How Can I Lose Weight After 40?

by Rakib Sarwar, RPh
Published on May 29, 2019 and last updated for accuracy on June 4, 2019

With years, we become wiser. Aging carries many positive aspects, but it is true that it also comes with some problems that are not so easy to solve.

Most women (but also men!) struggle with weight in their 40s. Why is this number a turning point in your weight gaining/losing cycle? Why is keeping your body weight getting harder, despite being so careful about your diet? Why can’t you lose weight as easily as you used to?

For most women, this is the time when their bodies are approaching (or have already begun) the process of menopause. Even though many men are not aware of it, the 40s are a very sensitive decade for them as well.

Luckily, nutritionists, medical experts, and lifestyle coaches have worked on finding the formula (or formulas) that can help you deal with the changes of your metabolism, the way your body gains weight, turns the food you eat into energy or fat, and loses weight after 40 as well.

In this article, we are bringing you lots of useful strategies, tips, and tricks, as well as rules that will help you create healthy habits, change your nutrition, improve your health and, most importantly, lose weight without any problems, even after 40. Yes, it is possible!

What happens in our body after 40?

In order to understand why it is so hard to lose weight after 40, we should know more about the way our body changes.

When you enter the 40s, your body loses muscle mass, which is reflected in the way your metabolism works (1). This heavily affects the way you gain and lose weight.

You will notice that weight accumulates very easily and it becomes hard to lose it. Also, your sleep metabolism changes. As a result, people older than 40 years lose 300 calories less than they used to in their twenties.

In addition, a lower level of estrogen in women who are approaching their perimenopause and menopause can cause insulin dysfunction, which is why it is so difficult to regulate blood sugar. It also affects the way we eat and the way we gain and lose weight.

How? The level of blood sugar begins to vary drastically, which is why many women in the Middle Ages feel strong hunger. Unfortunately, they feel the urge to consume unhealthy food full of sugar (2).

If you take all of these changes into consideration, it is not a surprise why women and men who are over 40 have big problems with weight loss. Despite all the effort and will, those excess pounds simply don’t want to go away!

If you stick to the rules, we are bringing in the following sections, you will trick your metabolism and easily lose weight, even after 40! Most importantly, you will stay healthy and vital.

Remember the golden rules of weight loss

These rules apply equally to all, both men and women, regardless of your age. These are the golden rules, that’s why you should not underestimate their power after you reach your 40s. If you want to lose weight, keep the following tips in mind:

Eat smart

Whether you eat only chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli, do not reduce your meals in a severe way, as you will not make a big difference for your body, except in the negative sense.

You do need calories, and remember that not all people have the same calorie intake requirements. A woman who consumes 2,000 calories a day should reduce the daily intake by 400 to 500 calories if she wants to lose some weight.

Choose to lose weight slowly

This is a matter of choice, indeed. You should not force your body. Trust us, the negative effects will be worse than not losing weight at all. You don’t want to lower the Fe levels in your blood, right? You don’t want to experience severe dizziness and blackouts. You also don’t want to see that ugly sagging skin all around! Then, you must stick to the slow weight loss program.

The goal is to lose one to two pounds per week. Anyone can lose this much, almost effortlessly. We know you would love to lose 10 pounds a week, but remember that this is not a healthy way of becoming fit. Any diet that promises to lose 10 pounds a week is not healthy and is mostly based on mere starvation!

To lose weight and, most importantly, preserve the desired body shape and fitness, you must create lots of healthy, long-lasting habits (3). This does not imply starvation by any means. It implies a versatile, balanced diet, rich in vegetable fibers and white meat proteins. You should consume lots of fish. You should also consume healthy carbohydrates in small quantities. They will give you the energy you need.

Do not skip meals

Your body needs the energy. It receives it through food. If you skip your meals and if you are keeping an irregular diet, your body will experience a series of shocks and get the wrong information that it’s time to store calories instead of consuming them. As a result, you will get some more fat!

By skipping meals, you also increase the chances of suffering from unbalanced blood sugar levels, causing you to become anxious and most likely to crave for high-calorie, unhealthy food.

Think about the nutrients

As we have already mentioned, it is important that your daily meals consist of protein, fibers, and healthy carbohydrates. Also, you must not forget lots of vegetables and some fruit. Fill the dish with fresh, unprocessed, or semi-processed vegetables.

These low-calorie foods are rich in fiber and water. If you prefer a diet that is based on fruit and vegetables, you will quickly feel hunger. But if you add some white meat proteins, you will enjoy your meals, have energy, and you will have a lot fewer calories than you would get by having a piece of pizza. Also, fibers support your digestion, which is a very important part of every balanced and healthy diet.

Proteins, proteins, proteins!

As we have already mentioned, after 40, your body loses muscle mass. This is why you should eat proteins. They are responsible for building up some muscles and keeping the ones your already heave in excellent shape.

You should have around 150 grams of proteins in every meal. Choose chicken or turkey breasts, fish, eggs or Greek yogurt.

Complex Carbohydrates and healthy fats

A bowl of healthy, whole-grain carbohydrates should also be your daily habit.

Consuming seven to ten grams of avocado, nuts, soy, tofu cheese, sesame or similar seeds is an excellent way to stay healthy and fit after 40! Also, these products are great additions to any meal. Unsaturated fatty acids help melt the fat and are important for physical and emotional health. They are also delicious. Enjoy!

Now that you know the golden rules for losing weight and staying fit after 40, we would like to share some behavioral tips and tricks as well.

Let’s see what experts say on this topic (4).

1. Eat often and eat smaller portions

Increased blood sugar levels can create a terrible feeling of hunger. It is sometimes so strong, that we simply can’t hold ourselves and we fail to stick to our diet plan.

There is a smart behavioral solution to this problem. It is very simple. You should east often, but take smaller portions of food. Think of it as a milestone and set it as one of the goals of your diet.

Divide the food into three basic meals and two snacks.

Fill the plate with low-calorie food that will make you feel full, like fruits and vegetables. We recommend you to eat a handful of almonds or drink yogurt if you are not very hungry in between your main meals.

2. Carefully select the sweets

Although you cannot enjoy fried food and chocolate pie as you once could, you can occasionally treat yourself with your favorite dessert. However, be careful not to exaggerate with the quantities.

Once a week, treat yourself with a piece of a light cake. For example, you can eat a slice of organic cheesecake. If you don’t like cheesecake, you can eat some integral biscuits or chocolate avocado mousse.

There are lots of healthy desserts that you will certainly enjoy just as much as you’ve enjoyed heavy chocolate pies full of calories.

3. Get moving!

When we say “get moving” we mean literally start exercising. Go to a gym or a fun group training where you can spend those calories with cardio exercises and build that muscle mass, we all want, once we are over 40. Aerobic exercise is extremely helpful for weight loss (5).

Thirty minutes of physical activity a day is good for anyone who wants to stay fit. However, if you want to lose weight, you need to train more intensively.

A five-day training program can be too much for you, depending on your overall health condition, but a 3 or a 4-day program is excellent for losing weight. You will quickly see the results.

4. Get to know your body

If you think that you are strong enough to eat only two pieces of chocolate a day, then this is not a sin! But if you know that after those two pieces you won’t be able to stop until you eat the whole chocolate, then you must restrict yourself and you must not buy sweets!

Getting to know your body and mind is the best way to achieve discipline that is a must when you want to lose weight, especially over 40.

5. Sleep at least 8 hours a day

One of the most common mistakes among people trying to lose weight, regardless of the age group, is the lack of sleep. If you tend to work late, get up early to prepare for the day, you will probably sleep less than your body needs.

People in their 40s lack the quality of sleep as well. What you probably don’t know is the fact that you also lose weight in your sleep! How cool is that?

For example, an 80-kg man will lose about 69 calories per hour in his sleep. Also, remember that sleep regenerates your body. Ultimately, it allows the body to burn more calories throughout the day.

6. Keep a diet diary

For a person in forties, it’s important to keep track of eating habits. You should write down everything you eat and drink. You can also take notes about your daily physical activities.

This can also help you keep track of your progress and serve as motivation. In addition, you will be able to find healthy alternatives to some junk food you love but should stay away from.

7. Use quality dietary supplements

Another effective way of losing weight is by using quality dietary supplements. Eating healthy food is the best way to lose weight, but when you’re in your forties, you should pay attention to the nutrients and dietary supplements. These can regulate your metabolism and the way your body burns fat.

8. Accepting the slow-motion weight loss

In the 40s, you will lose weight slowly. This is a fact. You should accept it, as it will keep you away from “magical” pills, fast weight-loss solutions or radical diets.

Also, it is important to set realistic goals in order to avoid disappointment and to be able to stick to your diet plan and program. You should be devoted to long-term changes in your lifestyle, enjoying long walks, taking care of your body, from the inside and the outside.

9. Do not quit!

Many people over 40 are trying to lose weight unsuccessfully, but they do not give up. It is just a matter of how important it is for you! Remember that you can achieve any goal. It is a matter of priorities and your will to persist.

However, there is one boring problem that arises when you are trying to lose weight after 40. Many people slowly become lazy after many attempts to lose weight. We have only one piece of advice for you: Never give up!

Now that we have shared some of the behavioral tips and tricks you should stick to if you are struggling with weight loss after 40, we want to talk in detail about some healthy foods and ingredients you can benefit from.

10 foods for healthy weight loss after 40

If you include some of the foods and ingredients we will mention in the following section, you can lose excess pounds and fight diseases that occur in your 40s.

Namely, the forties are a sensitive period when your body becomes more susceptible to the accumulation of cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, so it is essential to change your nutrition to strengthen the metabolism and regulate your body weight. Let’s begin!

1. Water

This is not a new discovery. You already know so many things about the benefits of drinking water. We want to emphasize these benefits once again. Water accelerates your metabolism and keeps your cells young and healthy.

2. Whole Grain

This is an excellent snack in between your main meals. It helps to burn more fat during exercise and it will keep you full until your meal. You will not crave for sweets!

3. Flaxseed

Flaxseed is an excellent companion in stabilizing blood sugar level. It also has positive effects on the regulation of your hormonal status. This is especially important for women over 40.

How can you use flax? You can add it to cereals, soup, salads or smoothie.

4. Walnuts

Instead of unhealthy snacks, such as potato chips and crackers, you should eat some walnuts. They are healthy, delicious, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids that will help you suppress hunger for a long time.

5. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the best companions in the weight loss process. It has only 16 calories per teaspoon! This can save you hundreds of calories a week if you use cinnamon instead of sugar in your tea and coffee. It also reduces cholesterol.

6. Salmon

This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and calcium – a combination that is very important for people over 40, especially women.

7. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamins A and B5, fibers and lycopene that help fight cancer. Also, it accelerates metabolism and helps your body stay healthy when you are on a diet.

8. Bitter chocolate

Here’s the good news! Dark chocolate (with more than 70 percent of cocoa) helps to lose weight. It is a much better choice than milk chocolate because it contains fewer carbohydrates and sugars, and more iron and fiber.

Final Words

We hope that we have provided some good motivation for you. There are many things you can do to lose weight if you are in your forties.
Some of those require patience and devotion, while others are very simple, yet effective, daily habits.

The most important thing is: take care of your health. the 40s are a period of constant changes in your body that can jeopardize your bone structure, cardiovascular health, and mobility, if you don’t pay attention to a healthy diet, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, as well as exercising.

Finally, it is also important to keep track of what you eat and how much you sleep. If you want to optimize your results, follow the steps we mentioned in this article, and you’ll see the difference.

References:

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2880224/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897177/
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1319349/
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3028438/
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3630467/

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