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Losing Weight After 40: Tips for Success

By Eric Leckie, PT

Losing weight in your 40s can seem so much more difficult than trying to lose weight in your 20s. Some people say that in their younger years, the weight would strip right off of them without much effort at all. However, when they hit their 40s, they seem to put on weight faster than they can lose it. Yes, it’s unfair, but losing weight after 40 can be achieved by changing up your strategy.

Here are my best tips for success when trying to lose weight after 40. I would also recommend getting a check-up from your doctor before trying any of the following advice. It’s always best to get blood work completed first to ensure there aren’t any underlying conditions that might be causing you to gain weight in the first place.

Your Metabolism Is Slowing Down

Have you eaten out at a restaurant lately and the next day you still feel full? This is because as you age, your metabolism naturally slows down, which is due to a number of reasons.

There are a few body systems that are preventing you from losing weight as you age and the trick to shedding the pounds is by better understanding your body, developing a more specific strategy, and getting after it! Fortunately, the factors you can control are exercise and your food choices. Let’s explore these next!

Diagram of a metabolism

What You Can Do About It

To kick start your metabolism, try adding some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or circuit-based cardiovascular training into your routine.

Further, when it comes to a slowing metabolism, you’ll want to carefully select your food. Too many sugary carbs can lead to excess weight gain unlike in your early 20s when you could eat almost anything without putting on much weight.

Mature man running up stairs

Living a Hectic Lifestyle

Most people in their 40s are busy leading hectic professional and personal lives, not leaving much time to focus on their health.

Typically the more commitments you have, the less time you have to dedicate to your health causing it to fall to the side. As a result, you may put on extra weight. Luckily I have a tip for this, let’s check it out next!

Busy mature woman

How to Manage Your Time

The trick is to first find an activity that you actually enjoy doing. This could be walking, cycling, or swimming to name a few. The key is that if you enjoy doing exercise, you’re going to make it a priority and actually do it. I often tell people that the best type of exercise for you is the one that you’re actually going to commit to.

The next step is to schedule time in your calendar to complete this exercise. By blocking out time, you’re telling yourself that your health is your priority for an hour every day, non-negotiable. Build up a few weeks of consistency and watch the weight strip away.

Gym class written on the calendar

Avoid Fad Diets

Whether you’re trying to lose weight for an upcoming vacation or to fit into your favorite outfit, fad diets are never the answer.

Typically fad diets promote an unsustainable approach to losing weight that often results in you putting all the weight back on shortly after finishing the diet. There’s definitely a better way!

Plate with single pea and measuring tape

Track Your Food Intake

A simple yet effective method is to start by tracking everything you eat in 1-week. Track every coffee, snack, and soda. I mean everything!

You can put all your meal entries into your phone and then at the end of the week go over these dietary entries and start making a list of everything you want to take out of your diet. Start slow and don’t bite off more than you can chew (no pun intended!).

Inputting data on a cellphone

Start Exercising

Next, you’ll want to combine your new healthier diet with exercise that you enjoy. You do not have to do large amounts of strenuous exercise to lose weight. Yes, this strategy will get you results but there are other ways to lose weight.

Pick an exercise that you enjoy, complete it four to five times per week and stick at it without any excuses. Most people fall short with being inconsistent and that is why they don’t lose any weight. Regardless of your age, clean up your diet (one step at a time) and start exercising more often.

Mature healthy couple jogging on the beach

Seek Out Help

Losing weight is difficult. If it were easy, everyone would be walking around in great shape but that’s simply not the case. If you’re struggling to lose weight and you’ve tried the tips above without any luck, don’t be afraid to seek some help. An experienced dietician and personal trainer can help set you on the path to success in no time and they’ll help you work around your busy schedule.

Whatever your weight loss goal is, you’ve got this! Use the advice above to create your plan and then get to work. Consistent small steps compound into large results and today is the best day to start.

Nutritionist giving advice

DPT, Doctor of Physiotherapy

Eric Leckie is a men's health Physiotherapist specializing in prostate cancer treatment. He completed his studies in Australia earning his Doctor of Physiotherapy from the University of Melbourne. He currently works in a private practice, in addition to owning his own Telehealth Physiotherapy clinic which focuses on treating men with prostate cancer.

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