It’s no wonder that losing weight becomes more challenging as we age. This is due to many factors, including changes in your hormones, dietary habits, activity levels, and how fat is stored in your body. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to shed unwanted pounds.
If you are in your forties and trying to lose weight, you might want to reevaluate some of the old habits. The same behaviors that you had in your twenties may no longer prove effective for weight management in your forties. A lot of things occur to your body and in your life when you approach the 40 mark that can impact your weight. Men tend to gain weight gradually when they enter their forties. Most 40-plus men usually weigh around 30 pounds more on average than they did in their twenties.
A lot of factors can contribute to this weight gain, including your food, lifestyle, biology, and even sleep habits, as well as the natural loss of muscle mass due to aging.
Also, the levels of a hormone known as leptin reduce with increasing age. This is the hormone that signals to your brain that you are full when eating. Because of this natural decrease in leptin levels, you may begin to feel hungry not long after you have eaten.
Many metabolic and neurological changes occur in your body when you are in your forties. So, you might have to lower your calorie consumption and amp up your physical activity to keep the pounds off. Plus, you will need to make even more significant changes to lifestyle and dietary habits to successfully lose weight after 40.
Apart from improving your physical appearance, there are many other very important reasons you need to control and lower your body weight. The presence of excess fat in the abdominal region has been associated with many medical issues, including:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Fatty liver disease
- Certain types of cancer
All this being said, it does not mean that losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is not achievable. Here are 6 practical tips to help you lose weight after 40:
1. Preserve Your Muscle Mass
If you are 40 years old (or above) and not physically active, you may lose about 3-5 percent of your muscle mass every ten years. As we age, we tend to have a lot more things to focus our energy and time. For some people, that may mean decreasing exercise from their daily routine.
A regular strength training routine is all you need to keep or regain your muscle mass. That means doing exercises that target the main muscles in your body at least twice every week.
You may be wondering, “why is this important?”
It’s because the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll be able to burn. Even if strength training does not help you shed pounds, it can prevent you from gaining them, not to mention other benefits it may have on your mind, body, and life. Many men above 40 like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) because it can be done within a short period, which has a minimal impact on their daily schedule.
However, you should not limit yourself to strength training alone. Aerobic activities can also be beneficial. It is important to complement your cardio workout routine with strength training. If you are looking for motivation to get moving, think about what people older than you were able to do.
For example, draw inspiration from Rudy Kadlub, an American man who achieved four world records in powerlifting at the age of 71. Or take a cue from Simeon Gipson, a 75-year-old man who used cycling to manage diabetes and now completes a 300-mile cycling trip yearly.
2. Check Your Medications
Your prescriptions like antidepressants or hypertensive medications etc. can make you gain pounds or prevent you from losing them. Talk to your physician to find out whether your weight challenges can partly be due to the medications you are taking. There may be other options that could work for your condition without affecting your weight.
3. Get Quality Sleep
A lack of sleep and weight challenges are directly related. If your busy lifestyle is preventing you from sleeping well, think of what you can do to get enough shuteye.
At times, your biology may hinder your ability to have quality sleep, and you must correct that. If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to excess weight gain. Consider meeting with a sleep doctor if you have taken all the right steps to get rejuvenating sleep but still don’t feel restored. He or she can help figure out the issue and provide some solutions.
4. Don’t Skip Breakfast
It’s recommended that you do not skip your morning meal when trying to shed weight or keep it off.
A healthy breakfast can help prevent that mid-morning hunger that can make you eat too much at lunch or make an unhealthy food choice on the go. Eating a well-balanced breakfast will help regulate your appetite for the rest of the day. If you’ve already eaten breakfast, you’re less likely to grab less healthy energy sources late in the morning, such as donuts or sugary drinks. It will also help prevent blood sugar swings.
Maintaining a balanced blood sugar level is especially important if you have diabetes. Even without diabetes, it’s healthier to consume foods that won’t increase your blood sugar frequently.
5. Be Focused
When you are busy, you might feel inclined to opt for a quick meal on the go or try to multitask while eating. If you are not paying enough attention to your food, you are more likely to overeat. Sit down to eat and focus on your meal (not what is showing on your computer screen or television). This way, your brain can realize when you have had your fill.
6. Seek Support
Many people find it easier to shed weight when they do it with other like-minded people than when they do so alone. You can consider joining a support group on social media, participating in a weight loss competition at work, or encouraging your friends to do early-morning walks with you or take gym classes.
Others pursuing the same goals can help make you accountable and spur you on as you proceed on your health journey. Ideal Protein is an effective weight-loss protocol that has support built into its very fabric. It is an excellent way to get the accountability you need to successfully shed weight and improve your health.
Losing extra pounds and maintaining a healthy weight in your 40s can feel a bit difficult. But you can achieve your weight goals with a little attention and guidance. We have helped many men and women in their 40s lose weight and keep it off successfully and we can help you as well. Request a complimentary consultation with our experienced coaches to learn more.