4 Ways To Lose Weight For Women Over 40
Weight loss can be a challenge for some women for lots of different reasons. But it can become even more of a hassle after we turn 40.
That’s because at that age, our metabolism starts to slow down and our hormones change, and we can no longer shed extra fat as easily as we could as little as five years previously.
How do we combat this natural cycle in our bodies? Well, we can start by addressing the unique root causes of weight gain for women after 40.
We brought you four ways to do so below.
1. Increase Your Metabolism (AKA Burn Those Calories!)
If you struggle to muster up the energy to get out of bed or exercise, and you’re gaining weight in the process, you might be experiencing a slow metabolism.
According to experts, slow metabolism occurs naturally as we get older. Basically, this means that we are unable to burn calories as fast as we used to. If left unchecked, those extra calories pile up and turn into extra pounds.
Here are some simple steps you can take which doctors recommend to naturally increase your metabolism and help keep the extra weight off:
- Do some intense workouts, like Zumba or running. These types of activities increase your metabolic rate.
- Eat more protein. Your body naturally burns more calories in the process of breaking down meat, dairy, eggs and other sources of protein.
- Drink more water. Your body needs to be hydrated to do its job of burning calories.
- Eat small meals and snack often. Your metabolism grows more sluggish in between meals, so keeping a somewhat steady intake of food every 3-4 hours will help it stay active.
2. Balance Out Your Hormones (Yes, You Still Have To Deal With Those)
“No period” sounds great in theory, but the rollercoaster we ride to get there can be crazy. Every woman is different, so everyone’s experience with hormone changes is different, too. But they can certainly contribute to weight gain.
One way our hormones effect weight gain, is as estrogen decreases, so does the effectiveness of other hormones that help us feel full.
Therefore, we feel hungrier and our appetite grows. We may eat more and take in more calories without even realizing why.
Here are some simple steps you can take to combat the weight gaining effects of hormone changes:
- Eat protein and cut back on carbs like bread and pasta. Protein will help you feel full to combat the decrease in estrogen. This in turn will help you eat fewer calories and gain less weight.
- This will improve your overall health as well as combat the decreased metabolism brought on by hormonal changes.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep helps regulate your hormones and decreases your appetite.
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3. Get Some Rest For Once
The changes in our hormones during the different stages of menopause lead to uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and sweating. These symptoms can disrupt sleep.
It should come as no surprise that a lack of rest leads to a host of other problems, including a decrease in energy.
Without energy, we lack the will to exercise or eat healthy, and we can gain weight as a result.
Here are some simple steps you can take to sleep better, thereby increasing your chances of developing healthy habits including weight loss:
- Keep your bedroom cool. Turning on your ceiling fan, turning down the temperature on your thermostat and wearing less clothes to bed can help relieve any hot flashes or sweating.
- Take magnesium. This supplement helps you sleep better naturally.
- Avoid caffeine, especially later in the day. Caffeine increases your energy, and while this is good for during the day, at night it’s just a hindrance that keeps you from sleeping.
- Set up a regular sleeping pattern. Our bodies are creatures of habit. The more you train your body that a certain time of the night is reserved for rest, the more your body will get used to it and rest without a fight.
4. Cut Back On Sugar (We Won’t Sugarcoat It: It’s Not Easy)
It happens every month during our menstrual cycle, and it also happens after 40 as menopause settles in.
Throw in a slow metabolism that doesn’t process calories as fast as it did when we were in our twenties, and a decreased amount of sleep as a result of which we need stimulants such as sweets to stay awake, and you will probably find yourself gaining some pounds to boot.
Here are some simple steps to help you decrease your sugar intake and help you keep the weight off:
- Avoid sodas. Look at the Nutritional Facts on the side of a bottle of soda. It’s basically a bottle of sugar. Replace it with unsweet tea, flavored water or sparkling water. Kombucha tea is also a great alternative, as it is loaded with probiotics to help keep your gut flora healthy and decrease your sugar cravings.
- Eat healthy fats like avocados, fish, olives, cheese and nuts. These provide great benefits for your body like decreasing inflammation and helping you feel full faster.
- Avoid eating large amounts of food that contain a lot of sugar without tasting sweet, like bread and pasta. These foods, which are carbohydrates, are not harmful in and of themselves. But if you consume too much, the carbs pile on and so does the weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge in the best of times. Natural bodily changes make it even harder.
The above 4 steps are tried and true ways to regain wellbeing and a sparkling self-image for women over 40.
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