When you’re over 40, it’s way different from when you’re in your 20s especially when it comes to losing weight.
For one thing, it’s much easier to put on the pounds and much harder to get rid of them. Fat becomes even more stubborn to get rid of.
This can be a result of a lot of things. You’re no longer as active as you once were. Hormonal changes that occur naturally or due to prescribed medication can mess with your metabolism. And your eating habits may have also changed.
Luckily, there are things you can do to help make it easier for you to get rid of unwanted pounds even after 40. Follow these tips and you’ll not only feel healthier overall, but you’ll also notice a difference in your waistline.
Here are 10 tips you can employ to lose weight if you over 40.
1. Prepare Healthy Meals
The one thing everyone knows about dieting is this – you must eat healthier foods and completely cutting out or cutting back on the not so healthy foods.
This might be a little tough if you’re accustomed to eating out but one thing you can do is to prepare your own healthy meals.
Preparing your own meals means that you don’t have to give up a lot of the foods you enjoy because you can choose to prepare them in more healthier ways.
For example, instead of frying foods or cooking them in lots of oil or butter, you can instead choose healthier preparation methods such as baking, grilling or broiling.
These preparation methods can help get rid of a lot of extra calories and unwanted fats.
If you do have to eat out, you should apply the same principle and choose menu items that are prepared using these healthier options.
2. Don’t Skip Breakfast
It is well-known that breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day.
However, millions of people skip breakfast due to a fast lifestyle or opt for meals while on the go.
If you’re over 40 and you’re looking to lose weight then it’s a good idea not to skip breakfast. But you can’t eat just anything.
Having protein-rich foods first thing in the morning as well as foods rich in fiber can help you feeling full for a long time or until your next meal. You’ll be more unlikely to overeat at lunch if you have a nutritious breakfast than if you skip this meal.
Good choices for breakfast foods include:
- whole grain cereal
- fruit (bananas, berries, papaya etc)
- vegetables (carrots, celery etc)
If you’re the busy type who’s always running late (the most common reason people skip breakfast), then try planning ahead so that your breakfast is already prepared by the time you wake up or it can easily and quickly be prepared once you’re up.
3. Limit Nighttime Eating
If you get eight or more hours sleep at night (you should), you’re essentially getting an eight hour fast which can help you burn fat while you’re asleep.
You can extend this fast by getting most of your calories at lunch and having your last meal before 7pm. Your body will typically run on the calories from your last meal for about 4-6 hours then burn fat to keep running throughout the rest of the night.
When you limit your night time eating, you’re giving your body a chance to burn more fat while you sleep.
You can even extend this fat-burning process by going for a walk early in the morning after you awake.
The most important thing to keep in mind though is not when you eat but what you eat.
4. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are always a healthy choice when having a meal. They’re great for weight loss because they tend to have more nutrients, less fat and less calories than meat, dairy and grains.
Fruits and veggies also have fiber which is a must have when you’re trying to lose weight because these foods will keep you feeling full for a much longer time.
They’re also a great choice over sweets when you want to have a snack. Reach for an apple or a carrot rather than the potato chips for a satisfying and healthy treat between meals.
5. Consume Less Alcohol
Having a beer belly isn’t always caused by alcohol. However, around this age, it is more common place to have a beer belly and the culprit just might be the beers.
A single beer can have as much as 150 calories and if you’re a regular drinker then those calories can add up.
Alcohol can also make you feel hungry and you’re more likely to reach for the wrong type of food, like bar food (fried chicken, hamburgers etc) when you’re out drinking.
Choose to consume less alcohol and you’ll be more likely to lose weight especially when combined with the other tips listed here in this article.
6. Cut Out the Soda
Just like alcohol, soda can also have a lot of calories but even worse, they’re packed with sugar that gets stored as fat if they’re not burned up through exercise and physical activity.
Soda can also increase your risk of diabetes because of all the sugar they contain.
As an alternative, try drinking more water or other zero-calorie beverages. Water does a lot of wonders for your body when you’re getting enough and you wouldn’t feel as thirsty or tempted to reach for a soda or energy drink.
7. Find Time to Exercise
It can be tough finding time to work out when you’re in your 40s due to work, family time and tiring commutes to and from work.
However, finding the time for exercise is very important and it’s recommended that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate workout every week.
Finding time for exercise can greatly benefit your overall health and especially has an effect on your weight. A brisk walk in the morning when you arise before work or playing Frisbee with your dog can do wonders if you cannot get to the gym.
8. Work on Building Muscle
After 40, it is natural to start losing muscle. This is especially true for women after going through menopause but men are also affected.
Since muscle burns more calories than fat, it’s going to be harder to get rid of stubborn fat due to a slower metabolism.
To counter this, you should work on building muscle so that you don’t lose what you already have.
Strength training exercises like lifting weights and body-weight exercises such as pushups, planks and squats can help if you do this at least twice per week.
9. Get Enough Sleep
The importance of sleep after the age of 40 should not be understated. So many things can prevent you from getting good sleep – stress, health problems and prescribed medication just to name a few.
You are more likely to gain weight if you don’t get enough good quality sleep.
Follow a regular routine so that it becomes more of a habit. Try to avoid stress and other factors that may keep you from getting enough sleep.
10. Get Support
You’re more likely to lose weight if you can find someone or others who also want to lose weight to join you. Studies have shown this to be true for most people.
Some ways to find support would be to:
- join a weight loss group on social media
- do a weight loss challenge with others
- find a weight loss class at your local gym
- get a friend to go with you for your early morning walks
People who share the same goals as you can keep you accountable and encourage you as you both make progress.
Whichever way you go, having support is more likely to get you to your goal than going it alone.
Put into action these 10 tips and you will lose weight and feel a whole lot healthier at over 40 years of age.