Over 40, you may have observed that it is easier to gain weight — and more difficult to lose it — than in years past. This is especially true for women but most men are in the same boat. Changes in your activity level, eating habits, hormone levels, and the way your body stores fat are all factors that might influence your weight. However, by following a few basic actions, you may be able to lose weight.
How To Lose Weight After 40
Do you still have a chance to lose weight after the age of 40? Absolutely! Of course, weight loss probably won’t come as easy as it did when you were in your 20s. Why not? For starters, most of us had a lot more energy then, were more physcially active, and our metabolism was higher.
Never the less, we’ve listed some simple techniques below that will get you to losing weight no matter what your age. And below that, you find a couple of reasons why losing weight after 40 is important that will increase your motivation to stay fit and healthy.
These simple tips are the key to losing weight after 40 and how to better manage the effects aging has on us all.
1. Reduce Your Carbs
As you might expect, reducing carbs is the most powerful place to start.
As a natural part of the aging process, your metabolism slows down year after year. As your metabolism drops, you burn fewer calories and the excess starts turning to fat instead of maintaining muscle and energy.
Carbs are packed with calories that get harder to burn off after 40 because you aren’t as active as you once were.
As you age your body finds it more difficult to use carbs.
Moreover, with the carbs and lower metabolism, comes the raising of your blood sugar levels that causes insulin insensitivity.
This is important because this whole chain of processes involving carbs and blood sugar means your body is now more readily saving everything you eat as fat stores for the future.
Then comes the question of how to go about reducing carbs and still eating the foods you like?
The first step of any weight loss diet should be to cut carbs and that usually starts with your consumption of bread, pasta, sugar, and white rice.
Carbs provide fast energy and we need that. Replacing high carb and highly processed foods with vegetables provides the needed carbs without converting them to fat.
And the more fresh and frozen vegetables you include in your diet, the easier it is to break the addiction to man-made carbs.
2. Do Resistance Training
Fact: Aging requires the continuing of building and maintaining of muscle tissue to raise and maintain a working metabolic rate.
You don’t need a gym membership or even your own home gym or office equipment, but you do need muscle maintenance as you get older.
It’s simple, the muscle in your body requires calories to operate and the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
Isn’t it interesting that when we are young we are interested in how we look and doing things that build muscle?
After 40, we are much more prone to start letting ourselves go physically. When that happens, the weight comes and muscles go?
When we are young muscle stays with us and metabolism stays elevated and we have plenty of energy and motivation.
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to keep up the resistance training.
Most people are under the impression that cardio training is the only exercise that burns calories. However, resistance workouts can often produce the long-lasting weight loss results you need as you age.
Even though we have a tendency to relax and give up on muscle maintenance after 40, it’s actually far more important than ever before.
You need a high percentage of muscle in your body to keep your resting metabolic rate increased. That way you’re burning calories while you watch TV and sleep.
With enough muscle mass you will be a lot less likely to put on weight because it’s easier for your body to burn fat.
3. Practice Intermittent Fasting
I’ve found intermittent fasting to be indispensable when it comes to holding my own with my weight and losing it.
The basics begin with limiting your calorie intake on fasting days to fixed time frames. With this simple method, you can merely set an eating window of 6 hours and consume your total calorie for the day within that 6 hours.
Then you fast during your predetermined fasting hours, which is usually the next day.
That’s not a diet plan and you are not starving yourself, because you are eating your daily calories during the eating window. Because the fasting window is much longer than the eating, your body has more time to burn fat stores instead of food.
Intermittent fasting is not the same as dieting and cutting calories.
You won’t be starving yourself because you’re getting your daily calories. However, your body will have a much longer time to be in a fasted state and use calories from its fat stores instead of burning food for fuel. You will lose more fat in this way.
No matter your age, if you want to lose weight, intermittent fasting is a technique you don’t want to miss.
Start off slow, and as you gain a few week’s experiences you’ ll find it easy and rewarding to fast 24 hours a couple of times a week.
Not only does it make weight loss easy, the process naturally teaches you the discipline to reject unhealthy food choices when you eat.
4. High-Intensity Training
I find HIIT or High-Intensity Training the perfect exercise solution as I age.
Instead of hanging out and chewing the fat for an hour more at the gym, HIIT usually involves much less than 15 minutes.
Think of that, an entire workout of 10-15 minutes that produces far more and better results.
HIIT is so intense and effective that your metabolism is boosted for hours afterward.
The intensity of the program creates a condition in your body called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption”.
It seems that most people don’t know where fat goes when it’s burned, but the answer is out your mouth and nose as you exhale as carbon dioxide.
That means that the intensity of a HIIT workout gets you breathing hard, and keeps your body at an increased oxygen consumption for hours after.
The more oxygen you take in, the more you exhale, right? This condition normally lasts from 6-12 hours as your body is replenishing oxygen burned.
Once you learn what HIIT training is and how to use it, it fits almost any exercise routine.
You are a fat-burning machine long after your short HIIT session. You will be in a fat-burning mode around the clock.
Of course, you’ll need to read this post, and start off sensibly and with caution. That means going all out for very short periods of time at first, and working your way up to several minutes of all-out exercise followed by shorter rest periods.
There’s no doubt that HIIT is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and lose weight before or after 40. The first few sessions will seem strange, but seeing the undeniable results in weight and endurance levels will make a believer out of you in no time.
Why Losing Weight After 40 Is Important
As for age, there is absolutely no reason why you should slow down after 40, or even 60. But far too many people start gaining weight between 40 and 50 and never figure a way to get back to their perfect weight, or even a healthy weight for that matter.
Keeping Healthy Joints
With age comes normal wear and tear on a body and especially the joints. And knee joints are usually some of the first to start going. The primary reason for this in the United States is simply obesity. You may think of extra pounds as only something that keeps you from getting in your favorite clothes, but that excess weight is taking a toll on you your hips and knees.
Maintaining The Best Health
If you haven’t been keenly aware of your health before 40, it’s definitely time to start. Every year you age from here on seems to multiply your risk of every sort of illness and disease. Heart disease leads the way and maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise are the two primary ways to reduce your risk. Check out this post “Walking Is The Best Supplement For Heart Health.”
There’s a lot of reasons why losing weight gets more difficult with age and a lot of pitfalls of being overweight. One of the most common is losing the mobility to continue your normal lifestyle. The fatter a person gets, the less energy they have, and the harder it gets to do the things that burn calories and fat. Start changing bad habits to healthy habits now, to keep your weight where it belongs to maintain the life you love as you age.
Weight loss after 40 or any other age is always a journey, and it’s usually not an overnight trip. Depending on how much you are over overweight, it could take you anywhere to a few weeks to a year to get to a healthy weight. However, if you put these 4 tips into practice, you will start seeing results in a matter of a couple of weeks.
The most important thing isn’t necessarily the time it takes to reach your ideal weight. What really matters is that you realize the damage you do your body and best lifestyle when you are overweight, and take measures to lose it.