When you reach the age of 65, and reflect back on the years gone by, the most precious decade of your life will likely be your 40s. You will not be alone in feeling this way. According to conclusive studies, if given the ability to return to any period in their life, most people would choose their 40s.
The reasons for this wish are aplenty. You are past your doubtful years of youth when you reach 40, you are doing well in your career, you become more mature in your relationships, and above all, you have the requisite wisdom to differentiate the right from the wrong.
But, one thing that really comes as a challenge once you hit 40, is your body shape, especially if you are a woman (not to say that men are immune from this either). Losing weight at 40 plus can be challenging especially if you didn’t take very good care of yourself during your 20s and 30s. Once you cross 40, just maintaining your current weight becomes an uphill task, let alone shedding those extra pounds Even if you eat the same and work out like when you were younger. If a 20 year old woman needs less than four weeks of workout to lose weight, a 40 year old would probably require five weeks to lose the same amount.
However, it is not as if you can’t lose weight after you cross 40. All you have to do is lead a more disciplined life, and make some lifestyle changes to keep your body in shape. If you are in your 40s, and are looking forward to shedding those extra pounds, read on.
One of the primary reasons why it becomes difficult for you to maintain and lose weight after 40 is that hormone levels, namely estrogen in women, and testosterone in men, start a downward spiral. In women this is the perimenopause stage, and by menopause, estrogen levels are at rock bottom levels, which is the main reason why 30% of women in the age bracket of 50 – 59 are obese.
There seems to be a link between regulating body weight and estrogen. In a study conducted on the animals in the lab, it was found that when their estrogen levels were low, the test subjects had a tendency to eat more, and they were less physically active.
Moreover, very high, or too low estrogen levels can lead to storage of fat. When the estrogen levels are low, the metabolic rate can also slowdown, which means your body is not able to quickly convert the energy stored in your body to working energy.
Another reason why it is difficult to lose weight after 40s is the fact that we become less active as we age; we slow down and our level of exercise also takes a hit.
As we grow older, our muscle mass starts decreasing, though at a very slow pace. This process starts much earlier than 40, it in fact begins at 30. When you have less muscles in your body, your metabolic rate falls, and then it is not all that difficult to gain weight.
Furthermore, as we age our aerobic capacity also takes a hit, which makes it difficult for us to properly utilize the energy during exercises, and hence we are not able to burn enough calories during exercises.
This is also the time when many women are not able to get a good night’s sleep. And, when you don’t get proper sleep, you tend to eat more, which is directly related to weight gain.
Last but not the least, as you cross 40 and reach the perimenopause (which sets in the early 40s) and menopause, the dipping estrogen levels can lead to insulin sensitivity. It can therefore become difficult for your body to maintain correct levels of sugar in your blood. And, this sudden rise and fall in blood sugar levels increases your craving to eat higher carb junk foods.
As mentioned earlier, it is difficult, but not impossible to lose weight when you cross the age of 40. You need to change your lifestyle a bit, avoid certain foods, eat as per your age requirements (which of course means you need to eat less), and exercise regularly to get into what you were in your 20s and 30s.
5 Things Women Should do to Lose Weight After 40
1- Keep a check on the intake of your calories
Again, as mentioned earlier, since it is difficult to burn calories, it is better to keep a check on what, and how much you eat. This does not in any way mean that you starve yourself, skip your meals, or stop enjoying yourself altogether.
Stop taking sugar in your drinks completely, be it in tea or coffee, morning or in the evening. If you can’t have tea or coffee without sugar, then shift to sweeteners, and start reducing it as soon as you can, because it is always better to kick the habit of taking sugar in all forms.
Also, get rid of dairy milk and shift to almond and soy milk. Even milk that is skimmed has 120 calories in one cup, while almond and soy milk contain only 60 or 80 calories in each cup. And, if you shift to almond milk which is unsweetened, all you would consume is 30 calories in each cup.
Though fruits are good for your health, try avoiding those that have high caloric values. After all, your target is to cut down as much calories as possible.
You can also make salad your regular diet to avoid a lot of calories.
Shift to whole grain foods, instead of refined grains such as white bread, white rice, bagels, etc.
Moreover, stay away from processed and packaged food, as they contain lots of sugar. What you should do once you cross 40 is start shopping smart, read what is written on the label, how it will affect your weight loss regimen, and finally on your health.
2- Exercise is now not optional, you need to do it on a regular basis
Diet alone is not sufficient to lose weight after you hit 40. When you are young your metabolism rate is fast, but once you cross the age of 40, it starts slowing down, and you now have no other option, but to exercise on a regular basis.
It is recommended that after the age of 40, you should at least exercise five times a week without skipping a single day in between. Go to the gym, or buy the equipment, and do your workout at home, but ensure that you exercise five times a week. By now you know that as you grow older, you lose your muscle mass, and the best method to get it back is to do as much exercise as possible.
Moreover, put a lot of emphasis on aerobic exercises because this strengthens your heart and lungs. The stronger they are, the more is the amount of energy you have, and the more you would be able to exercise. And, the more you exercise, the greater would be the weight loss you can expect when you enter your 40s.
3- Say no to junk foods and stop treating yourself too often
You cannot think of having pizza, chocolate shakes and burgers every day, or most days of the week, and then worry about not losing weight. This does not mean that you can’t treat yourself once in a while, you don’t have to stop eating what you love the most. What you have to be careful about is eating less junk food. You cannot make munching chips a habit whenever you are in front of the television. Or, every time you are feeling a bit low, you should not grab a bar of chocolate.
Your body talks to you, so it is not all that difficult to conclude how much calories you can consume each day. All you need to be careful about is that it should not affect your weight loss goal. Every person is different, and so are your caloric requirements. Follow what your body demands.
Also, do keep in mind that alcohol consumption beyond a point can hit you hard in your weight loss strategy. If you are serious about losing weight at 40, then you should have only 2 – 4 glasses of wine in a week. And, if you want to increase your alcohol intake to slightly higher limits, then cut down on other treats.
At the end of it all, it is about how many calories you have in a day, and are you able to burn that properly.
4- Increase your protein intake once you cross 40
As mentioned earlier, when you reach 40 your body loses muscle mass. Hence, you need protein in adequate amount to keep your muscles healthy. But, lean protein is what you need to have, and you can add supplements and shakes to your diet if is not providing you sufficient amount of protein.
You can have fish, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, etc. to get adequate quantity of lean protein. And, if you are a vegetarian, then add beans, mushroom, peanuts, and almond milk and soy products to get sufficient amounts of lean protein to your diet.
5- Make sure that you get adequate sleep, and try to maintain your stress levels
You need sufficient sleep not just to lose weight, but you also require it to remain healthy. There are several ways that you can try out to get adequate sleep, from a hot tub bath, massage, and meditation to yoga. Each, or a combination of a few of them can help you get sufficient sleep.
Also, you need to control your stress levels in order to get adequate sleep.. Stress doesn’t only affect your weight loss regimen, it can also have adverse effects on your health. In fact, it can wreak havoc on your body, and may affect your health permanently.
If you are a woman who is about to reach 40, or if you are already in your 40s, you should follow these tips to tone up your body. But, as we said earlier, every woman has a specific need, and you have to first understand yourself if you want to keep your body in shape.
Solutions Weight Loss is a weight loss and wellness facility located in Orlando, Florida. Find out what and how much you need to eat, the exercises which would be effective for you, and the supplements your body requires to aid your weight loss program.