You had a few ups and downs but your weight stayed fairly steady during your 20s and 30s. Then you reached 40 and started to put on weight. You eat healthy food, you get some exercise, it worked before – what’s happened? Like most things there are reasons and solutions. Your weight gain is nothing to do with failure on your part and everything to do with how nature works. Like many people you need to know how to lose weight over 40.
As we get older our metabolic rate drops. That means our body needs to burn fewer calories to maintain its weight. If we carry on eating the same and exercising the same as we did when we were young we are going to put on weight. That is why older people have trouble with their weight and why losing it is not easy. Even if you try to keep to a healthy lifestyle it is hard to lose weight over 40. If you are at home looking after your family you can be eating for comfort or out of boredom. Even daytime TV can become addictive and that is as good a way as any to forget your exercise program. If you are working maybe you live on sandwiches or have regular corporate lunches and drive everywhere. The last thing you want, whatever you do, is to exercise each evening – you are too exhausted.
You need to eat 500 calories less than you need each day to lose 1 pound a week. But you may be eating 300 calories a day more than you need already. To eat 800 less a day is a challenge and for some may not be achievable. The best thing to do is trial and error, but it will involve exercise. Try eating 500 calories less. One way of doing it is to eat smaller portions and that is achieved by using smaller plates. You can also cut out anything obvious like a mid morning latté and croissant, or eating a lot of white bread. Then you really will have to exercise. This helps burn off calories and you will not have to rely just on a reduced diet to lose weight. The easiest exercise is walking or jogging. The reason I suggested trial and error is that you may not be eating 300 calories more than you need. So try half an hour’s brisk walking a day, which can be two 15 minute sessions morning and evening if that is more convenient. If you start losing weight that is all you need, if not increase the exercise. You will also benefit by swapping any high calorie foods you may still be eating for more healthy fruit and vegetables.
If you have been weight watching in the past you already know how to lose weight over 40. You just need to carry on, but eat less and exercise more. If you have been eating the wrong food and not getting enough exercise you must change your way of life. Eating healthy food is important and, although not everybody likes it, exercise is essential as we grow older. Not only does it burn calories but it slows the loss of muscle mass which occurs with age. There is no reason why people over 40 should not be as fit and slim as when they were younger, but it is harder work. If you are prepared to deal with this there will be no problem losing weight when you are over 40.
See you soon,
18 May 2013
Photo. Ses7 (Flickr)