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It's interesting a patient brought up a good point today that I see often in weight loss.

For weight loss in women over the age of 40 I usually recommend a 1200 calorie diet. It's not black and white and each person is different, but 1200 seems to be the tipping point to lose weight.

-So if my weight loss tracker says I burned an extra 600 calories on my 2 mile walk can I eat an extra 600 calories that day?- No sad, but true the calorie counters whether it be on the treadmill at the gym or your fitbit/apple watch don't really equate to how much extra you can eat.

There are many factors that play into this, but the main one is it doesn't account for the muscle mass we lose each year or our gender. Yes I know they often ask if you are male or female and how old you are, but they don't calculate appropriately for those difference.

Remember how when you were 20 and could drink all night in college, eat late night taco bell and not exercise for days and then cut back for a few days and exercise and the weight was off? Exactly...doesn't work after 40 does it?

Doesn't work after 40 because your body has a different muscle mass. Your liver is different at 40 years old than it was at 20 and the carbs are processed differently. They are sent to the fat bank (around your stomach) quicker instead of stored for quick energy.

Your hormones are different. For men and women the hormones are lower and that effects how we metabolism food, where weight is placed on our bodies and changes the effects of exercise. Hence, "I'm doing the same things I used to do, but I'm not losing weight."

The take home-Your body is different starting in our late 30's. The liver changes, our muscle structure changes, where we place fat and how we metabolize things all change. If your treadmill says you just burned 400 calories, congratulations. Now have a piece of fruit with peanut butter or a 100 calorie protein shake and move on with your day.


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