How to Fight the Extra weight After 40

By Joe Success - 10:47 AM

Every year, it seems, the needle on the scale is a little harder to budge. You cut back on portion size; you say, "No, thank you," to dessert; you sign up for a Zumba class -- and yet your jeans size goes up and your energy level goes down. What's going on?

Starting in our early 40s, our bodies go through a series of changes that profoundly affect digestion, metabolism, and other bodily functions. Thanks to hormonal and other changes, the very growth rate of our cells slows down. It's just something we have to learn to work around.

1. Change your eating habit

After 40, the rules of self-care change. You need to embrace this and re-evaluate your lifestyle. Your reproductive system, libido, body composition, moods, skin and hair all change in preparation for the next 40 years of life. A 40-year-old woman has a very different body to the one she had ten years earlier. A woman’s metabolism declines at the rate of at least 5 per cent per decade of life, starting at the age of 20, due to the natural loss of muscle mass that comes with age. The less muscle mass you have, the fewer calories your body is able to burn. At the age of 20, you may have required 2,000 calories a day, but by 45 you could require 300 fewer calories a day. If you continue to consume those extra calories, you will gain 1lb every 12 days or about 30lb per year. While exercise and careful eating can minimise this effect, they don’t completely erase it. 

2. Eliminate underlying metabolic conditions

Would it surprise you to know that thyroid problems strike as many as 1 out of 5 adults over age 40? And 8 out of 10 of those adults are women? The most common of these is hypothyroidism -- an underactive thyroid -- and it's one of the primary reasons many women over 40 can't lose weight. The thyroid is a tiny gland that produces hormones that regulate metabolism, and when it's underactive, so is everything else. Think of low thyroid as having your internal thermostat set too low. Symptoms include feeling cold all the time, poor circulation in the hands and feet, clammy hands, tiredness and lethargy, hair loss (including eyebrows and eyelashes), and weight gain -- despite real attempts to exercise and eat well.

3. Exercise and more your body

Just as important as eating healthy for weight loss as we age, exercise is another key component. There are many benefits to exercise for all ages, but the benefits for people over 40 are even greater. senior woman stretchingAs we age we begin to lose muscle mass. This is one of the main reasons for our slowing metabolism. The more muscle mass we have the higher our basal metabolic rate. Regular exercise and activity helps slow down the loss of bone and muscle strength. Adopting a regular exercise routine will not only help strengthen muscles but will speed up your metabolism and burn more calories. This is a critical step in order to create a calorie deficit for weight loss over 40.
Bear in mind that is never too late to do something in life. Don't let a number curb your journey to become a better version of yourself. Want it, plan for it and go it.

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