When you hit 40, it seems like the fat you’ve packed on over the years has taken up permanent residence. You can’t lose weight after 40 no matter how you try, right?
Wrong! Don’t you worry – you can give that fat an eviction notice if you just do it the right way. In this article, we’ll talk about:
- How to lose weight after 40 without pulling your hair out
- How to track your bad habits and exchange them for good ones
- How you can accelerate your weight loss with supplements
Get ready to lose weight! Here are the 7 simple steps to losing weight after 40.
1. Prepare your mind
It’s true what they say – losing weight is a battle. But what some people don’t tell you is that half the battle is mental. If you’re getting ready to lose some serious weight, you’ll have to prep your mind.
Get geared up and give yourself good reasons you want to lose weight after 40. These could be absolutely anything – whatever motivates you. Examples of reasons to lose weight might include:
- To be healthier for your kids
- To improve bedroom life with your spouse
- To reduce your instance of disease
- To look awesome in a swimsuit
- To fit into a gorgeous dress or tux for your child’s wedding
You see, they can be anything! Pick what motivates you, and write your reasons down! Post them on your mirror, inside your briefcase, in your gym bag – wherever you’re going to regularly see them. Then, whenever you’re feeling down or unmotivated, just refer back.
Preparing your mind also includes coming to terms with the fact that you didn’t get fat overnight. You’re not going to drop 60 pounds overnight, either. Understand that it’s a process, and that setbacks are going to happen. If you slip up, don’t worry! It can be easy to get back on track if you just remember your motivation.
2. Make a list of what you’ve been eating
Yes, folks, everything. You can call this a food diary, a food journal or whatever. You can also take advantage of some awesome apps available for iPhone and Android that will allow you to simply input the food you eat – the apps will track calories and macronutrients for you!
Write down absolutely everything. You’re not going to lose weight after 40 if you “forget” to write down the gummy bears you snacked on after lunch today. Be strict with yourself – if it goes into your mouth, you must write it down.
There are some things people eat that they tend to forget about. And that’s not just true for food, but for drinks as well! Over the first couple weeks of your weight loss plan, make an effort to write everything down. This includes:
- The water you drink
- The coffee you drink
- Pretty much anything you drink! People forget beverages contain calories!
- Snacks you reach for at work or on your commute
- “Table scraps” left over from your kids’ meals
Remember – it all counts! And as you write down your foods, you’re going to be mindful of the number of calories you truly consume throughout the day.
3. Keep track of your physical movement
In the same way that you want to track the calories you eat, you’re going to want to pay closer attention to when and how you’re moving. There are some things that probably don’t count – you should be doing them anyway. These include:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Parking in a far off parking space at work or running errands
- Standing when you could be sitting
However, there’s definitely exercise that counts that you may or may not have considered. Examples include:
- Raking leaves or doing intense yardwork
- Working out at the gym, of course!
- Taking a family walk after supper
- Walking the dog
- Anything that gets your heart rate up!
Once you know how you’re already moving, you’ll be more readily able to see where you can incorporate more exercise into your day. You may find it easiest to join a gym, but even walking or jogging is great exercise to lose weight after 40. Alternatively, you could consider commuting via bicycle or taking up swimming regularly.
4. Make a note of the supplements you’ve been taking
Many people who are trying to lose weight after 40 take supplements to help boost efforts. Does this sound like you? Even if you’re just taking a multivitamin, that can help you stay healthy and keep your mind on fitness and weight loss.
Then, schedule a chat with your doctor. Together, you and your physician can discuss whether weight loss supplements are right for you. Keep in mind that this step is important! Taking supplements without the advice of a doctor can be dangerous, as supplements can interfere with your health conditions or existing medications.
There are tons of supplements out there, and it can be hard to decide which one is for you! Some of the most popular and effective herbal supplements include:
- Green tea
- Yerba mate
- Garcinia cambogia
- Cayenne pepper
Each of these can be found in your local grocery store or drug store and most are considered generally safe. Bear in mind, though, that if you have heart or other conditions, pills containing caffeine may not work for you – they might even be dangerous.
In short, supplements can be very helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. Just be sure to check with your doctor before you add pills to your daily routine.
5. Review your sleep hygiene
Sleep is a critical component of weight loss after 40 – or at any age, actually. It’s recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Some may need a bit more, while others may need a little less.
If you’re getting much more sleep than that, it’s probably impacting your weight loss. If you’re burning the midnight oil and getting up early for work, that’s going to impact your weight loss, too! Take steps to get better sleep at night, including:
- Ensuring that your bedroom is only used for sleep and sex
- Sleeping with blackout curtains or room darkening shades
- Ensuring your bedroom is quiet, except if you prefer white noise
- Keeping electronics – laptops, televisions and cell phones – in another room
- Avoid alcohol before bed
You may consider taking melatonin or another gentle sleep aid if you still have trouble falling asleep.
6. Formulate a plan
Now that you know what you’re eating, how you’re moving and what kind of supplements are right for you, it’s time to come up with a plan. Your plan should include four things:
- The number of calories you’ll want to consume each day. You can get this information online, but it’s usually best to ask a doctor or nutritionist, as everyone’s needs are different.
- The amount of exercise you’ll get each day or week. Generally speaking, it’s recommended that you get 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, or 150 minutes of moderate activity to stay healthy and support weight loss after 40.
- The types of supplements that you’d like to safely incorporate into your routine. These can be appetite suppressants, fat blockers or just vitamin.
- A way to improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep is critical to weight loss and very important when you’re trying to lose weight over 40.
The plan you create should be strict enough that you’ll see improvements, but gentle enough that you won’t easily go astray. Write your plan out if you need to – create a weekly plan for diet, exercise and sleep. Put all your supplements together so they’re ready for the week and easy to grab when it’s time to take them.
Preparation is one of the biggest steps to weight loss after 40. If you prepare and have a solid plan in place, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
7. Follow your plan
“Follow your plan” is the next step to lose weight after 40. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s easier said than done. We all have setbacks, we all have days when it’s just not practical to eat a salad, and we all have moments when we feel we’re not making progress.
That’s okay! Keep your eyes on the prize, and understand that you’re only human. You’re going to slip up every now and then – whether it’s an extra glass of wine with friends or just feeling like you’re too under the weather to hit the gym.
Keep your chin up and, if you need to, find a buddy who you can be accountable to. Find someone who wants to lose weight after 40, too, then keep tabs on one another to update each other on your individual progress. It works well also if you can go to the gym together – a workout partner gives you extra accountability.
Understand that there are some days that you’ll feel like you’re not progressing in the way you want to. Remember: you didn’t gain weight overnight and you’re not going to lose it overnight. To lose weight over 40 you’re going to need to make lifestyle changes that you can sustain for a long time. Start small, go easy on yourself and remember that you’re only human!
Losing weight over 40 seems difficult, but if you make some lifestyle changes you can certainly do it! Remember the important components of weight loss: calories, exercise, supplements and sleep. Establish good routines that will last you years and you’ll lose weight before you know it!