The Stumbling Blocks That May Be Holding You Back From Losing Weight

If you're over 40 and trying to lose weight, make sure you're not making any of these five diet mistakes I’m about to share with you. Making even just one of them could get in the way of you losing fat, and instead cause you to gain weight!

I’ve been working in the weight-loss world for four decades, and I’ve heard a lot of advice over the years. But some of the strategies you think are healthy are actually getting in the way of reaching your weight-loss goals.

You may be tracking your data and avoiding certain foods—but are you tracking the right type of data? And are you making sure you’re getting enough of the one macronutrient that will have the biggest impact on your weight and body composition?

Tune in and find out the top five mistakes I see people making over and over again, and maybe you’ll finally find your stumbling block if you’ve been doing all of the “right” things to lose weight, but are still struggling to reach your goals.


00:01:22 – Are you tracking the wrong data for weight loss?
00:05:36 – The macro you should NOT be reducing
00:07:53 – Why cutting out fat is a big mistake
00:10:47 – The supplement that can help you better absorb nutrients from your food
00:13:34 – The vegetables you aren’t eating enough of, especially if you’re in perimenopause

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Watch the FULL VIDEO on JJ’s Youtube Channel 

Use our protein calculator to determine protein

Cronometer is a great resource to make sure you’re hitting your macros

All-In-One Shakes help you reach your daily protein goal

Collagen Peptides Powder adds a boost of protein to almost any recipe

An Omega-3 supplement like Omega Plus can help slow the aging process

Protein First Enzymes contain a broad spectrum of digestive aids to support gut health

Study: Omega-3 and aging

Take the Omega 3 Index test through Your Lab Work (no doctor visit required

Study: Effect of fruit and vegetables on cancers

Click Here To Read Transcript

WB40 Episode 556 – 5 Diet Mistakes To AVOID Over 40 #4 Is CRITICAL!
[00:00:00] I am JJ Virgin, PhD Dropout. Sorry, mom, turn four time New York Times bestselling author. Yes. I'm a certified nutrition specialist, fitness Hall of Famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe, but I'm driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for.
Answers and sharing the information that I uncover with as [00:00:25] many people as I can, and that's why I created the Well Beyond 40 podcast to synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode we'll talk about what's working in the world of wellness.
From personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness, join me on the journey to better health so you can love how you look and feel right [00:00:50] now and have the energy to play full out at 100.
If you're over 40 and trying to lose weight, make sure you're not making any of these five diet mistakes, even making just one of them could get in the way of you losing fat and instead cause you to gain weight. Now I've been working in the weight loss world for over 35 years, [00:01:15] and these are things that you may be doing to get healthy that could actually be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
So here's the first one, counting calories rather than macros. Calories count. But where they come from counts more because of the hormonal impact of food. There's three macros. I'm gonna show you how this all plays out. They are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. So protein in terms of the [00:01:40] macronutrients is the most thermic.
What's that mean? It burns more calories. For your body to be able to assimilate it, use it, put it to use on your body, and really, I want you to think of protein more as function rather than fuel. Because while it can be used, it's a fuel source. It's really put together to build your body protein. Not only is thermic, it also has better satiety than the other macronutrients.
It helps you feel fuller longer because it [00:02:05] releases GLP one. And P y y. These are neuro peptides that are so tidy. Neuro peptides, plus it slows down, stomach empty. So all these things say you're, you eat protein, you're not as hungry. We've been eating protein all wrong. Our protein R D A is ridiculous.
It's so much lower than it should be. We need to eat at least twice of what that R D A is. So where it says 0.8 grams per kilogram of weight is what you should [00:02:30] be eating. First of all, we're in the United States, we do pounds. I say 0.8 grams per pound. Of ideal body weight. So that's first, and that's where I start to build my plate when I'm looking at macros is I know that if I'm eating 0.8 grams per pound of ideal body weight, let's do the math.
Let's say that that's 150 pound person. So 0.8 would be 80, 40 would be 120 grams. Hundred [00:02:55] and 20 grams. I'm eating three meals. That means that I need to get 40 grams at each meal. So there you go. So that re and really important to start the day with protein. So 40 grams of protein each meal. That's first.
Next step, carbohydrates. Now, carbohydrates, when you eat them are going to raise your blood sugar and make your body release insulin to bring the blood sugar back to normal levels and to be able to use that carbohydrate, get it into the fuels. Right. What I really [00:03:20] want you to focus on first, Are non-starchy vegetables.
So right here, next up on the plate are non-starchy veggies. And what I want you to think of here is eating at least five servings a day, a serving as a half a cup of cooked, or a cup of raw. So once you've done those two things, then you can look at having some carbs from what I call slow low carbs. And these should be whole foods based, plant-based.
And [00:03:45] it's fruit, it's tubers, it's roots, it's beets, it's wild rice, it's winter squashes, legumes, fruit, it's a cup. The rest of those things, it's about a half a cup. And for those the slow low carbs, this is zero to one, zero to two servings per meal. Right now with these macros. Quality super duper with all of them quality matters, but especially when we're looking at carbohydrates, you want whole foods, carbohydrates, because they [00:04:10] come with lots of fiber that slows down the blood sugar response.
Remember carbohydrates cause a blood sugar rise bigger, the blood sugar rise bigger, the insulin response. High insulin, more fat soaring. Next up is fat and fat's really hormone neutral. The very worst combination that you could possibly do is eat high fat and high carbs because you have that big insulin response with a lot of chloric density of the fat, and it's just like, boom, let's store it on in.
So what you wanna think about with [00:04:35] fats are eating whole types of fats, first, avocado, wild fish, et cetera. And then being very careful with the oils you choose, like extra virgin olive oil being my favorite there when you're eating fat again. It just, it's kind of like you don't really need to expend its calories for digestion.
It's just really, really easy for your body to use for fuel or store. First thing you're gonna do, and we'll have this in the video description notes, so you can get this [00:05:00] here, is determine your macros by starting with the protein calculator. That's where I want you to go first is build your plate around protein, add in non-starchy vegetables, see what kinds of fat you have there because you should get.
Two to four fat servings per meal. You might have enough between putting some extra virgin olive oil on your salad and having wild salmon, and then see if you need a little slow low carb. Maybe you're gonna have some blueberries for dessert, and that might be fine. [00:05:25] But let's focus on macros, not calories, because if we're focusing on calories, you might just say, you know what?
I'm gonna eat a thousand calories a day. I think I'll just eat Snickers bars. Obviously that would've a really poor hormonal response. So number two, cutting down on protein. Now I just kind of did my rant on protein, but I'm gonna go a little deeper here because our protein recommendations are basically from the dark ages.
Well, not really, but they're from World War ii [00:05:50] and they were really, when we were rationing things, and it was there to protect us from deficiencies and starvation. It's not there. The R D A does not optimize your health. Here's what I want you to think of, and I'm gonna talk Graham's per ideal body weight.
And this is really important cuz again, you're gonna figure out your ideal body weight by looking at a heightened frame chart and then looking at your range and knowing the number that works best for you. Where do you feel [00:06:15] your best in that range? And so when you do that, the very minimum I say is 0.6 grams per pound of ideal body weight.
My ideal is 0.8, and then if you're in a big phase of recovery under a lot of stress or really working on putting on muscle mass, or you're trying to both lose fat and put on [00:06:40] muscle, which if you're trying to do that and you're fit fairly challenging, but boy, you really have to focus on protein. If you're doing that, then I'm gonna focus on one.
So if your ideal body weight is 150 pounds, then you got 120 grams of protein. If you divide that into three meals, that's 40 grams of protein per meal. Right? And remember, plant-based sources here are not going to get you. As far as animal-based [00:07:05] sources, oftentimes they're low or deficient in one or more of the essential amino acids.
Which we have, we're getting 20 from our animal based foods. We need, there's nine that we need, we can't make ourselves, and so we have to get them from our diet. So overall, you're going to be able to get more of this, more bioavailability, better protein quality from animals. But remember, You are what you eat, ate.
Now some of the things [00:07:30] you can do here to help you already use, I have my protein shakes, my reg night wellness protein shakes, and my collagen. And these are things I use every day, especially for the morning when I do my loaded smoothie to make sure that I'm starting the day with at least 30 grams of protein.
And those bumper meals are so important. Your morning and evening. So make sure you're getting your protein in those meals for sure. That is the most important. The third thing, I still remember in [00:07:55] the eighties when all of a sudden everything went low fat, fat free. Do you remember this? Do you remember growing up on all this?
Like they're fat free. It's low fat. We can have as much as we want, it's fine. Here's the challenge with that. We know that that was a big fat lie. Cutting down on fat did not bring us the promised land that it said it would. And it left us hungry and more insulin resistant. And here's the deal. We can live without carbs, but we can't live without [00:08:20] protein and fat.
Our brains and hormones need fat to thrive. And fat supports your skin health as you age too. And making an oil change, having the right types of fat lowers inflammation, fats key critical helps our body make steroid hormones like cortisol and estrogen and progesterone and testosterone. It helps us produce cholesterol.
And by the way, if you've been trained to think cholesterol's evil, You need cholesterol to make hormones, but the [00:08:45] quality again is key. You gotta make an oil change, which means you gotta get rid of the canola oils, the corn oils, even the healthy sounding ones like safflower oils. Why? Because so many of these in the processing.
Got ranted and there tend to be higher in these omega six pro-inflammatory fats. What you'll wanna do is go for whole fats first, so things like wild fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, olives. Then with your extra [00:09:10] fat that you can have. Then you go to oils, and if I'm using oils, I tend to stick with extra virgin olive oil, or I'll use some GH, or I'll use some coconut oil.
Those tend to be the ones that I use the most of. Plus, I take Omega three s every single day. I take my Omega Ultras from Reignite Wellness every single day because there's great research showing that omega three s can help slow [00:09:35] the aging process. In fact, there was a 2020 true review in the biomolecular concept.
This one showed that Omega-3 fatty acids may possibly affect telomeres. What are they? Telomeres protect our D n a and they get shorter as we age. They get shorter when you're stressed. When they get shorter, they're contributing to all these age related diseases. So we really, really, really wanna maintain the [00:10:00] length of our telomeres and fish oil in good essential Omega-3 fatty acids are one way to do this.
Now there was other research and this one from the aging research reviews showed that omega-3 fatty acids can slow age related cognitive decline and may also protect against the risk of dementia. So there's a test if you're wondering, she like, well, how do I know if I'm getting enough Omega-3 S? The omega-3 index test [00:10:25] is a great test.
It's a blood test used to measure the level of omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells. And it's used to determine the risk of heart disease. It's one of the single best indicators of overall omega-3 status in the body. And omega-3 status is gonna reflect both your dietary intake and how well you are converting plant and fish oils.
So super important. And number four, mistake is not taking enzymes for [00:10:50] protein and fat. I don't know if you've noticed, but as we age, your digestive enzymes decrease. And your stomach acid decreases. What happens when you do this is now you cannot get the nutrition from your food, right? And we know besides age making this worse, stress really makes this worse.
We know stress lowers stomach acid, right? As well as making leaky gut. And the bottom line is you are only what you absorb. So if [00:11:15] you're eating super healthy, but you're having absorption issues, right, you got a problem. And one of the ways you can tell if you have this, it's not the only way, but gas and bloating is a great sign of like your needing enzymes.
And that's where I really feel like you need to give enzymes a trial. And especially now with that 30 grams or more of protein per meal, you really wanna make sure that you're able to break down and digest that protein. And I find the [00:11:40] places that we tend to have the biggest issues. Are with protein digestion and fat digestion.
So you wanna a well-rounded digestive enzyme that has lipase. Lipase, works for fat digestion, and proteases for protein digestion so that you can break down these macros. I also love beane H C L because it helps with protein breakdown as well. If you look at the things that can really impact your stomach [00:12:05] acid, stress, aging, any kind of infection, a lot of the different medications.
Those are going to affect your stomach acid, and if your stomach acid is lower, well now you're not absorbing your nutrients, so little malnutrition, you'll have indigestion. It's kinda like that feeling of eating, but it's just sitting there, right? It can cause small intestinal bacterial overgrowth because you're not able to get the food out of your stomach.
Then the migrating motor complex. And into the small intestine, [00:12:30] you can't clean out and it can cause different kinds of microbial infections cuz the stomach acid isn't there to kill things off. Another thing I love is oxy extract because it helps eliminate toxins and can clear excess cholesterol. When you look at your ideal digestive enzyme, it's gonna have at least things to help with protein and fat.
It's also great if it can help with some of the problematic ingredients. That can cause food intolerances, you know, like [00:12:55] gluten and dairy. So there's special enzymes that can help break down gluten. It's called D P four, and there's also different enzymes that can help break down dairy. Big important thing here is you wanna take these before you eat, if at all possible.
They're less effective after you eat sometimes. I realize they ate and I'm like, darn it. I still take it, but it's not as good as if you take it 10, 20 minutes before your meal. So you get your digestive [00:13:20] juices going. If I'm going out to dinner, the first thing I do when I sit down to dinner is get sparkling water and I take my enzymes and I end up giving 'em to everybody at the table.
Cause they're like, what are those? It's just kind of that ritual at home. You can just leave them out so you remember to do it. Number five is not eating enough. Cruciferous. Vegetables and my rule is at least five servings a day of non-starchy vegetables, more is better. So I'm gonna go five to 10 [00:13:45] servings of raw and cooked.
So raw is a cup, cooked is a half a cup. There is so much nutrient density in your non-starchy vegetables. You'll get folate, you'll get vitamin C, E, and K. You're gonna get all these phytonutrients, all these polyphenols that are so important for your gut microbiome. Plus you got fiber, which is key important for a couple different reasons.
Number one, slows down stomach. Empty helps you [00:14:10] feel fuller longer. It's great for detoxification, great for pulling in or detoxifying the bad estrogens. Detoxifying the cholesterols gives you poops you can be proud of. Adds bulk to your stool, so just. I mean like there's nothing I can say that's not fabulous about these non-starchy vegetables here.
They're also gonna help you. Like if you sit down to eat and you have protein and non-starchy vegetables and you take your time, likely you're not gonna overeat cuz you'll be full. One of the things that are important, and you've [00:14:35] heard, eat from the rainbow, eat by the rainbow, right? And you wonder why, because the polyphenols are in these non-starchy vegetables and the colors mean different things.
There's Quercetin, Han, Lygo, bean, lutein, all these things are due to different colors, so that's why you want these bright colors of like the red onion and the broccoli and the yellow peppers, right? And one other really cool thing that you get from [00:15:00] non-starchy vegetables on some of them is you get some prebiotics.
So things like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, radish, rutte, bega. These all have prebiotics and prebiotics. Act like fertilizer for your gut bacteria. So they basically are like food to help your gut bacteria. The good ones flourish. Other thing they do, and I kind of mentioned a little bit, is they can help detoxify estrogens.
So perimenopause, [00:15:25] as you know, perimenopause normally begins in your forties. And this is where your hormones start to go down. Estrogen, everything, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone are going down. But sometimes progesterone's going in steeper, down more than estrogen so you can become estrogen dominant.
So the ratio comes off, or you'll start to have more of the bad estrogens that you need to detoxify and you really need to support the liver in the processing and eliminating of [00:15:50] excess estrogen, cuz a lot of that is what's giving you those really rotten menopause symptoms. And what's cool is cruciferous vegetables contain this compound called Indol three carbon.
And what that indol three carbon I three C does is it helps move excess estrogen through the detox pathways so that it can be eliminated. There was a nutrition reviews journal, talked about. How this can, all of these veggies can [00:16:15] reduce the risk of hormonal related cancers through this whole process of detoxifying them out.
And that means breast cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer. And I'm talking specifically about. I was called the stinky vegetables, Brussels sprouts and cabbage and cauliflower and broccoli and kale, and big, big shoutout to broccoli sprouts. Like that's the best of all. There's actually no established recommendation.
There's not like a dose, oh, you need to have this [00:16:40] much broccoli a day. But there was a 2000 study in pharmacological research that recommended at least five servings a week of those specific ones. But I think we can get that in every single day. You know, one day broccoli, one day cauliflower. One day, Brussels sprouts.
That's actually what we do at home, is we rotate them every single day as we get older. Sorry, I had to say it. We just can't get away with the same diet mistakes we used to make in our twenties and thirties. We, we don't have that margin for error of our youth. [00:17:05] So for a deeper dive on supporting your health after 40, especially as you start to move through menopause, check out my menopause playlist to learn how to lose weight and feel great through menopause, going keto through menopause and how to master the transition.
So you look and feel. Better than ever. Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great, and more importantly [00:17:30] that you're built to last. And check me out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and my website, jj
And make sure to follow my podcast so you don't miss a single [email protected]. See you next time.

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