If you are 25, you will find that weight comes off relatively easily. Losing weight after 40 becomes more challenging with each year that passes.
In your twenties, you may find that you can eat whatever you want with little or no weight gain.
You will find as the years go by, the way you manage your weight will have to change. Eating whatever you want without weight gain may no longer be possible. And you will find out quickly that the extra 10 to 20 pounds will not come off as easily as it used to.
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But don’t despair, you can still get drop the pounds no matter your age, you just have to change the way you go about it.
The best way to manage your weight at 40 is to avoid gaining it in the first place, but life happens and sometimes the pounds do creep on little by little.
Try these simple tips for losing weight after the age of 40…or any other age.
1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Foods high in fat and sugar taste good and we all enjoy them. But at the end of the day, overindulging in a high carb diet and limiting the healthy stuff will lead to extra weight.
Make half of each meal fruits and vegetables. Not only will eating more fruits and vegetables keep your caloric intake low, but it will also give you the nutrients that you need to live out your life in the healthiest way possible.
If you are a visual person, there is nothing more appealing than a plate of fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables.
2. Practice Meal Planning
Meal planning does not have to be rigid, but by planning meals, you will be aware of what you are eating.
Planning can include eating out but be aware that you have practice moderation and balance. If you want a favorite meal that you know is higher in calories, have it once or twice a month. Being too restrictive can lead to binges. Balance is important, but so is moderation.
One of the things that has helped me is to have a small plate of fruits, vegetables, cheese and maybe crackers for a meal a few times a week. It is light and similar to intermittent fasting with a limited amount of calories. Try it and see how you feel the next morning.
3. Get Moving
We lose muscle mass as we age and the best way to avoid that is to exercise. Walk, go to the gym, clean the house…just do something to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise can be fun. Do it for how it makes you feel and not necessarily for the calories it will burn. I find walking outside to be calming.
For me, strength training seems to decrease my appetite. Even if it is only in my head, I will take it. Pick an activity that you like. You are more likely to feel motivated to stick with something you enjoy.
4. Cook Healthy
This refers to how you cook your food. Avoid frying as a method of cooking. It adds calories and is one of the least healthy ways of preparing food.
Steaming, broiling and baking are great ways to prepare foods. Raw, fresh foods make tasty and quick meals. Eat light a few times a week, with a meal of fresh fruits, vegetables and a protein.
5. Eat a Morning Meal
You don’t necessarily have to start eating the minute you get up in the morning, but within 3 to 4 hours of waking up you should have a small meal.
I always avoid carbs in the morning. If I have them in the morning, I am more likely to want to continue to eat them throughout the day.
But that is just me. The secret here is avoiding hunger pains, but not feeling stuffed. Satisfied is what you are going for.
6. Be Aware
Pay attention to your habits. Unhealthy habits have a way of creeping up on us. A fast-food meal here, a take out meal there. And society has made it much easier to access take out meals.
With drive-thrus and all the restaurant delivery services available, an unhealthy meal can be as easy to get as a mouse click or a phone call away.
On the flip side, there are also a lot of healthy meals services available. You can have the ingredients delivered along with cooking instructions. All I am saying is watch for unhealthy trends and take action to change them before they become a bad habit.
Having a fast food meal is not going to kill you and probably will not even derail a weight loss plan. If it becomes a regular occurrence, you will see it on the scale.
7. Make Water Your Beverage of Choice
There is no secret that water provides many benefits. And the best part about this…they are zero calorie benefits.
Since I am all about balance, there is nothing wrong with coffee and tea in moderation. We all love that caffeine boost in the morning. Juices and sodas can be a problem. Most of them are loaded with sugar.
Tea and coffee can also be guilty of being high in sugar depending on the hand pouring it. Drinks can be heavy in calories.
Diet sodas do not contain the added calories, but studies show they offer no health benefits. Want to go through the weight loss process as quickly as possible? Just be aware of what you are drinking.
When in doubt, stick with good old H2O. Have a big glass before you reach for the caffeine in the morning.
8. Alcohol in Moderation
Bottom line…alcohol has calories and it metabolizes as sugar. Furthermore, It usually increases your appetite.
Here again, you trying not to go crazy and be restrictive with your life, but you want to moderate. If having a cocktail, glass of wine or a beer is important to you, plan it into your weight loss plan.
Have one or two a week, but be aware of the tradeoff. If it is not important to you, eliminate it altogether.
9. Take Time Out
Stress is one of the biggest reasons people gain weight. It seems like our lives are loaded with it. This is a 2 part step. Look at the stress in your life and analyze it.
Is any of it avoidable? I am guessing a certain amount of it can be avoided. How can you handle situations differently that will lessen the stress or even make it go away? Next, realize that life comes with a certain amount of stress no matter who you are.
The best way to combat this is to take time for yourself. Relax! Do something that takes you away from the daily challenges. Find your “happy place” and spend time there periodically.
10. Be Patient
There is nothing wrong with doing everything in your power to lose weight quickly and safely. There are endless ways to cut calories from your diet and burn calories via exercise.
And that is all good, but people don’t always have the time to exercise 2 hours a day. Besides that, not everyone wants to give up the foods they love.
If you are willing to be patient, you can lose weight at any age. You just have to be will to make smart choices most of the time. Be okay with the weight coming off slowly.
Expect the process to take a certain amount of time and be okay with the scale going the right direction. Unrealistic goals can set you up for failure. Goals that are too aggressive make it difficult to stay motivated.
Just take it one day at time and have the mindset that if you can stay on track 80% of the time, the results will follow.
Final Thoughts – Losing Weight After 40
Yes, losing weight at 40+ is going to be more difficult than losing weight in your 20s and 30s. And honestly, “difficult” may not be an accurate description.
It will require more patience and persistence. The weight most likely will not come off as quickly on a 40-year-old person as it does on a 20-year-old. That is okay, losing weight at 40 is still doable.
Losing weight is part of a transformation and there is a process to achieving that transformation. It takes change.
Not everyone embraces change, but where we are today in our lives is because we moved from one chapter to the next. If you look back on the changes in your life, it has led you to where you are today. Are you prepared to enter the next chapter of your life!