How To Lose Weight When You're Over 40
To lose weight when you're over 40, you need to eat well and exercise. If this sounds like a similar plan for losing weight at any age, that's because it is. The difference is that, past the age of 40, you will have to make different considerations due to changes in your body. This is because your metabolism begins to slow down and your digestive system takes longer to process food. The bad news is that weight loss happens much slower than it did when you were 20. The good news is that oneHOWTO has the effective methods to take off any extra kilos you may need to shed. Losing weight healthily is possible at any age, so read on to know how to lose weight when you're oven 40.
Seeing a nutritionist
When losing weight, remember that every body is different. Two people who are the same age and weight might require different approaches to achieve their ideal weight. Therefore, the first thing to do to lose weight after 40 is to consult a nutritionist.
It doesn't necessarily mean that they'll you put on a diet, but that an expert can help you establish your BMI and based on this, determine how many calories you need to consume each day. Following your friends' diets has never been advisable, so why would it be now. Your body has a different history and needs than someone else, so check with an expert and forget about your friends' diets.
This is particularly important if you have body image issues. With the proliferation of celebrity culture, internet promoted fad diets, increasingly available plastic surgery pressures and the narcissistic elements of social media can make losing weight at any age seem like the most important thing in the world. So much so that it can make you forget that looking thin isn't as important as being healthy.
Checking with a professional nutritionist means you can see whether or not you are at an appropriate weight for your age, advise you on ways to improve your overall health and troubleshoot any possible issues you might have (see next step).
Seeing your doctor
Getting a check-up might involve taking some tests, but they can help you lose weight after the age of 40. Before beginning any kind of diet, you need to check whether your body is functioning properly and rule out such health conditions as hypothyroidism, diabetes or a hormonal imbalance that may be causing unintentional weight gain or preventing weight loss.
Getting your thyroid in particular checked is important as this can have a bearing on any weight gain you may have been experiencing. The relationship to the thyroid and weight gain is not fully understood, but it certainly exists. This is because the thyroid affects our metabolic rate, i.e. how we process and break down food on a cellular level.
Although we are unsure of the exact way in which it affects our metabolism, we know the thyroid does affect appetite, breakdown of fat in our body and absorption of sugars in our gut. If you gain weight, but find it difficult to satiate your hunger, it is possible you have an overactive thyroid.
However, hyperthyroidism is only one possible reason out of many why your appetite might be affected. This is why a check up with your physician is so important, especially, but not limited to, when you get older.
Get enough sleep
As you mature, you'll need all the benefits that sleep provides your body. You've probably heard that insomnia increases weight gain, and it's true. During sleep, your body is active and burns calories. When you don't rest properly or sleep very little, this process is interrupted.
Sleep is important at any stage of life. During adolescence, we need it for recuperation as our bodies grow. When we're older, we may need it for different purposes, but it is still very important. According to the Mayo Clinic, the amount of sleep we need possibly affects our weight.
If we sleep less than five hours a night, it might have a bearing on our metabolism and appetite. In men this can lead to a preponderance of eating calorific foods. For women, sleeping less than 6 hours can affect how much weight they gain. However, sleeping too much is also not advised. If you sleep more than 9 hours it can offset your metabolism for the rest of the day.
If you're thinking of losing weight, then you must consider how much sleep you are getting. On a very basic level, not getting enough sleep deprives you of energy. This makes you eat more and exercise less, the opposite of what you want to do if you are concerned about wanting to lose weight.
The right type of exercise
Exerciseis key to losing weight after 40, not only because it allows you to burn fat, but because it's also an ideal way to boost your metabolism and help prevent heart disease. It's advisable to walk 40 minutes every day at a faster than average walking pace. You can also join a gym or start practicing a physical discipline that you enjoy.
You need to be mindful of the type of exercise you are doing. It is important to combat the effects of ageing. This means that you will need to do some high impact sports to make sure your muscles and joints stay strong and supple. This is one of the reasons sports like tennis are popular among older people.
In saying this, your body won't be able to cope with body stress as well as at younger ages. This means regular exercise, pushing yourself to your limits, but also knowing what your limits are. You can still do weights exercises, just make sure to be extra limber and work harder. You'll still be able to lift weights, you are just at a greater risk of pulling or tearing muscles,
If you want to keep yourself supple, yoga or pilates are a great idea. It is especially better the further away 40 gets to you. It can help with diseases like arthritis and multiple sclerosis. You don't need to exercise weekly, but have some form of exercise every day. The comedian, actor, director and author Carl Reiner has written a book about being 94 and one of his keys for longevity is stretching in bed before you get up in the morning. Even simple exercises like this daily and weekly can help you stay trim as you age.
Don't skip meals
To lose weight after 40, you might want to cut down on the amount of fattening foods you eat. However, it is not healthy to stop eating altogether. It's important not to skip meals.
You may have had parents who regularly said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is possibly because when you are a parent, you are older and you appreciate just how important it is. Breakfast allows you to have energy for the rest of the day. It's also important because it will help you have less of an appetite for lunch and dinner. Don't forget that to speed up your metabolism and help with weight loss, it's important to eat a snack between each meal, preferably foods that are high in protein.
Check out our article on what to eat for breakfast and lunch to lose weight.
Managing stress and anxiety
Keeping on top of stress will help you lose weight after the age of 40. Often, eating is brought on by stress and the fast pace of today's lifestyle. This can lead to eating just for the sake of eating. To avoid this, you can choose to pursue recreational activities that allow you to clear your mind and focus your energy on something other than food.
When people are stressed or anxious, they can often turn to food for comfort. This is partly because our bodies don't have the tolerance they once had. Years of wear and tear means we need to look after our organs and not eat comfort food in the same way we used to. This can often be seen in people who eat the same amount and type of food, but inexplicably begin to put on weight. This can have a knock on effect as weight gain can make us more stressed and depressed.
Eating mindfully and not letting our stomach rule our heads is very important at any age, but particularly when we're older. This means paying attention, not just when we get stressed, but at all times. If we're at work and eating donuts instead of healthy snacks, this will take its toll.
Always try to eat at home
The food prepared in restaurants usually has more fat than what you cook at home. If you work, it's recommended that you bring a lunch box with your food, to avoid eating poorly or overeating. Make sure that all of your meals have a large serving of vegetables, a medium amount of protein and very little carbohydrates. Greens are preferable since they produce greater satiety.
One good rule for eating well and encouraging weight loss is to never eat standing up. This means no going to the refrigerator and eating bits and pieces of food. It helps you to be mindful of what you are eating and regulating when you do it.
Cut down the alcohol
When we discussed earlier about how age can affect tolerance, it is not just to food. There are many reasons not to drink too much alcohol, but weight loss over 40 is one of them. If you have been a heavy drinker in younger years, this is especially important. When you get a check up with your physician, you should also ask for a liver and kidney check. Liver damage is irreversible, so you may need to cut down to stop any further damage.
According to the New York Times, light to moderate drinking shouldn't have much bearing on weight loss. In fact, moderate drinkers overall tend to live longer than tee-totallers. It is when you drink too much (more than 5 drinks for men, more than 4 for women) that obesity can be a risk.
This is partly due to the effects of alcohol on our bodies, but it also affects our will power. Alcohol can sedate our minds and decrease worry. While this is often the relaxing effect many people use alcohol for, it also can take our minds off our weight loss plan and encourage eating the wrong food.
While weight loss can be difficult for any gender, but there are some specific considerations women need to make. This is because, when a woman is approaching menopause and the production of estrogen and progesterone begins to decline, it's common to experience weight gain. We recommend that you make an appointment with your gynaecologist to check your production of female hormones.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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