Losing Weight After 40: The Dos and Don’ts

  • Usman 

Losing weight can be a bit difficult as we age. Our body starts getting weaker and more prone to diseases and fatigue overall which can lead to our digestive and immune system being very delicate.

This can also be triggered by the way we might be taking care of our health, and that process needs to change as we go through different phases of life. However, losing weight after 40 will need to be vastly different from how you used to take care of it when you were in your twenties or thirties.

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When you are young, your body is continuously developing and growing, and that makes your entire system quite capable of handling itself. You are more able to fight diseases and avoid dangerous health situations even when you eat unhealthy stuff.

But sudden weight gain at 40 is a real phenomenon because, your body metabolism will slow down, and it will then require a lot of effort on your part to maintain your health and overall fitness.

On the other hand, it can also be noted that it is entirely possible that you are taking care of your body, eating healthy, and exercising regularly, but still, a few extra pounds are just creeping upon you, and you just can’t maintain that perfect waistline.

So, in this article, we’re going to tell you how to stay on top of the fitness game even after 40. Apply some of these tips to your daily routine, and it can be easy for you to lose weight after 40. We will also discuss why is so hard to lose weight after 40?

Age Matters

It’s vital for you to understand that as your age increases, it will get more challenging and more time consuming for your body to maintain its weight, health, and shape.

This article will tell you some tricks and precautions that you can implement in your daily life to achieve weight loss after 40. But the age factor will need to be considered everywhere as it is linked to your body’s system, health, hormonal imbalance, and many other areas.

In fact, according to the National Medical Health and Research Council of Australia, our energy requirements vary a lot depending on our age and gender. As we grow older, we exert and spend less energy, and therefore we don’t need a lot of it in calories.

However, the mistake that most people over 40 make is they limit their physical exertion of energy, but they’re still consuming the same or more portions of food as they did before. This will lead to excess weight gain and obesity.

Obesity is also known to be linked to significant weight gain from 40 onwards, and so is a slowed metabolism, which is again, due to age. So, keep in mind all of these factors and don’t get demotivated if you can’t lose that extra weight after 40 fast. It will require some time and a few changes to your lifestyle.

Stay Active!

It’s a general concept that exercise and physical activity or exertion of energy is a requirement if you want to stay healthy and fit. And so naturally, it makes sense that as we age, we start focusing on other things and activities, and exercise doesn’t remain a priority for us. As our bodies get older, we start losing muscle mass as well which can be harmful to us if we don’t maintain physical activity.

Muscle mass helps burn the calories we consume throughout the day, and the loss of it actually leads to no exertion or expenditure of calories, which will eventually add to our weight.

To avoid this, you can try to remain as active as possible, whether it’s walking for 15 to 20 minutes everyday or going for a light workout. Try to eat foods that are high in nutrition but low calorie, such as protein-rich foods. Engage in some light strength training, and you can easily maintain your muscle mass!

Sleep More

We all know that our sleeping habits and routines are linked to our health, and this fact actually gets more important as we age. Not sleeping enough has been known to link to obesity, lack of energy, and fatigue. Our sleeping patterns play a huge role in weight loss after 40.

Around this age, most women may start the long process of menopause, and lack of sleep can be one of its side effects due to hot flashes or discomfort during the night.

Less than recommended hours of sleep can also increase our body’s insulin resistance levels, which stops our body from absorbing sugar into the blood and turning it into fat. So, you can see how that would affect your weight and health.

And sleep deprivation has been known to have a direct effect on weight gain, according to a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology. The study found  that women getting less than or 5 hours of sleep weigh heavier than those who sleep for a full 7 hours.

It is recommended to make a suitable sleeping routine so that you don’t have trouble falling asleep and managing to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day. A good night’s sleep can overall affect your health as it will give you more energy during the day and make you feel fresh and active.

If you’re unable to sleep well, as can be the case for many women going through menopause as well, make a relaxing sleep routine and stick to it regularly so that your body gets enough sleep.

Stress Less

It’s a general rule of thumb that taking too much stress can put a lot of strain on your mind and health even when you are completely fine, and it can lead to weight gain because of multiple reasons. So, naturally, it makes sense that you might be more stressed when you’re in your forties because of your family or work or a number of other reasons.

When we’re stressed, we’re helpless to cravings, and in that case, our body will only crave sugar or high-fat foods because they are known to be “comfort foods.” However, as soon as we start eating them, we are most likely to end up eating in large amounts.

You can see how it would be easy to gain so much excess weight, which is already hard to lose in the first place. Stress will increase the levels of the hormone cortisol in our body, which starts storing fat immediately instead of burning it.

This can be extremely harmful to you if you are stressed or worried a lot regularly.

If you are under a lot of stress and feel as if though you can’t relax, try eating dark chocolate as it contains weight loss properties as well, and avoid all sorts of sugary foods. Create a peaceful routine and try to get more sleep. Stock up your home with fruits so that even if you’re stressed, you can eat some fruit to curb the sugar cravings.

Please note: Stress and sleep are interlinked with each other in weight gain and health. Try to get enough sleep, and you may feel more energized the next day and less tense. Relax, and ultimately, your sleep routine will also improve. Overall, your health will benefit, and you can avoid unnecessary excess weight gain.

Lay Off On The Alcohol

Alcohol can be an excellent and refreshing way to relax, but there is a general rule in dieting, which goes like this: everything in moderation. It means you can eat and consume everything (edible, of course) but do not go crazy. The same rule applies to alcohol. Too much alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain, and moderate consumption has been known to help weight loss.

Managing alcohol can be difficult, especially if you are used to having more than one drink every day. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, excessive and heavy consumption of alcohol contributes “directly to weight gain and obesity,” and it doesn’t matter what type of alcohol that is.

So, whether you are a wine lover or a person who likes to chill with a bottle of beer, take care when consuming alcohol if you’re trying to lose weight. Also, remember that being drunk often leads to eating fast food because, after some drinks, you are more likely to desire high calorie and fatty foods.

Focus On What You Eat:

Of course, an article on middle-aged dieting can’t be complete without the actual advice for diet. Your diet plan is so important, especially when you start dieting at a particular age.

Your body is getting weaker, which means it needs more strength, vitamins, and minerals, and keeping a healthy diet plan is a sure way to keep your body on track. Plus, the more you try to implement healthy food into your lifestyle, the less you will have to depend on supplements and medical alternatives.

It’s a general precaution that dietitians give to people when they start dieting, young or old, that focusing on what you eat is key to your weight loss. And so it only makes sense that when you’re not young anymore, you would need to focus on what your body is consuming even more.

Therefore, it’s important to highlight and understand what will replenish and nourish your body and what will slow it down.

Wrong food choices can also lead to a slower metabolism, which is, again, a significant contributing factor in weight loss. The essential things you need to incorporate are to

  • Cut out the majority of sugar out of your diet: It’s healthy to have sugar once in a while, but if you have entered your forties and you already feel like you have put on some excess weight, then it might be best for you to avoid all sugary foods for some time.
  • The same rule goes for carbs. Carbohydrates can be healthy for you, but at the same time consuming too much pasta, rice and bread is not suitable or healthy for your body. Luckily, there are substitutes for nearly everything in weight loss, and you can try brown pasta, brown bread, and brown rice for a healthier alternative.
  • Add more protein. Protein adds to our muscle fat in a good way, and this can be something you would definitely need at this age because you would already be losing a lot of muscle mass. So replace carbs and fatty foods with lean protein: more fish, chicken, and meat. Just remember: fried foods are not your best friends.

In the end, weight loss is a very tricky process. You might have some setbacks along the way, but it’s completely natural to get tired of dieting and to give in to your cravings. That is why it’s important to add the foods you like the taste of but which aren’t going to add to your weight gain.

Weight gain can be very easy at this age, and you need to be careful while trying to lose that extra fat. But all it ultimately means is that you need to take more care of yourself and weight loss after 40 will not remain an impossibility.

It is your life, and life after 40 is all about taking care of what your body needs. Get more sleep, don’t stress much over your work, and keep your diet plan healthy.

When you start listening to your body, your body will listen and take care of you, and you will be able to enjoy life without harming yourself.

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Muhammad Usman

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