As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I worked in the food business for many years as a restaurant pastry chef and bakery owner.
I admit, I love the irony. More than once I’ve been accused of creating my own personal training clientele (see photo below).
Honestly, it was not my original goal. But apparently it worked out that way.
It’s hard to imagine those days now… mixing vats of chocolate mousse, making cream puff swans from scratch and piping delicate buttercream basketweaves on wedding cakes.
Compare this to my current life, which consists of coaching women over 50 on ways to lose weight, creating fitness videos (subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE) and basically finding ways to stop eating all the aforementioned desserts.
You might think running a bakery would be all fun and frosting, but when you bake for people in a large capacity, it’s easy to go from “fun” to “not-so-fun” faster than you can say, “What do you mean your car stopped short and the wedding cake crashed into your front dash??” (Yes, this really happened.)
It was a messy, hot, and sweaty job.
(I would add “thankless,” but I seemed to have more friends back then. Or maybe it just appeared that way.)
The occasional fun projects made me hang in there, such as the time I created a 3D fire hydrant cake for a dog’s birthday, an aircraft carrier replica for a military client and a haunted house cake for a couple getting married on Halloween. (Note: I created these cakes from my own imagination and never used forms.)
Plus, it was hard to lose weight while making 100-calories-a-lick desserts.
Let me rephrase that: It was not hard, it was impossible. I am pretty sure you could gain weight by simply walking in the shop and inhaling.
I was in my 30s, so time was still on my side.
Being in my 50s was not even a tiny notion in my head at the time, but I was pretty sure we’d have flying cars and be making regular trips to Mars by then.
Today, at 57, I no longer have the wiggle room I did back then. A spoonful of frosting here, a handful of chocolate chunks there, and it quickly shows up the next time I go to button my jeans.
Oh, the wonders of menopause!
Blame hormones. The drop in estrogen makes your body very efficient at storing every single excess fat cell around your midsection on an apparent quest to prevent you from ever wearing a tucked-in shirt again.
Over the years I did gain weight, but after losing more than 15 pounds after menopause and reaching my pre-menopausal weight, I began compiling a bunch of “tricks” that helped me that may also help you.
Here’s one, little-known tip proven to help you lose weight that sounds completely counterintuitive…
RESISTANT STARCH: A type of carbohydrate, resistant starch not only help you feel full, but research shows it can boost post-meal fat burn by up to 30 percent!
What is this magical food, you ask? And how can it possibly be a carb? I thought all carbs were bad for you, right?
First, one question at a time, please.
Here’s the deal: Resistant starch is so named due to its resistance against being digested. When something’s not digested, guess what? Yup, it passes through your system without attaching itself to your fat cells.
In other words: Resistance starch may be the next best thing to your best friend. Or Spanx. Or an app that blocks anything to do with the Kardashians.
But I digress.
So as it makes its way through your digestive tract surveying the wonderful scenery that is your small intestine, it keeps you feeling full.
And the best part: A study showed that replacing just 5 percent of your day’s carbohydrates with a source of resistant starch can boosts post-meal fat burning by the 30 percent. (I know I said that already but it’s awesome enough it’s worth mentioning again.)
Other studies show it also boosts immunity, improves blood sugar, lowers cancer risk, and qualifies you for an additional 25% off on all shoes at Macy’s.
Okay, honestly, all but that last point is seriously true.
Although no current recommendations exist, experts suggest aiming for 20 grams of the nutrient daily in the form of food, not a supplement. Because they’re out there.
One precaution: Don’t jump in by adding these foods to your diet all at once or you risk blaming the dog way too much for embarrassing gassy emissions.
The key to keep in mind: Resistance starch forms during cooling. Cooking starch triggers it to absorb water and swell (think of rice as it cooks). As it cools, portions of the starch become crystallized into a form that resists digestion. Reheat the starch and you lose the resistance starch.
Make sense? So think room temperature or cold, not hot.
The following foods are naturally highest in resistant starch. Keep in mind these must all be eaten while at room temperature or cool, not hot, to reap the benefits (resistant starch amounts vary, these are approximates):
8 gm per 1/2 cup
Mash them up into a dip or as a mayo substitute; add to salads as a protein source as well.
6 gm each small fruit
The riper the banana, the less resistant starch. If they’re too green, consider adding them to smoothies. Or roll in chopped nuts, dice and stir into yogurt or freeze for a semi-sweet snack.
4 gm per 1/2 cup
Add cold potato chunks to salads or mix with low-fat mayo and chopped celery for a quick potato salad side dish.
2 gm per 1/2 cup
Add cold nuggets to salad or top a burrito or quesadilla with corn relish for a tasty condiment.
1 gm per 3/4 cup
Yes, pasta! But it must be served cold, so think pasta salad dressed with a light Italian dressing and seasonal veggies for a quick lunch along with a can of water-packed tuna or salmon. Yum!
Which of these sources of resistance starch will you try this week? Post down below in the comments…
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P.S. QUESTION: Do you need motivation, especially on Mondays? Did you know I also send out a Monday Motivation newsletter specifically targeting ways to get and stay motivated (duh!)? It’s just as hilariously honest, totally free and available by signing up HERE. Do it today! You’ll be glad you did, trust me.
Got questions, comments, accolades? Send ’em my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.