Over 40 and can’t lose weight? I feel you! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been active and in shape throughout your early years – those extra pounds sneak up on you. Suddenly you’re waking up to discover that your body has extra cushion in places you never once thought were possible.

As you age, menopause, hormonal changes, slower metabolism, and a host of other factors can make losing weight at 40 trickier – but it’s not impossible!

Skipping an extra scoop of ice cream or throwing in some workout routines could be the only thing you need to do to get your body back in shape in your 20’s. But at 40, when your hormones are starting to bubble out and your metabolism nosediving, what used to seem like your perfect formula for weight loss could simply become the recipe for a major weight gain.

Did you just celebrate your 40th birthday with plausible success in your life, family, and work but can’t say the same about your efforts at losing weight? It has always been the same story for every woman trying to shed some excess body weight and stay in top shape at 40 and over.

But every step you take at shedding some extra pounds doesn’t have to be an uphill battle for you anymore. If you’ve been struggling with your weight after clocking 40, and do not want to constantly upgrade your closet with the next size up every year, then here are some practicable and easy-to-do tips that can make a big difference in your weight loss journey at 40.

Eat mindfully and without distractions

Losing weight at 40 is already a tricky thing to do, but guess what makes it a lot trickier? Not paying attention to little things such as eating mindfully.

At 20, you could possibly get away with eating the delicious food you just bought or cooked while watching your favorite T.V series, but at 40, every extra bite you take without being mindful will boost your chances of gaining more weight.

Research by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who had one snack or the other while watching TV ate about 10% more per sitting than those who focused on their food.

At 40, it would be best if you start practicing mindfulness over meals while avoiding every form of distraction. You should listen more to your body and stop eating when you are satisfied and not when you feel stuffed.

Feed your gut

Paying attention to your gut health is important at any age, but at 40, you should take your gut health more seriously than before. Challenges associated with menopause and hormonal fluctuation can be regulated by introducing prebiotic-fiber-rich foods like leafy greens and asparagus. This has been found to help reduce the risk of colon cancer and estrogen concentrations in the bloodstream while also helping you avoid the mood swings and hot flashes that can hit around mid-life.

Stay active with weight/resistance training

Naturally, women have lower muscle mass than the male counterparts, and while you age, the little muscle tissues you have left get depleted over time. Studies show a 1% depletion over the years starting at age 30, and that’s 10% muscle loss at age 40. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/preserve-your-muscle-mass  Having a higher muscle mass is associated with an increased metabolism rate, hence, the need to build and maintain your muscle mass by throwing in some lightweight and resistance training.  

At 40, you don’t want to hit the gym 7 days a week and 10 hours a day. Your bones and joints may have become weaker with lots of physical activities during your youthful years, so you don’t want to go about overworking them at this age. 30 minutes of strength training 3 to 5 times a week should just be enough.

It doesn’t matter if you only want to shed the weight around your midsection; you should focus on all muscle groups to lose weight and build muscles while also reshaping your body composition.

Try to reduce stress level

Between career and family responsibilities, it is easy for women at 40 to experience an increased stress level. What stress does at this age is pile up and lead to an increase in hormones like cortisol, known to be responsible for causing your body to store fat rather than burning them.

A quick fixhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2958879/ to this is upping your vitamin c and omega-3 fatty acids. This has been found to reduce the circulation of stress hormones in the body.  

Cut on your alcohol consumption

What we eat often gets the spotlight when it comes to losing bodyweight. But, to really lose weight, what we drink is as important as what we eat.

The word “cut,” in this context, implies that if you just can’t let go of gobbling down your favorite alcoholic brand, then start doing it moderately.

Losing weight at age 40 takes some level of discipline. Alas, gulping 7 ounces of beer with 1.5 shots of distilled spirits and half a bottle of vino repeatedly every night must come to an end.

Heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to lowering inhibitions and stimulating appetite. Mindlessly eating more than what your body needs would mean increased calorie intake, and this will do you no good when trying to cut some slacks on your body weight at 40.

Sleep disruption is also one of the effects of heavy alcohol consumption. A healthy or poor sleep cycle plays a crucial role in weight management and belly fat accumulation. A quick fix to this is establishing a drinking strategy that may include limiting alcohol intake to weekends only or reducing your consumption to one drink per day.

Eat more protein

For your body to burn more calories, it needs to work harder. A simple trick to help your body burn more calories is by upping your amount of protein intake. Naturally, your body does more work digesting proteins than it does for carbs and fats. Studies have found that an increase in your protein intake to about 30% of your total calories can boost the calories your body burns during digestion while also preventing lean muscle protein breakdown, which may help you speed up weight loss.  

Avoid some medications if possible

At 40, you need to be mindful of what side effects medication has on your body composition. Weight gain may be influenced by some medications or even diseases such as thyroid, which most women suffer from at this age. Before you try to lose weight on your own, talk to your doctor about getting some tests done to be sure your weight increase isn’t caused by a medicine or disease.

Watch what you eat at night

Most people don’t associate eating late at night with weight gain. In fact, some people think it’s a myth. But it’s not just about eating late at night. When it comes to body weight management, it’s what you eat at night that can be a problem. Calorie-dense, high-sugar foods, such as ice cream in the evening or midnight munchies, might make weight loss more difficult.

Avoid a sedentary lifestyle at all cost

At 40, it is understandable that you may become less active and may even want to do more of working remotely than going out daily. If you are having problems managing your body weight, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle can be major factors.

A study carried out by the American Journal of clinical nutrition has found a sedentary lifestyle to be a predominant factor in weight gain. Staying active won’t only enhance your metabolism. The endorphins released during exercise will also boost your mood. Taking a daily walk while listening to your favorite music or podcast in the company of a group of walk buddies can be one of the better ways to stay active at 40.

Switch up your fragrance

This one definitely looks weird, but the results of a study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery reveal that sniffing scents like apple and mint increased weight loss among study subjects.

So, if you’ve always loved scents, now is the time to sniff your way to a smaller physique. Fragrant goods, such as tea tree shampoo or an apple-inflected perfume, should be added to your shopping list.  

Spice up your sex life

At 40, has your sex life plummeted and doesn’t seem to be on your list of things you now prioritize? What if you knew that a little action between the sheets could cut some weight off the scale? Studies have found that apart from sex being a great stress reliever, it can also lower the belly-fat-storage hormone cortisol in your bloodstream. 

What’s a better reason to get a little action between the sheets anyway?

 

Author

Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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