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The third age women, over 40 and 50, what happens?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

So, people keep saying to me, "you wait until you hit 40 and it’ll all go downhill, you will put-on weight especially around your waist and you won’t be able to shift it". Really?

Is it because we eat more? Is it because we eat the same but move less? Or is it because we may have more money and can eat out at restaurants more often? Or is it because the media has led us to believe once we hit 50 it’s normal to put on weight and wear incontinence pants.

I’ll save that for another article. It could be one, all or none of these factors. Some women are too scared of eating carbs or food generally or too fascinated with calories so they don’t eat and therefore don’t feel GUILT. This is a vicious circle. What happens is that the body will retain fat due to not knowing when it’s next meal will be coming, it’s a survival mechanism.

The best thing for most people is to eat little and often to prevent many issues arising (like diabetes, high cholesterol, ect.) and to let your body know there isn’t a shortage CONSISTENTLY. I understand some people fast and if you manage to achieve this consistently and it helps you stay on a calorie deficit long term until you reach your goal then carry on.

Through my research

I have found that from the age of about 30 our bodies can lose muscle quicker and therefore our metabolic rate declines and that’s why we start putting on weight whilst walking past a cake shop (depending on your body type, of course, see other articles). So, my conclusion is please do carry on with resistance training throughout life; this will keep your metabolic rate the same or higher (depending on how much you do) and you can carry on eating as you were (mostly whole foods, of course) and still be happy with your body. BUT CONSISTENCY IS KEY! When I say resistance, it doesn’t just mean lifting weights in the gym, it's any resistance in your body so it could be bodyweight exercises at home, Yoga, Pilates or resistance bands.

So, when you hit 40/50 don’t slow down, don’t stop going to the gym or doing those short bodyweight exercise sessions to music in your garage or those yoga or Pilates classes, these will make you feel epic and literally keep you young and stop you from gradually declining into any health conditions that come from being either overweight or having bad posture.

Most of our calories are burnt throughout our day job or our day's activities like walking the dog, housework etc. and remember if everything is done CONSISTENTLY on a daily basis we will see the results we want.

Round up

If you do a couple of exercise classes a week and get roughly 10,000 steps every day, you will be in good health but if you want to lose that body weight around the middle, it comes down to nutrition - what and when you eat. A personal trainer can help you with this, as everybody is different. If you have read my other articles on nutrition, you will know. I’m a firm believer in NEVER comparing yourself to others, doing this is a downward spiral in your own mental health and it’ll do you no good in preparing for your future health. A personal trainer may add more short regular resistance training into your schedule to help work together nicely with your nutrition plan, again it all depends on the individual.

Now I’m not ignoring the fact that the third age could be an emotional rollercoaster for some and the impact it has on our overall well being. Menopause is a massive factor in this. Our hormone levels change, we lose oestrogen and most women suffer badly from fatigue, therefore this change in the feelings towards eating healthy & constantly wanting to make ourselves feel better, which could mean more sweet treats, therefore being physically active seems like such a chore.

Sleep is a massive factor in our overall well being, without it we start to not have the energy to do anything and then the WANT to do anything can also dissipate. I understand we have to do the best we can with however lucky or unlucky we are with menopause symptoms to try and fight through the fatigue and get moving because in the long run and probably straight afterwards, if not during you will feel so much better for doing it and therefore your mental ability to cope with everyday life can start to become much more manageable.

Surround yourself with positive people and atmospheres and this will get you through mentally and the physical side will come once you have the right mind set.

This is such a big subject. I will be writing more on the third age women sometime soon as my research continues.

My sources of information so far are from podcasts and journals from the following:

Dr Claire Collins Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Jenny Burrell one of the UK's leading-edge educators in the field of modern Pregnancy, Post Baby, 3rd Age (Peri-to Post-Menopause) and Female Fitness, Wellness, Massage + Bodywork Therapies.

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