating.
Something I think everyone needs to understand about perimenopause and menopause is that it's very easy to gain weight during this period of time of your life and the way that I look at it - and many experts have backed this up - is that during menopause in particular, your body really fights back, and it fights back by putting on a ton of weight in a very short period of time.
Part of this is that as we age, we don’t move our bodies as much. Interestingly a few months ago a study came out that debunked the idea that our metabolisms slow as we age. Our metabolisms don’t slow very much is what the study showed, and it validated that what does happen is individuals don’t move as much as they age which means you’re burning fewer calories.
The other part of menopause which makes weight gain so easy is that many women have been prioritizing other people, prioritizing their job and everyone else, everything else is a priority and they come last. During this phase of life, the body is hey you're not giving me what I need.
You haven’t been paying attention. You're not going to bed and giving me enough sleep. You haven’t been giving me enough of the right nutrients (the right balance of protein, fat and carbs). You’re too stressed all time. You’re fueling me inconsistently, so I never know when I’m getting my next meal. You’re dieting too much.
When we aren't paying attention or not fueling our bodies consistently well, we’re moving, we're not drinking our water, we’re not prioritizing sleep and stress during menopause your body is going to be like I'm done. I am done with you putting me on yo-yo cycle diets. I am done with you not giving me what I need to feel great.
I do hear this from my menopausal clients all the time. It’s like I just like gained all this weight overnight is what they say.
And the weight gain is your body's way of saying hey, you're not paying attention to me and you know this is where we have to get more intentional about how we fuel our bodies.
It is so common for me to see my menopausal clients skipping breakfast or they eat something really small like less than 200 calories for breakfast with no protein, they don’t really eat lunch, or they have a snack, then they have a balanced dinner and then more snacks.
And they feel horrible and are gaining weight. Right, because the metabolism has adapted to eating so little food and now anytime you slightly eat more food, you will experience weight gain due to that adaptation.
So, it’s so important to feed and fuel your body consistently. Protein, fat and carbs have jobs they perform in the body and without them you do become deficient over time and it really shows up in a big way during menopause.
I also think our society has really gotten away from eating balanced meals, cooking at home and having mealtime with family. Our way of life is so busy now that this is no longer a priority for people.
The truth is if we want healthy, strong bodies that feel great, give us great energy then eating balanced meals has to get worked into your busy lifestyle somehow.
It doesn’t mean you have to cook everything from scratch at home, but it does mean we have to be intentional with how and what we eat. Being intentional and planning ahead is a skill you have to practice.
What I often observe is women will say OK it's lunchtime I'm going to wander down to the refrigerator and see what's there and see what's to eat for lunch. Oh, last night's dinner is there, oh leftovers from last Saturday night are there from eat eating out.
I'm just going to eat that and then we end up eating unintentional foods and we're not really paying attention is there enough protein in there? Is there some fat in there? Are there lots of veggies in there?
We don't pay attention and so we're just eating based on convenience not based on intention. If your goal is to lose weight, you have to eat based on intention which means you do have to think ahead about what you're going to eat. Where am I getting my protein? Where am I getting my veggies? Where am I getting some fat and starchy carbs?
If you wait until dinner time to figure that out, then chances are you’re going to be too tired to figure out and throw a pizza in the oven and that unintentional eating is not aligned with your goal of losing weight.
That’s not to say pizza is bad, but it means that you're not being very intentional with what you're eating.
You do have to a plan and when I say plan, a lot of times people interpret that as a meal plan, and you have to buy fancy meal prep containers and spend hours every Sunday prepping food.
That’s not what I mean. If that works for you, great! But most people don’t want to spend hours doing that every Sunday or have the time to do that.
What I am saying is there has to be a thought process that goes into what we think we’re going to be eating so you have a game plan ahead of time. Well before that time comes.
Have a game plan for dinner and lunch and breakfast and see what things you can put on repeat to decrease the time and effort. For example, I put my breakfast and lunch on repeat because I don't want to have to think about food that much.
I don’t have the time to think about food that much. I know I need to fuel my body. I know I want to feel energized and I know what foods do that for me best.
I don’t have time to deal with afternoon cravings for sugar and snacks. I’m too busy for that! So, for the most part breakfast and lunch are the same with a few tweaks here and there. Dinner is usually something different with a few nights of leftovers.
You don't have to have a rigid meal plan and have like strict structure to be intentional with what you eat but we do want to have a game plan and process you where you intentionally think ahead of time what you’re going to eat so you’re not caught off guard.
Of course, you are human and will be caught off guard from time to time. But most of the time you want to have that game plan. That thought process ahead of time of what you will eat. Because skipping a meal or waiting for mealtime to come sets you up to make choices that may not align, you’re your goal. Get intentional about planning!
Okay, number 5. Last common mistake for women 35 is calories. We cannot forget that the only thing that drives weight loss is calories.
You have to have a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. I so often hear women say they’re confused. I don’t know how to lose weight. I don’t know if I should be fasting, I tried cutting carbs, I work out 5 days a week.
None of that stuff is a calorie deficit. It might help you get into a calorie deficit. But if you don’t really know how many calories you’re aiming for and where you should be when you’re not trying to lose weight in terms of calories then fasting, exercise and cutting carbs isn’t helpful.
All roads in weight loss lead back to calories. The trouble is that diet culture has taught women to eat very little food and this is the problem I see the majority of women who are trying to lose weight in.
I mean I’ve almost never had a client who was eating too much food. It’s crazy, but also so eye opening to see how diet culture has impacted women. I talked about how eating too little food makes you fat in episode 54 and you should really listen to that episode if you haven’t already.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about from a client. When she started with me, she was eating 800 calories on average. She is a 225-pound menopausal woman.
A 225-pound woman of average height should be eating anywhere from 2000-3000 calories depending on their age and activity to maintain their weight. She was eating 800 calories! Our goal when we began working together was to increase her calories.
Because if your goal is to lose weight, you need to cut calories. That’s called a calorie deficit. How do you cut from 800 calories? You can’t! You will feel horrible, have no energy and will struggle massively trying to go any lower than that.
You have to remember that your metabolism adapts to however much food you eat, and the metabolism is very stress responsive. If you have trained your body to eat 800 calories and your goal is weight loss, then it is impossible to lose weight because you have nowhere to go from 800 calories. So, she started eating 1400 calories and she lost 20 pounds over 5 months.
Which is one of the fascinating things we see when we’re under-fueling our bodies. The body actually begins to release weight when it senses less stress, and a calorie deficit is stress.
All that to say, you can’t go too low with your calories and you can’t diet forever. It’s too much stress on the metabolism. One of the unfortunate things I’ve seen is so many women who come to me saying their doctor put them on a 1200 calorie diet.
I’ve had 300-pound women tell me that and 140-pound women tell me that. A 300-pound woman should be eating certainly not be put on a 1200 calorie diet. It’s too drastic and not enough food. I don’t want to bash doctors.
I think they mean to be helpful and do have their patient’s best interest at heart, but the average doctor has 2 nutrition classes so, unless they have taken more courses, the average doctor is not an expert in nutrition.
One of my friends who is a doctor has told me that she always has felt ill equipped by her medical training to help people. And I truly don’t think telling someone to go on a 1200 calorie diet is helpful. I think telling anyone they need to go on a diet or cut their calories is not helpful in the beginning.
We never want to start there. Why? Because most of the problem we have in weight loss are our emotions, stress and self-esteem.
All stuff that I call mindset – because if you don’t have the skill to deal with your emotions and stress without eating food and you always beat yourself up and judge yourself for not being perfect, then that stuff is always going to get in the way no matter what way of eating you follow.
That stuff has to get fixed first before you even think about a calorie deficit. I have a post on Instagram that I shared awhile back that says “before you attempt a calorie deficit, work on eating 3 balanced meals a day, reducing stress, sleeping more, drinking more water, walking 10k steps a day and not giving up after a bad day. Once you get that down, let’s talk calorie deficit.”
So, if you haven’t gotten those basics down yet then that’s the stuff you need to master first. Master those skills first. Then work on a calorie deficit. But just know the only way we ever achieve weight loss is with a calorie deficit. The research is very clear on this fact.
Now you have heard me talk about hormones. We do know that hormones play a role in hunger and satiety. So, if all your calories are packed with cookies and donuts. You will be hungrier and not full. Why?
Because your nutrients are not balanced. You have to have balanced nutrition to keep those hunger and satiety hormones in check otherwise it’s so challenging, if not impossible, to stay in a calorie deficit.
So those are the 5 common weight loss mistakes women over 35 make. I hope that this was helpful for you today and remember, short term fixes they only get you a short term result it's like a band aid it falls off eventually.
If you want to be in a different place one year from now take a look at these things and see what areas, you need to tackle! I’ll talk to you soon.