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How to Achieve Sustainable Fat Loss for Women Over 40

Let’s face it, getting older isn’t easy.

 

But there are a lot of perks! We’re a lot wiser, further along in our careers, secured a relationship, and maybe even have our own house. We’re likely less concerned with what others think, finding out own groove in the world and more apt to enjoy live and the little things more. I know I am, and if you’re not quite there yet, give yourself some grace and read on for some great tips in perimenopause!

weight loss and nutrition

One thing, in talking to many woman in their midlife journey, is the very real struggle no matter what you've tried, to losing weight when you hit your 40s.

 

The basic fact of biology is that your body starts to change drastically when you get into your 40s, and trying to lose weight can be a driving force and a massive challenge. The things you did all the time in your 20s won’t work the way you want them to!

 

Now that you’re a little older and wiser, it's time to take a whole new approach to fat loss, and there’s no better time to start than now!


What’s Changing Weight Loss Wise

We all experience those changes as we get older, but quantifying and identifying those changes can be the first challenge of this new era in your life.

 

One of the first things you’ll notice is that your metabolism slows down after you turn 40. This makes it harder for you to process foods with the same efficiency as you might have in your 20s! When you joke that just looking at a piece of pizza causes you to gain 5 pounds, there’s a little bit of truth to that! It all comes back to your slower metabolism kicking in as you hit that mile marker at 40 years old.

 

Decreases in muscle mass are common as you age, making it even more difficult to lose weight.

 

Lean muscle mass is one of the biggest driving factors for losing weight and turning body fat into muscle, which in turn helps you burn more calories. A significant drop in muscle mass around that 40-year mark creates a whole new struggle for weight loss.

 

If you find yourself tossing and turning a lot more as you’ve gotten older, your body might be struggling to adjust to changing sleep cycles. 

 

While you may not feel like you’ve lost energy in the middle of the day, it might be a struggle to stay asleep all night and get the good quality sleep that propels you through the day! Without that quality sleep, losing weight the way you want can be a struggle.

 

In addition to just a few of these changes, your body also starts to lose hormones, deal with brain fog, and simply start to change with the years!

Best Tips for Fat Loss Over 40

Losing weight is hard, even when you’re at your peak! Dropping that extra fat and weight when you’re dealing with perimenopause and the daily struggles of being over 40 can feel almost impossible. You can do many little things to help shed those extra pounds! And the best part? They don’t require you to completely upend your daily routine before you start to see some results!


Plan Out Your Meals

No matter what stage of life you’re in, things get busy. When things get busy, you want to reach for or order the most indulgent, convenient food on the menu. Those foods are almost always packed with fat, sugar, and extra salt! While they may scratch an itch regarding cravings, they overload the body with extra calories you don’t need.

 

Meal planning and prepping is the best way to beat back those cravings and give yourself quick and easy foods that don’t break the bank or your timeline! Take time during the week to write out a simple menu for the next week. Be diligent in including proteins, carbs, fruits, and vegetables!

 

Spend time grocery shopping and organizing your ingredients for the week. Then prep and cook some of your bigger meals on Sunday before you start a busy week all over again!

 

With meals and menus on hand, it's much easier to forgo those fatty, salty, sugary foods that force your body to hold onto that extra fat. Plus, you get the chance to include tons of fruits and veggies that help your body process things well and shed that extra fat.


Drink Plenty of Water

When you’re trying to lose weight, the simplest and most effective thing you can do is drink plenty of water! Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially right before a meal, helps you stay hydrated and tells your body that you’re fuller and faster. By just drinking a glass of water before a meal, your body feels like it's much fuller, and you don’t overeat.

 

Keeping your body hydrated helps you maintain and build lean muscle mass, which burns more calories and gets rid of that excess fat. Hydration can be the simplest step to helping your body metabolize more fat and keep your metabolism working faster! On top of everything else, water has no calories, so you can have as much as you want without any adverse effects!


Get More Fiber

Our normal diets don’t put enough emphasis on fiber on a daily basis, and when you hit 40, it becomes even more important to get plenty of fiber throughout the day.

 

Filling up with plenty of veggies that are packed with fiber helps you feel fuller longer. The longer you feel full, the less likely you are to have an extra doughnut in the break room at work or snag another slice of pie at the cookout.

 

Fiber slows down your digestion in a good way! Since digestion is slower, your body responds differently to the carbs you eat. As it digests your meal slowly, your body can regulate your insulin and blood sugar better, keeping the fat from sticking around on your frame.

 

Most foods that are full of fiber don’t pack a lot of calories, so just like water, you can have quite a few with each meal without adding on tons of unnecessary calories!


Start Lifting

There’s nothing more intimidating than going to the weight room at the gym for the first time. But if there’s anything you can do for your body and your mind after 40, it’s hitting the weights!


woman kicking her feet up

When you get past 40, you start to see more significant muscle mass loss. The more muscles you have, the more rapidly your body processes calories and keeps off fat. The drop in muscle mass loss can leave you with an opening for additional fat to stick to your frame.

 

While it can be intimidating to start hitting the gym and wandering away from the stationary bike or the treadmill, learning how to lift can help your body in a lot of ways, from building muscle mass to giving you a whole new level of confidence.

 

Start small! There’s no reason to try maxing your bench press the very first time you hit the weights. If you’re uncomfortable going to your local gym, use body weights or simple weights around the house to get a little workout.

 

Or, consider reaching out to me regarding your own custom fitness program, that can be delivered via an Excel spreadsheet, or via my online mobile app with video demonstrations, scheduled and done for you.

 

 

Just like with any weight loss tip or trick, consistency is key with weight lifting! Keep at it and keep increasing your weight to build those muscles and burn more calories and drop that extra fat on your frame!


Get Your Beauty Rest

Your body burns the most calories when you’re exercising and sleeping. As you get into your 40s, keeping up with exercise isn’t too difficult, but getting plenty of quality sleep can start to become an issue!

 

To ensure you get plenty of sleep, there are a few things you need to incorporate into your daily routine.

 

Start by cutting out technology and screens before bed. The lights and brain power that’s required to process all the things happening on your phone can leave you more alert and awake than when you first got in bed.

 

Create a quality bedtime routine to ensure you’re getting all the sleep you need! When you’re fully in adulthood and sitting on the edge of your 40s, there’s a lot that happens at the end of the day that can keep you from simply getting in bed and going to sleep.

 

A quality bedtime routine allows you to relax and get in the mood for sleeping before your head even hits the pillow.

 

Spend time without screens starting 30 minutes before you plan to go to sleep. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, wash your face, and do all the other little things you need to ensure you’re ready to get into bed. If you need something to do to wind down, pick up a book or do a little stretching or meditation before you close your eyes!

 

Don’t skimp on how long you sleep! Women need more sleep than men, but we’re often the ones who are first up in the morning and the last to go to bed. Set aside 8-9 hours to sleep each night and create a routine that allows for that time in its entirety.

 

De-Stress

We think a lot about how stress affects other areas of our lives but not nearly as much about how it affects the way we eat, exercise, and hold onto the fat within our bodies.

 

Between perimenopause symptoms, school, work, kids, partners, and family members, life in your 40’s can be all about the stress! When those situations build-up, it can be hard to shake off and refocus on getting your body healthy and back on track. Losing weight and fat when your body is constantly under stress and pressure can be difficult.

 

Learning how to de-stress at the end of the day or even in the middle of a situation can have a huge impact on your body and your mind! Without all that stress keeping you reaching for a sweet treat or an extra helping at dinner, it's much simpler to create new habits that adjust to your older and wiser body.


When you’re faced with a difficult situation or an overwhelming amount of stress, start by taking a deep breath. Instead of reaching for a snack as a way of de-stressing, start with some deep breathing. Let the stress seep away and look for a new situation and response.

 

At the end of the day, to de-stress, try some stretching or meditation! As you stretch and move your body, stress naturally melts away, allowing you to sleep better and process all those extra calories while you’re snoozing.

 

Easing away the day's stress can help you keep that fat loss flowing even when you feel things aren’t going how you want!

 

Questions? Comments? Please share them!


Julie xo

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