You may not know when it happened, but your body has changed.
Perhaps you noticed you cannot lose those extra holiday pounds as quickly as you used to.
You may have caught sight of yourself in the mirror and seen a paunchy mid section where there used to be a lean tummy.
It’s possible your wake up call was a scary trip to the hospital, forcing you to realize that you can no longer rely on your youth to stay fit and healthy.
The key to weight loss and the main challenge faced after 40 is metabolism. Your metabolism is responsible for consuming about 60-70% of all the calories your body burns each day.
While everyone is different, metabolism generally begins to slow between the ages of 40 to 50. In your prime, your body typically burned 10 to 15 calories per pound daily with only moderate activity.
By age 50, this total decreases by more than 200 calories daily and continues to decrease throughout the rest of your life.
Your decreasing metabolism makes it harder for you to lose weight after 40, just as it is becoming more important that you stay healthy. As your body ages, your risks of heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses increases.
However, most doctors agree that the best way to combat these issues is by staying fit and losing unwanted weight.
If you are ready to lose weight then you need to develop an educated approach that will ensure your success. Every body is different and therefore has diverse fitness needs. There is no single plan that will work for everyone.
Your weight loss plan must address your specific nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle requirements. If you study which methods worked for others, it will help you develop a plan that will work for you.
Keep in mind, your first step should be to ask your doctor about your body’s unique fitness needs and to determine at which intensity level you should begin.
Nutrition And Eating Plans
Most people know that a key to weight loss is good nutrition and a strong eating plan. However, it can be difficult to understand good nutrition.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the importance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. However, these three all play an important role in good nutrition.
People who have had the most success in losing weight over 40 use a nutrition plan that includes a careful balance of the right kinds of foods from each group.
Many people include lean proteins in their daily nutrition plan because they give you energy and are low in fat. While you need fat for energy, too much can cause weight gain and decrease metabolism.
Therefore, a good idea is to not eat a meal where more than 20% of the total calories are from fat. This is why leaner proteins are more effective than those with higher fat content.
Men and women over 40 have both had success when they include complex carbohydrates, especially those with a low glycemic index, in their meal plan.
Also, many people make sure their diet is rich with fiber to help your body metabolize food and cleanse your system. Also, it is recommended that you eat foods in their most natural, unprocessed form to get the most nutrients.
Another key to weight loss is to drink adequate amounts of water because water is essential to metabolism and other basic bodily functions. Every success story out there includes ample hydration.
There is a very simple way to determine how much water your body needs.
Take your current weight and divide that by 2, the resulting number is how many ounces of water you need daily. You should add an additional glass of water for every hour you exercise.
Finally, most people who have had great weight loss success will tell you to abstain from alcohol or any substance that does not nurture your body.
Strategically planning your meals is as important as what you eat. Practically every man and woman who has had significant weight loss after 40 practices meal planning. Most switched from 3 large meals a day to 5 or 6 small meals daily.
Your specific meal plan will have to be based on your physical needs and schedule. For example, some people found it easier to eat their carbs earlier in the day; this helped them feel full into the evening.
Other people with a lot of activity throughout their daily schedule found a need to have a complex carb at every meal.
Many experts recommend tracking your meals to make sure you are getting the right nutrients and not too many calories. The more calories you consume, the more work you will have to do to burn them.
However, you should still eat enough so that you slowly and consistently lose weight. This will make you develop life-long good eating habits instead of crash-dieting which often leads to failure.
Finally, some people have had success on very strict diets. Others have been able to give themselves a small treat once a week or so and still lose weight.
Inevitably, you will have to make the decision that is right for you and develop your nutrition plan accordingly.
Develop An Exercise Regiment
If you are practicing great nutrition then you need to develop a great exercise program that complements your efforts. Great exercise is when you develop a well-rounded plan that addresses both cardiovascular fitness and muscle strengthening and toning.
Your well rounded plan should balance cardio, strengthening, and stretching.
Cardio workouts burn calories quickly. If you are new to exercise, many people recommend starting with walking. You can gradually increase your time and distance and work your way into a light jog.
Once you can lightly jog for 30 minutes or more, you should be able to handle any other type of cardio workout. If you are worried about the strain on your joints, many people have had great success with low-impact workouts like swimming and spinning.
Strength training builds and tones your muscles. Muscles get energy by burning excess fat.
The more muscle tone you have, the easier it is for you to lose unwanted weight. While everyone has a different routine, many people who have been successful at losing weight after 40 have developed week-long programs that focus on a different part of the body each day.
This ensures that every muscle in your body gets an adequate workout every week.
Some programs include a day of rest in the middle of the week. Each program should also be coupled with a regular cardio routine.
While not every person who has had weight loss over 40 has used this technique, many recommend adding a yoga-like activity to a workout plan. This stretching helps prepare the body for the muscle building and cardio activity to come.
Also, the relaxation that accompanies this type of activity can help give you the mental clarity and positive outlook you need to pursue and achieve your goals.
To ensure life-long health, it is important that your weight loss plan correct the negative aspects of your life that lead to weight gain and poor fitness.
Lifestyle is where everyone’s needs vary most. Whether it is to spend more time with loved ones, to build self-confidence, or to improve health, everyone’s motivation is unique.
If you use this motivation as the foundation for your weight-loss plan, you will be greatly increasing your chances of success.
Many people who have had significant weight loss after 40 will tell you that they have reduced negative thinking in their life. They believe that having a negative attitude about anything translates to tension, lack of energy, overeating and poor health.
On the other hand, most state that having a positive mental attitude helped motivate them to exercise and eat well.
Let Others Guide You
Losing weight after 40 will probably not be as easy for you as it was at 20 or 30. However, this does not mean that you cannot face this challenge and become healthier than you ever have been.
The key will be to develop a weight-loss plan that is tailored to your body, your schedule, your goals, and your life.
Once again, there is no single weight-loss plan that is guaranteed to work for everyone. The best thing you can do is to study what has worked for others. Use those people as role models to shape your individual program.
The e-book Fit Over 40 is a valuable resource in your quest to lose weight. The author of Fit Over 40 has collected the fitness success stories of 52 men and women at all stages of life past 40.
He also includes his own life journey to fitness after age 40. Studying the nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes each of these people made will help you build a weight loss over 40 program that is ideal for you. Click here to learn more…