If you’re a woman over 40, you may have a lifetime of questionable eating practices under your belt (or around your waistline), including various yo-yo diets and that whole “fat-free era”, where it was perfectly acceptable to eat an entire box of fat-free cookies in one sitting, while an avocado or egg or a few splashes of olive oil were considered a death sentence. It’s also possible you are dealing with health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes or heart disease, and menopause may be looming on the horizon, with its fluctuating hormones, hot flashes and weight gain. Meanwhile, thanks to the loss of muscle tissue year after year, your resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories you burn at rest each day, decreases.
In addition to all this, it’s possible you have a lot on your plate while trying to achieve the perfect balance of careers, relationships, finances and raising children. And any or all of this can cause stress, which makes the levels of the hormone cortisol rise. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, and when you produce a lot of it, your body produces more insulin, the fat-storing hormone, causing you to store fat around your waist.
Fortunately, there is good news, and a low carb diet like Atkins may be the answer if you’re a woman over 40. In addition to helping you lose weight, controlling your carb intake may be the best way to manage metabolic syndrome. A low carb diet may also be the best diet for diabetes and reducing your risk of heart disease. Plus, a low carb diet may help you control your cravings while naturally keeping your portions and hunger in check.
Ready to get started? Fill your plate with non-starchy veggies, protein and healthy fats. With Atkins, you have three low carb diet plans to choose from, depending on your lifestyle and weight loss goals:
Atkins 20®: If you have over 40 pounds to lose, a waist size over 35 inches or you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. *
- Starting point: You’ll consume 20 grams of Net Carbs a day.
- Starting point: You’ll consume 40 grams of Net Carbs a day.
- Starting point: You’ll consume 100 grams of Net Carbs a day.
Atkins 40®: If you have less than 40 pounds to lose, you’d like a wider variety of food choices in the beginning or you’re breastfeeding with the goal to lose weight. *
Atkins 100™: You’d like to maintain your current weight, you need the widest variety of food choices in the beginning or you are breastfeeding with the goal to maintain weight* or you are pregnant. *
Once you’ve chosen the low carb Atkins plan that works best, fire up your sluggish metabolism with a stress-busting exercise routine. High-intensity cardio intervals may jumpstart your fat burning and strength training can add muscle, meanwhile the optimal amounts of protein you consume on Atkins will also help you preserve the muscle you have. Here’s a high-intensity and strength-training workout to get started.
Finally, hydration is key (eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day), as well as getting enough sleep (7 to 9 hours a night), and anything else you can do to relieve stress and center your mind, whether it’s yoga, meditation, reading a good book or spending time with friends.
While you may feel like you’re devoting all your energy to caring for everyone but yourself at this age, self-care is truly the secret to balancing it all! How you eat and live can have a positive impact on your waistline, your health and your overall well-being.
*Consult your doctor before starting any diet plan