How to Lose Weight After 40
“Once I hit 40, everything changed”
If you’ve ever said those words or had thought that, you are not alone! I hear that on a daily basis.
Like clockwork, 40 seems to be the age that our bodies start to change. Gaining weight seems to be easier than ever, while losing weight begins to feel like an impossible fight.
So what exactly “changes”?
Hormones: Enemy #1 after 40. Changes in your hormones cause changes in everything from your sex drive and muslce mass to your energy levles and hunger cravings.
Metabolism: Our metabolism starts to slow down naturally at a pace of 5% every decade starting at 40. A decreased metabolic rate can cause changes in body composition and fat distribution.
Muscle atrophy: After the age of 30 we start to lose muscle mass at a rate of 0.5-1% every year. Lean muscle mass is our biggest aid when it comes to burning fat and calories. Atrophy combined with a sluggish metabolism makes losing weight a much different venture from our 20s.
Insulin resistance: Age-related weight gain can begin to affect your body’s ability to control blood sugar. We can start to ignore insulin, resulting in misleading hunger cues and cravings.
Increased Stress: The stressors of life seem to pick up in our 40s. We don’t sleep as well, we don’t eat as well, and we are less active than ever. This combination can wreak havoc on your body’s ability to manage stress. The result–we begin to crumble under a mountain of stress we never experienced during any other decade.
Those are the facts, but most of these aren’t new to you; you’re living it. So the question is, what are you actively doing to slow it down?
Will you use your age as an excuse, or will you not allow your age to define your ability to reach your goals?
If you chose the latter, good for you! Let’s see what action steps we can put in place to not become another statistic.
Cut back on alcohol: Cutting back on empty calories is one of the most effective ways to lose weight after 40. Alcohol is generally the biggest culprit. Not only do the calories from alcohol add up, but alcohol will cause you to eat more calories while you drink.
Avoid processed carbs: Processed carbs are packed with sugar. Trade your pre-packaged snacks and foods for real foods like fruits and vegetables. Your body does know the difference between natural and processed sugars. Natural sugars can be a useful energy substrate, while added sugars only use might be padding your hips and midsection with extra cushion.
Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is one of the most powerful ways to keep our stress levels and hormones in check. Sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice, when in reality it should be the first thing we prioritize. The most powerful you can do to improve your sleep is to avoid all screens for at least 60min prior to bedtime. In other words, put your phone down! Not only does the blue light exposure trick your body to believe it’s still day time, but your cousin’s political facebook rant might cause another form of stress.
Get Strong: If someone said they could give you a pill that could increase your lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, improve sleep quality, improve joint range of motion, increase energy levels and mood, decrease percent body fat, and balance your hormones you probably want to learn more about that, right? Lucky for you, you can get all that and moe from strength training 3-4x a week. Lifting weights isn’t a thing you did in your 20s and 30s;it has to be a thing you do forever. But you have to be smart, as your body changes so should your routine. The same goes for stress.As your life stress changes, so should your training stress. If you haven’t already, you need to try our small group personal training program, where your goals and needs dictate your program.
See Your Doctor: If you’ve taken all the proper steps listed above and you still struggle with losing weight, you might want to check in with your doctor. Ask if they will run a blood panel and hormone test on you to check your levels. You might find that there is something else in play holding you back. On the other hand, if you don’t have your diet and training in check, you might want to start there first.
Losing weight after the age of 40 isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Before you use your age as an excuse, ask yourself what you could be doing differently. If you’re honest with yourself, I’m sure there are a few levers we can pull to elicit change before we blame our age.
So, what’s it going to be? Will you use your age as an excuse, or will you not allow your age to define your ability to reach your goals?
If you have any questions or want to set up a time to set goals, please send me an e-mail today.