Getting older brings a lot of changes. Your joints ache, your back hurts, you feel tired, and it’s harder to maintain a healthy body weight. “Well,” you might tell yourself, “I guess I need to accept that this is how it is. I’ll never feel as good as I did 10 years ago.”
That couldn’t be farther from the truth! It’s true that your body changes as you get older. But that doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a life full of aches and pains.
When I started researching the science of aging, I learned a lot about the hormonal changes that naturally occur with age. It turns out that a lot of these changes might explain the “growing older” symptoms so many of us accept as normal.
Enter the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet. This diet program purports to cut through the noise and offers real, evidence-based solutions designed specifically for people over 40.
I was intrigued by its unique approach, so I took it for a spin. My Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet review gives you the low down on the pros and cons of this diet.
What Is It?
The Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet is an age-based diet and exercise program designed for people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. It provides food lists, nutrition plans, recipes, and exercise schedules to help you burn fat and increase muscle.
The program advertises itself as a super simple, super flexible way to reset your hormones. The idea is that anyone can adjust their current lifestyle to fit the Over 40 program.
Paleo, high carb, low carb, keto, Mediterranean diet…all of these can be modified to fit within the framework.
Who Created It?
The Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet was created by Shaun Hadsell, who has more than two decades of experience as a fitness professional. He’s a Body For Life Grand Champion Runner Up who is also known as the “Ripped Grandpa.”
Shaun created the diet after wintering in Florida with his wife Karen. After eating their favorite foods and drinking their favorite drinks day after day, Shaun and Karen realized they were on a collision course with weight gain. The pounds simply weren’t dropping off like they did in Shaun’s 20s and 30s.
That’s when he began researching the science of hormone changes during aging. Shaun created the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet to optimize hormone levels, boost fat metabolism, and increase lean muscle mass. Judging from his photos, it works pretty well!
The idea behind the Over 40 program is that our bodies change as we hit our 40s. This is doubly true for women, who often find that menopause comes with a few unwanted pounds.
A host of hormonal changes conspire against our best efforts to stay fit. All of a sudden, the pounds start to stick even if you’re dieting diligently and exercising regularly.
Given that hormones are to blame, the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet proposes that they hold the key to health and fitness after 40.
The program is designed to alter hormone levels back to their optimal levels. Specifically, the diet says it can:
Optimize leptin sensitivity.
Leptin is released by fat cells, sending signals to the brain to suppress hunger signals. As you age, your cells become used to the presence of leptin and have poorer sensitivity to it. The Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet increases leptin sensitivity to make you feel fuller, faster.
Increase growth hormone.
Plummeting growth hormone levels are a big reason that people lose muscle mass as they age. The diet program is designed to increase growth hormone levels.
Optimize thyroid hormone.
Many people over 40 develop thyroid problems. If your thyroid hormones are too low, you’ll feel tired, depressed, and sluggish.
Ghrelin is another important hunger hormone. Your stomach releases ghrelin when you need more food, causing a near-instant hunger pang. Ghrelin also boosts fat storage, meaning you eat more and convert it all to fat. The Over 40 program is designed to lower ghrelin levels to a healthier zone.
Melatonin is the hormone that helps you get to sleep. If you’re like me, insomnia and daytime sluggishness are major problems. That means your melatonin levels may be out of whack. Increasing melatonin means that you’ll get better rest and have better energy levels.
Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone. It’s helpful in small doses when you need to confront a threat (like that adrenaline burst you get when someone swerves in front of you in traffic).
When you get older, your cortisol levels sometimes creep upward and stay there. That leaves you feeling stressed, on edge, and worn out. Plus, cortisol tells your body to store excess fat. Too much cortisol is especially bad for belly fat, so it’s important to keep levels down for a slimmer stomach.
While the science of hormones is sound, there’s a lot of variation between people. I’m not entirely convinced that this diet plan alone will reset my hormones to their “optimal” levels.
So far, there hasn’t been a good scientific study looking at hormone levels before and after the Over 40 diet. That doesn’t mean it won’t work, just that we don’t necessarily know exactly why it works.
The Diet Program
The Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet uses intermittent fasting to stimulate weight loss. Intermittent fasting has gotten a lot of buzz lately. That’s partly because it works really well!
The idea is that you eat during a limited window of time each day, and fast the rest of the time. The Over 40 program recommends a 16/8 protocol, meaning you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. The nice thing is that within those 8 hours, you can eat a variety of foods.
Intermittent fasting is one of the main ways that the diet supposedly changes hormone levels. By limiting carb intake to specific times of day, you prevent the hormone insulin from constantly coursing through your body.
This lets you enter a special fat-burning zone that melts off the pounds. One of the biggest rules with this diet program is to never mix a high carb meal with high fats. That’s because insulin will promptly scoop up all of that fat from your bloodstream and pack it away.
The Hormone Reset Diet promotes itself as meshing well with a variety of diets, like Paleo, low carb, Mediterranean, or high carb. While that’s technically true, the diet is a little more prescriptive than it implies.
So what foods do you eat on the Hormone Reset Diet?
The plan walks you through the best food pairings by combining protein (P), fat-oil (O), green veggies (V), starch (S), and fruit (A).
There’s a nutrition schedule for each day and recommended exercises to pair with each food.
So on a Monday, you might be doing resistance training that pairs with a P/O/V meal (protein, oil/fat, and veggie), a P/S/A meal (protein, starch, and fruit), and a P/O meal (protein and oil/fat).
It’s kind of complicated, but the book does a good job breaking down the options and providing some meal suggestions.
The Exercise Program
Despite its name, the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet is more than just a diet. It offers a whole-body exercise program, too.
The program comes with a “Metabolic Movements” tutorial that walks you through everything you need to know about exercise after age 40.
This isn’t a boring “do a bunch of cardio and you’ll lose weight” guide. It’s a thoughtful and science-based action plan.
There are a few major things that stand out from other diet programs.
First, there’s a huge focus on optimizing hormone levels through physical activity. The Metabolic Movements guide outlines three major zones: Prime, Release, and Burn. The Prime zone sets your body up to use fat, not carbs, as its primary energy source.
The Release zone uses scientifically proven exercises to release fat-burning hormones. Using these exercises also tells your body to release fat cells and break them up. Best of all, the workouts only take 12 minutes. The Release zone prepares you to enter the Burn zone, where you’ll actually burn off the excess flab.
What It’s Like to Try the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet
I went into this diet plan feeling a little skeptical about whether it would work. The science is interesting, but there’s no way of knowing whether my weight gain, fatigue, and minor aches and pains are really due to hormonal imbalances. Here’s what I found:
It really is flexible..
One of the things that drew me to the Hormone Reset Diet is that it’s supposed to be flexible and easy. I hate rigid meal planning and calorie tracking. The 16/8 hormone reset protocol is super easy to follow. Just fast for 16 hours per day (14 if you’re a woman) and eat during your 8-hour feeding window.
The diet plan gets a little complicated
The “food pairing” guide tells you how to pair protein, starch, vegetables, oil, fat, and fruit. But keeping track of it all can be tough. I wish there were more sample meals, because I could have used a little more inspiration.
The exercise plan is hard.
The Metabolic Movements plan guides you through exactly what you need to do to cycle between the Prime, Release, and Burn zones. There are helpful schematics to illustrate key movements. The intervals were really tough, but I felt like I got a great workout in a relatively short amount of time.
The only downside is that some of the movements require free weights. If you don’t have access to a gym, it might be tough to master all of the moves. But the upshot is that there are a lot of bodyweight exercises that can be done anywhere. If you’re able to tweak the plan a bit, you can still get a lot of the benefit without access to special equipment.
Skipping breakfast is not for me.
The “ideal” way to follow intermittent fasting is to only eat within your 8-hour window. If you want to eat dinner with your family members (hi, me!), that means no breakfast. No breakfast makes me feel crabby and tired.
Fortunately, the plan includes some simple breakfast options for cheaters like me who aren’t willing to commit to the full intermittent fasting schedule.
There are cheat days!
Everyone loves a diet cheat day. The Over 40 diet plan gives you the option of having three cheat meals per week or an entire cheat day. It’s recommended that you reserve your cheat days for the weekend when you’re not working out.
It made me really focus on drinking enough water.
Water is a huge part of the Hormone Reset Diet. You’re supposed to drink 1 ounce per pound of body weight. That means a 170-lb person needs to drink 170 oz, or just over 21 cups. That’s a lot. Drinking that much water sent me to the bathroom much more often, but it also made me feel amazing.
I had more energy, my skin looked better, and I didn’t reach for my mid-morning caffeine like I usually do. It also made me look slimmer (it’s actually one of the 11 Belly Bloat Elimination Tricks included in the program).
My Opinion: Is a Hormone-Based Diet the Right Choice?
So, bottom line: does the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet work? The short answer is “yes.” But sticking to the program takes discipline. I’m usually a bit of a grazer, eating a number of small meals throughout the day.
This plan is almost entirely the opposite of that, requiring you to restrict your meals to a single 8-hour window.
That said, I was amazed at how much better I felt after giving it a try. I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I thought I might be.
That said, I’m also not 100% convinced that the program reset my hormone levels.
The scientific rationale is all about optimizing hormone levels, but there’s really no way to tell whether my hormones were out of whack in the first place.
The science might not have fully convinced me, but the results definitely did. I feel and look better after trying the program. The exercise program kicked my butt, and the intermittent fasting kept me accountable. I have to say, I love a diet program that lets me “cheat” by having red wine, chocolate, and other goodies.
A Much Cheaper Alternative Exists
If you want to buy the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet, head over here. You’ll get more than just the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet free pdf.
A copy of the diet is normally priced at $77, but there’s a $50 discount that will give you the entire program plus five bonus items for just $27.
Plus, here’s another little secret: if you spend a few minutes scrolling through the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet materials, you’ll unlock a special bonus offer. Another $9 off the list price!
While the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet is great, there’s actually a way to get the same information for way less money.
Cheap and Wonderful Alternative
Metabolic Cooking uses the same hormone science but focuses on easy, fast meal planning.
You can get the same results as the Over 40 Hormone Reset Diet for a fraction of the price. Check out the website to get some free recipes. If you like what you see, the Metabolic Cooking book is just $10.
Plus, they normally offer a special 50% off discount. That means you can revolutionize your entire lifestyle for just a few dollars. The cookbook helps you reset your hormones to lose weight, burn fat, and build muscle. I’ve compared Metabolic Cooking to the Over 40 program, and Metabolic Cooking is amazing. It’s a comprehensive program for an incredible value that really can’t be beat.