By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn
There are so many quotes and social media tags promoting strong women, but the truth is, it takes a lot more than just a hashtag and a motivational quote for women to be authentic #bossbabes. I will be the first to admit that my strength has been built on the support of a tribe of amazing women that never let me give up on myself.
Taking On Roles
Not only does it take a great community to nourish your spirit, but also it takes intentional nutrition to fuel your girl power and help you meet the daily demands of being a mom, daughter, wife, friend, aunt, sister, student, athlete, caregiver, entrepreneur—Wonder Woman.
The funny thing is that while we are so busy wearing all of those hats and our own birthdays come and go without much fanfare, we often don’t realize how much our own nutrition needs change with age. We wake up one day, say around age 40, and realize that not only do we need to update our wardrobe but also it may be time to reevaluate some of our lifestyle habits.
It’s pretty obvious that our outward appearance changes with age, so we give up crop tops and skinny jeans. But, you may not be aware of the subtle changes that are happening on the inside. Hello hormones, right? Those sneaky little chemicals are responsible for the obvious and not-so-obvious changes that come without any warning. Lower levels of estrogen obviously affect reproductive health, but they also raise your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
If that wasn’t enough, it goes to work slowing down our metabolism. Combine that with the age-related loss of lean muscle mass because of waning testosterone levels (yes, ladies, we have testosterone, too) and you have the perfect storm for weight gain, especially around your belly. Women lose about half a pound of lean muscle per year starting around the age of 40. And for the guys who are following along here, you don’t fare much better. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetime.
Pardon me while I step up on my soapbox and repeat myself very loudly! We naturally lose lean muscle mass as we age. That not only impacts our metabolism but also has a profound effect on our physical strength. You have two choices here:
- Ignore and deny the changes, accepting the decline leading to weight gain and loss of functional abilities.
- Channel your inner boss and make the nutrition and lifestyle changes you need to stay strong, no matter how many birthdays you have celebrated.
Maintaining and building lean muscle absolutely requires attention to your diet. But that doesn’t mean you have to do anything absurd. Successful aging is still about following those basic diet principles that apply to any age and that are promoted through the Fit3 program:
- Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and non-starchy.
- Eat a variety of fruits.
- Include grains in your daily diet. Half of your grains should be whole grains.
- Reduce added sugars and avoid saturated fats.
- Have protein at every meal/snack. Healthy protein includes lean meat (chicken), seafood, eggs, beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Use healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
- Supplement daily with a quality core nutrition product to cover nutrient gaps.
Since our need for specific nutrients change as we go through different life stages, additional supplementation with targeted solutions is recommended to meet the unique needs for each individual and/or stage of life. During the teen years, girls need more calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones and support growth. Protein, iron, calcium and folic acid are critical for young women. Calcium, iron, B-vitamins and vitamin D are key to good health, stress relief and energy levels in women prior to menopause. After menopause protein, vitamin D, calcium, fiber and anti-oxidants combat age-related physical and cognitive decline.
Nutrition At Every Stage
Reliv’s core nutrition products in combination with the targeted solution formulas allow you to create a customized nutrition program to meet your unique needs during each stage of life, whether you are worried about pimples or wrinkles. Just remember that your daily regimen is likely to change along with your age. So even though 50 is the new 30, the regimen that worked for you when you were 30 might need some refreshing if you are approaching a different decade!