Surviving weight loss after 40 can be a challenge. You may notice now how the pounds don’t come off the way they did when you were younger. From the different foods we eat to the differences in our exercise and fitness all play a role in how we lose weight after 40.
Once we reach the age of 40 we start to see a loss in our muscle mass called sarcopenia. Our muscle burns more calories than fat therefore as we age our metabolism decreases making weight loss that much more difficult than in our 20s and 30s.
There are several quick and easy ways to help increase your metabolism as you age.
First one is eating protein. To help increase lean muscle tissue eat approximately 20 grams of protein4at each meal. One of the ways to jumpstart your day is by eating breakfast and having some type of protein such as eggs, yogurt, or meat. Many of us are busy in the morning, running out the door to work or dropping the kids off to school that we either don’t eat or grab something that is lacking in protein. We need to take the time to prepare before the next morning by making protein ahead of time such as boiling eggs or wake up earlier to have a more balanced breakfast without the rush.
Next start thinking about varying the types of proteins in your diet. Yes when we hear protein we only think of eggs and meat however there are several different proteins to choose from such as beans, lentils, seed grains and vegetables. We can enjoy black beans or chickpeas which are full of soluble fiber allowing are bodies to feel fuller quicker. Quinoa is a whole grain that is filled with fiber, protein and carbohydrates making it a great addition to lunch and dinner. Vegetables like asparagus and spinach are a great source of protein and iron.
Now that we have discussed our diet we need to look at our workout routine. We already know that our muscle mass decreases as we age therefore we should start on a good strength training routine. As we workout we see tears in our muscle tissue to help increase our muscle mass. Our resistance training should be at least 2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes each with a day of rest in between allowing our body to repair this muscle tissue.
Since we have a good plan for our resistance training we need to add in our cardio program. When people think of cardio many believe they need to workout for an hour and run to see the results of weight loss. In actuality we need to add in interval training. Interval training consists of alternating between increasing your intensity for a minute and then decreasing it for 1-2 minutes. This alternating intensities helps increase your metabolism, aerobic capacity, and endurance. You can do interval training walking, biking, running, swimming and on the elliptical trainer for 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week. On the other days you can spend do 30 minutes of endurance or the same tempo cardio training.
Now let’s stress the importance of refueling within 30 minutes post exercise. When you are finished with your fitness routine it is time to help repair and rebuild the muscle tissue with protein and carbohydrates. There are many different options available such as greek yogurt with berries and nuts. You can also have eggs with berries on the side or even quinoa, berries and nuts. Sometimes protein bars or shakes are good to have on hand if you are on the run or your gym does not have a cafe.
Lastly, the most important thing to losing weight when you are over 40 is staying hydrated. What does it mean to be hydrated you might be asking. Keeping your body hydrated refers to water which can help you burn more calories, not soda, tea, or sports drinks which can contain sugar or other ingredients. To keep our bodies hydrated we should drink eight 8oz glasses of water each day and increase our intake on those days we are working out. During our cardio workout we can add electrolytes to our water to help with our endurance.
It is possible to lose weight after 40 and boost our metabolism.
Keys to Weight Loss Over 50
Struggling with weight loss when you turn 50 can be tough. We already know that as we age our metabolism decreases. Several problems can arise such as injuries and medical issues leading to a more sedentary lifestyle. Your eating habits might have changed to eating out more often or decreasing the amount you eat. All of these factors can have an effect on your metabolism and weight loss goals.
We can still have success with weight loss after 505 with a regular exercise program and eating healthy. Once we hit that 50 mark our metabolism decreases more and our hormones 1change causing a higher risk for gaining weight. We just need to take a look at what we have been doing in the past that hasn’t worked and change some of our choices for the better.
One of the biggest things we can do right away is to eat out less. Now that the kids are grown up and have moved away we don’t want to cook an entire meal since it’s just us. Instead of cooking we go out with our friends or just by ourselves several times a week, so we don’t have to take the time to cook a meal. When eating out at fast food establishments and restaurants we see an increase in sodium intake, higher fatty foods, and processed foods. Most meals at restaurants are actually 2-3 servings leading to an increase in calories in our system. If we do decide to eat out we should take at least half of our meal home and ask the server for a box when our meal arrives at the table. We can make our diet much healthier by finding more recipes to use in our slow-cooker or crock pot which will decrease the time to cook a meal. Remember we aren’t 20 anymore and we don’t have that high metabolism where we can eat whatever we want.
Nutrition is over 85% of the weight loss process. If we eat a well-balanced diet and eat 3 meals a day with 1-2 snacks on a regular basis we should see great changes in our metabolism and weight loss goals. Start improving your diet by adding whole foods, protein, healthy fats, fiber rich fruits and vegetables, instead of processed and junk foods.
Breakfast is the most important part of the day and can give a jump-start to that weight loss goal you have. Protein is one of the most missed nutrients in a breakfast meal. Most have a piece of toast or cereal either hot or cold which is all loaded with carbohydrates. Instead let’s start with hard-boiled eggs, egg whites, Greek yogurt and then add a slice of bread with nut butter or avocado, berries which will ensure a well balanced meal with protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat.
Now let’s talk about the low-fat hype that those of us age 50 look for to help decrease fat. Once we see that something is low-fat or non-fat we eat more of it thinking we will decrease the fat we are consuming. In actuality we eat more of these products which are also loaded with other ingredients such as sugar or aspartame to make them taste good and sometimes also increasing the calories. It is best if we stick to healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, butter, avocados or regular fat items so we don’t consume too much.
Get yourself on a regular exercise program which should include resistance training and cardio. Strength training not only helps increase lean muscle tissue but it also helps improve balance and mobility. Some of the other benefits to resistance strength training is that bone density increases which ultimately declines as we age. Yes gaining muscle is harder once we turn 50 due to illness, injury, hormones, and other social factors but instead we need to look at what type of strength training to do to increase our health and muscular strength. Resistance exercises that are weight bearing instead of seated help with bone strength which naturally decreases with age. So then how many repetitions should I be doing of my exercises. You can do 2 different ways to keep your bodies metabolism boosting and increasing your muscle mass. Pick either heavy weights with 8-10 lower reps or lighter weights with higher reps about 15-20. Do 2-3 sets of each exercise 3 times a week.
Another way to work on your balance is yoga which helps you stretch and relax leading to more mobility and less stiffness in joints. When looking for a cardio program go for 30 minutes of aerobic activity 3 times a week which can include walking, swimming, biking, or the elliptical trainer which decrease joint pressure.
One of the main issues we see as we age over 50 is that we start skipping meals. This decrease our metabolism even more making it that much harder to lose those extra pounds. Our body cannot process the sugar it used to when we were younger due to the decrease of estrogen and testosterone. Eating smaller meals regularly throughout the day can help combat this issue by the body using up the nutrients put into your system versus overeating or starving which stores more fat in the body. Also keep your body hydrated with water throughout the day and drink more when you are working out. Remember that over 50% of our body is made up of water that helps lubricate joints and improves the absorption of nutrients.
Get more sleep to help lose weight. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep helps our body repair and rebuild muscle tissue. If you are having trouble sleeping at night you can look at melatonin for some support.
Finally lets make some changes to our old routines from the past several years. We aren’t as young as we once were and cannot keep doing the same things with no results. Instead open up your mind to some new ideas with exercise and a balanced diet.
Lose Weight During Menopause
Menopause has just begun and now you think it nearly impossible to lose weight. Just because we are having hormonal changes during menopause and we are getting older, does not mean we can still not be healthy and lose some of that unwanted weight. To lose weight during menopause we need to find out why it is that our exercise routine is no longer important to us. Are we too busy, comfortable with our current lifestyle, or less body conscious since we are getting older. Many people feel is has nothing to do with hormones changing and more to do with our current lifestyle.
The question many women over the age of 50 want to know is what can I do to help prevent weight gain or lose weight during menopause. There are several different things you can do to help combat weight gain and start shedding those unwanted pounds. Continue an active lifestyle or if you currently are not active start adding a few activities to your daily routine. A great routine can include any combination of aerobic exercise, resistance training, and flexibility. Research has shown that women over 50 who have higher activity of aerobic exercise see less fat gain.
An aerobic exercise routine can include a brisk walk, biking, swimming, and running. Any aerobic or cardiovascular activity helps improve the function of your heart and lungs. Cardiovascular exercise also burns fat and calories which is very important for women experiencing menopause. Finally aerobic fitness makes you feel better emotional and physically.
Lifting weights helps build lean muscle tissue which helps burn unwanted fat. The more muscle on your body, the more calories it will burn even at rest. Any simple strength training routine will help build muscle so you don’t have to look towards those fancy and heavy weight lifting exercises. Resistance training for 20-30 minutes a few times a week and 12-15 reps of each exercise can help.
The final component to a good fitness routine is some type of flexibility. Flexibility helps keep our joints and muscles loose and less stiff. If our body is flexible, it leads to better health allowing us to participate in a better fitness routine and decreases injuries. A good flexibility routine would be stretching for a short period of time about 10-15 minutes several times a week. You can also take a yoga or pilates class at your local gym.
One of the most important things that might help motivate you with your weight loss goals is to invest in a fitness monitor. You can purchase a fitness monitor at any store or most phones today have some type of fitness track app that you can download. Having some type of fitness tracker can let you see how you are doing from day to day and where you need to increase your activity level. You can also join a fitness gym where they have personal trainers available to help teach you how to use weights or you can even take a fitness or aerobics class.
On a closing note, if you have been active your entire life, stay active which will help combat weight gain during menopause. If you aren’t currently active and over 50, start adding something into your routine today. Remember you don’t need to workout just to lose weight, it is important for the health of your body.
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/bone-health/art-20045060 used as reference
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/ used as reference
- https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2013/08000/Changes_in_Physical_Activity_and_Body_Composition.8.aspx used as reference
- www.umms.org University of Mayland Medical Center used as reference
- Dr. David Greuner of NYC Surgical Associates at nycsurgical.net used as reference