Losing Weight After 40
Are you fighting a losing battle against hormones, a slowing metabolism, and difficulty maintaining your weight? New challenges require a new approach, and here are 6 things to avoid when you are trying to lose weight after 40.
1. Avoid skipping meals – Take advantage of the “thermic effect”
As our metabolism begins slowing down during our forties, we need fewer calories. Skipping meals only causes the body to burn fewer calories. Eating smaller meals more frequently can actually help increase the amount of calories you burn through something called the “thermic effect of food”.
The digestive system requires a significant amount of energy to process food, and includes the muscles lining the stomach, small, and large intestines which move food along. The liver is considered the most metabolically active organ in the body, and combined with the other digestive organs like the pancreas, stomach, gall bladder and intestines, uses a lot of calories.
Eating small, frequent, well-balanced meals and snacks can keep your body burning calories, your appetite under control, and your blood sugar balanced.
2. Avoid diet foods
Low fat, low carb, and gluten-free still have calories, and many contain ingredients that can do more harm than good. Keep in mind, the goal of the food industry is to sell us their products. Anything packaged with a label promoting something as “good for us” is usually just a processed food disguised as a health food.
Stick with real, whole foods as much as possible.
3. Avoid counting calories
Counting calories is not a sustainable way to live, can make you a little crazy-obsessive, and doesn’t help you learn to find the balance you need to maintain a healthy weight. Experiment and find the right balance of protein, healthy fats, combined with plenty of vegetables and small amounts of fruit and grains.
4. Avoid strict rules
Strict diets rarely work in the long run, and healthy eating includes eating foods that bring us pleasure. Find a balance that works for you, something like 90% healthy foods with 10% for pleasure. Choose nutrient-rich foods that support your health and give you energy. Of course, don’t eat broccoli if you absolutely hate it, find a variety of healthy alternatives, prepared in a way you enjoy. The other 10% of your choices can be simply for pleasure. Once weight loss goal is reached, try an 80/20 approach.
5. Let go of the “All or Nothing” mentality
Come on, you know what I am talking about. We have all over-indulged in the last meal just before we started a new diet, or, when we go off our eating plan we say to ourselves, “Oh well, I blew my diet, so I might as well keep on eating.”
Going down this road can be difficult on our self-esteem at best, and lead to binge-eating at worst. Let’s agree not to do this to ourselves, okay?
6. Let go of the guilt
Along the lines of dieting and the all-or-nothing attitude, we can really beat ourselves up when things don’t go according to plan (when do things ever go according to plan?!). We are hard enough on ourselves, so let’s let go of the guilt, shall we?
When we do make poor choices, let it go. Let’s show some grace and compassion for ourselves. To be successful at weight loss after 40, we may need to Change Our Relationship With Food.
As we get older, losing weight is harder than ever. What we really need is a Holistic Approach to Weight Loss after 40.