The Importance of Building Muscle in Midlife with Tara Garrison

What About Nutrition in Changing Your Body Midlife? 

Instead of worry about dieting, focus on eating smarter. Instead of focusing on eating LESS, focus on eating REAL food. When you’re going through menopause you are in a sensitive state to excess stress. So if you’re starving yourself and over exercising, your body isn’t going to react the way you want it to. It’s going to be hard to recover, you’re not going to feel good, and you might be pushing yourself toward adrenal fatigue. When you’re trying to build muscle, you will more than likely need to really up your protein intake. But the KEY to nutrition is to always think in terms of what I’ve always taught which is: protein, fat, healthy carb for every meal!

HPA: Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis and Adrenal Fatigue 

The HPA starts in your brain and when it senses that you are overstressed, it begins to shut down and disfunction. When it shuts down is when you see hormonal issues, thyroid issues, etc. because all of the overtaxing stress you put on your adrenals causes your brain to tell it to shut down. So in perimenopause, super long heart thumping and adrenaline pumping cardio with a major focus on calories burned is the LAST thing you want to do. Instead, it is important to think of stress in terms of “doses”. You want smaller doses. Weight lifting is just that! A smaller “dose” of “stress” vs. driving yourself into the ground for 2 hours of cardio. You want small doses of intense exercise, and then recover like crazy: get sleep, have boundaries, and stop driving yourself into the ground.

Muscles and Metabolic Health in Midlife 

Muscle improves metabolic health. In fact, current ongoing research is showing that by introducing women with cancer (who are even into their 70s and 80s) to controlled environment weightlifting, improves their outcome, shrinks tumors, and no return of cancer. In short, the metabolic upgrades you get from lifting weight increase the flow and productivity of your entire system!

The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest overall, so the better your metabolism will work. In addition, the more muscle you have, the leaner you are going to look! When you eat carbs, they are absorbed by your liver and your muscle. Your liver can store about 100grams and your muscles can store about 300grams — BUT — with increased muscle mass, the more they can absorb carbs 🙂 It’s been said that elite athletes can store up to 800-900 grams of carbs in their muscles! Carbs only turn into body fat when they have nowhere to go when your muscles and liver storage are full. So the secret is to BUILD your muscles so you’re not only using the stored carbs, but are creating even more space for them to be stored there instead of turning into body fat.

Midlife Biohacking

  • Get lots of sleep
  • Eat as many real foods from nature as possible
  • Cut off any eating at least 2-3 hours before bed
  • Lift weights
  • Blood labs — you need to know what your blood is doing. To see the blood tests I personally do every 90 days, go HERE (you can use code NATALIEJILL to save on your order!)
  • Hair mineral analysis — long term snapshot of mineral levels

Take the guess work out of how to eat the right things to fuel your body, especially in midlife, you’ll want my Total Body Thrive program that not only teaches you how, but provides you with meal plans!

Tara Garrison is the founder of HIGHER, a Health & Life Coaching company that offers training, nutrition, mindset and biohacking coaching and is the author of Short-Term Keto, host of the Inside Out Health Podcast, creator of Higher Retreats and producer of the Coach Tara App. She has helped many celebrities, professional athletes, and top executives optimize their health. She is a mom of 4, avid weightlifter, Boston Marathoner and lover of nature.

You can find her on Instagram and TikTok as @coachtaragarrison, where she shares health tips and the inner workings of her life.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How weights can transform your body and overall health — especially in midlife
  • How you can get fit in midlife
  • Why dealing with trauma is as important as working out