Lose Unwanted Weight and Achieve Long-Term Health by Addressing 3 Key Problems Facing Women Today

Watch the video and read below to discover the new scientific protocol that specifically addresses 'female physiology' and delivers results.

Rhoda Lucas, BSc, MND, APD
(Dietitian, Model, Body Recomposition Specialist)

After women turn 40, we gain around 4 pounds of body fat per year,* with most of that ending up in our belly / waist.

We get frustrated by the same-old diets and regain all the weight we lose, and often more.

New research specifically designed for women over 40 shows that this happens because:

  • Our energy needs decrease but we keep eating the same diet
  • Our protein needs increase, but we don't eat more protein
  • In fact, we haven't been eating enough protein our entire lives
  • Our national food supply is lower in protein content and higher in fats and carbs
  • We have multiple, complex responsibilities and minimal "me time"
  • We don't do the right type or amount of exercise that women specifically need to meet our body goals
  • All this combines to increase our body fat by 3-5 pounds per year
  • At the same time we are getting weaker by losing muscle and bone

On average we gain around 18% body weight

18%
Total Weight Gain

Over a 10 year period we lose muscle, gain body fat, and reduce our daily physical activity and exercise.

Lose Muscle Mass 1 % Loss of Muscle Mass
Gain Body Fat 1 Pounds Loss of Muscle Mass
Decrease Exercise 1 % Loss of Muscle Mass

The average American women will gain 30 pounds of body fat over any given 10 year period and increase her total body weight by 18%, because she loses around 10% of her muscle mass and reduces her physical activity. (See references below)


Reference: Suryadinata RV, Wirjatmadi B, Adriani M, Lorensia A. Effect of Age and Weight on Physical Activity. Journal of Public Health Research. 2020;9(2). doi:10.4081/jphr.2020.1840
Reference: Palmer AK, Jensen MD. Metabolic changes in aging humans: current evidence and therapeutic strategies. J Clin Invest. 2022 Aug 15;132(16):e158451. doi: 10.1172/JCI158451. PMID: 35968789; PMCID: PMC9374375.
* Average muscle loss, fat gain and body weight gain are estimated from research studies.

The 3 Key Problems and Solution

1. The Protein Problem (Click to Open)

How protein is linked to overweight and obesity


If you google a woman's recommended daily allowance for protein, you'll find it says 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The fact is, this is just enough to stay healthy, but it's not enough to thrive. Following this advice, the average woman weighing 75KG would only be eating around 60 grams of protein per day, and many women don't even eat that amount. 


The guidelines from the International Sports Nutritionist are that active women need around 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.  This means our average woman weighing 75KG would need 135 grams of protein per day, not a measly 60 grams.


But what if you're not an "active woman"?

New research shows that at the very least, women need around 15% of their daily diet to be protein.  The average woman in the US needs around 2,000 calories per day, which means at least 300 calories need to come from protein, which is 75 grams per day.


So, whether you're an active woman or a sedentary woman, you need more than 60 grams of protein per day, every day.


Why aren't women eating enough protein?

It all started after World War 2. The Standard American Diet (SAD) became more processed, more convenient, and was manufactured to have a longer shelf-life.  And what happened over the last 50 years that Generation X women have been alive is that the average amount of protein in the Standard American Diet shifted down from 15% to 12%.


Without even knowing it or planning it, women gradually ate less and less protein.


How is protein linked to overweight and obesity?

Recent research proves that we have 5 appetites, with our appetite for protein being the strongest and most important. If we do not get enough protein in our daily diet, then we will be naturally stimulated to continue eating more food in an effort to meet our minimum daily protein needs.

But, our food supply has a reduced amount of protein and so in order to meet our protein needs, we eat the foods that are most convenient and palatable, and these tend to be high in carbs and fats.

And by simply trying to meet our protein needs, we overeat on foods high in fat and carbs and this is what has led (in part) to the overweight and obesity statistics your read about all the time.

In other words, because the amount of protein in our everyday food supply has reduced over the last 50 years, we have had a natural drive to eat more food to make up for the lack of protein.  As a result, we've consumed the convenient foods that happen to be higher in fats and carbs and we've gained weight.

This phenomenon is called Protein Leverage and it's one of the most important breakthroughs in nutrition in the last decade.

We've gained weight and become obese because of the gradual reduction of protein in the national food supply, and then we reach our 40s and 50s and things take a turn for the worse. To read about how estrogen fits into all this, click onto the next tab. (And don't worry, we have a solution for all this which I'll tell you about.)

2. The Estrogen Problem (Click to Open)

How estrogen is linked to belly fat and weight gain 


After we turn 40 (and sometimes as young as 35), our estrogen starts to fluctuate, and we begin to lose protein from our muscles and bones.  This is invisible to us, because we don't see it.  We lose about 1% of our muscle mass per year from 40 to 50 and then we begin to lose even more.


Because we're losing protein from our muscles and bones, our body releases a hormone that signals us to eat more protein to make up for the protein we're naturally losing because of declining estrogen.


So, not only weren't we eating enough protein in the first 40 years of our lives, now we need to eat even more protein than before because we're losing muscle and bone every single day and getting gradually weaker and weaker as a result.


How much extra protein do we need after age 40?

It is estimated that we need to have between 1.8 grams to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to make up for all the protein we're losing. This means that the average woman over 40 that weighs 75KG needs about 135 grams of protein per day, everyday, if she is to stop losing muscle.

This is substantially more than most women have ever had as part of their diet. In fact, most women find they need to supplement their protein in order to meet their protein needs.

But, unfortunately, women tend to eat even less protein

Instead of eating more protein after age 40, most women eat even less, and this stimulates their protein appetite even more.  Being hungry for protein, they tend to eat the convenient, palatable food that happens to be lower in protein, and higher in fats and carbs, and so they end up having to eat more food to try and meet their protein needs, and they end up with too many carbs and too much fat, and gain weight.

This is one of the main reasons women notice that they're putting on belly fat, or gaining weight around the mid-section, and this will continue to happen unless they correct the situation and change their diet toward having more protein and less fats and carbs.

I have developed an eating solution that makes this easy and practical and achievable and have taught this to hundreds of women.  But before I get to that, I need you to read through the role of exercise and activity, because this is a crucial piece of the puzzle, and it's not what you might think,


3. The Exercise Problem (Click to Open)

How history has kept women weak


If you google the traits of masculinity, you'll find 'strength' is front and center. But google the traits of femininity and 'strength' is nowhere to be found.  Why is it that strength is not a characteristic of being female?


If you look back over the last 100 years, you'll find that the exercise programs for women have all been designed to lose weight, whereas for men it is to gain strength and muscle.


Do you see the pattern here?!


Women do cardio, pump classes, aerobics, stair master and treadmills ... to lose weight.


What impact do these exercise programs have on women's bodies?

We lose muscle, that's what happens. And we also lose bone mass.

These cardio focussed weight loss programs lead to one inevitable outcome, and that's being frail and weak.

Weak muscles and bones are costing lives, and Billions of dollars.

Losing muscle and bone doubles the risk of dying (mortality). In the USA the loss of muscle with aging is costing at least 18 Billion dollars per year and the cost of osteoporosis and bone fractures is costing around 25 Billion dollars per year.

And while it might seem a while off, weak muscles and weak bones start happening to ALL OF US once we hit 40, and it just progresses with each passing decade.

And yet research has shown that with the right type of strength training, women can not only prevent muscle loss and osteoporosis, but reverse it. 

The best type of exercise for women over 40 and 50 (and 60 and 70) is strength training

Strength training, or lifting weights, is the best form of exercise to prevent and reverse muscle loss and bone loss, and there is no reason whatsoever that women can't, or shouldn't, lift weights. The problem is that it's still not considered 'normal' for women to lift heavy weights, even though this bias is gradually changing.

Strength training in younger women has increased in popularity over the last 10 years, however older women (and yes I mean those of us over 40) struggle with the idea because not only do we still have our "women don't lift weights" thinking stuck in our minds, we also have the "I'm not young like I used to be" thinking to battle with as well.

Cultural stereotypes and 'social norms' are keeping us away from dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and the weights room at the local gym, and they are also keeping us away from our birthright to be strong, healthy women as we age.

Women have every right to be strong. It's not just an option, it's a requirement for healthy, successful aging. So, the exercise problem for women has been the emphasis on cario and light weights for weight loss and so-called 'toning', whereas the solution is strength training.

Women can build muscle and strength, and they can prevent muscle and bone loss, and they can only achieve this by lifting weights. On the last tab, I'll show you how we can solve all these problems and turn our health, our weight, and our lives around.

References

Sarcopenia Is Associated with Mortality in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyisis
Osteoporosis in Females

4. The Solution (Click to Open)

How to fix the Protein Problem

Protein is the primary macronutrient we need to address in our diet moving forward.

Each women has a specific protein requirement based on her age and activity level. This protein amount, in turn, impacts her whole dietary energy (caloric) intake.

So, we can't just look at protein in isolation, we have to determine how protein fits into our total energy intake per day.

At the bare minimum women need at least 15% of their daily energy intake to come from protein. If a woman is active, then she'll need between 1.5 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

How to get that protein is another question.

It's one thing to say a woman needs 120 grams of protein per day, but how can she consume this, and what is the best type of protein?

You might think that 100 grams of chicken is 100 grams of protein, but it's not.

100 grams of chicken only has around 30-35 grams of protein, so we have to ensure we're calculating this correctly.

Also, did you know that 25 grams of whey protein (from milk) is not the same as 25 grams of vegetable protein (eg from pea or rice), because the digestibility and absorption of vegetable protein is only around 60-80% compared to whey protein at over 95%.

In other words, when you consume 25 grams of whey protein, you absorb 24 grams of protein, but when you consume 25 grams of vegetable protein, you're only getting 15 grams, or at best only 20 grams.

One of the best ways to make sure you're making the right changes to get the protein you need is to follow a protein leverage diet, or meal plan, such as in the Elegant Eating Solution.

How to fix the Estrogen Problem

The 'E' in weight gain is Estrogen and there's not too much we can do about it.

Some women going through perimenopause and menopause, take HRT to smooth out their estrogen and relieve the symptoms of hot flashes, dryness and mucosal irritability, brain fog, and interrupted sleep.

Other women prefer not to take anything all and let nature take its course, and still other women opt for an absolute solution and go so far as removing their ovaries with a hysterectomy.

The option you choose will have an impact on your body composition, fat, muscle and bone, and when you've made your choice can you then decide on your long-term eating approach.

Ultimately, the way to 'fix' the estrogen problem when it comes to eating is to dial in your diet based on the choices you make and the way your body responds. There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to you and your body.

The key is to get some expert help with this.

Don't go it alone when you can get the guidance you need to make the best decisions now without wasting time.

How to fix the Exercise Problem

There is one simple way to fix the exercise problem and that is to start strength training now. Not tomorrow, not next week or next month, but now.

The longer this gets left 'undone' the more muscle mass we lose and the harder we will have to fight for our precious muscle in the future.

It's not like we're in our 20s anymore.

We will absolutely decline if we do not step up and do something about it.

And the fantastic news is that your body will respond beautifully. Your muscles will get stronger, they'll be healthier, you'll look and feel better.

And you wont get 'too bulky'.

That's just a myth.

For you to get bulky you're going to need to work really, really hard in the gym for months and months and even then, it's a stretch to think you'll get bulky.

Remember, we're losing muscle mass every single day. Our job is to fight for our lives.

To fight to keep that muscle from slipping away.

And yet, strength training is a skill. Some women are fearful of it because they've never really done it before.

And so, I offer myself up as an example.

After perimenopause and a thyroid tumour, I was a shadow of my former self, robbed of my strength and vitality and zest for life.

I weighed in at just 51 kg (112 lb) and could hardly lift my own body weight, let alone a dumbbell or barbell.

And yet over a 9-month period I dropped a few percentage points in body fat, and also gained 5 kg of muscle at the same time.

I became strong. I got booty for the first time in my life. And most importantly, I felt fantastic.

The kind of fantastic I didn't know you could feel until you're feeling it.

Literally everything in my life improved as a result of this journey into my own strength and I love bringing other women on this journey to join me.

So, what's the solution for the 'Exercise Problem'?

It's to start strength training with me. Let me be your guide and inspiration.

Let me coach you and coax you and show up in your life to make it better.

Let's touch base and have an informal chat about it. I don't bite.

Head on over to messenger, answer a few questions, and then let's get chatting together.

The 3 Key Problems and Solution

  • 1. The Protein problem

  • 2. the estrogen problem

  • 3. the exercise problem

  • 4. the solution

How protein is linked to overweight and obesity

If you google a woman's recommended daily allowance for protein, you'll find it says 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The fact is, this is just enough to stay healthy, but it's not enough to thrive. Following this advice, the average woman weighing 75KG would only be eating around 60 grams of protein per day, and many women don't even eat that amount. 


The guidelines from the International Sports Nutritionist are that active women need around 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.  This means our average woman weighing 75KG would need 135 grams of protein per day, not a measly 60 grams.


But what if you're not an "active woman"?

New research shows that at the very least, women need around 15% of their daily diet to be protein.  The average woman in the US needs around 2,000 calories per day, which means at least 300 calories need to come from protein, which is 75 grams per day.


So, whether you're an active woman or a sedentary woman, you need more than 60 grams of protein per day, every day.


Why aren't women eating enough protein?

It all started after World War 2. The Standard American Diet (SAD) became more processed, more convenient, and was manufactured to have a longer shelf-life.  And what happened over the last 50 years that Generation X women have been alive is that the average amount of protein in the Standard American Diet shifted down from 15% to 12%.


Without even knowing it or planning it, women gradually ate less and less protein.


How is protein linked to overweight and obesity?

Recent research proves that we have 5 appetites, with our appetite for protein being the strongest and most important. If we do not get enough protein in our daily diet, then we will be naturally stimulated to continue eating more food in an effort to meet our minimum daily protein needs.

But, our food supply has a reduced amount of protein and so in order to meet our protein needs, we eat the foods that are most convenient and palatable, and these tend to be high in carbs and fats.

And by simply trying to meet our protein needs, we overeat on foods high in fat and carbs and this is what has led (in part) to the overweight and obesity statistics your read about all the time.

In other words, because the amount of protein in our everyday food supply has reduced over the last 50 years, we have had a natural drive to eat more food to make up for the lack of protein.  As a result, we've consumed the convenient foods that happen to be higher in fats and carbs and we've gained weight.

This phenomenon is called Protein Leverage and it's one of the most important breakthroughs in nutrition in the last decade.

We've gained weight and become obese because of the gradual reduction of protein in the national food supply, and then we reach our 40s and 50s and things take a turn for the worse. To read about how estrogen fits into all this, click onto the next tab. (And don't worry, we have a solution for all this which I'll tell you about.)

About Rhoda Lucas

Rhoda studied at the University of Sydney, Monash University and Deakin University, where she graduated with a Masters degree and was awarded the Professors Prize in Nutrition. She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with the Dietitians Association Australia, and has specialised in Perimenopause and Fat Loss, Female Strength Training, Gut Health and Eating Disorders.


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