OVER 40 – FAT and FED UP!

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OVER 40 – FAT and FED UP!

The title of my blog today represents one of the most typical demographic of client that I coach. She is over 40, may or may not have had children and has found the weight creeping up and settling particularly around the belly area and lower back creating the ubiquitous “Middle age spread effect”.

Many if not all of these ladies have been exercising and dieting and following every health fad out there in a bid to get lean to no avail.

So today I am going to take you through the first 16 weeks of training with one of my clients who fit this bill exactly.

My client was 47 when she contacted me first. She had had a child 8 years previous. In spite of not having gained a lot of weight during the pregnancy she found herself steadily gaining weight over the ensuing years. She was diagnosed hypothyroid and put on medication. She was diagnosed as being in the middle of an early onset menopause. Everything and anything was stacked against her quest to lose fat it would seem.

She was eating what she thought was a “Healthy diet”, minimum junk foods , processed foods and alcohol only occasionally and in moderation. Her biggest weakness was a severe sweet tooth due to sugar cravings which she indulged in with a mini chocolate bar a few times a week. She was training on average 5 days a week with about 2-3 group exercise boot camp style classes and jogging for 30 -40 minutes about twice a week. Still she kept on gaining fat. This client represents a very typical and highly frustrating scenario.

On taking my initial inventory of diet, lifestyle habits, systems appraisal, stress factors and health consciousness including getting this clients biosignature tested and finding out her metabolic type many things unfolded.

  1. She was following a lot of what was popular in the most recent health books, eating healthy fats, low GI carbs as an example.
  2. She continued running in spite of getting frequent ankle sprains.
  3. She had not slept soundly or consistently since the birth of her child.
  4. She had a lot of personal stress within her own family and her family of origin and her workplace!
  5. She had been constipated for as long as she could remember over the course of the last 8 years.
  6. Her highest levels of body fat corresponded to the biosignature sites of insulin and cortisol.


The Adjustments


1: I discovered that this client was actually undereating relative to her needs. This was a shock to her and it took some time to get her to adjust to higher intakes of food.

  1. I worked on improving her sleep quality with a new regimen that included getting to bed early.
  2. A stress management program was put in place and stuck to fairly consistently.
  3. A nutrient specific protocol was designed for this clients specific needs and adjusted frequently as her program progressed.
  4. This client was banned from steady state cardio (in this case running). She had strong symptoms of adrenal overload or burnout and I explained to her that running was only making her fatter due to the severe depleting affects running has on our system to manage stress.
  5. She was thoroughly assessed biomechanically and an individualised stretch/ mobilisation program and strength programs were put in place. Her initial strength programs were more corrective in nature for the first 8 weeks as she had a lot of pelvic instability that was contributing to injuries (ankle sprains while running.)
  6. Her strength programs became more hypertrophy and metabolic based during the next 8 weeks.

16 weeks later ( including the Christmas festive period) my client had lost 20 lbs of pure fat having not lost 1lb in the 8 years previous!  She did not lose one ounce of lean body mass (aka muscle) and she will continue to make progress in the future. She is healthier, leaner, she sleeps soundly, and she has no more sugar cravings. Her energy levels are improved and she is now fitting into clothes she used to be able to wear before she got pregnant.

When you have a tough case of resistant fat loss transformation is ONLY possible through Personalisation. Individualised Diet, Training, Nutrient Support and Lifestyle are key.


This client had an absolute determination to change and more importantly she was willing to invest in herself to get the support and knowledge required to see that change through. She made NO excuses and followed the program to the letter 99% of the time. This initial training phase represents just the beginning of a whole new lifestyle for this client and NOT an isolated transformation period.  This client presented with some severe hormonal imbalances which can take many more months to correct. This is also the case for most clients in the over 40 category. Your body has to get healthy BEFORE its willing to let go of the fat and NOT the other way around!

Week 1 : Body Fat 33%

Week 16: Body Fat 24%

For more information on training and nutritional programs with Clare including her new Online Personal Training service then please click the links on the right hand side of this page.

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