Women Over 40- How To Lose Weight Using Healthy Ways To Lose Weight
 

Tips to Lose Weight for Women Over 40

Helpful, Effective Tips to Lose Weight for Women Over 40

If you’ve hit (and perhaps surpassed) your 40th birthday, you may have begun to see those pounds creep on. No matter what you do, it seems that you can’t get rid of them. It’s true that you’re not going to be able to lose weight easily (or eat anything you want) as might have been true when you were younger, but you can lose weight and keep it off – and you don’t have to banish ice cream from your diet forever, either. Read these helpful tips to lose weight for women over 40 that are effective for most women — some of them are even fun!

Food and eating tips to lose weight for women over 40

  • Tip number one: Don’t diet

It sounds counterintuitive, but if you really want to lose weight — especially if you’re over 40 — you should NOT diet. Drastically cutting calories has an incredibly negative impact on your waistline. The first thing drastically cutting calories does is to significantly slow your metabolism. Your metabolism is what burns off fat and gives you energy; compromise it, and you’ll feel cold, slow, and incredibly tired. Not the best feeling to have if you want to feel your best and work your way into an exercise program, which is also essential to losing weight and keep it off (more on that later). You’re also likely to gain more weight over the long haul because when you drop your metabolism, you need fewer calories to maintain your weight. In addition, when you diet, you’ll lose weight over the short term, true, but you will lose more muscle weight than you will fat. Muscle weight burns significantly more calories than fat does, which again means that you’ll have a tougher time keeping weight off over the long run. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t cut your calories to below 1500 per day, and make those calories count by choosing fresh, nutritious, healthy foods. Of all of the tips to lose weight for women over 40, this is one of the most important.

  • Tip number two: Fill up on fiber

Fiber rich foods have a lot going for them. Foods that are high in fiber are generally whole foods, meaning that you get trace minerals and nutrients from those foods that you can’t get from more highly processed foods. In addition, fiber rich foods are also generally pretty low in calories, for the most part. That means you can fill up on them without adding inches to your waistline — and you may actually trim a few. To get full on fewer calories, add low calorie vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, carrots, arugula or romaine lettuce (skip the iceberg; it doesn’t have much nutrition) to every meal.

Tips to Lose Weight for Women Over 40 – Whole Grains

Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta are much, much healthier for you than their white counterparts. They contain B vitamins, lots of fiber, protein, and slow burning complex carbohydrates, which stabilize blood sugar levels and help you feel full longer. By contrast, simple carbohydrates like white rice, white bread and white pasta are no different for your body than white sugar is. When you eat them, your blood sugar zooms up and then back down, making you feel hungrier faster. And because these “quick burning” carbohydrates cause a flood of insulin to be released into your bloodstream, they’re much more likely to be stored as fat than their whole grain counterparts. Another healthy tip: Eat healthfully most of the time, but cheat just a little – a favorite of the tips to lose weight for women over 40 No long-term weight loss plan is likely to be successful on a permanent basis if you don’t “cheat” every now and then with a piece of chocolate cake, scoop of ice cream, etc. The key is to build it into your food plan so that you know when it’s coming and can anticipate it with pleasure. Give yourself one serving of a favorite dessert or other “naughty” treat a couple of times a week, and then enjoy it without guilt. Building this type of treat into your food plan will also help make sure you won’t binge on forbidden foods because you feel so deprived.

Make sure you drink enough — water, that is

Women often mistake thirst for hunger, meaning that they eat when they should simply be drinking a glass of water. If you think you feel hungry and you have eaten within the last couple of hours, try drinking a glass of water instead. You should be getting at least eight glasses of water a day, more during hot weather or strenuous exercise.

Water Tips to lose weight for women over 40If you still have hunger pangs after 20 minutes, you probably need a snack; make it something fresh and healthy, like a handful of unsalted, no fat added nuts and an apple.

Tips to Lose Weight for Women Over 40: Eat small meals, more often

Your body doesn’t burn a lot of calories at once, and will store the extra as fat. In fact, you should not be getting more than about 500 calories a sitting. In addition, eating every 3 to 4 hours helps keep blood sugar levels steady and hunger pangs at bay. Opt for modest meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner totaling no more than 500 calories each (with breakfast the largest), and fill out your calorie requirements for the day with “easy to carry with you” healthy protein and fiber packed snacks like nuts, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables like baby carrots, etc.

  • Don’t Make This Mistake – Skimping on protein

If you’re going to lose weight and keep it off, you need muscle, and to build muscle, you need protein. Ideally, you should be getting about 40% of your calories from protein. Good sources include eggs, “no fat added” no salt nuts, lean meat and fish, beans and legumes, natural peanut butter and other nut butters, and low-fat dairy products. Enough protein will help you stay full, too, and will give you energy for workouts — the next part of the plan.

Exercise tips to lose weight for women over 40

  • Tip number one: Gain weights

Through weight lifting, that is. It’s a misnomer that you’ll bulk up if you lift weights. Women carry much less testosterone in their bodies than men do, which is the main hormone that causes muscle “bulking.” When you lift weights, you become stronger and leaner, not overly muscular.

  • Tip number two: Go easy, at first

Exercise Tips to lose weight for women over 40
If you’ve been a couch potato with a desk job during the day, go easy on the exercise, at first. It’s a good idea to go visit your doctor for a complete physical before you start any kind of strenuous exercise program, as well, to make sure you are healthy. Once you get a clean bill of health, start slowly. Just walking outside or on a treadmill for 10 minutes at a moderate pace is enough to get your heart pumping. To add in some weight lifting, pump hand weights that are a couple pounds’ weight each while you walk, or add Velcro wrist and ankle weights that attach right around your wrist or ankle so that you don’t have to hold them.

Tips to Lose Weight for Women Over 40 – Don’t Overdo It!

Important note: A little soreness after you work out is perfectly fine, but if you’re having any actual pain, stop. You’re probably working out too hard, and the last thing you want to do is to injure yourself so that you have to spend months or weeks healing. Getting laid up because of injury certainly doesn’t help you get in shape, and it’s just not smart from a health standpoint to overdo anyway. In addition, stop and get to a hospital right away if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath while you’re working out. Now, continuing on with our tips to lose weight for women over 40 . . .

  • Tip number three: … But ramp it up, in increments

Your pulse rate is your friend. Keeping your pulse rate at about 70% of your maximum rate (220 minus your age) over the course of your workout ensures that you are working hard enough to be making gains. So for example, if you’re 46, you start with 220, minus 46, which is 174; multiply times 0.7, which gives you a target rate of about 122 beats per minute. Easily keep track of your pulse during your workout by wearing a wristwatch with a secondhand or timer, and stop and check the number of beats every so often for 6 seconds. You should be at about 12 beats for that 6 seconds as a 46-year-old if you’re keeping your target pulse rate.

  • Tip number four: Throw in some cardio, too

Strength training really burns fat and builds muscle, but cardio is great for your heart and bones. It’s very easy to throw in some cardio without even thinking about it during the day. In addition to the aforementioned walking, add some cardio into your day easily by walking whenever you can — up steps instead of taking the elevator, to the store instead of taking your car (or park a couple of blocks away and walk from there), etc. Do a slow jog with your dog, go bike riding, rollerblading, or swimming. Dance! There are lots of great programs out there that let you dance or do other kinds of exercise at home in front of your TV. The key with cardio is simply to get moving. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you get moving, keep your heart rate in the target range, and have fun. And remember, start slow and ramp it up. (As little as 5 minutes at a time when you are first getting started is a true accomplishment, especially if you’ve been sedentary.)

  • Tip number five: Tips to Lose Weight For Women Over 40 – Keep it fun!

Exercise never, ever has to be boring or something you dread doing. You may be a little sore when you first get started simply because you’ve been sedentary, but exercise can be something you look forward to doing so that you keep doing it on a regular basis. Build it into your schedule so that you don’t forget — and if you’re not someone who likes making trips to the gym, remember that you don’t have to. Take a morning walk before you go to work or buy one of those activity software/game programs for your television that will let you work out in front of your TV in the comfort and convenience of your own living room. Or, go back to childhood — buy a Hula Hoop, a jump rope, or a rebounder. Each of these tools is inexpensive and easy to store, and best of all makes it fun to exercise. Turn on some classic rock and roll and jump or twirl to the beat!

  • Tip number six: Do it every day

Build up to an hour a day of some kind of exercise over the course of several months, starting with as little as 5 to 10 minutes if you are really out of shape. Switch exercises on a regular basis to keep things fun and exciting and to make sure you work out all of your muscle groups evenly. And be sure to go easy on those knees and other joints if you’ve got a problem with them. Do low and no impact exercise that’s easy on the knees, like that you can accomplish with elliptical trainers, rebounders, on a bike, or through swimming.

  • Tip number seven: You don’t have to do it all at once

Experts say that it’s the amount of exercise you get in a day, not how long a particular workout lasts, that counts. Therefore, if you get an hour of exercise a day, AND you keep your target heart rate at about 70% of its maximum whenever you’re exercising, you can do it in 10 minute increments throughout the day instead of in one hour-long session and still have it be effective.

Stress beating and lifestyle tips to lose weight for women over 40

Did you know that stress causes a rise in the hormone cortisol? Cortisol is a hormone that is very effective for short-term stressful situations, in that it gives you the energy and focus to get through a crisis situation. However, with chronic stress, cortisol levels can get and stay elevated, and that’s bad news for your bones and your belly. When cortisol levels stay elevated because of long-term stress, they weaken your bones and encourage fat to accumulate around your middle. Just as bad, this kind of long-term stress, including the fatigue it can cause, can make you hungrier because ghrelin (the hormone that tells you you’re hungry so that you need to eat) levels appear to stay elevated as well, while leptin (the hormone that suppresses hunger) levels stay low. What can you do about that?

  • Tip number one: Sleep

Women are notorious for taking care of everything and everyone else but themselves. However, if you skimp on sleep, not only do you contribute to or even cause health problems like high blood pressure because of the stress of the resulting fatigue, but you actually make yourself crave “bad for you” foods like simple carbohydrates — cakes, cookies, potato chips, etc. Fatigue and other stresses appear to raise levels of cortisol and ghrelin (as stated above) and lower the levels of leptin in your body, and it also raises blood sugar levels. Simply by getting your 7 or 8 hours a night, you’re fighting the battle of the bulge. This is one of the easiest tips to lose weight for women over 40! To get a better night’s sleep, practice something called “sleep hygiene.” Turn off bright lights, TV, and computer for an hour before you get into bed. Relax by doing something calming, like reading a good book (no exciting mysteries!) or taking a hot bath. By the time you go to bed, you should be ready to drift off.

  • Tip number two: Take a break – Another of The Most Important Tips to Lose Weight for Women Over 40

Although it probably doesn’t feel like it, the world is absolutely not going to end if you take just a couple of minutes to take a deep breath and de-stress during particularly hectic times. When you find yourself racing around and are tempted to grab the first thing to eat that looks good, stop. Take a deep breath and slowly count to 10, reminding yourself to slow down at the same time. Do a personal check-in. If your heart is racing and your mind is, too, you’re going too fast. For just that one moment, take a deep breath, pause, and then get back your day in a calmer frame of mind. Do this quick and easy little exercise whenever you feel yourself getting out of control.

  • Tip number three: Watch those antidepressants

Antidepressants are notorious not only for making you gain weight in and of themselves, but for killing sexual desire, too. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take them if you absolutely need them, but make sure that your doctor monitors you closely and weans you off them as soon as possible.

  • Tip number four: Make sure you get enough of the proper nutrients

This ties in with diet (above), too, but the amount of stress you feel can be made worse if you’re not getting the right nutrients. For example, most Americans’ diets are woefully inadequate in brain-important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, in calming minerals like magnesium and calcium, and in stress-busting B vitamins.

Nutrition Tips to lose weight for women over 40We also tend to be low in vitamin D; low levels can mean a low mood and therefore greater stress. Check with a nutritionist or other nutritionally-savvy healthcare professional to make sure you’re getting enough; supplement with a multivitamin, fish oil capsules, some extra vitamin D, and some extra calcium/magnesium if your doctor okays it. (Proper supplementation along with proper diet can reduce or even eliminate your need for antidepressants in some cases, too.)
  • Tip number five: Don’t forget about you

Women, especially wives and mothers, tend to forget about themselves in favor of everyone else. To reduce your stress and get back the spark you had when all you had to think about was you, think back to those earlier times. What did you do just for fun and just for you? Grab one of those earlier passions and resurrect it. Take up writing or painting again, take a yoga class, whatever. (And if you can get the hubby/life partner in on it sans kids, do that or another shared passion together, to touch base with your earlier days together, too.) Reconnect with yourself as you were when you were younger, before you had all this responsibility, and do it on a regular basis. One of the most important tips to lose weight for women over 40 is to take care of YOU.

  • Tip number six: Get checked out

Women in their 40s are rife for hormonal problems that can masquerade as or facilitate fatigue and stress. Perimenopausal or menopausal hormonal fluctuations and low thyroid levels can make you feel absolutely awful, but they’re usually relatively easy to fix once they are diagnosed. Go to the doctor and get thoroughly checked out, to make sure you’re okay and that out of whack hormones or other health problems aren’t contributing to your fatigue and stress.

  • Tip number seven: Resurrect romance

Romance Tips to lose weight for women over 40Regular intimacy isn’t just fun and romantic. It can truly help you beat stress, in part because it releases the hormone and oxytocin; often called the “love hormone,” this is a hormone that is released during orgasm, and also naturally rises during feelings of intense connectedness to loved ones, such as the bonding of mother/father and baby, closeness between husband and wife, and so on. Being intimate with your husband or significant other is probably the last thing you think about when you’re stressed out, but remember, women over 40 can be sexy too.

The next time your husband or partner gives you that special look, go ahead! (If it’s been a while and he doesn’t initiate any more, you take the lead — surprise him!).

Put these tips to lose weight for women over 40 to work for you, and see a difference in the mirror that you (along with everyone else) will truly appreciate.

 

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1 comment

1 Perry Permann { 05.01.12 at 3:10 am }

Teresa, great to read you’ve found something that’s working for you. Keep it going.
– Perry