Weight loss over 40 can be a huge challenge. If you have noticed that your mid section has suddenly become softer and that you seem to pack on pounds around your middle just LOOKING at a donut, you’re not crazy. Lower estrogen levels are just one factor that is causing you to have to sport a new muffin top that you simply don’t seem to be able to shake!
The good news: If you really want to get in shape, lose that midsection and feel energetic and confident, you can!
However….. (here it comes)……..you’ve got to make some changes. While we will get into the physical fitness part soon, today I want to convince you just how important it is for you to nail the nutrition piece. If you are a woman over 40 trying to lose weight, you must realize that unlike in your 20’s and 30’s, exercise alone just isn’t enough. Lower estrogen levels, coupled with a natural decrease in muscle mass is doing a number on your metabolism. The things that didn’t really matter in your 20’s MATTER now. You MUST make the proper changes in your diet if you hope to see results.
The good news is that you really CAN slim that midsection and get in shape! And honestly, the changes aren’t all that bad, but they are crucial to your success.
Four changes for weight loss over 40
1. Track. Your. Food.
I can’t stress this enough. If you aren’t tracking your calorie and/or macro nutrient intake, you have no idea how much or how little you are eating. You need to track everything long enough to get a real visual of how much you should be eating. What it LOOKS like. There are so many things that can be revealed by tracking your food.
*Not getting enough fiber? = weight gain and bloating
*Getting too much salt?= weight gain and bloating
*Getting too much hidden sugar from processed foods?= weight gain and bloating
*Getting too many carbs and not enough protein?=weight gain and loss of muscle
These are just the outward results seen in the body, I haven’t even touched on the medical issues that can result from these diet deficiencies. These are just a few of the things that can be shown through food tracking that you could easily adjust to see results so much faster! If you are clueless how to do this, go here and then sign up for the free version of My Fitness Pal. Track that sh*z!
2. Lower your sugar intake.
You absolutely MUST lower your sugar intake to between 25 and 30 grams per day if you are over 40 and seeing the weight gain we have been talking about. Eating a diet without processed foods, will help you tremendously to cut your sugar. If you are already eating a fairly “clean” diet, then look to see where the sugar is creeping in. Fruit is great for you, but too much will cause your sugar intake to skyrocket! Are you drinking sodas? Maybe that midday sugar ladened latte every day? Find out where it’s coming from and make some cuts and exchanges.
3. Reduce your alcohol intake.
This one is the hardest for me. I LOVE LOVE my red wine! I also LOVE a well crafted cocktail! For me, wine and cocktails represent family, friends, relaxation…….I love them. But I can’t carelessly sip those drinks anymore without repercussions. Alcohol can’t be used for fuel, so it is turned straight to fat in the body.(Depressing, I know……it’s almost like it was MEANT to be enjoyed in moderation! <snort>) You will have to figure out what works best for you. For me personally, I have experienced wonderful results from cutting back my alcohol consumption to only a few drinks on the weekends. I sleep better, have more energy and my waist is slimming back down. I swapped out my red wine at night for a cup of hot tea or a glass of kombucha (in a wine glass, because old habits die hard and I’m classy like that).
4. Eat more vegetables.
Learn to love ’em. It is ESSENTIAL that you get enough fiber. I personally shoot for 25-30 grams. Not only does fiber ensure that you are absorbing the macronutrients you need for muscle growth, but it helps move food through your intestines which takes energy….which improves your metabolism among other things!
Follow me on FACEBOOK where I post pictures of my own My Fitness Pal pages, lunch ideas, tips and just tips, hacks and encouragement to make life easier over 40, while trying to keep it real. You can also follow me on PINTEREST where my boards are allllllll about women over 40!
We are in this together!
Cheers! <Raising kombucha> and Happy Valentines Day! Here’s a cute picture of Winston sniffing (and licking…..weirdo) flowers. Eat the chocolates and then lets get started tomorrow!
I am not yet 40, but I am 33 and suffer from hypothyroidism. I have to be really mindful of foods that cause inflammation in my body and sugar is definitely one of them! I also find tracking my food (my macros most importanly) to be sooo important,
Allison- I completely agree with tracking your macros. Total game changer as you well know. Good for you for really tackling your hypothyroidism!Well done. Excellent reminder about inflammation…… you are so right, never to be underestimated. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
Great tips! I definitely agree that food tracking is key and I’ll have to check out the My Fitness Pal app. Thanks for sharing!
I know you’ll love My Fitness Pal- it’s super easy to use and the mobile app is really great! Thanks for reading and commenting!
OMG Brilliant! I’m glad I’m not the only one that is over 40… and struggling. It’s as if I woke up one morning and … Poof! I am old and overweight! HA HA HA HA HA I think my greatest challenge in being over 40… and needing to lose over 40 pounds… is that I still think I’m young, slender and athletic! Seriously, I recently filled out a form that asked how much I exercise, and I almost checked “moderate” … but then I realized. NOPE. it’s more like none! I like you’re point about change, because I think you’re right. You have to change something if you want something to change! Thanks for the great post! @losingitover40