Starting in early 40's, your bodies go through a series of changes that affect digestion, metabolism, and other bodily functions. Due to hormonal and other changes, the growth rate of our cells slows down. It's just something we have to learn to work around. 40's may be the new 30's but you may have noticed that it’s easier to gain weight after 40 - and harder to lose it - than it used to be. Changes in your activity level, eating habits, and hormones, and how your body stores fat all can play roles. But having said that, there are ways that one can lose weight after 40. Many a time, what works is to lose weight with others than to do it alone. So join a group or get a partner and share your goals.
Here are the tips you can follow to lose weight after 40:
1. Check for any underlying metabolic condition
The most common of these is hypothyroidism - an under-active thyroid - and it's one of the primary reasons many women over 40 can't lose weight. The thyroid is a tiny gland that produces hormones that regulate metabolism, and when it's under-active, so is everything else. In addition to weight gain, it can also cause fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and depression. Medications can help, so get it checked if you think it might be an issue.
2. Adjust your Eating habits
Your goal at this stage in your life is to keep yourself feeling full without succumbing to the temptation to eat like you could at age 20. Try eating five to six small meals a day, and don't go more than three or four hours without eating. Fill half your plate with them at every meal. These have more nutrients and less fat and calories than meat, dairy products, or grains. And it may help you feel satisfied, even if you eat less.
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Experts recommend a healthy morning meal like oatmeal or whole wheat toast with fruit, can help curb the mid-morning hunger that makes you snack and munch on unhealthy snacks or overeat at lunch. Small meals or snacks every few hours can keep your appetite in check all day long
4. Eat Less at Night
If you get most of your daily calories at lunch you might lose more weight than if you have a big meal later. Your metabolism is highest at mid morning and lunch time so use on that. However, it is still important to pay attention to what you eat.
5. Cook Healthy Meals
A lot of extra fat and calories can come from the way you prepare food. Instead of frying food or cooking it in butter or lots of oil, try grilling, baking, or broiling.
6. No second helpings please
You tend to be less active as you get older, and you may need a few hundred calories less than you used to. To lose weight, you may need to cut your calories back even more. Smaller portions and tracking your calories with a food diary or an app can help you eat less.
7. Cut Back on Alcohol
Alcohol can lead you to have that spare tire. A glass of beer or wine is about 150 calories, and that can add up if you drink often. Plus, alcohol can make you hungry, so you may eat more while you drink.
8. Make Time for Exercise
Between desk jobs, commutes, and family activities, many 40 year old don’t have a lot of free time to work out. But it’s important - for your weight and your overall health - to fit in at least 3 hours of moderate physical activity like brisk walking every week.
9. Build Muscle
People naturally lose muscle after 40, especially women after menopause. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, this can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to shake those stubborn pounds. Strength-training exercises-- lifting weights or doing body-weight exercises, like push-ups and squats - at least twice a week can help you keep those muscles.
10. Relax, Don’t Stress and Get Good Sleep
Stress can make you more likely to binge on unhealthy food, and it makes it harder for your body to break down fat. Try yoga, deep breathing, meditation, walking or reading. Stress relief is different for everyone, so find what works for you. People who don’t get good-quality sleep are more likely to gain weight. If you skimp on sleep because you’re busy or stressed, try to change your habits and settle into a regular routine.