Losing weight after 40 can prove difficult for many — unfortunately, age does matter in this case. As you mature, gaining weight becomes easier and losing it becomes significantly harder. So, the question of how to stay slim in your 40s becomes prevalent in many people's minds and, if you are someone who has pondered this, you now have the answers you've been searching for.
Turning 40 and Weight Gain
A lot of people have trouble losing weight after 40 due to the decline in their metabolic resting rate. Age brings an unfortunate decrease in the body's ability to burn efficient calories at rest due to the different hormone levels and adjustments in how the body stores fat, however, this can be combatted by changing a few aspects of your lifestyle such as your activity level and food choices.
Why Is It More Difficult to Lose Weight When You Turn 40?
It can be hard to come to terms with the sheer difficulty of fat loss over 40, as even toned fitness fanatics struggle to keep the weight off as they enter their older life. The change in your body as each year goes by can take its toll but, as we've briefly mentioned, it is possible to go about losing weight in your 40s.
Weight gain at 40 years old varies from person to person but the slower metabolic rate does play a part in this for each and every one of us. The changes in hormone levels, especially in women going through menopause, only add to the weight gain — it is a shame, but a fact of life that none of us can escape.
Besides what is physically altered through age, lifestyle preferences and circumstances tend to develop and change as we grow which could be one of the underlying factors that prove weight loss after 40 to be so tricky.
Can Hormones Lead to Weight Gain?
Women going through the menopausal transition usually experience some level of weight gain throughout this time —, especially around the hips, stomach and thighs. However, hormonal weight loss for women over 40 can be achieved by paying attention to certain lifestyle choices and habits.
It is important to remember that hormonal changes do not necessarily lead to gaining weight by themselves, it is more than likely coupled with poor eating and alterations on the activity side of things.
Best Way to Lose Weight for Women Over 40
There is no 'one size fits all' answer for losing weight after 40 — it depends on each individual person. Universally, there are answers. But, specifics will have to be sought through professionals who know you personally.
We have already established that women hitting 40 and beyond are going through hormonal changes due to menopause. This does make it noticeably harder to lose weight.
To start your journey of knowing how to lose weight after 40, it is important to begin looking at your diet choices.
The Best Diet to Lose Weight After 40
The eating habits you have carried from your twenties will need to be revised as your diet after 40 years old needs to contain less of the sugar that you had no problem burning off in your younger days.
Most people know that to lose weight, you need to be eating in a calorie deficit — i.e. eat less than the recommended caloric intake to maintain body weight. It is important to consult a dietician, nutritionist or GP before reducing your daily calories as they will be able to tell you by how much you, as an individual, should be dropping.
The best diet for over 40 consists of cutting out unhelpful sugars found in processed foods, sweetened beverages and of course, chocolate and sweets. Although they taste great, they should be consumed in moderation — preferably, you will be able to completely cut at least one of these out, but sometimes that just isn't possible! A good idea is to start small — try munching on some carrot sticks instead of chocolate biscuits for your mid-morning snack.
Vegetables are essential for weight loss and they should fill up the majority of your plate at mealtimes. They are very low in sugar (unlike fruit, so try to be mindful of this) and instead, are packed with nutrients which will fuel your body, aid metabolism functionality and ensure your organs stay happy and healthy — all of which assist in losing weight.
More on food consumption: try to increase your protein intake as this will help to build muscle (if eaten alongside an exercise regime) and in turn, will boost your metabolism, allowing you to lose weight more of efficiently.
Alcohol contains a bucket load of calories that will not positively contribute to your weight loss journey. A lot of people find that once they have cut right back (or now never consume) on the alcohol side of things they notice their water retention has lessened and they shift the pounds with more ease than before.
So, for optimum weight loss — cut out the majority of unnecessary sugar, eat your veggies, increase your protein intake and cut out alcohol.
The Best Way to Lose Weight After 40
Along with healthier eating choices, there needs to be some sort of physical movement involved. Both aerobic and strength training exercises will not only help you to lose weight, but it will also improve your immune system, organ health and even the quality of your hair, skin and nails.
Health and wellness experts advise that, for healthy adults, 150 minutes of moderate activity per week (this includes walking) is enough. Or, if you are into pushing yourself — 75 minutes of higher impact movements such as running. However, depending on how much weight you are wanting to lose, you may need to do a lot more than this average recommendation.
Personal trainers and gym owners have seen how members continue to come and exercise weekly if they are surrounded by others who will keep them accountable. It is only natural that if someone is making these lifestyle changes with you, then that will give you the support to continue you on your new, healthy path.
In short, the best way to lose weight after 40, specifically as a woman in her 40s and over, is to exercise — strength and aerobic — and team up with your friends and family.
40 Year Old Male Weight Loss
Much like women, men need to make healthier food choices and move more in order to lose unnecessary weight. This involves cutting down on sugar, being in a calorie deficit and performing both aerobic and strength training activities.
It is a fact that the more muscle you have, the faster your body metabolises fat, causing you to lose weight and improve your composition. Weight lifting and bodyweight exercises are key to building muscle mass and dropping in fat levels. Men on average lose muscle strength and quantity a lot slower compared to women of the same/similar age so you probably won't need to work as hard as your female friends to achieve a larger volume of muscle.
As a man, you will need to eat more than women in general and this stays the same, even when you are trying to lose weight. It is important to remember that you need to be in a calorie deficit for you, not for the general population — as mentioned earlier, activity level, the kind of work you do and your overall physical health will play a part in how many calories you should be consuming.
List of Tips to Lose Weight After 40
As there has been a lot of information here, let's summarise:
- Eat less sugar
- Up your protein intake
- Be in a calorie deficit that is specific for you
- Strength train
- At least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise
- Surround yourself with people making these lifestyle changes too
- Lessen alcohol consumption
- Eat your veggies
These tips are sure to have you seeing results in no time at all.