These 9 tips will make losing weight a lot easier for women over 40 years old.
It’s no secret that as you age, weight loss gets harder. Your metabolism slows down. Movement may not come as easy. You may be tempted to just give up altogether.
It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. There is no age limit on a healthy lifestyle.
The first step to weight loss if you’re over 40 is to understand that the rules are different now. What worked for you in your 20s probably won’t work for you now. Luckily, there are tips you can follow that were made for women over 40.
1. Choose the right diet for you.
Set yourself up for success by choosing the right diet for your body and your lifestyle. Just because a particular diet works for someone on Facebook, doesn’t mean it will work for you.
When deciding what nutrition guidelines to follow, take into consideration your lifestyle and preferences. Are you someone who works through lunch without eating? You might consider meal replacement smoothies. Hate eggs? The keto diet probably isn’t for you.
Talk with a registered dietitian for help deciding the best diet for you.
2. Opt for a low carb lifestyle.
As the metabolism slows, it’s not able to burn through carbohydrates as efficiently. Carbs that aren’t burned off by the metabolism get stored as fat.
When cutting carbs, the first foods you should aim to eliminate are simple carbohydrates. These are often processed foods full of sugar and empty calories. Limit your intake of things like potato chips, baked goods, and refined pastas.
When you do eat carbohydrates, make sure they are complex carbs. These are things like oatmeal, vegetables, or whole grain bread. Balance this with healthy sources of fat and lean protein for a well-balanced diet.
3. Eat less meat.
Many studies have shown that as the amount of animal protein in the diet increases, so does weight. Meat is often high in saturated fat and calories, two things that lead to weight gain and health concerns.
The good news is that eating less meat is easier than ever. Most grocery stores stock plant-based meat options with realistic textures and flavors. Restaurants are adding vegetarian options to their menus. Even cooking at home is simple with beans and vegetables.
If you’re used to meat with almost every meal, don’t go into this cold-turkey. Start by adjusting your breakfast, the easiest meal to make meatless. Add one or two vegetarian dinners per week and increase as you feel comfortable.
4. Consider intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has become more popular over recent years. At its core, intermittent fasting means only eating during a certain window of time each day. For example, you may choose to eat your meals between the hours of 12pm and 8pm. After that time period, you fast until noon the next day.
By fasting, you allow your insulin levels to decrease. Insulin is a hormone that is produced when we eat and promotes the storage of food for energy. When insulin levels drop, that food storage is burned and we burn fat.
This can be a tough eating pattern to follow if you’re just starting out. Begin with a small fasting window of 10-12 hours. Gradually increase it to 14 or 16 hours as your body adjusts. A typical day could look like this:
Talk with your doctor before beginning a fasting plan to make sure it is safe for you.
5. Be more active (take the stairs instead of the lift)
Movement may look a little different for you than it did in your 20s, and that’s ok! No matter your physical abilities, there are ways for you to stay active and healthy.
Walking is a great way to stay fit as you age. Take the dog for a walk after dinner or start your morning with a stroll around the block.
Take the stairs up to your office instead of the elevator. Stand at your desk instead of sitting. What may seem like small movements all add up to a healthier you.
6. Track your sleep.
Not only does a good night’s sleep keep you energized, it helps with weight loss too.
Experts recommend that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health. Without this amount, we are more likely to make poor food choices or overeat. Both of these lead to weight gain and health complications.
To make sure you’re getting enough rest, track your sleep. Start by making sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. To kick it up a notch, invest in a wearable tracker like a Fitbit.
7. Find a support network.
The challenges of trying to lose weight become much easier to handle when you have a support network to lean on. If you can, find a group of women your age who have similar health goals. This is a great place to turn when you need motivation or accountability.
Friends and family are another source of support. Even if they don’t share your health goals, they can offer encouragement to keep you on track and celebrate with you when you succeed.
Weight loss is a personal journey, but it’s much easier with a support network behind you.
8. Drink water daily.
Water affects every aspect of the body and your weight is no exception. Studies show that staying hydrated is key in boosting the metabolism and decreasing caloric intake.
Drinking water in between meals can ward off hunger and decrease unnecessary snacking. Carbonated water drinks are particularly helpful for this. These drinks are also perfect replacements for high-sugar, high-calorie drinks like soda.
Drink a glass when you wake up and with each meal to feel the benefits.
9. Understand your hormonal changes.
Its not just you. There is a reason losing weigh over 40 is hard – your hormones.
As you age, your body undergoes hormonal changes, particularly in estrogen levels. Estrogen is one of the primary hormones involved in ovulation and the menstrual cycle. In the late 30s and throughout the 40s, estrogen levels fluctuate greatly.
This fluctuation leads to a slower metabolism, overeating, and weight gain.
Not all hope is lost, though. If you understand what your body is going through, you can mitigate it. With a focus on exercise and a healthy diet, its very possible to overcome hormonal changes and live a healthy life.
Weight gain is sometimes seen as an inevitable side effect of aging but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, you can lose weight and maintain a happy, healthy life in your 40s and beyond.