As the years go by, it gets more difficult to lose weight – even if you follow your diet religiously and get plenty of exercise. Are you a woman over 40? Find out everything you need to know about weight loss in this article, and say goodbye to those extra pounds once and for all.
The fight against excess body fat is usually a tough one at any age, but it becomes even more difficult for women over 40. Your body responds differently to dieting and exercise; calorie-burning slows down, and you require more energy or effort to do the same activities as before.
Weight loss tips for women over 40
Consider the following tips and tricks that will help you lose weight if you’ve passed the 40 mark (specifically for women):
Believe that it’s possible
Of course it’s difficult, but it isn’t impossible. One of the greatest barriers we see when people are trying to lose weight is that they get frustrated when they don’t see results in the short- or medium-term. There’s no cause for despair – these results take time, but they will come.
Some women think that their diet or exercise routine isn’t making a difference, but they’re wrong. When you’re able to lose weight, you’ll feel much better, and following a more healthy diet also helps lower your risk of heart disease.
Get the right kind of exercise
So you may think you’ve passed the age for ultra-energetic spinning classes or mountain climbing. Not to worry. The good news is that there are so many other forms of exercise out there. What’s important is that you choose the ones that suit your needs, either by age or body type.
Be sure to pick an exercise that you enjoy, because if you’re forcing yourself to go through the motions you won’t see any benefits. Start with a 30-minute session three times a week and gradually extend the time. Ride a bike, jog, or just walk your dog.
Respect your mealtimes
Breakfast should be the single most important meal of your day, and then you should eat smaller meals that culminate with a light dinner. It’s a good idea to have four main meals and two snacks, one mid-morning, and one in the afternoon. This will keep your hunger at bay, and you body will be burning calories through the digestive process. And watch what you eat: you need to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables (raw, whenever possible) and leave behind all those the fried foods, processed sugars and unhealthy fats.
Remember that alcohol isn’t good for you, either. A good way to find out how many calories you should eat in a day is this: multiple your ideal weight in pounds by 10, if you don’t do any exercise, by 13 if you exercise once or twice a week, and by 15 if you exercise more than three times a week. So if you want to weigh 135 pounds and you’re fairly active, you should be consuming about 2,025 calories per day!
Choose natural supplements
You probably already know that after you turn 40, the amount of collagen that the body produces is much lower, almost by 50%. This can affect much more than your skin. A collagen deficiency weakens bones and joints. Take natural supplements that will also help fight stretch marks, cellulite, and sagging skin.
Keep an eye on your basal metabolic rate
This refers to the number of calories your body needs to increase, maintain, or lose weight. The number will vary with respect to your age, sex, hormone levels, and other factors. You can calculate your basal metabolic rate (either look up a method on the internet or contact your doctor). This will indicate how many calories you need in order to lose weight, always taking into account the fact that you’re over 40.
Always consume foods that are healthy and good for your body, like water with lemon, flaxseed, breakfast fibers, cinnamon, almonds, salmon, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and red fruits. Pay attention to how much you eat in a day.
Get plenty of sleep
This is important at any age, but after four decades your body demands enough rest to recover from your daily activities. There’s no exact number of hours for everyone, but don’t get less than six hours in a night, and avoid the extreme of more than eight hours in one stretch.
Both a lack and an excess of sleep can cause the body to store more fat. Why? In the first case, higher levels of a hormone known as cortisol (the “stress hormone”) are produced, causing you to eat more. In the second, sleeping too much without exercise causes your body to store more of what you eat as fat.
Have a regular checkup
If you find that you’re not losing weight even though you eat healthily, exercise, and get the right amount of sleep, you could be suffering from a problem with your metabolism, such as a thyroid dysfunction for example. Many women have hypothyroidism and don’t know it. This condition causes the metabolism to slow and not only prevents weight loss, but sometimes even causes weight gain. Other symptoms of a thyroid problem are: chronic fatigue, problems with circulation, or cold sensations in the extremities.