Losing weight after 40 can seem like an uphill struggle. Biological changes and lifestyle factors can make it harder than it was in your 20s or 30s. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It may be more difficult, but armed with the right knowledge and strategies, you can achieve your weight loss goals. In this article, we share proven tips that’ll help you to lose weight and keep it off in your 40s and beyond.
- Why Is It More Difficult to Lose Weight After 40?
- How To Lose Weight And Improve Health After 40
- Diet Tips That Will Help You Lose Weight
- Workouts for Over 40’s
- Controlling Your Mindset and Stress Level
- Essential Supplements
- Adopting a Slow and Steady Approach
- Avoiding Alcohol
- Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 40
- Weight Loss Tips for Men Over 40
For people who are over 40, it can seem like it’s harder to lose weight. You might also have noticed yourself gaining pounds more easily than you did in your 20s or 30s. This is typically due to a combination of factors…
- Needing fewer calories but not adjusting food intake to match
- Decreased levels of physical activity
- Having less time to prepare healthy meals or exercise
- Changes in hormone levels that affect muscle and fat storage
- Increases in stress due to family or work commitments
A key thing that some people don’t realize is that they need fewer calories as they get older. According to government dietary guidelines, a male in his forties is likely to require 200 calories less per day than he did in his thirties. This may seem like a small amount but overeating by this would equate to 1400 calories each week and quickly lead to noticeable weight gain. However, by understanding the factors at play you can make practical changes so that losing weight after 40 becomes easier and more achievable.
The good news is that there are plenty of losing weight after 40 success stories. The aging process doesn’t prevent you from losing excess weight – it’s just a case of adapting. Making small changes to the food and drinks you consume, exercise habits, and how you look after yourself will all make a real difference. The key is to incorporate these changes into your lifestyle so that they become a way of life after 40. This will enable you to lose the weight and keep it off permanently. Here’s an overview of how to lose weight and improve health once you’re in your forties…
Consume a balanced diet – this means getting your 5-a-day, plenty of protein, and ditching the processed foods.
Cut back on alcohol – as we age, our bodies find it harder to metabolize and expel alcohol so it’s more likely to get converted into fat.
Physical activity – make time for regular exercise to burn off excess calories and keep your metabolism revved up.
Minimize stress levels – be proactive about reducing stress as this can affect hormone levels and cause you to store more fat instead of burning it.
Supplement where needed – take specific vitamins and minerals that will support the aging process.
Avoid crash dieting – as this can damage your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight long-term.
Let’s look at these weight loss strategies in more detail…
People in their 20s and early 30s seem to get away with eating anything. But as you age, your body becomes less forgiving. Any bad habits you picked up related to fast food or sugary snacks tend to come back to haunt you. So, in order to lose weight, it’s important to take a look at your diet and make some healthy changes.
- Reduce portion sizes – this decreases the number of calories you consume so that you don’t exceed your daily energy requirements.
- Eat more vegetables – they’ll keep you full and supply plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Consume lean protein – this helps your body to maintain muscle mass and stay lean.
- Quit soda – it’s full of empty calories and can create a bloated appearance too.
- Add healthy fats – you may have grown up hearing that fats contributed to weight gain but we now know that they’re actually essential for health.
- Choose complex carbs – like oats and brown rice instead of pasta or sugary cereals.
Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise is the most effective way to lose weight at any age. But the way we exercise may need to change in our 40s since we’re facing different biological challenges. For men, decreases in testosterone levels can lead to lower volumes of muscle. For women, changes in estrogen can make their bodies more inclined to store fat. This means it’s more important than ever to work-out on a regular basis.
- Cardio – incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT) to burn fat and boost metabolism.
- Strength – use free weights or resistance machines to build lean muscle and combat the effects of hormonal changes.
- Flexibility – include stretching in your routine to maintain supple joints and avoid age-related injuries.
By combining these three types of workout into your exercise regime, you’ll burn fat and increase muscle creating a more toned physique.
Life can also get more stressful after 40. People may have children, mortgages, or be in more demanding work roles than they were in their 20s. This can increase levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which has been shown to contribute to weight gain. It can also cause people to eat more as a way of dealing with the stress which further adds to calorie consumption.
How you deal with stress will be personal and what works for one person may not for another. Finding time to relax, doing activities that quieten your thoughts, and getting out in nature can all help. Reading, yoga, walking the dog, or meditation may be helpful if you’re feeling pressure or stress building up. Getting enough sleep can also be tough when you’re stressed out but lack of it will also lead to weight gain. Take steps to ensure good-quality sleep such as switching off screens an hour before bed.
Vitamins and minerals can become depleted over time. If you’re following a well-balanced diet that includes plant and animal products then you’ll likely have enough. But if you don’t eat a mix of vegetables or you follow a plant-based diet that isn’t varied, then you may be at risk of nutrient deficiency. Low levels of some vitamins can hinder weight loss for women over 40, making it harder to shift fat no matter how well you’re doing everything else. Taking a multi-vitamin that includes magnesium, calcium, and iron is an easy way to boost nutrient levels.
When it comes to losing weight after 40, slow and steady progress is better than crash diets. This is true at any age but even more so as we get older. It becomes harder for our metabolism to bounce back after yo-yo dieting episodes. So, aim to lose 1-2lbs per week (0.5-1kg) on a consistent basis. Don’t be taken in by diet programs promising that you can drop a dress or pant size in a week. They usually involve drastic measures that don’t do your health any good. These types of crash programs also tend to be unsustainable long-term so you end up reverting to old habits soon after.
Alcohol is a common way for people to accidentally sabotage their weight loss results. It contains 7 calories per gram which means it can significantly affect your energy intake. Drinking large amounts of alcohol is also associated with poor memory, increased risk of hip fractures, and several types of cancer. If you’re keen to adopt a healthier lifestyle, then cutting back on alcohol consumption is one of the best things you can do.
Reducing alcohol intake has been shown to contribute to weight loss for men over 40. As we age, the enzymes we need to breakdown alcohol start to decrease. This makes it harder to expel the toxins and is part of the reason that hangovers seem to get worse with age. Choosing low-alcohol beers, red wine instead of spirits, and drinking water between rounds can all help you to cut down. Swapping high-sugar mixers like cola for plain soda or tonic can also reduce the calories you consume.
Here’s an overview of the most effective weight loss strategies for women approaching middle age…
- The best diet for women over 40 will consist of vegetables, lean protein, and unprocessed carbohydrates.
- Supplement with iron, calcium, and magnesium to ensure mineral sufficiency.
- Avoid consuming empty calories from alcohol and soda.
- Combine HIIT workouts with strength training using medium weights to increase muscle mass.
- Consider taking a metabolism boosting or appetite suppressing supplement to support your diet and exercise efforts.
- Combat stress through relaxation activities.
For men over 40, many of the same strategies can be applied with a few tweaks…
- The best diet for men over 40 will also consist of vegetables, lean protein, and unprocessed carbohydrates.
- Supplement with a multi-vitamin that includes key minerals like calcium and magnesium.
- Decrease alcohol consumption and choose low-calorie mixers.
- Combine HIIT workouts with high weight strength training to increase testosterone production.
- Reduce stress by making time for relaxation activities.
- Consider a testosterone boosting or appetite suppressing supplement.
Losing Weight After 40 – Summary
It can be harder to lose weight after 40 due to changes in energy needs, hormones, activity levels, and other lifestyle factors. Consuming a balanced diet that’s full of vegetables, lean protein, and unprocessed carbs will help. Adding HIIT workouts and strength training into your routine will burn fat and boost muscle. Managing stress is also an important factor in weight loss and overall health.