Midlife Mentors: What people get wrong in their 50s
The main thing we see is people realising they’re not where they want to be, so they double down on what they did in their 30s. Instead of running for 20 minutes twice a week, they will run for 40 minutes five times a week. All they are doing is putting increased stress on their central nervous systems and causing their cortisol levels to spike. By overtraining, they are working against the hormonal changes in their body
We see this all the time. The swinging between extreme dieting and gluttony, for want of a better word. They’ll buy the latest fad book and eat only 800 calories, which crashes their metabolism and affects their muscle mass. All the things you don’t want to happen. Of course, it’s not sustainable and then suddenly the pendulum swings back to the drink and cheese
Prioritising the external
We talk a lot about the internal and external work. What people focus on more is the external work; the need to move more and address their nutrition. What they’re not bringing is their beliefs. “Who do I need to be to make this training and diet sustainable?” They’re not doing the mental reps that set you up for long-term success
People say they don’t have time. And that’s not their fault because they haven’t been educated. People think they’re going to have to make drastic changes in their life; spend hours working out and eating loads of lettuce leaves. That’s simply not the case. We have clients who are running multinational companies on different continents and are so busy but they still find the time. It’s about priorities. Twenty minutes of exercise three or four times a week will make a difference. We all find that time to scroll through our phone or watch another Netflix episode
We all know the saying “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” but most of society has now got that the wrong way around. We’re not anti carbohydrates – they’re essential – but it’s about front-loading them in the day. Most clients come to us and they’re hardly eating any breakfast, so they’re not firing up their metabolism. And then they get to lunch and have something sugary and their insulin bandwidth is all over the place. Then in the evening they eat a massive bowl of rice or pasta, right when i goes unused, so it turns into body fat
Three midlifers on finding their fitness groove
‘I couldn’t stand on one leg without falling over’
Kamal Patel, 56, Manchester
My whole life I was a couch potato who was lucky to be slim, even into my 40s. I used to eat loads of sweet stuff: cakes, chocolates, three spoons of sugar in my tea. I was an estate agent and I never walked to appointments. If I did walk, it was to the bakery for lunch!
But then I started to put on a bit of weight around my waist, and my mum and sister were also diagnosed with diabetes.
I tried the gym and running on the treadmill and it just didn’t gel with me. It also didn’t help me with my work stress.
I fell into yoga by accident. I was put off by all the images out there of bendy women. But there was a hot yoga studio near my office and I’d often walk past it.