Do you have a flabby “dad bod”? (It’s all the rage these days.)
Or maybe you’re getting an extra curve where you don’t want one? You could be working out and eating the same way you did when you were 25, but suddenly you’re unable to burn body fat.
Don’t beat yourself up—it has nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with a phase of your life known as somatopause.
Somatopause usually begins somewhere around the age of thirty, and it just means that your body has slowed the production of growth hormone.
A lower level of growth hormone levels means reduced body mass and bone mineral density and an increase in body fat, especially in the belly.
Here are a 6 simple steps to help you lose fat over 40.
Step 1: Make Bone Broth & Collagen Part of Your Routine
Homemade Bone broth is one of the most powerful superfoods on the planet, especially if you’re over 40. You make bone broth by simmering the bones of a pasture-raised animal for 10 – 24 hours in a slow-cooker, or 24-48 hours for beef. This low, slow cooking draws out the collagen, marrow, and other healing elements from the bones, including amino acids, minerals, glycine, and gelatin—which helps heal the gut and reduce inflammation.
The collagen from the bone broth is especially important, as it keeps skin elastic and youthful and is an integral component of ligaments, cartilage, tendons and bones. Adding collagen to your diet will help you heal after a big workout and keep your joints lubricated and your body feeling energized.
To make bone broth: Place about two pounds of bones from a pasture-raised animal (chicken carcass, beef marrow bones, goat bones, etc.) in the bottom of a slow-cooker with a splash (about a tablespoon) of vinegar, and simmer on low for 10 – 24 hours.
For an easy soup, add a quartered onion, 3 celery stalks, salt and pepper.
Drink 1 – 2 cups of bone broth a day. This will bring you back to life.
If you don’t drink bone broth, you can find a good collagen supplement by talking to a knowledgeable sales clerk at your local health food store. You can also order collagen online from Designs for Health or Bulletproof. Choose a whole food supplement from organic, grass-fed animals.
Step 2: Focus on Sex-Specific Foods To Boost Fat-Burning Hormones
Men and women are different—chemically speaking. Because of this, men and women often need to boost either their testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone when production starts to slow down in order to keep muscle and lose fat.
These foods will help turn back the clock.
Testosterone-Boosting Food for Men
How can you tell if your love-handles and lethargy are due to low levels of testosterone? Check for these signs:
- Low libido
- Fat gain
- Memory loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased muscle mass
- Low energy
- Low sperm count
If any of these describe you… and you want to take off some weight and start looking like the gladiator that you are, it’s time to start eating real Man-Food—the kind of foods that boost testosterone production to help you shed fat and sculpt those abs.
Here are a few of the foods that will give you a testosterone boost:
For a complete list, plus a daily menu of Manly Muscle-Building Fat-Shedding Food, check out this blog post. Cooking is one of the manliest things you can do.
Estrogen-Boosting Foods for Women
Not all women need to boost their estrogen, especially those at a high risk for breast cancer. However, women do begin to lose estrogen after menopause, which can cause weight gain and muscle loss as well as bone fragility and sometimes joint pain.
When your estrogen production starts to slow down, your body counteracts by trying to hold on to as much of its existing estrogen as possible—which means holding on to the fat that contains it. Yes, estrogen is stored in fat cells.
Adding some foods that naturally boost estrogen can help you regain your muscular, lean build without using hormone replacements. Try adding a few of the following into your healthy diet:
- Flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds
- Curly Kale
- Green cabbage
- Strawberries and blueberries
Step 3: Eat These Fat-Burning Foods
The Wild Diet focuses on whole foods: healthy fat-burning fats; organic vegetables; pasture-raised meats, poultry, and wild-caught fish; pasture-raised eggs and grass-fed dairy.
I also find it beneficial to add in clean carbs like sweet potato and wild rice 1-2 times per week in the evening. People who are especially active, those who have a super-high metabolism, and some women do well adding clean carbs more often.
Here’s a basic list of what to eat to burn fat, look amazing, and feel young when you’ve reached forty and beyond:
Contrary to what mainstream nutrition guidelines might tell you, healthy fats are good for you. They help you burn fat and are a necessary component of a healthy diet. These fats include:
- Butter and ghee from grass-fed cows
- Lard and tallow from pasture-raised animals
- Fatty meat from pasture-raised animals
- Coconut oil, coconut butter, and full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- Avocado and avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Organic soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds, nut oil, and nut butters
You need to get enough protein, but a lot of low-carb diets overdo it. You should be eating far more leafy green and fresh veggies than you do meat. Get your meat from grass-fed or free-range animals whenever possible.
Protein sources can include:
- Grass-fed beef, bison, and buffalo
- Pasture-raised poultry, pork and eggs
- Wild-caught seafood
- Grass-fed, fermented dairy, like cheese, kefir, cottage cheese, and yogurt
Vegetables and Fruits
Eat as many raw vegetables as you like—especially leafy greens. Throw them in an omelet, blend them into a green smoothie with some stevia and ice, make a huge salad with a drizzle of oil and lemon, or simply snack on some raw celery sticks. You should be eating 5 – 7 servings of veggies a day, and you can cram a lot of those into one big smoothie or salad.
Simple Green Smoothie Recipe: Blender full of greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, chard), 1 cucumber, 1 carrot, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup full-fat unsweetened canned coconut milk, dash pure green stevia leaf to taste, purified water and ice. Blend.
As for fruit, take it easy. Fruit can pack in a lot of sugar. If fat-loss is your goal, stick primarily to lower-sugar choices like a serving or two of fresh berries or half a green apple. Avoid tropical fruits which are typically high in sugar.
Drink a lot of pure, filtered water. More often than not, if you feel hungry you’re probably just thirsty.
Drink a big glass of filtered water right when you wake in the morning, and drink a glass about 30 minutes before each snack or meal.
Try adding a slice of organic lemon to your water for a refreshing beverage that will help cut cravings.
Water helps the digestion process, makes you feel fuller, and you function better all-around when you’re hydrated.
Step 4: Avoid These Fat-Storing Food
Contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat.
The wrong kind of fat makes you fat… so do refined foods, processed sugar, wheat (and most grains), and artificial sweeteners (pg. 37, The Wild Diet).
These foods cause low-grade inflammation in the body, leaky gut, and craving cycles that lead to fat storage and a whole host of health issues.
Here is a list of foods to stay away from if you’re trying to lose weight:
- Prepackaged processed foods
- Wheat/gluten (including breads, pasta, crackers)
- Corn in any form
- White potatoes
- Refined white sugar (including brown sugar, sugar syrup, cane sugar)
- White rice/white rice flour
- Refined grain oils (corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, etc.)
- Artificial sweeteners (blue, yellow, and pink packets)
- Soda or sports drinks of any kind
- Agave Syrup
- High sugar fruits like melon, plums, bananas, grapes, oranges (occasional treat)
If you stick to the outside of the grocery store, avoiding the middle aisles except to grab some olive oil, your healthy fat-burning grocery trips will be a snap!
Step 5: Try Ketogenic Fasting To Reset Insulin Resistance
One of the best-kept secrets to losing weight during somatopause, or even after menopause, is ketogenic fasting.
This does not mean “starve yourself.” Ketogenic fasting is a way of timing your meals to optimize your fat-burning hormones, reduce inflammation, and regulate insulin and blood sugar throughout the day.
Your eating pattern on the first day might look something like this:
7:00AM: Organic coffee with coconut oil, grass-fed heavy cream, butter, full-fat coconut milk, or MCT Oil. Or if you don’t drink coffee, try blending some fat in your tea or have a cup of bone broth. You can even blend some avocado oil in water with a greens powder.
11:00AM: Giant salad with fresh organic greens, sprouts, nuts/seeds, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese drizzled with olive oil. Or if you’re short on time, whip up a green smoothie blended up with organic veggies like broccoli, celery, spinach, cucumber, fresh mint leaves, olive oil, soaked chia seeds, purified water, and a dash of stevia.
1:00PM: Scrambled eggs with onion, kale, and hot sauce, or if you’re not that hungry, snack on some nuts or carrot sticks.
6:00PM: Feast of meats and veggies and a Wild dessert. This could be a big juicy grass-fed burger on top of a thick slice of tomato and greens, piled high with grilled onions, melted cheese, bacon, mustard, hot sauce and a pickle. Or try whole chicken legs with roasted veggies, salmon and asparagus, or sauteed shrimp over zucchini noodles.
By starting your day with a little bit of healthy fat like cream, butter, or coconut oil, you give your brain and body some fuel without spiking glucose.
On the second day of intermittent fasting, try pushing that first snack back 30 minutes—so, in this case, to 11:30am. Continue to push it back until you end up with a fasting period of at least 16 hours.
No meals for 16 hours!?! It’s not as bad as you think. You’re asleep for most of that time.
Let’s say you finish your evening feast and dessert by 8:00pm. If you eat nothing else but water, coffee or tea, or maybe a fatty coffee (mentioned above) until 12:00pm the following day, you’ve fasted for 16 hours!
If you make that 1:00pm snack or meal a very low-carb one, like a green smoothie packed with vegetables or a light green salad with olive oil and lemon, you can essentially extend that fasting period until dinner.
How does ketogenic fasting help burn fat?
Your body usually uses glucose (sugar) for energy. But once you begin regularly fasting, it will switch to burning ketones—otherwise known as your fat stores. You want your body burning fat for energy. Fasting stimulates the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which is essential for making you look and feel young again.
Don’t make yourself miserable while transitioning to fasting. If you’re hungry, grab something to eat—just make sure it’s a low-carb veggie (like cucumber, celery, or leafy greens) or a healthy fat (like avocado, coconut oil, eggs, or raw nuts). Then you can look forward to a hearty meal in the evening.
If you practice ketogenic fasting just three times a week, you should see a marked change in your body. You’ll gain muscle mass and lose fat simply by stimulating the production of HGH and switching from burning glucose to ketones. You may even experience sharper memory, better mental clarity, and more energy throughout the week.
While intermittent fasting can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal, it’s not for everyone. If you’re diabetic, have a history of eating disorders, or if you’re pregnant or nursing fasting isn’t advised. Some women also experience mood swings and disrupted sleep when fasting.
But here’s the good news, even if fasting isn’t for you, weight loss after 40 is still possible simply by eating fat-burning foods and avoiding the wrong kinds of food that store fat.
Step 6: Reboot Your Metabolism with Targeted Exercise
Ready for some great news? Your body doesn’t require hours on the treadmill or exhausting long workouts of any kind. The best way for you to achieve rapid weight-loss and impressive body-sculpting only takes a few minutes a day!
Strength Training to Build Muscle
If you want strong bones, a youthful metabolism, and vitality into your golden years, strength training is a must.Your body needs to be constantly challenged in order to become stronger and leaner. Click To Tweet
If you’re doing the same walk every day, or the same elliptical workout, you’re likely getting good cardio but at some point you adapt—so you’re not sculpting your body or losing any more weight.
This can be as simple as doing swings with the kettlebell a few days a week. Start by warming up with a minute of jumping jacks or jogging. Then, do a minute of push-ups or squats. Move on to your kettlebell swings, squats with weight, or lunges with weights.
You could take it a step further with some gym equipment at this point, like bench presses and deadlifts.
Just make sure you focus on starting small with correct form–avoiding injury and consistency are keys to success.
The Wild Workout – Interval Training to Lose Fat
If you want to lose fat and you’re in decent shape, interval training is as good as it gets. Try a Wild 7 Workout.
Here’s how to rock a Wild Workout: Warm up with light cardio, mobility, and dynamic stretching (at least 60 seconds). Work out and get your blood pumping for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat 10 times for a total of 5 minutes.
You can do simple exercises like jumping rope or pedaling as hard as you can on a stationary bike. If you’re more athletic, try burpees or hill-sprints.
Do whatever full-body movement is best for you—but do it as hard as you can and don’t forget the 10 second rests (hint: if you’re doing it right, you definitely won’t forget to rest between sets!).
Cool down with a 60 seconds of light cardio, mobility, or dynamic stretching.
But if that sounds too intense for you, don’t worry about results-oriented exercise. Just move your body every day (walk the dog or run around with your kids—whatever makes you happy), get out in the sun, do ONE strength workout a week and ONE interval workout a week, and rest one day a week.
For step-by-step details on The Wild Workout, check out Part III of The Wild Diet.
You can look amazing and feel great at any age. With some simple diet changes and effective workouts, you’re going to rock it at 30, 40, and 70!
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Are you over 40? What do you do to burn fat? Leave a comment below!