I am 46 and I’ve reached that “magic age,” that really isn’t that magical, where you start to gain weight. I’ve worked so hard my whole life to stay in shape. We’ve also been on a heart healthy diet for 5 years. So, I thought when I hit that magic age of perimenopause, I would be fine. Wrong! I have started to gain a little bit of weight, and I’m not happy about it! So, I’m learning all that I can about how to lose weight after 40.
While reading my Family Circle magazine (August 2017), I read an article that I really liked about how to lose weight after 40. It was written by Martica Heaner, PhD. I saved the article to refer to later when I need it. Well, I definitely need it now, unfortunately!
Martica recommends 7 different ways to help you lose weight after age 40.
7 Ways to Lose Weight After the Age of 40
1. Increase Your Cardio. As you’re starting to go through perimenopause, your hormones are fluctuating. I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you that. I’m sure you’ve noticed! If you’re like me, your whole family has noticed too! Anyway, these lovely fluctuating hormones make you “more likely to gain body fat, especially in the abdominal area, according to experts.” No kidding!
So, how do we try to get rid of that fat? You need to increase your cardio. It’s recommended that you get more than 2 1/2 hours of moderate activity. This can be something like a brisk walk. Or, if you’re going to exercise more vigorously, you should get more than 75 minutes of activity. This is something like running.
I want to tell you that this actually works! I already walked 50 minutes per day, 5 days a week. That’s a little over 4 hours of walking a week. Well, when I started to gain a little bit of weight, I started walking faster. My usual pace was 15 minutes per mile. So, I worked on increasing it, and now my pace is about 14 minutes 30 seconds per mile. Last week I lost one pound!
2. Add in some strength training. Once you start increasing your cardio, it’s important to also add in some strength training. An exercise physiologist, Richard Weil says, “You can experience sarcopenia, the loss of muscle with age. Cardio will break down muscle and lower your resting metabolism.” So, in order to keep your muscles strong, you need to also do some strength training.
I do different back exercises every day. Some of these are stretching, and some are with an exercise band. All of these are designed to strengthen my back. You can also add in some light weights to help strengthen your arms.
One of the fellow moms at my son’s school is a nurse. She carries weights with her when she walks. She uses the weights to exercise her arms while she walks. It’s easy and doesn’t take any extra time. You can get your cardio and strength training done at the same time.
When I was younger, I used to strap on ankle weights when I ran to help strengthen my legs even more.
3. Take a quick nap. If you’re perimenopausal like me, you know that sleep is hard to come by! These lovely hormones mess up your sleep patterns. “This may make you tired during the day and impact hormones that influence your appetite,” explains Neil Kline, DO.
I definitely know that! I can be sitting at the computer and all of a sudden feel like I want to nod off. Or, if I’m subbing in a class, and the kids are working hard and I’m just observing them, I can feel tired.
A quick, 30 minute, nap can help with this.
Of course, I can’t stop and take a nap while I’m teaching (can you imagine the chaos that would occur)! So, if you’re like me and can’t take a nap, you can work on other things. You can only have caffeine in the mornings. It’s also been said that sleeping in a cooler bedroom around 60 to 67 degrees, can help you get a better sleep. Also, try to turn off electronic devices before you sleep. I like to read a devotional before bed to help me wind down. Saying a prayer before falling asleep also helps relax your mind and help you sleep.Have you reached that magical age after 40 where you start to gain a little weight no matter what you do? Me too! I don't like it, so I found 7 easy tips to help you lose weight. Come discover what I found!Click To Tweet
4. Pay attention to the medications you take. Lots of medicines can contribute to your weight gain. Here we think medicine is supposed to help us, yet sometimes those side effects can cause you to gain weight! So, what do you do about it, especially if you need those medicines to survive?
An obesity researcher, Donna Ryan MD, says that sometimes “antidepressants, steroids, antihistamines and beta blockers can be culprits. Talk to your doctor about alternatives. Some are weight neutral or may even produce weight loss.”
So, that’s good news! Talk to your doctor and see what he can do to help you eliminate that nasty side effect of gaining weight.
5. Make the time between eating longer. *This is definitely one you should talk to your doctor about before starting.*
A lot of people have recently been talking about eating dinner early and breakfast later. So, an example is to eat dinner around 6 pm and then don’t eat breakfast until around 12 pm. A registered dietitian, Julieanna Hever, says, “It’s an easy way to limit calories without counting them.”
This is not one that I can try because I have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and I have to eat every 2 hours. Obviously, I don’t wake up in the middle of the night to eat, but I do eat a snack after 9:30 pm, and then eat breakfast around 6:50 am.
However, I have worked on eating less at my 9:30 pm snack. In fact, my doctor suggested doing that. I usually eat low fat ice cream or a baked dessert I made (made healthier with egg whites, applesauce, etc.) and some chex mix or rice cakes. So, my doctor told me to work on eating a little less sweet stuff and a little more of the not sweet stuff. This has actually been working to help me lose weight! I don’t feel deprived because I’m still getting to eat some sweet stuff, just a little bit less.
6. Make sure you eat enough fiber. The magazine article says, “Your metabolism is slowing down, but your hunger may not be.” Oh my goodness, this is so true! I find myself starving half the time!
So, we know we can’t just give in and eat what we want. However, we can eat things that will make us feel fuller. Food with fiber will do that. The next time you’re starving, try eating something with whole grains, legumes, fruits or vegetables. I also talked about this in my recent post, What You Need to Know About Protein.
7. See your doctor regularly. You’ve seen me mention, in a couple of the points, how my doctor has been giving me some of this same advice. I only know that because I asked him about it at my recent yearly physical. Luckily, my slight weight gain wasn’t enough to cause him concern. However, since I didn’t like it, and didn’t want it to continue, he was willing to give me advice to help. Since your doctor knows your individual health issues, he would be the best person to ask.
Plus, an MD, Alpana Shukla, suggest also getting “a comprehensive blood test that includes the full thyroid panel.” Sometimes as we get older, we’re more prone to having hypothyroidism. That can add to your weight gain. So, it’s good to get it checked, because it’s treatable. The treatment can sometimes help you lose weight.
2 Free Things to Help You Lose Weight
Now that I’ve given you all of these tips on how to lose weight, how do you really put it all into action? Well, I have a blogging friend that wants to help you with this, and it’s all for free!
My friend Sam is a “certified weight loss coach. personal trainer. colon cancer survivor. RN. over 40. coffee drinker. hot flasher.”
She has 2 different free things to help you learn how to burn fat and see results quicker.
You can sign up for her free tips where you only have to make, “5 simple changes you can make to start seeing results quicker and easier!” It’s called “How to Eat to Burn Fat.”
Or, if you want a little more, and prefer a free course, you can take her 5 day challenge. “Go From Storing Fat to Burning Fat.”
Here Are Some Products to Help You Apply These Tips to Lose Weight
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Also, here’s a week’s worth of healthy meals to help you and your family stay on the right track!