Today I’m interviewing female fat loss expert Shawna Kaminski about how to overcome trouble spots that women get as they hit age 40. But don’t worry ladies, you can still look amazing and sexy — all thanks to Shawna’s expert tips.
CB: What are the top 3 trouble spots your clients have?
I would have to say that the number one area that my clients complain about most is the fact that their waist seems to disappear as they get into their 40’s. There is not only the thickening of the waist, but also the lower tummy seems to be ever expanding. Women seem to take on the shape of an apple or a sausage more at this age than any other time.
This is disconcerting for a couple of reasons….
1. There is the aesthetic reason:
A thick waist just isn’t attractive.
2. This body shape is most associated with heart disease.
3. Abdominal fat is also associated with insulin resistance:
This is a condition whereby your body will readily convert calories into fat instead of using them for energy. Of course this makes weight loss even more difficult.
4. The thigh and butt area is also an area of concern:
With a sedentary lifestyle, many ladies tend to lose shape in this area and what was once round, firm and shapely, is now flabby, flat and dimpled. Many women would prefer to forego shorts season and avoid a bathing suit all together since the ‘cottage cheese’ like texture of their thighs and butt area is so unappealing.
5. Another area that causes trouble is the back of the arm, or triceps.
Women tend to lose upper body strength over time as is evidenced by soft or flabby arms that prevent them from being comfortable wearing short sleeves or sleeveless shirts.
CB: What are the 3 best lower body exercises for women in their 40’s? And why did you choose these 3?
As many women get older, they fear *the SQUAT* since they think it will hurt their knees. This is one of the MOST effective exercises to firm and tone the back of the legs, or hamstrings and the butt.
The squat, when done correctly, will not only create a shapely leg and firm the butt area, but it will actually protect the knees. Many knee issues are compounded by weak muscles. Without strong muscles, there is no support for the actual knee joint.
The key to successfully incorporating the squat into a routine is to work into depth or range of motion slowly and in a pain free range. Fragile will not respond well to hundreds of full depth squats initially, but built slowly over time, the knee will adapt as the musculature develops.
A second favourite lower body exercise is the LATERAL LUNGE. Those ladies that experience knee pain in a reverse lunge can usually tolerate the lateral lunge with little to no knee pain. When done correctly, this exercise targets the glute area and inner thighs. A cardiovascular response can also be gained when a hop is added in between lunges and the pace is sped up.
Another of my favourite leg exercises is the STIFF LEGGED DEADLIFT. There is often a muscle imbalance between quad and hamstring strength. This exercise targets the hamstrings, or back of the legs specifically as well as it addresses flexibility.
CB: How many days per week should a woman over 40 work out? Do you have any tips or tricks to recover faster between workouts?
Women over 40 are incredibly busy, as most people are these days. It would be easy for me to say that training three days a week will produce the desired results of amazing fitness and fat loss, but I have to say that there needs to be more commitment than this.
I believe that the key to a beautiful and sexy physique is to train INTENSELY three to four days a week, as well as two or three days of *active rest* in between intense workouts. (What I mean by ‘active rest’ is some activity that gets a woman moving and off the couch like a bike ride, hike, brisk walk etc.)
Our bodies were meant to MOVE. We can’t expect to invest 30 minutes three times a week and have the body of our dreams. A daily, or near daily commitment to movement is required.
In our forties, we do tend to need more recovery time. This is why I suggest a low intensity *active rest* day in between *intense* workouts. This lower intensity movement helps ease muscle soreness and allows for the necessary rest without over doing it.
It goes without saying that supportive nutrition and plenty of plain old water is an absolute MUST to aid in recovery time. At this age, many women know strategies for supportive eating; it’s the *consistent application* of these principles that is missing. To fully recover between workouts, you need to fuel your body with the right nutrients and fully hydrate with water.
CB: What are your top 3 diet tips for women over 40?
‘Dieting’ is not necessarily the answer to lasting weight loss. A diet that you start and stop is counter productive to healthy weight maintenance. It’s paramount to make life long nutritional changes that will result in lowering body fat levels and support lean muscle mass.
A simple principle that can make all the difference in your physique and energy levels is to examine carbohydrate ingestion.
Carbohydrates are the bane of our 40 something existence.
If you need to drop some abdominal body fat, you need to significantly *reduce starchy carbohydrate consumption *(breads, rice, pasta, etc) and significantly *increase fibrous carbohydrate intake*(vegetables in particular).
There is often a small margin of error in a woman’s daily nutritional intake. That is, the difference between weight loss and gain can be one handful of crackers. For this reason, it’s necessary that your food intake is jam packed with nutritionally dense foods and that you avoid junk food at all costs. The beauty of eating nutritionally dense foods and a balanced diet is that cravings are significantly REDUCED.
One way to help avoid ‘the junk’, is to make sure that you’re never hungry.
This can be achieved by adding *several small meals/snacks* during the day as well as by *adding lean protein *to every meal. Protein satiates and it helps to maintain stable blood sugar through out the day. Then it’s so much easier to ‘just say no’ to unsupportive foods.
To finish it up:
It’s important to say that no one has ever‘arrived’. It’s a daily journey to maintain and improve fitness and physique for everyone. Applying small liveable changes to your lifestyle will result in a huge return on your investment over time.
Thanks Shawna! For more fat loss secrets for women over 40, visit:
And if you have any questions, please post them in the comments section below and I’ll have Shawna drop by to answer.