Men and women of all ages spend a lot of time dieting or wishing they could shed those few extra pounds they put on over the holidays. Unfortunately, losing weight can get more difficult as you get older; but that just means you need to work on smarter ways of losing the weight and keeping it off.
It is generally accepted that changes in hormones from around the age of 40 onwards make it harder for women to lose weight than men of the same age, although there is some scientific evidence that the reduction in testosterone levels many men experience around this age can also have an impact on their ability to lose weight, particularly when it comes to exercise. HowToLoseWeightForWomenOver40.com is an excellent resource for women over 40.
Both sexes experience changes in their metabolism as they get older. This not only makes losing weight harder over 40 but unfortunately also makes it much easier to put on weight when we haven’t even changed our diet or exercise habits! Although everyone’s metabolism slows down at a different rate and at different ages, most people over 40 will have started to experience changes in their metabolism.
Metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions which take place in our bodies in order for us to live — everything from breathing to thinking requires energy in the form of food. Even the chemical reactions needed to break down and digest the food we eat is powered by our diet. The energy our bodies rely on is in the form of calories, which is why a diet that is too low in calories can be very unhealthy. Calorie-controlled diets help you to calculate how many calories you need to eat every day, based on your age and your activity levels, to fuel your body but not put on excess weight.
When we are between the ages of 20 and about 40, our metabolism is responsible for burning between 10 and 15 calories for every pound of weight every day. By the time we are over 40, that number has started to drop, and can sometimes fall by as much as 200 calories per day. That means you either need to eat 200 fewer calories every day just to maintain your current weight, or you need to increase your exercise program in order to burn those extra calories in another way.
Of course, the ideal way to lose weight over 40 is much the same as at any age; changes in eating habits combined with an increase in exercise. The main difference is that you need to be aware of the changes that happen in your body as you get older, both chemically and physically, and how you adapt your diet and fitness plans accordingly.
As you get older, you may not be able to take part in the same sports and activities you enjoyed when you were young. It’s great if you are still fit enough to go jogging or play football, but many people need to find a form of exercise that is less demanding. Walking can be just as beneficial as jogging, both in terms of losing weight and keeping your heart healthy as you get older, while swimming is a great alternative if you have any injuries that would benefit from being supported by the water.
Similarly, you should be careful about the changes you make to your diet to ensure that you are not removing foods that are vital to keeping healthy as you get older. If you are losing weight over 40, it is a good idea to cut down on fats and to increase your intake of fiber and complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown bread, potatoes and brown rice. Cutting out alcoholic drinks is one of the easiest ways to make a positive change to your diet over 40; these are high in calories without offering any other nutritional value.
If you have noticed yourself outing on weight now that you are past 40 but you feel that your diet is already healthy, it may be that you simply should decrease your portion sizes. If your metabolism doesn’t need as much fuel as it used to, try eating less or go for smaller meals more often, to see if these changes help with losing weight. Finally, drinking lots of water is a great diet trick no matter your age. Water is essential to a healthy metabolism and helps you to feel fuller for longer cutting out those snack cravings that are the undoing of many a healthy eating plan.