Since you last celebrated your 40th birthday, you probably have been feeling like your same normal self. Until one day, it sneaked up on you. You began to notice the change in your body shape and the few extra pounds that you have put on. This was despite the same healthy diet plans and workout schedules that you had been seemingly adhering to. So, is there really little chance for women after 40 to lose weight?
Ironically, that is certainly not the case. The key is to first of all understand what changes actually take place in the bodies of women after 40. Then, embrace and address the new issues one by one.
After we turn 40, there are tangible changes in our bodies – some due to menopause, some due to age, others due to circumstances – that could directly or indirectly lead to our weight gain (instead of weight loss) without us knowing. They are as follows:
Change #1 Lower estrogen level in your body slows down metabolism resulting in the accumulation of fat in particular around your waistline.
Change #2 As we age and put on weight, our bodies start to ignore insulin resulting in our bodies not absorbing the sugar in bloodstream as readily as it should, making us to feel hungry and crave for more food not long after meal.
Change #3 We, women in our 40s or 50s, tend to face multi-faceted stress from caring for our children and our parents to managing our career. Under stress, our bodies release a ‘fight-or-flight’ hormone called cortisol, which causes our blood sugar level to drop increasing our desire to eat more, especially sugar.
Change #4 The daily schedules of us, women in their 40s or 50s, are often stretched between kids, parents, career and friends. As a result, our once daily physical exercises have become the last and the least priority due to the limited or no time left and the insufficient body rest every day. Such challenges are usually worsened by our creaky, achy joints or minor injuries which are aftermath from your earlier years of more vigorous exercises. Accordingly, with little or no physical workout, it is inevitable that our bodies would put on weight and go out of shape.
Having understood the above changes and issues in our bodies after we turn 40, the next step is to take measures to address them one by one so that we, women after 40, still stand a good chance to lose weight and not passively surrendering to our fate. The recommended tips to fix the above four changes are as below:
Tip #1 Maintain an active lifestyle to keep your metabolism humming and thus, losing weight. A combination of cardiovascular workouts and strength exercise would be recommended.
Tip #2 Ensure that every meal has a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat. This is because protein and healthy fat actually help the stomach feels ‘filled’ for a longer duration. Also, women after 40 are advised to choose whole grains for carbohydrates as it has more fiber and takes time to digest, ensuring more gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream. Afterall, the lesser the carbohydrates intake, the higher the chances that you will lose weight.
Tip #3 Try to de-stress yourself by allowing some ‘me time’ to attend classes on pilate, yoga, meditation, or other hobbies that interest you.
Tip #4 Start with little steps by re-establishing a daily or weekly routine of manageable ‘bite size’ exercises. Women after 40, we should not impose onto ourselves unrealistic expectations to spend hours jogging or in the gym like the good old days. The point is to keep your body moving consistently and regularly (and not to run 10 miles today and do nothing thereafter) so as to lose weight.
As long as we are willing to constantly be aware of our bodies and adjust our lifestyle as we start every new chapter in our 40s and 50s – by way of keeping a workout routine and a heart-healthy diet – the battle is actually half won. There are certainly still good chances for women after 40 to lose weight despite the new challenges.
A weight loss coach passionate in helping fellow women to gain back their slim & healthy bodies and their self-confidence by shedding those extra pounds. She had her fair share of dark seasons when she had been paralyzed both physically and psychologically by 50+ extra pounds of fats on her body. Fortunately, Nancy’s story didn’t end there. She managed to melt away those extra pounds, reclaim her body & health and restore her life & dreams. She believes her story could likewise repeat in and bring transformation to many other women’s lives.