5 Tips To Help You Lose Weight In Your 40s

5 Tips To Help You Lose Weight In Your 40s

As you enter your 40s, the body starts to lose muscle tissue gradually, also known as sarcopenia. Since muscle burns more calories than fat does, losing muscle mass means that your metabolism slows down. That’s not the only hurdle that you face, though. For those who are assigned female at birth, the transition through menopause (perimenopause) is the second hurdle in the way of your weight loss efforts. 

Losing weight in your 40s just isn’t as easy as it was when you were in your 20s and 30s. Plus, it is more common for people to gain fat in this stage of life, especially around the midsection. Additionally, blood sugar levels may increase, which doesn’t make weight loss any easier. So how do you lose weight, or even maintain weight, during your 40s? Hopefully, the following tips aid your weight loss efforts

Prioritize Protein

If you want to lose weight, dietitians encourage higher protein consumption because it is more filling than carbohydrates. Eating protein may help you eat less later in the day, whereas carb-centric foods can cause late night cravings. A 2015 study found that menopausal women who ate higher amounts of protein weighed less and had less body fat than people who ate less protein. Higher protein eaters ate 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That equates to 55 grams of protein for a person who weighs 150 pounds. Great sources of protein to include in your diet are Greek yogurt, peanut butter, almond butter, organic eggs, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, and wild caught fish. 

Keep Stress Levels Down

Easier said than done, right? As you know, there are new demands sandwiched between adulting, raising kids, and everything else that comes with life in your 40s. Keeping stress levels in check can aid your weight loss efforts. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels are much higher, and they elevate blood sugar and encourage weight gain, especially in the midsection. When you keep your stress in check, you may find that cravings disappear and you have an easier time eating healthier foods. Before you manage stress, identify what your stressors are, so that you know what is in your control. You can control your thoughts and beliefs, not the weather or economic uncertainty. Meditation, exercise, massage, deep breathing, Tai Chi, and yoga are all great stress-relieving practices. 

Establish Your Caloric Needs

There is a difference between eating the average caloric intake and eating the calories your body actually needs. More often than not, people eat more calories than their bodies require. Caloric needs change as you age, so you usually need fewer calories than you did in your 20s and 30s to fill you up. Your caloric needs will vary depending upon your age and your activity level. For example, a 40-year-old sedentary person requires fewer calories than the same person who is moderately active. That same moderately active person needs fewer calories than a highly active person. Moderately active means you walk between one-and-a-half and three miles daily, with active being anything more than that. If you want to lose weight, subtract about 500-750 calories from your weight-maintenance number, but don’t fall below 1,500 calories per day. 

Consider Changing Up Your Exercise Routine

If you regularly work out and don’t see that the number on the scale reflects your efforts, you may need to change up your routine. It’s possible that both your muscle mass and bone density decrease. Another factor is a shift in hormones, which leads to abdominal weight gain. The type of activity you do can influence your results. Strength training can help you maintain muscle and offset bone density loss. If you want to target belly fat, high-intensity interval training is usually your best bet. Just don’t choose weight-bearing exercises that put too much stress on the body. You want to complement your stress-relieving efforts with yoga, for example. If you know how to manage your stress, consider adding more high-intensity workouts per week. 

Eat Fewer Carbs

This is something that nobody wants to hear because carbs are just that good. Lowering your carb intake may help prevent weight gain and make weight loss easier, though. Carbs can throw off your hormones, and you want your sex hormones and insulin in check if you want to lose weight. Sex hormones work with insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. If these hormones are out of whack, you have a higher risk of insulin resistance. Cut back on carbs, especially if you are perimenopausal, to encourage weight loss. If you are going to eat carbs, focus on complex carbs in foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.



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