If you're over 40, you've probably seen how hard it is to lose weight. In her book, Why Women Over 40 Can't Lose Weight, Gabrielle O'Hare explains why this is so hard, and she gives us practical advice to change that.
Let's Say Hello
[00:03:14.990] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are you?
[00:03:16.540] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:03:18.270] – Allan
My head hurts.
[00:03:19.460] – Rachel
Oh, no, why is that?
[00:03:22.610] – Allan
Well, I had someone that was doing the audio processing for the show. They've done it forever, sort of forever? Really? Yeah, since the beginning. But they sold their business to another business. And so it was the same people.
[00:03:35.000] – Allan
Sort of supposed to be the same people.
[00:03:36.360] – Allan
I think it was the same workers that were doing the work. And then they come around and they roll around like, okay, we're going to have to raise your rate. And they raised it like 60%, so I've been paying that, but it's very expensive, all things considered, to do the editing on this podcast. And they did a great job, don't get me wrong, but it was just a lot of money. So I was like, okay, we had a problem. We had a communication problem. And so I was like, I get all these emails from other companies that want my business. Maybe it's worth me having a conversation. There was one company, and I liked the guy we got on the phone, and the guy is sharp, and he was aggressive and wanted to really want my business. So we had the conversation like, okay, I'll give this a shot. And maybe the first couple of episodes, they did well. They did really well on. They were faster, they were cheaper, and they were doing good. Okay, this is good. And then they'd make a mistake. And to be a simple thing like leaving out the author's bio, all the files are numbered.
[00:04:33.150] – Allan
So a kid would know, okay, you don't skip file four. You just don't skip it. You don't skip file five. Go from four to six. There's a file there, you put it in there, and then when you're proofing it, you're like, oh, there's no bio. He always has a bio. And then I had one where I had a midroll ad and they put it at the end of the interview. Well, that's not where it's supposed to be. That's not where I told them to put it. And so there was that. And then lately there's just been some quality issues, and you guys have probably heard those things. I'm not happy about it, but it is what it is, the low cost provider. And I'm getting, I guess, what I paid for. So anyway, I decided, okay, I'm not going to go back to the expensive one because it's just way too much money. And I'm like, okay. I've tried this with GarageBand, which was free on my Mac, and before on my computer, I had everything set and I could actually edit a podcast pretty well. I have not been able to match those settings on my new computer, which is not new anymore.
[00:05:31.940] – Allan
It's a year old. I can't get it to sound the same with my computer now. And I'm like, I don't know what the problem is, but I just couldn't use GarageBand, which wasn't cutting it for me on the new computer. And I'm not sure why, but it is what it is. So I said, okay, I'll buy the more expensive software and then I'll just try to do it myself. But it's called Adobe Audition and it has all the bells and whistles. You can do a lot with it, but it's much more complex. The Apple product, GarageBand is very intuitive, very easy to understand. I switched to that from Audible. Audible was a free software that I was using. Again, the quality wasn't as good. And then when I switched to GarageBand, it was really good. Then when I changed computers, I lost that and like, okay, got to just continue to outsource all of them and not doing any of them myself. Because sometimes I'll get behind and schedule and I'm like, okay, I don't have time to send this to them. That's four days. I don't have time. I need to do it myself.
[00:06:25.150] – Allan
And so everyone knew I was going to be doing one myself and I couldn't do it. So now I'm trying to learn Audible and it's old dog, new trick kind of stuff. I'm watching a YouTube video and then I'm trying to do it, and then I'm watching a YouTube video and trying to do it. So I only say that to say that the quality of my podcast, this podcast might be a little off, has been off. It's going to probably be off for a few more weeks to figure out the software and get my systems and processes going. But I'm going to work on it. And so, yeah, it's just one of those things where I got a lot going on already. But I need to learn this software and get this done because quite literally, it takes me not a whole lot of time. And considering what I was paying them to do, it, particularly the expensive company, it's worth my time to do it rather than hire that out. So it's just been one of those things where I've been sitting there this morning watching a YouTube video, doing a little bit editing, watching a YouTube video, doing a little bit of editing, stop and start, stop and start.
[00:07:21.520] – Allan
I'm figuring it out, so just give me a little bit of time. These will get better and better as I figure out what I'm doing wrong and that type of thing.
[00:07:28.900] – Rachel
My gosh. Well, good luck with that.
[00:07:32.830] – Allan
They say you need to be trying to learn new things all the time.
[00:07:35.570] – Rachel
[00:07:36.310] – Allan
But yeah, it doesn't mean it's supposed to be fun, right?
[00:07:40.080] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. Well, good luck.
[00:07:41.910] – Allan
How are things up there?
[00:07:43.060] – Rachel
Good. Over the weekends, I helped my brother kind of move a couple of boxes. He shipped a pod over an eight by eight by eight pod storage unit that we unloaded and put into a more permanent storage unit until he can finally make his move cross country. And I was really worried about it about lifting heavy boxes, heavy furniture, all the awkwardness of moving again. And I'm so happy to say that I feel great that I am not sore. My back doesn't hurt. And my parents did okay with it as well because they were helping with a couple of their friends. And it went a lot more smoothly than I had expected, actually. I don't know why. I expected to be in a lot more pain than I am.
[00:08:29.970] – Allan
It is even with the weight lifting that you do I do. It is a different movement pattern. And you do have to watch what you're doing, because you're lifting something that's awkward and not necessarily bars and dumbbells and kettlebells are all built to be lifted. They're ergonomic as much as they can be. But, yeah, when you try to lift a big box heavy, you have to be smart about it and do it the right way. You probably learned a lot from lifting, but beyond that, you were smart about what you want.
[00:09:02.380] – Rachel
We were all being very careful, and it was just in the forefront of my mind about lifting properly and just taking my time. And it went really well. So I'll be ready for his next shipment.
[00:09:15.090] – Allan
I got to find people like you.
[00:09:19.410] – Rachel
Yeah, I'll help move.
[00:09:22.530] – Allan
All right. Are you ready to talk about weight loss?
[00:09:25.360] – Rachel
[00:10:36.610] – Allan
Gabrielle, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:10:39.300] – Gabrielle
Hello. Thank you very much for having me here.
[00:10:41.260] – Allan
Now, the book is going to get any woman's attention if she's over 40 and wants to lose weight. And the name of the book is Why Women Over 40 Can't Lose Weight. Well, yes, but you also then give us a solution or at least some things that we can think about. Because the thing is, I read this and I'm a man, obviously, but I train a lot of women. I'm married to one. And so as I go through my life, I'm like, okay, this is real stuff, this is the real experience. I can be empathetic, but I can't experience it. And so I know that it's a struggle and yeah, you're watching your husband and the two of you start eating the same thing. Maybe he's eating more. Yeah, he's hitting the crisps and the cookies and all the other things and he manages to be able to lose the weight and you're not. That can be quite discouraging.
[00:11:32.170] – Gabrielle
[00:11:33.090] – Allan
And that discouragement I don't mean this in a different way, but once you're discouraged, it's almost like digging out kind of thing, isn't it?
[00:11:41.840] – Gabrielle
Absolutely. I think it can feel like a very lonely place to be. I think a lot of the fitness industry is a lot of the marketing materials focused on before and after photos and success stories and you can feel like you're the only person failing or the only person who can't do it. And one of the things that I've noticed about women and men may well find this, but my work primarily is with women who were in the late 40s. They sort of can be quite hard on themselves. They don't realize everyone's having the same problem as you tend to internalize things and blame yourself for being lazy, for having no motivation for, I don't know, just being late. Just assume it's their own fault and it's a personal failing or it's a character failing and they don't realize that so many other people share the same problems. So you just have this lonely battle where you're really giving yourself a hard time.
[00:12:32.620] – Allan
as women reach this particular age group. For some women it happens a little earlier than others. For some it's a little bit later and there's no rhyme or reason for it exactly. You can ask your mother when she started change and you might genetically kind of fall in the same line. But women can start towards menopause at any age that a menopause, but it's around this time. And so at this point your body is changing and that's going to put some obstacles, if you will, in your way that you need to be able to think through and work through. And it's also a time when it's kind of hard to work through because there's so much else going on in your life. In the book, you mentioned six reasons and I wrote in my notes, impossible to stick to a diet. But I think, fine, it's not impossible.
[00:13:21.300] – Allan
If you approach this the right way. But what are six reasons that women really struggle with their diet? Because I think once they hear this, they're going to realize that's me. She's talking about me.
[00:13:32.950] – Gabrielle
a big one, is self neglect. And that's not an intentional problem. Women aren't ignoring themselves, but what happens over the years. You have children, you get married, you advance on your career, your parents can get older. There can be so many things that are vying for your attention and women quite often want to be the givers and the carers they're very focused on. They want to do things for the people, people pleasers, they don't want to say no. And that can all start to over the years just become a really big list of priorities and big demands on the time. And women have it all these days. We run families, we manage relationships, we run children, we have successful careers. We've got to cut some corners somewhere because we haven't got time to fit everything in and it tends to be that we leave ourselves and our own needs to the end. And that's why I wanted to call that self neglect because we've become so focused. This is a gradual thing but we've become so focused on looking after others we put ourselves last. And it's not uncommon for women to get up, make the breakfast, grab something quick themselves, not have time to eat lunch properly, and find that they're just grabbing snacks and end up with Ravenous in the evening and they just are running on empty all the time.
[00:14:50.990] – Gabrielle
And that's just leading them to make not bad choices because you're just where you are, but you make choices that aren't great for your health and great for your weight because you're just having to grab what you can when you can. So self neglect is one of the main ones and that really just comes from the circumstance of having really busy lives and being more prioritized and focused on other people.
[00:15:11.400] – Gabrielle
Stress is a generic one that affects everybody really. Again it's a gradual build over time. Your lives get busier and menopause, some people may or may not realize this but menopause can make it harder for you to cope with a managed stress so you can become more stressed at this time of your life. Work can become quite stressful. Women get along discriminated against as they get older or really feel the pressure that they're not as young and as attractive as some of the counterparts. So there's a lot of things that can build up the levels of stress that you're experiencing. But we know that when you're stressed it increases your body fat and particularly the fat around the middle. It can affect your sleep, it can affect your food choices.
[00:15:51.320] – Gabrielle
If people eat to cope with stress, emotional eating. So there's a number of ways that stress can then affect your diet and therefore your weight loss. Menopause you touched on and there are hormonal changes that are taking place. One of them is that another source of estrogen for your body as your own, your overall stop producing it is fat cells. So if your body can start to lay down more fat because it can provide you with a weak source of estrogen that it needs. Estrogen isn't just for making babies or having periods, it has many, many other functions in your body. So you still need it beyond that time. Another bit more scientific, I'll try and simplify it, but another way that you can create estrogen in your body is by your adrenal glands. So your adrenal glands have got two functions. They can produce your stress hormones and they can also produce your estrogen or a source of estrogen for your body. But if you're stressed all the time, it defaults to the stress hormones, which is default position. So it's going to fall short on topping up your estrogen, which then can lead back onto that cycle to the fast accumulation, particularly around your waist.
[00:17:00.940] – Gabrielle
So that's really what's going on with menopause over time. This one's going to be familiar. We live in a society where we don't eat because we're hungry. We eat to cope with feeling lonely, to cope with anxiety, because we're upset because it's there. And those can become very invisible habits that we don't notice that of topping up our calorie supplies all day long. And then another one is sabotage. You mentioned at the beginning about the husband at home eating the crisps and the kids can want pizza, your mother in law can want to feed you her cake, your colleagues can put you under a lot of pressure to eat the things that they've brought in. And I found as a sort of trained more and more women, that people that had a huge impact on weight and sometimes it can be well meaning. Someone has brought something in for a birthday at work and they want you to partake in it. Or other times your friends and your families can deliberately sabotage you because they worry how you may see them. If you're losing weights or you're improving your health and they're not, it shows them up in a negative light.
[00:18:09.050] – Gabrielle
So that can be a tricky thing for people to deal with. And then the last one is the fact that we are so heavily targeted by the food industry, by advertising for retailers, for fast food outlets, for apps, for junk food. We just do not realize how bombarded we are by messages that are persuading us to fill our trolleys, our cupboards, with those sort of foods. And that has a big impact. I've seen some data that suggests that in some supermarkets, more than 90% of the food on the shelves is highly processed. And the more we're surrounded by, the more of it we eat. So there is a bigger issue going on there when you think about these six factors that are really going to give us lots of opportunity to eat the wrong things and eat more than we need.
[00:18:55.930] – Allan
Yeah, and I think it's easy to see where that multiple challenges in there. And I think the only one I'd say that men don't have to deal with is the menopause, but we also absolutely. And when you start putting fat, then you are creating extra estrogen, and that's what creates Moobs and everything else that men deal with as we age and why we need to be fit and healthy ourselves. You started out this whole because I want to shift, because this is not all bad news. There's good news in this book, okay, despite the title, there's good news. You can in fact, to lose weight, but you have to do, I think, this one thing first, particularly for a woman that finds herself being the caretaker, dying the food and doing the things and stressed out and overworked and maybe somewhere along the spectrum of going into menopause. And that is your mindset. Can you talk about the mindset that a woman needs, particularly a woman that I think both of us, but that a woman would need going into this? I'm going to call it a battle front for right now, but what kind of mindset does she need?
[00:20:02.740] – Gabrielle
I've talked about having a priority mindset, and it's a shift where you become your own priority. And I've used those words together because quite often you've got other priorities in your life, your family, your parents, your relationship, your career. You've got to turn that around. But you become your own priority, and that's really important. Until that truly happens, you aren't going to be able to make the changes that you need to create a healthier lifestyle, to lose weight, to get more energy, whatever it is, because you'll relate to this. Changing your diet, doing more exercise, improving your sleep, reducing stress, whatever it is that you need to do. It takes effort, it takes work. You're having to flip out of your normal routine and make changes, and that's hard. And unless you're really, truly committed to making yourself that priority and your health and your goals, it's not going to happen. And one of the things that just to try and help people understand what that really means because it can be easy to say, yes, that's my priority, well, then you don't follow through. And you've got to look, maybe listen to your language when you shouldn't have eaten that or I should work out tonight, but you're not doing it.
[00:21:12.580] – Gabrielle
And if you're using language like that, then that's a sign that you're not actually really prioritizing it. You just pay a lip service to the fact that that's something that you should do, but it's not high enough on your to do list right now for you to make consistent action and consistent changes. And we can all do this when we want to. I ask people to maybe think back to a time in their lives where they've made a really strong decision about something that you've really wanted. It could have been getting married or starting a family, buying a house, getting a promotion at work. Everyone will be able to relate to something that they didn't just decide I'd like to do that. You think, no, I am going to do that. And it becomes really certain and really absolute. You don't even have to think about it too much. You just make this decision and you cross the line and then you are going to make sure that happens. You're not going to let anything stand in your way until you've done that thing that you want to do. And that has to be the same to make these changes for your life.
[00:22:10.140] – Gabrielle
And if you have had a problem with losing weight because you can't stick to a diet, then you have to be committed to understanding what your blockers have been in the past and learning how to dismantle those and create the new habits that are going to last you a lifetime. And that's why you need that priority mindset. Because without that the kids will want something, your parents will want you to do something, your boss will want you to drop everything you'll have housework to do. And we can make ourselves busy because we don't want to address those things for ourselves or we can let other people steal our time from us. When you become a priority, you then start to be able to say no me first, you just hang on a minute, I'll get around to you later. And that's the difference.
[00:22:49.910] – Allan
Yeah. There's two really big things that I think roll into this that I think are important. Okay. One is that you're not asking them to do more, ask you to decide they are the priority and they're going to do this first and do that later.
[00:23:09.120] – Gabrielle
[00:23:09.770] – Allan
And the reality I think most of us sit there and say is, well okay, if I don't answer these emails this morning before I go into the office, is anybody going to die? No, absolutely not. Now does it make my little morning hours where I can sit there and have some tea and maybe biscuits and hang out and talk to the people at the washroom by the break room, now have more time to do that because I'm not answering emails. And maybe the answer is yes. But does that serve you better than getting this workout in or preparing your lunch so you have a healthy lunch available to you?
[00:23:47.160] – Gabrielle
[00:23:47.900] – Allan
Function of prioritizing and it's not about putting something new in, it's about pushing bad stuff out because it's not priority and it's not really serving you.
[00:23:57.690] – Gabrielle
That's absolutely right.
[00:23:59.340] – Allan
I think that's a big part of this priority mindset. And then another thing you said when you put yourself first I know sometimes that can feel kind of selfish. Who am I to put myself first? And you can go into the airline thing and put your mask on things, but that just goes in one here and out the other.
[00:24:17.760] – Allan
But the reality is this if you love someone and you needed to do something for them, like, needed to carry your spouse to the airport. And I know the traffic that heathrow is like, insane. So you can the airport by 05:00 in the morning. Where are you at 05:00 in the morning? You're at departures dropping off your significant other. If your kids really need to be somewhere, like go to school or do this and they need to be there at a certain time, we have no problem dropping everything to make that happen. So the question comes up is, why wouldn't we do that for ourselves? Why wouldn't we schedule a workout and say, this is like a meeting with my boss. I'm not going to diss my boss and skip it. I'm going to do the work because I'm my boss. My boss said, be here at this time, and I love myself enough to make that happen.
[00:25:10.020] – Gabrielle
It's absolutely key. And they are the conversations that you have to be having with yourself. And that's how you're going to have to be figuring out how to just move your time around so that you can fit yourself in and make that happen.
[00:25:22.710] – Allan
You have a dozen priorities and you're trying to juggle or as you said in the book, spin the plates. But the reality is you only have one priority, and that's the plate you're dealing with right now. So plate means that it's focusing on you getting healthy and fit, because guess what? Your kids are still going to need you 20 years from now. Yeah, that's it needs you 20 years from now. And if you're not taking care of yourself now, what kind of shape are you going to be in then to do it then? So there's just a lot in that of having that priority mindset. A prit one. You, this moment, eat the right king. Or in this moment, do the workout, get it done, because you know the payoff is worth it.
[00:26:08.020] – Gabrielle
Yeah. And it's just it's making it simple, isn't it? And keeping that focus. And I like the way you said that in this moment, just that one thing. We sometimes have so much baggage we wrangle with ourselves and we procrastinate. We can just make those decisions quite easy and then simplify it, do it, get on with the rest of your day, go back to the rest of your to do list.
[00:26:26.510] – Allan
[00:26:27.470] – Allan
Now, you mentioned earlier processed food or ultra processed, I believe. If my great grandmother walked into a grocery store right now, where's the food? This is not a food market. This is something else. Why is processed food such a problem?
[00:26:44.600] – Gabrielle
Okay, well, there's a couple of reasons, and one of them is the fact that actually relative to natural and unprocessed food, it's got a lot less nutrition. So the processing methods that they use to create these foods strip out a lot of the nutrition. They often not always, but quite often ultra processed foods can be low in. Protein. So you've got something that's low in protein and low in nutrition. And what we're starting to understand that is your body doesn't just need calories, it also needs certain amounts of nutrients. And if you're not getting enough nutrients for your body, then it craves more. So I think we've lost a little bit of the connection with food and what it does because food is just the building blocks of our body. We're constantly regenerating our skin, our organs, our skeletons. There's thousands, millions of functions going on all the time. And we need food and the nutrients that we get from food to do all that. So that we're now starting to understand that as we get smaller amounts of smaller concentrations of nutrition in these ultraprocessed foods, which are relatively high in calories, our bodies are actually sending a signal, hey, we've not had enough.
[00:27:53.400] – Gabrielle
Eat more, eat more. So we're trying to eat more of these foods that are actually high in calories to try and get the nutrients because they're so scarce. So that's one of the theories of why we crave when we overeat these ultraprocessed foods. The other thing is that they are deliberately created their recipes to be really highly palatable and highly pleasurable. You can't deny that a slice of cheesecake or a donut or a fast food burger tastes amazing. We all recognize that the appeal of those things, they're designed to be very intense in terms of the flavor, and they give us like a big sort of pleasure hit in our brain. And that, again, makes us think, oh, that's amazing. I want more. I want a bigger portion. I want it tomorrow. So it does actually, though, these taste sensations are a lot higher and a lot more intense than natural foods are, and therefore we want more. The other thing as well is that with, you know, if your diet is heavy in auto processed foods, you're going to have a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates. And that's the sort of food component that spikes your blood sugar.
[00:28:57.840] – Gabrielle
That in itself causes cravings as you spending more time in fat storage mode. So it's not just calories that influence whether you're overweight or not. It's actually the carbohydrates because of the effect that they have on your hormones. So you've got this whole thing going on where there's not enough nutrition recreating cravings. And it really is very difficult then to control the amount of calories that you eat. That's the problem. Your blood sugar becomes really unstable and you're just constantly craving more and more, and you're just locked in this overeating cycle.
[00:29:27.490] – Allan
Yeah, I see it all the time. It's funny because you'll have this group that will say, well, no, you've got to eat low carb and this and that. And then before too long, well, the food companies figured out, okay, we need keto friendly snacks, and it's still processed. It's still refined stuff. And maybe it doesn't have sugar, but maybe not as much, but doesn't have any protein either. So it's devoid of anything that calories useful. Got it. And then over here, they're like, no, you need to be vegan, but we're going to make vegan hamburgers and hot dogs and vegan and duly sausage. And you're like, okay. The food companies know that this is a marketing ploy, and they know they play with you. And I had a guy on a long time ago, but the book stands out because the cover was so special. It was called the Dorito effect. And literally, these food companies have food scientists that their sole job is to make you eat more. Yeah, they're like, how do we make this so hyperpalatable that nobody's going to want anything else but this? And they're going to actually eat it so fast, they won't actually taste it after the first bite.
[00:30:38.310] – Allan
And I know, I've been there. I've eaten a whole equal sleeve of Pringles. It's a potato chips, as we call in the United States, like, just fat. And it's like, what did I just do? And I hardly remember eating them. It does draw us in. And so the more you can rely on whole food. Okay. And the way I kind of say this is if it comes in a bag box jar or can be leery, you said in the book, look at the ingredients and see what's in this. There are some exceptions. They'll freeze berries. They'll freeze vegetables. They'll ban meat. So there are exceptions to this. But if it's stable and can sit on a shelf and you see the expiry date for this thing is three years away, you got to ask questions because most of the food that's around the exterior of a grocery store in the United States, and I think it's the same there
[00:31:28.880] – Gabrielle
very much the same in the UK.
[00:31:31.130] – Allan
And walk through, and it's kind of the same. As long as you stay to the outside, you're mostly under the whole food stuff. It doesn't sit long. It has to be refrigerated. That's why all refrigerators are on the outside of the store, because most of that stuff has to be refrigerated or will go bad pretty quickly.
[00:31:46.520] – Allan
Now, in the book, you went through two things. You went through weight loss by counting calories, which I think is exceptionally hard unless you're someone who like I came from an accounting background, so keeping data, doing data, I can do that. My first accounting, when I was keeping up with my own finances, I was like General Motors. And I actually enjoyed doing that because I'm an accountant. And when I first started trying to count calories, it was like, okay, exciting. I was at the scales and I'm measuring everything, but I just know that that's not sustainable and it's not the way that I think we were intended to eat generally, because great grandparents didn't even know what a calorie was and didn't have scale. And somehow or another they managed to not… Processed food may have had a little bit to do with that, but beyond that, if you want to lose weight without counting calories, what's a good approach for someone to take to do that?
[00:32:43.540] – Gabrielle
Okay, well, I think the first thing to do is really go back to eating natural, unprocessed food. That's the biggest thing. And protein is really important. We tend to undereat protein and particularly as we get older, and this goes for men and women, we do need to eat more protein. So there's again better understanding that the needs that older adults have, and I'm talking about people really in the sort of 50 plus need to eat more protein. And protein is really important anyway because it helps to stabilize your appetite. And if you're going from eating a diet mainly based on ultra processed foods, the first things that you want to do is try and keep yourself full and eliminate cravings. And the best way to do that is by having a diet that's got having meals that have protein at each one, plenty of veg, don't be frightened of fat. And the thing you do want to watch out for is having fewer empty carbs on your plates. So that's your bread, your pasta, your rice, your noodles, your potatoes, they're the things that have got no nutrition. They're the things that are going to spike your blood sugar.
[00:33:46.370] – Gabrielle
If you had a steak and a salad with olive oil and maybe a little bit of Parmesan cheese, you tell me that you're hungry after that meal because you're not going to be. Yeah, that's ticking. So many boxes, so packed with nutrition, slow to digest, that will keep you going for hours. So this is really where you want to start with. And then the second step is to really try and get that down to just eating three meals a day. So you want to be thinking that you leave maybe four or at 5 hours in between meals. And again, if the main meals that you have are filling and satisfying and you're enjoying them, you should find it fairly easy then to get to that four or 5 hours before your next meal. And by leaving yourself a gap, you're allowing your body to digest the last meal properly. You're giving yourself more chance to dip into your fat stores. If we're constantly snacking in and eating food all of the time, then it's like having your phone plugged into your charger. You're never digging into the battery. Our body fat is like an energy battery and we're just popping up and giving our body like a very easy to use energy store and never touching the fat.
[00:34:53.530] – Gabrielle
And that's what we want to get rid of. So if you can have good decent meals, leave for four to 5 hours between each one, then really you should be working towards eliminating snacks. And when I coach sort of coach clients. Just making those changes can be enough for them to start losing weight. That's all it takes. And sometimes they can't believe how easy it is. Sometimes the meals that they're already making are 80% nair. Usually it's just a bit more protein on your plate. Get rid of a few of those potatoes, and they can do it. For others, that's not enough and go down to that. But they want to lose weight, and it's not moving. So the next stage, the next level to go to if that's not working, is to just pay attention to your portion sizes. And you want to make sure or focus on maybe just dropping the fat slightly on whatever you're eating, making the pasta, the rice, the potato component smaller, or eliminating it altogether for a while and see how that works, and then packing it out with plenty of eggs so it's filling. And then the next level to go to if that's still not working, but it should be, is to start to pay attention to your appetite.
[00:36:02.890] – Gabrielle
And the golden rule is, when you're hungry, you start when you fall. And you mentioned before we didn't need to count calories once upon a time because we were more in tune with our natural appetites. We knew when we needed something, we knew when we'd had enough. And a lot of the ultra processed foods that we have as led us to really not being tuned into our natural hunger signals and our fullness signals. So there's a reeducation process that you get from eating post natural foods and giving yourself not snacking and giving yourself plenty of time in between, you're allowing your appetite to reset.
[00:36:37.000] – Allan
Yeah. And it's kind of one of the special things that I really like about the human body is that if we give it what it needs, it gives us what we need. Communicate good things through food, through movement, through reduced stress, through sleep. And our body realizes, hey, we're in a pretty good place. We're pretty safe.
[00:36:55.240] – Allan
I don't have to really be stressed all the time. I don't have buy or sell looking for food all the time because it's plentiful and I'm getting good nutrition. It kind of falls in line, your hormones somewhat more fall in line, and everything just gets easier.
[00:37:08.830] – Gabrielle
[00:37:09.690] – Allan
One of the things you said in the book, and I really can't leave this interview without kind of putting this in there, was you said that we should be paying more attention to how we feel and look than what we weigh. And I think that's just really a cool thing because too often we're like using the scale as this metric of worth when food and movement and all these other things that we're doing in our lives are really meant to just be energies and build ups and just part of putting together a platform for you to be better.
[00:37:40.630] – Gabrielle
Yeah, absolutely. I think there's a lovely opportunity for men and women at this age to really start to reconnect with themselves and how they feel. And when our kids are growing up, we can find that we've got a little bit more time to ourselves and we can sort of take this journey. And the conversations often start about with weight because that's what people are looking for. But once you start to make these changes, you realize that you've got more energy or you sleeping better or you're not bloated anymore. And once people latch onto these things, they suddenly realize they're not bothered about weight anymore because the game changer for anyone who's tired and struggling is more energy, not smaller waste. And once you start when she sort of maybe go on this weight loss journey doesn't even take long. That's the amazing thing. When you change your diet, you can have a benefit that day. You know, it started for me when I had to remember why. But for some reason I used to have a sandwich from my lunch every day and for some reason I didn't have it. I think the shop where I went was closed, so all I could buy was some cottage cheese and some nuts.
[00:38:41.310] – Gabrielle
And every day at work at 03:00, I could not keep my head off the desk. Just was fighting, falling asleep. And this one day I had cottage cheese and nuts for my lunch. I was wide awake all afternoon. And that's how quickly the effect of food can change how you feel. And that's when people start to recognize that they can't believe it. I had a client and her and her husband went, young kids. It was a big change for them to go and make all the food from scratch. And a couple of weeks in they decided to order a takeaway. And the next day they couldn't believe how awful they felt. They didn't have the energy to play with the kids. They just felt really below par and they hadn't put a weight in one night, but they felt awful. And there's things like that that the penny starts to drop and the sort of jigsaw puzzle pieces start to fit together and you say, I know, I don't want to feel like that anymore. I want to feel like this. Because when you feel great, when you've got good energy, when you get in good sleep, your mind gets in a better place and you want to go and live your life and do more things, you've got that capability to go and do things and you wait something that becomes less important to you because you're busy doing other things.
[00:39:50.640] – Allan
Gabrielle I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:39:58.930] – Gabrielle
First one, I think would be and I love that. I love the healthy, I love putting those things together. And I think if you align your health and fitness goals with your happiness goals, then that's the best way to start because they're all related. I think there's far too much focus on health and fitness. There's weight loss tools or all of our calories. The combination of getting fitter, eating better, gives you the energy, gives you the drive, gives you the confidence, then you start to feel happy. You can start to pursue the things that you're interested in. That's a really powerful way of connecting all of those things together. One of the other things that sort of links into that as well actually, is the idea of learning how to eliminate useless thoughts from your mind. And food and eating can take up far too much head space. We think about what we're going to eat next, we feel guilty about eating something else. We're trying to sort of resist a craving that can all add up to thinking about food 24/7. And once you start working on putting food in its rightful place, it's something there to give you energy to make you feel good.
[00:41:07.700] – Gabrielle
It can actually start to free up your mind. And that's quite something when suddenly you're not constantly thinking about food anymore or fighting hunger or cravings. There's an empty space, so you can have a lot more peace in your mind. One of my clients recently was saying, I don't understand it, I just want to clean the house. I've done loads of jobs and I'm just going through everything and sorting everything out. And that's because she didn't think about food. She was suddenly being able to use that attention, free up that space to think about other things. And that's one of the massive benefit of just changing that relationship with food. Gives you more mental, it gives you more capacity, gives you more head space. And my last one is you've got to learn to love and accept yourself as you are. Now, when we're always critical of ourselves, when we're always in a position where we're unhappy with how we look and always trying to change, then we just have this sort of it just puts a cloud over the whole of your life every day. You can be self conscious or you can be hiding your stomach or worrying what people are thinking about you.
[00:42:10.460] – Gabrielle
It just takes a lot of enjoyment, a lot of pleasure out of your life. And it can be quite hard for people to let go of that self hate because they feel if they accept themselves as they are, they're suddenly going to eat everything and go out of control. But really, when you start to be kind to yourself, to think about doing things to yourself that make you feel better, we go back to feel and being guided by how you feel you are actually then start to create more respect for yourself. You get that freedom in your mind and you start to be able to shift your attention onto doing things that you enjoy and becoming happier. So that's how that all links in.
[00:42:48.520] – Allan
[00:42:49.000] – Allan
Gabrielle, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about the book, Why Women Can't Lose Weight, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:42:57.180] – Gabrielle
Well, the book is available on Amazon, so that's an easy one. If you just put the title into Amazon, you'll find that if you want to find more about me and my online products and my coaching, then I've got a website, which is gabrielleohare.com nice and simple.
[00:43:11.680] – Allan
All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/575. And I'll be sure to have links there to the book and to your website. Gabrielle, thank you so much for being on 40+ Fitness.
[00:43:23.320] – Gabrielle
Thank you very much for having me. I've really enjoyed this today, Allan
[00:43:35.510] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:43:36.960] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. What a great interview. My goodness. Why women over 40 can't lose weight. I mean, the headline right off the bat is very intriguing, but your discussion was very intriguing as well.
[00:43:48.350] – Allan
Yeah, I wish she had a subtitle of some sort, because it is an attention grabbing headline, but it leaves you in, I think, a negative thought space of, oh, well, yeah, okay. If that were a newspaper article, you'd be like, okay, what do I expect this newspaper article to tell me all the reasons why I'm failing at what I'm trying to do here? And she does that, don't get me wrong. She goes through that and lets you know that okay, that you're not alone. These are happening to women everywhere. There's case studies all the way through this of women. The six reasons she's got case studies of every single one of them, of women she's known or worked with or herself that have struggled with these things, because they're real. They're not imaginary. We're not making these things up in our head. They are real obstacles. They're in your way. The good news is she shifts in the book, which is why I think there should have been some form of subtitle. But that said, she didn't. But in the book, she did shift gears and go towards the way you overcome those objectives, those obstacles.
[00:44:54.470] – Rachel
Obstacles, yeah. Number one, though, self neglect. I mean, that was the biggest shining light, neon, fireworks reason that a lot of us who in our 40s struggle is self neglect. And the word neglect really hurts because no woman wants to neglect anybody, let alone themselves. But that's really a good word because we do prioritize everybody else over us. We've got kids that get on the bus in the morning and take care of in the evenings and dinners to cook and a house to clean, and not to mention our own 40 hours a week job. It is really hard to change that mindset of looking after everybody else and actually try and take a look at what we need to do for our own health and well being.
[00:45:37.640] – Allan
Yeah, but no, neglect is the right word.
[00:45:40.140] – Rachel
It is. As much as it hurts.
[00:45:42.680] – Allan
It's like, okay, the kids want Hot Pockets for dinner, and so you're having Hot Pockets for dinner.
[00:45:48.950] – Rachel
[00:45:49.420] – Allan
That's neglect. You know, that's not serving you. You've made the conscious decision to do it anyway. That's neglect. The definition of the word neglect is doing things to yourself or to anybody without regard to them and what their needs are. That's neglect.
[00:46:05.320] – Rachel
And I've done that. I have absolutely said to my kids, I am not cooking two different meals. And I've gone through that. But the fact of the matter is that I need to eat in a way that benefits my health and well being, and they need to eat in a way that they'll eat something before going to bed at night. So it is difficult, but it is important to look at all those obstacles and then decide how to navigate around them, to put yourself as a priority.
[00:46:32.690] – Allan
Well, even men struggle with some of these things. I mean, when we start talking about self neglect, for me, it was my career. It wasn't the kids, it was the career. And what I needed from a lifestyle to be successful at what I was doing was 16 17 18 hours days. You know, I was on six, seven days a week, 16 18 at one point 20 hours days, six days a week. And then I even came in on Sundays some days, sometimes just to catch up. As much as you think, how would you be behind? There was so much work to do. In fact, when I left and they hired the new guy, he worked for about three months, and then he quit because he said there's just no way he could keep up with that volume. But that was my career. That was my focus. In fact, as a result, I was neglecting everything else. I was neglecting my family, I was neglecting my health, neglecting my fitness, everything. And that's where I was. And it wasn't until I got a priority mindset, the way she phrases it. But it wasn't until I had that priority set my priority, and said, no, I have to be healthy and fit.
[00:47:38.340] – Allan
There's no other answer. And that's what I did.
[00:47:42.130] – Rachel
I think that a lot of women, too, need to get to that point where they make that decision. It was hard for me to make that decision. That, okay, what has to give? What do I need to do? What can I renegotiate with my husband? What can I do for the kids, but then take back some time for myself? How to make that decision, and then get creative about doing it, about finding a solution. And when the kids were young, I would wake them up from school, I would go do my workout, made sure they had breakfast and got on the bus. It's those weird moments of time, or when they were in babies, I would tuck them in bed at night. And then between 8:30 and 09:00, I met another lady in my subdivision for a run around the subdivision. So it's not the best time of the night to be working out, but I took the time when I could. And that's just how life goes. Your schedule changes. Negotiate with your husband for different chores or whatnot, maybe even work with your job to shift hours if you could, or take a working lunch break and go to the gym on your lunch break.
[00:48:44.230] – Rachel
I mean, it's just the point of you got to put yourself first and then figure out how to make that a priority, how to get in your workout, how to get in the good meals and things like that.
[00:48:53.480] – Allan
Yeah. And until you're doing it, you haven't prioritized yourself. So the thought of, well, I want this isn't enough. Your actions are your priority. I'm just going to put that out there. So if you're not doing it, don't say this is your priority. Don't say your health and fitness is your priority because you're not doing it. You do your priority. You do it. You just do. And so with the way you're talking about with kids and family and other obligations is like, you're doing that stuff, why are you doing that? It's because that's your priority. And I get it that there are times when that needs to be your priority. But if you haven't had the conversation with your significant other about the fact that you need a tag team partner, that you join this relationship to be partners, and that you need some help from them to get these things done, then you haven't prioritized yourself. Because I'll ask women, like, how does your husband get his workouts? And, well, he just goes and it's like, well, what does he do for selfcare? It's like, well, he likes to play golf and he'll go fishing.
[00:49:59.940] – Allan
I'm like, okay. So he just goes, yeah, he just goes, okay, priority. And that's only you haven't said anything, and so you can't expect mind reading and just say, so going to set a priority. Your actions have to follow through, or it really wasn't a priority. It was just a nice to have.
[00:50:16.570] – Rachel
Yeah. And it's just a matter of having that conversation with your husband or spouse or friends, your parents, anybody that could give you a hand so that you can keep up with things and take care of yourself.
[00:50:29.710] – Allan
And there are all kinds of strategies that you can take. Eat better, to move more, to do these other things that aren't going to blow you out of the water by adding tons and tons of hours onto your time. And I think that's where a lot of people get lost, is like, well, I don't like doing this. And I'm like, well, guess what? Yeah, I've had people that I don't like batch cooking. I'm like. Okay, then this isn't a priority for you. If eating out is something you have to do every night, or eating Hot Pockets from a microwave is what you have to do, then that's your priority. Your priority is not what you say it is. And so I don't mean that in a bad way, but I just really want you looking at your actions and looking for those disconnects over what you want and what you do. Because that's where the rubber hits the road, and that's where you're going to make changes. Because you aren't going to change until it's a priority. And it isn't a priority until you start doing it. We Talk About how we need motivation and all these Other things, but the gross reality of it is motivation is not something that comes.
[00:51:39.070] – Allan
Motivation is something that you earn. You do the action, you get the reward that Motivates you. There's other things you can do to Put in there coaching, social accountability, things like that, that can help get this all started. You got to do the do first, and then the motivation will build. You wait for the motivation, you're going to still be waiting there a year later?
[00:52:04.820] – Rachel
No. Yeah. Sometimes it's really hard. But I think that if you can really get creative, put your workouts on the calendar, and just be diligent with taking the time that you need to take care of yourself. I mean, it's just it's the mindset. You just need to make yourself just as big of a priority as everybody else in your life.
[00:52:23.390] – Allan
Absolutely. All right. Well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:52:27.630] – Rachel
Awesome. Take care, Allan.
[00:52:29.110] – Allan
You Too. Thanks.
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