Things you need to know in order to get around the 40+ Metabolic Speed Bump.
First, 40% of muscle mass is lost naturally between the ages of 40-80. Women lose muscle mass faster than men. So one important factor to avoid the metabolic speed bump -change up your workouts.
Cardio is important yes, and should not be neglected. Lifting weights in your 40's and onward is what can make some even bigger changes to your metabolism.
Let me explain.
Muscle weighs more than fat, making muscle a superior calorie burner! For each pound of muscle (vs pound of fat) your body can burn between 35-50 calories extra per day! Muscle is very metabolically active.
As you age, your metabolism is expected to decelerate by roughly 5% for every decade of life past 40.
example: If you always required roughly a 1200 calorie diet just to maintain weight at age 40, you would require roughly 1140 calories daily just to maintain that same weight at age 50. (these are rough estimates - but you get the picture). So continuing to eat the same amount of calories in your 50's as you did in your 40's will result in weight gain.(Unless of course you are more active in your 50's than you were in your 40's)
Second, stress is a huge contributor to fat gain. Stress eating and emotional eating are something very common among women over 40. The stress of teens, marriage, our own parent's health.. and so many other contributing factors can all effect our eating patterns. So how do you control it? It's very hard to control, because the actual actions that cause the stress are often completely out of our control. Life has a way of throwing us unexpected curve balls. As we all know too well, food brings comfort. Losing control can all happen so quickly and easily in high-stress situations. Things you need to be mindful of in order to begin to control stress:
Try to slow down
Try to make "You-Time"
Try to calm your mind
If you find ways to be even slightly-successful at these three tasks, you will certainly help to avoid that metabolic speed bump.
Third, our mindset on pounds!
We get so caught up on "pounds" and miss the whole picture of a healthy life. Muscle has weight too! In fact more weight than fat!
So it can be very possible (and positive!) to see the scale moving up and not down, if you are building muscle. Remember, muscle is metabolically active. Meaning it speeds up your metabolism and fat does not.
The "diets" that hit the mainstream in the 1980's-90's continue to affect our thoughts on pounds to this day. Times have changed! Things we know now, that we did not know then:
It is proven fact that muscle weighs more than fat
It is proven fact that the more muscle you have helps to burn more calories at rest
It is proven fact that we lose muscle mass naturally as we age
It is proven fact that women lose muscle mass faster than men