Optimising Metabolic Health in Your 40s: Insights from Coach Amanda Lim

Optimising Metabolic Health in Your 40s: Insights from Coach Amanda Lim

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a 41-year old mother of three with 18 years of experience in the health & fitness industry.  My physician husband and I run a metabolic health centre here in Singapore called LIFT Clinic, where our shared expertise in weight management, behaviour change, exercise, and nutrition help patients improve their long-term wellness.  I am also a certified perinatal fitness & nutrition specialist with a book on that subject publishing later this year.

What does a day in the life of a Certified Coach and Perinatal Specialist involve?

Most days, I spend mornings in clinic helping my husband co-manage patients and checking in with my private coaching clients via consultation calls and my Coach Amanda Lim app.  I’m a bonafide morning person, so I try to do my “deep work” in the AM hours, moving on to emails, admin, and programming by midday.  Once a week I dedicate an entire day to working on my manuscript, and most late afternoons I spend with my kids - they’re still small, 4, 2, and 3 months, so I prioritise quality time with them right now.

Why do women need quality protein for muscle growth in their 40s?

When it comes to protein, you need quantity and quality - but many women are missing out on both.  The recent trend in “plant-based” proteins has unfortunately been a bit of a cultural regression against what we know by science, which is that lean, unprocessed animal proteins are the highest quality amino acid profile to build and maintain muscle.  That said, any diet can be functionally sufficient in protein if all amino acids are supplied in adequate amounts; this means that those eating plant-based will simply have to increase quantity or supplement to reach minimum requirements for longevity and muscle repair - more if growth is a goal.

What does healthy family eating look like to you?

We eat “normal” meals - nothing crazy; nothing complicated.  The meal we always get to have together is breakfast, and the four of us (my newborn excepted, haha) share the same thing - mince beef & egg breakfast “tacos” on a high-protein tortilla.  Lunches for the kids are usually a protein on rice while we enjoy ours on salads, and dinners are usually traditional homemade Chinese food like soups, bitter gourd omelettes, various rice dishes, and braised meats.  We value homemade meals with high-quality whole food ingredients, but also honour the important cultural and taste preferences of our household - eight of us from 4 different countries live here!

What are your top 3 tips on longevity for women over 40?

My number-one tip, above all, is to hold on to as much muscle as you possibly can through a combination of progressive strength training (yes - with heavier weights!) and eating enough protein ( my typical recommendation for healthy, active women is 1.6g per KG, daily).  Secondly, make sure you “know your numbers” - not just your body weight (which is, in my opinion, the least exciting health marker about a person), but your appendicular lean mass index (ALMI), VO2 Max, resting metabolic rate (RMR), lipid profile, fasting glucose and insulin response, hormone balance, and dynamometer handgrip strength.  Without these, you don’t have an accurate picture of your overall health, which can lead to overlooking major risk factors for future issues. Finally, sleep - and sleep well.  Take the time to address your sleep hygiene (whether that’s due to hormones, screens, kids, or stress)  if it’s affecting your ability to get 7-9 quality hours per night, and prioritise sleep in the same vein as nutrition and exercise - it’s just as important; if not more.

What does weight management mean to you?

Attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is important - obesity is correlated with chronic disease risk.  But what’s more important than weight is your proportion of muscle to fat - and unlike what most people draw from images in pop culture and social media, it’s less about how little fat you have and more about how much muscle you have.  It is better to have a little extra body fat with adequate muscle than to lose muscle in the pursuit of leanness, which is why quick-fix “detox” style programs are a recipe for disaster (and, evidentially, weight regain).  Weight management is a strategic, dynamic process of attaining and maintaining a body composition that is compatible with your lifestyle, longevity, and health goals - and that’s exactly what we do with our patients every day at LIFT Clinic.

What is your favourite go-to breakfast recipe?

High Protein Tacos! Think savoury Mince beef and egg breakfast 'tacos' on a protein-packed tortilla.

Why should we tune into The Forties Formula podcast?

The Forties Formula was named that for a reason - we believe that there is, in fact, a “formula” that women in this decade can apply to figure out the best possible way to maximise wellness and thrive.  Our expert interviews on everything from fitness to spirituality to sex help our listeners overcome some of the most common problems that can affect women in their forties while also providing actionable, real-world advice on how to live, eat, move, and think better.  I personally like to think of our episodes as “information snacks,” where you give us about a half hour to satisfy a craving for content that is meaningful, useful, and uplifting - pretty tasty, right?
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