ANAHEIM, Calif. – Embracing the physical changes that come with age can be a struggle for women in conventional weight-loss programs. However, a new program educates women about the physiology of aging and shares strategies to optimize diet and exercise accordingly, said an expert today at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 15th-annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition.
“Body fat shifts as women age,” said Liz Applegate, Ph.D., FACSM. “In a woman’s 20s and 30s, most fat is concentrated in the hips and thighs. Once a woman turns 40, the fat deposits redistribute toward the stomach. Women start questioning why they don’t look as they did when they were younger not knowing that these changes are predetermined by biology.”
To help women adapt to these physiological changes, Applegate – who is director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis – started the Embrace Your Range program in 2010.
The program employs specialized diet and exercise plans to help women control abdominal weight gain and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The diet plan stresses increased protein intake as well as fiber derived from fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains rather than supplements. The exercise plan uses appropriate cardiovascular and strength-training techniques for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
“Most diet-and-exercise plans focus solely on weight loss, but they don’t account for the changes that accompany age,” said Applegate. “Embrace Your Range helps women accept their body’s natural shape changes and use diet and exercise to optimize health and reduce chronic disease risk.”
Embrace Your Range participants report improved body image, greater energy levels and improved body shape.
Dr. Liz Applegate, a nationally renowned expert on nutrition and fitness, is a faculty member in the nutrition department and the director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis. She is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Applegate writes the popular “Fridge Wisdom” nutrition column for Runner’s World magazine.
The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 40,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.