As women over 40, we are battling a slowing metabolism, hormonal imbalances and stress from having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Add in sitting all day and we increase our risk for obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels (Laskowski, E. 2018). However, there are ways to avoid developing chronic disease from a sedentary lifestyle. Here are 5 tricks to lose fat over 40 when you sit all day:
It stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, so we’ll just call it NEAT. NEAT is any movement that is not sleeping, eating or organized physical activities such as jogging. Little movements can add up to big results! Just standing 2 hours a day can add up to an extra fat loss of up to 10 pounds per year.
Some examples of increasing NEAT are standing, walking the floor of your office, walking outside, taking the stairs or even better, doing “deskercise” which shows you how to stretch and use body weight exercises to build strength and increase your fat burn!
Courtesy of Concept Seating
Taking breaks also can improve your productivity and make you feel much more mentally alert and energized for your work and life overall. According to high performance coach Brendan Burchard, high performers do not work longer than hour long blocks. Not only can you maximize your breaks to burn more fat, you can also get more done in less time.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. My husband rolls his eyes when I ask if he’s thirsty or hungry–but it’s true! Many times if we feel hungry soon after eating it is because we are thirsty. Drinking a glass of water can curb unnecessary snacking. Water also increases fat burning by temporarily increasing the body’s resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories burned while resting. Without water, the body cannot properly digest and metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates. Aim for drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day.
Protein is magic! Sources of protein include lean animal meats, seafood, whole grains, beans, legumes, dairy, eggs and prepared protein powders and bars. Protein is the most thermogenic of macronutrients. This means it takes the most body energy to digest protein. Protein helps build lean muscle, and we need all the muscle we can get to look great in our skinny jeans and preserve our strength. I recommend to all my clients they eat at least 20 grams of protein per meal, but protein is especially important around 3 pm, when our adrenals crash and we go searching for the nearest coffee shop or vending machine for a candy bar. Protein can curb your hunger and help you make better food choices.
Nutrition accounts for 70% of fat loss, so in actuality, you can sit all day and lose fat as long as you eat less calories than your body burns. It is much easier to eat less calories if you have healthy, whole foods available to grab instead of high sugar, high fat and processed foods that are easy to find all around the office. By just spending a few extra hours on the weekend or making extra at dinner the night before, you can prep your food ahead of time so you don’t have to wonder what to eat for lunch.
Meditation decreases stress, improves mental clarity and energy and fosters creativity. Stress is our biggest enemy in battling belly fat. Not only does perimenopause bring unstable hormones that contribute with a thickening waistline, when we allow our stress to flow unchecked it increases cortisol, our stress hormone. Our stomach has 4 times the amount of coritsol receptors than anywhere else. Prolonged cortisol elevation is linked to many chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease and Alzheimer’s. Stress = belly fat & disease. Download a free meditation app like Calm, close your eyes and just focus on breathing for 5 minutes a few times a day.
P.S. Whenever you are ready, here are two ways in which I can help you…
If you are an overworked and exhausted woman over 40 who wants to love how she looks in the mirror without deprivation dieting or time consuming workouts,
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The Fit, Forty and Fabulous Facebook Group is for women who want to look and feel great in their 40’s and beyond.