If you are over 40, you may have noticed that it is harder to lose weight – and easier to gain it – than it used to be. Your body just doesn’t feel the same and yes, it’s not all in your head. Changes in your eating habits, activity level, sleep pattern, and how your body stores fat all can play roles.
The biggest culprit behind the changes in your body after 40? Hormones. The chemical messengers that control most body functions, including hunger. But don’t worry as I hand you some effective tips to help you slim down and hopefully keep it off as a man over 40.
7 Best Ways to Lose Weight After 40
1. Find Your Fitness Why
One of the most powerful mindset tools you can use at the start and all throughout your fitness journey is to find and know your fitness why. Everybody’s deep motivation to lose weight will be different, but knowing yours will put you in the best place to get out of your comfort zones.
Remember that weight loss is a big goal and this degree of health change takes a lot of effort. That is why you need to know your fitness to develop a strong mindset. What is it that motivates you to be healthy and lose weight? Some want to stay healthy for their families – to take care of their spouse and to see their children and grandkids get married.
2. Choose A Meal Plan That Goes with Your Over-40 Lifestyle
Most of the time, your weight goals – or overall health goals- relate to your eating habits. So, if you want to lose your belly fat, you have to change the way you eat. However, it should be something that goes well with your over-40 lifestyle.
Don’t force yourself to just follow the most popular plan you see on the internet or what worked for your friend. Instead, choose one that you can sustain for the next 20 or even 50 years. Lean protein, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are constant, though, no matter what guidelines for healthy eating may have changed over the years. So, consider these in your high-quality diet.
3. Watch Out For Trans Fat
To lose weight after 40, calories are not the only things you should watch out for. You should also limit your trans-fat intake as it can cause you to gain weight and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. Trans fat may be found in baked goods, like pies, cookies, and cakes, microwave popcorn, refrigerated dough, such as rolls and biscuits, frozen pizza, stick margarine, and non-dairy coffee creamer.
4. Stay Active
Even starting in your 30s, you can already lose 3 to 5% of your muscle mass every 10 years if you don’t stay physically active. I understand that as you get older, you get busy over many things that you may not consider exercise a priority. However, it does not take heroic efforts to give it time and energy once more.
Let’s say you notice you are not losing weight after a few weeks of working out. Don’t get discouraged, because it still helps keep you from gaining weight. Plus, there are other good things that exercise is doing for your body, life, and mind! To encourage yourself to move more and to monitor your success, you can also invest in a good fitness tracker.
It is best if you can add some interval training to your routine as well. It’s not really complicated. You just simply alternate short bursts of intense activity with longer intervals of less intense activity. For example, if your form of exercise is walking, you may add short bursts of jogging for about 1 to 2 minutes into your regular brisk walks.
5. Make Restorative Sleep a Health Priority
One of the easiest ways to lose weight when you’re over 40 is something you do daily: sleep. But one-third of adults are not getting the recommended amount of sleep, meaning they are putting themselves at risk for weight gain, among other health risks. Not to mention that getting too little sleep increases your hunger hormone (ghrelin) in the bloodstream.
To make restorative sleep a health-conscious health priority, resist putting household chores, work, or even a good book ahead of your eight hours of sleep every night. While naps are also good, avoid them when you’re over 40 as this may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
6. Control Your Alcohol Intake
Another factor that can help men over 40 to lose weight is to take a look at their drinking habits. Significantly cutting alcohol makes a person lose weight more easily than those who don’t. If it is a habit that you would like to better control, I encourage you to check with your doctor to know whether it is best to abstain or cut back.
It might be helpful to keep a diary of your drinking too. That way, there is some accountability and you’ll better understand whether it is a serious problem or not. While you don’t have to completely cut alcohol from your life, reducing consumption will lead to faster weight loss results.
Keeping busy also makes a great alternative to drinking. When at home, you can revisit an old hobby or pick up a new one, play a musical instrument, do woodwork, paint, play board games. When outdoors, you can play sports, take a walk, or go out to eat once in a while.
7. Take Supplements
As you become better educated about your health and more in tune with your needs, you may consider taking supplements. You can find a good multivitamin supplement to ensure you get the full range of micronutrients you need. Other options you have include taking creatine (a non-protein amino acid found in seafood and red meat), selenium (trace element found in fish, organ meat, and brazil nuts), and fiber.
When you’ve got extra pounds, shedding them will improve many aspects of your well-being and physical health. Follow the above-mentioned weight loss tips and watch how your life changes – in your personal life, senses, mental health, and more!