Chill and Tone: A Fresh Take on Weight Management by Katie Lyons

Weight management can be a complex and challenging journey, especially as we age. Many of us find ourselves in Rachel's shoes, struggling with hormonal changes, unpredictable emotions, and stubborn pounds that seem resistant to our old weight loss methods. But what if there's a different approach that not only transforms our bodies but also empowers us to cultivate resilience, confidence, and overall well-being? In this blog, we'll explore how prioritising muscle growth can be a game-changer in our quest for effective weight management and wellness.

Rachel's Story:

Meet Rachel. In her twenties and thirties, she navigated weight management with relative ease, making minor adjustments to her diet and exercise routine to achieve her desired results. But now, as she enters her late forties, it feels like her body has hit a roadblock. Despite her best efforts, the pounds seem to cling stubbornly, defying her attempts to shed them.

The hormonal fluctuations of midlife have brought about a whirlwind of changes for Rachel. Her clothes no longer fit right; the bloating feels like a never-ending constant in her life. She struggles with unpredictable reactions to foods such as onions and garlic, while some wheat and dairy occasionally raise concerns.

She's having more and more sleepless nights, with the occasional hot flash thrown in. During the day, she deals with random dizzy spells, and the brain fog is for real, making it harder to remember things.

Her mood swings, particularly the anxiety and irritability, feel like they are spiralling out of control. Simple annoyances, like the stupid dishwasher not being loaded properly, to the annoying coworker, or the constant barking of her neighbour’s dog, send her over the edge.

Exercise, which used to bring her joy, now feels like such a hassle, with her schedule jam-packed, finding time to squeeze in a workout seems downright impossible. She used to love her morning runs. They were her time to herself, to clear her head, and get ready for the day. And that cup of coffee in hand on the way home, it was the best way to start the day!

But now, her joints ache so much that high-impact workouts are just out of the question, each step sends shockwaves of pain through her knees, leaving her feeling dejected.

Out of all these challenges, Rachel feels it's the unpredictability of her emotions that make it difficult for her to manage her weight. Whether it's the stress of a demanding day at work or the comfort she seeks in food during tough times, the emotional triggers can often lead her to turn to unhealthy eating habits as a coping mechanism.

In the midst of it all, she feels like she's losing herself. There’s a sense of frustration and weariness, and she longs to just be the person she used to be.

We wonder, what if Rachel reframed her mindset? What if she let go of her former habits of eating less and having to do ALL the cardio, instead she focused on building and maintaining her muscle mass as a way of getting healthier, and feeling more like herself?  

The Importance of Muscle Health:

The majority of women currently navigating midlife grew up in an era where thinness was hailed as the ultimate standard of beauty. From a young age, we were inundated with messages urging us to eat less, do more cardio, and strive for a slender physique at all costs. However, as we journey through menopause transition, we might find ourselves facing the repercussions of this ingrained mindset.

Insufficient food intake during menopausal transition can heighten risks for women, both physically and mentally. A lack of essential nutrients can worsen some symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances, while also leading to nutrient deficiencies that harm bone health and increase cardiovascular risks. Additionally, this kind of dietary inadequacy may foster unhealthy attitudes toward food and body image, potentially harming self-esteem and overall well-being. Learn more about Amare GBX Fit Weight Loss Support

Moreover, the traditional approach to weight loss (through caloric restriction) is rooted in deprivation, this mindset often leads to frustration and unsustainable outcomes, potentially impeding long-term success and well-being.

Lucky for us, this approach to weight management, especially for women in midlife, is evolving! There's a discernible shift in our understanding of health, with muscle tissue health positioned at its core.

Improved muscle tissue health (and muscle mass) correlates with enhanced metabolism, increased insulin sensitivity, better cardiovascular function, strengthened bones and joints, and greater independence as we age. Furthermore, strength training has the power to uplift mood, boost confidence, and alleviate stress. We've talked about building confidence, but the right outfit can also do wonders. Explore the award-winning FIGUR Shapewear for flattering styles that empower you to feel your best!

We believe it's high time to reframe midlife as a period of thriving rather than mere survival. Let's dig into how we can nourish and empower our bodies to become stronger!

Muscle Focussed Nutrition and Exercise

Focusing on muscle building doesn't necessarily mean becoming a bodybuilder, which of course, requires intensive training and strict nutrition. 

See our beginners strength training course in the The Aviiana Wellness Program to get access to more menopause-related information, ongoing support and more!

Instead, regular weightlifting can lead to a healthy change in body composition, increasing muscle mass while reducing body fat percentage. This shift in focus can offer numerous mental and physical health benefits, especially for women in midlife like Rachel.

Transitioning to a nutrient-dense diet and incorporating muscle-building exercises into her routine, Rachel can experience significant transformations in her overall wellness. Her meals can become balanced with lean protein, smart carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fresh vegetables, while her workouts can evolve from high-impact cardio to include resistance training. Consistency and progressive overload should guide her training, ensuring steady progress towards her fitness goals with minimised risk of injury.

Finding and working with a health, fitness, or nutrition coach can provide personalised guidance and support, helping women like Rachel tailor their approach to muscle-centric health to optimise their results.

The Ripple Effects

The impact of muscle-centric health moves far and wide, encompassing so many parts of our well-being.

As Rachel delves deeper into her journey of prioritising muscle health, one of the biggest impacts it makes is with her sleep quality, the regular strength training leads to deeper rest and increased daytime energy levels.

Engaging in strength training also becomes a therapeutic outlet, fostering inner resilience and emotional well-being. With each workout, Rachel discovers a newfound sense of empowerment, releasing tension and pent-up emotions. Her workout space transforms from a place of physical activity to a place of therapy, where she can nurture her mental and emotional health.

Her focus on nutrient-dense foods improves her digestive health, reducing discomfort and bloating, and restoring her energy and vitality. She notices that her body feels lighter, more energised, and more like herself again. This renewed sense of well-being fuels her motivation to continue on her journey of muscle-centric health. Try Nitro Fit20 in conjunction to support Bone and Joint Health

As she embraces new habits, such as going to bed earlier and mindful nutrition, she finds herself making positive lifestyle changes. These shifts extend beyond her workouts, influencing her daily routines and choices. Rachel begins to prioritise her well-being in all aspects of her life, recognizing the importance of self-care and balance. 

Embracing these moments of self-care becomes non-negotiable. Whether it's a morning workout session or a quiet moment to savour a wholesome meal, she relishes these opportunities to nurture her body and mind. She understands that self-love is not a luxury but a necessity for living a fulfilling life.

Prioritising muscle growth can offer us all a holistic approach to weight management that goes beyond just shedding pounds. By shifting our focus from losing weight to building strength, we can transform our body’s and empower ourselves to lead healthier, happier lives.

Like Rachel, we have the power to rewrite our weight management story and embrace a new mindset that prioritises strength, health, and overall well-being. 

It’s time Ladies!!

If you are experiencing menopause or are worried that this might become an issue for you in the future, it’s time to get informed. Check out The Aviiana Wellness Program to get access to more menopause-related information, ongoing support and more!

x Katie Lyons @foodtofuel

Katie is a Precision Nutrition & Cert IV Weight Management qualified nutrition coach. She specialises in menopause nutrition and is passionate about helping women navigate the challenges of hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause. She believes changing food behaviours is almost never just about the food. Your mindset, self-talk, habits, behaviours, and emotional awareness/management all interconnect with each other and play significant roles in your weight management journey. With her guidance, you can learn how to make sustainable lifestyle changes that will help you achieve your goals and feel your absolute best!

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