5 Steps To Losing Weight After 40

You eat a well – balanced diet, you exercise regularly, you pass on the dessert and yet you cannot shift those extra pounds… sound familiar?

You are not alone. Losing weight after 40, like many things does get a little more complex. Things that once worked for us might no longer be the solution. As we age it is vital that we adapt both our eating and exercise habits to accommodate and maintain weight loss.

Did you know that from our thirties our muscle mass starts to decrease by roughly 3% per decade. How is this related to weight loss? The more muscle in our bodies, the better and more efficient our metabolism. Quite simply, as our muscle mass decreases our metabolism will in turn work at a slower rate and consequently burn calories less efficiently… So, you are not going crazy, weight loss DOES get more complicated when we hit our forties.

That being said, complicated does not mean impossible. Here are some tips to help you shift those extra pounds through your forties and beyond.

Get yourself checked

Before you try anything else, if you have been fighting a losing weight loss battle for some time, paired with excessive fatigue and a raised blood pressure,  it is a good idea to see your GP to get checked over for any underlying health conditions (such as thyroid issues). Your thyroid is heavily responsible for your body’s metabolism. Any issues here can significantly disrupt your weight – loss progress, so be sure to get yourself checked out.

Get those muscles pumping

Do not be afraid to lift some weights. Strength training is the holy grail when it comes to weight loss in our forties and beyond. Building muscle through strength training increases and improves our resting metabolic rate; i.e. helps you to burn significantly more calories at rest, way after you have finished exercising. Aim to strength train at least twice a week, beginning with 15 – 20 minutes and building to 30. If you are new to strength training, don’t worry. I run weekly niixRESIST classes over on my Instagram channel @niix.fit for people of all abilities. You can get involved here

Integrate some HIIT training

High intensity interval training (hiit) involves you working harder and not longer. For instance during a HIIT workout you might workout intensely for 30 – 45 seconds, taking a short recovery and repeating. HIIT is a great style of training to incorporate into your weekly workout routine as it works to burn fat fast. Find out why HIIT is so great for burning fat here.

Include protein in every meal

As we get older we depend more than ever on protein from natural food sources to aid growth and repair of our muscles. Eating well is not just about ditching the sugar. It is about filling your plate with a wide range of colours and nutritious, healthy foods that help to keep you filler for longer. Protein sources such as fish and eggs are brilliant for helping to keep you full and an ideal choice for your breakfast. Be prepared with healthy snacks throughout the day such as almonds and nut butters, do not wait until you are starving, instead graze little and often to avoid those hunger cravings and surges. Hydration is also key when it comes to weight loss. So often when we think we are hungry we actually haven’t had enough to drink. Aim to keep hydrated with minimum 2,5l of water per day and avoid fizzy and sugary drinks. Lemon water is a great addition if you find plain water to be quite boring. It tastes great and can do wonders for detoxifying and flushing toxins from the body.

Get some quality sleep

We really under estimate the power of sleep. Not just in terms of our energy levels and alertness but also how our body functions, in particular – weight loss. A good quality night sleep can actually help to burn more calories. When we do not get enough sleep our hunger hormones are thrown out of whack and in turn cause us to overeat the next day. In order to get a real quality night’s sleep focus on avoiding caffeine to close to bed time, limiting your electronic screen time at least one hour before you sleep, eating your meal at least 3 hours before sleeping in order to give yourself time to digest and keeping your room at a cool temperature.

Read next: 6 Reasons Strength Training Improves Your Health and Fitness

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