- After 40: Women’s Nutrition and Metabolism Needs
- The 5 Crucial Diet Changes Women Over 50 Must Make
- Our Blog
- 40 Foods Women Over 40 Should Avoid Like the Plague
- Powdered Coffee Creamer
- Too Much Coffee
- Commercial Weight Loss Bars
- Sugary Cocktails
- Fruit Juice
- Muffins & Cupcakes
- Bacon & Hot Dogs
- Charred Meats
- Non-Enriched Nut Milk
- Chinese Takeout
- White Pasta & White Bread
- French Fries
- California Roll
- Low-Fat Flavored Yogurt
- Frozen Dinners
- Pancake Syrup
- Whipped Toppings
- American Cheese & Cheese Dips
- Skinny Lattes
- Canned Soup
- Jarred Pasta Sauce
- Commercial Peanut Butter
- Boxed Mac and Cheese
- Bottled Coffees
- Toaster Waffles & Toaster Strudel
- Diet Soda & Diet Iced Tea
- Gluten-Free Foods
- Chocolate Croissant
- Farmed Fish
- Commercial Protein Shakes
- This is Almost Certainly the Best Diet for Women Over 40
- Why Whole Foods are Best
- GET YOUR FREE “FIT MOM” JUMPSTART
- What Makes Weight Loss Over 40 Work?
- Do Popular Weight Loss Diets Work?
- What is the Best Diet for Women Over 40?
- If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…
- 40 Best Superfoods for People Over 40
- Wild Salmon
- Plant-based Milk
- Chia Seeds
- Olive Oil
- Collard Greens
- Grass-Fed Beef
- Bone Broth
- Black Pepper
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Steel-Cut Oats
- Weight Loss For Men Over 40: The Easy 5 Step Guide
- FREE 1-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan For Men 40+
- Here’s are the 5 key points we’re going to cover…
- First, Here’s Why Men Over 40 Struggle With Weight Loss
- Instead of failing at weight loss again (and again), here’s what you need to start doing instead…
- Step #1: DO NOT start with diet and exercise
- Poor Sleep Forces Your Body To Rampantly Store Fat EVEN IF You Are Following A Good Nutrition Plan
- Here’s How To Get Your Mind Ready For Weight Loss Success…
- Step #2: You must start a sustainable weight loss meal plan.
- Step #4: Start doing DAILY ACTIVITY – not formal exercise.
- Step #5: Use The 2 Best Exercise Types For Men 40+.
- FREE 24-min Fat Burning Workout
- The Undeniable Proof These 5 Steps Work Wonders
- Article Summary: The 5 Key Points of Weight Loss For Men Over 40 in 30 Seconds
- That’s it! I hope you enjoyed 5 steps that cover the fundamentals of weight loss for men over 40.
- Liked this article? Please share it with a friend or family member who will benefit from this info!
- Choosing a Weight Loss Program for Women Over 40
- JOIN OUR FIT MOTHER 30X PROGRAM
- Dieting isn’t All About Food
- Shopping Lists for Weight Loss in Women Over 40
- Examples of Weight Loss Diet Plans for Women
- Weight Loss Exercises for Women Over 40
- Which Weight Loss Program for Women Over 40 Is Best?
- A Weight Loss Plan Designed for Women Over 40
- 40 Genius Tricks for Slimming Down in Your 40s
- 1 Get Up Earlier
- 2 Work Out Before Breakfast
- 3 Lift Some Weights
- 4 Start Your Day With Eggs
- 5 Make Breakfast Your Biggest Meal
- 6 Get Some Sunlight
- 7 Grab an Apple
- 8 Take the Stairs
- 9 Drink Two Cups of Water at Every Meal
- 10 Buddy Up
- 11 Plan Some Stress-Reducing Activities
- 12 Add Some Healthy Fat to Your Meals
- 13 Eat in Front of a Mirror
- 14 Squeeze Some Citrus
- 15 Keep a Food Diary
- 16 Take Some Deep Breaths
- 17 Enlist Your Significant Other
- 18 Add Some Olive Oil to Your Meals
- 19 Take Photos of Your Food
- 20 Ditch the Trans Fats
- 21 Pregame With a Pear
- 22 Skip the Binge-Watching
- 23 Snack on Some Nuts
- 24 Get Some Social Media Support
- 25 Fight the Urge to Eat With Exercise
- 26 Set the Mood With a Scented Candle
- 27 Skip the Added Sugar
- 28 But If You Do Indulge, Opt for Dark Chocolate
- 29 Spice Up Your Food
- 30 Skip the Commercials
- 31 Pack on the Probiotics
- 32 Take a Lunch Break
- 33 Dial Up the Intensity
- 34 Tighten a Muscle
- 35 Ditch That Nightcap
- 36 Opt For Full-Fat Foods
- 37 Slim Down Your Dinner
- 38 Turn Up the Lights
- 39 Cook Dinner at Home
- 40 Close the Kitchen
- 5. Eat fewer calories, more frequently
- 6. Save sweets for a true treat
- 9. Move more
- 10. Avoid trigger foods
- Best Weight Loss Products for Women Over 40
- 40 Tips For Women Who Want to Lose Weight After 40
- Start Weight Training
- Keep a Journal
- Take a Daily Walk
- Up Your Omega-3s
- Turn Up the Fiber
- Skip the Sweeteners
- Add in a Leg Day
- Take a Swim
- Stick to a Schedule
- Sip Some Green Tea
- Close the Kitchen
- Boost Your Calcium Intake
- Opt For Organic Foods
- Make Whole Grains a Priority
- Drink More Water
- Snack on Some Almonds
- Pile on the Protein
- Opt For Red Wine
- Cut the Cocktails
- Add Some Flax to Your Meals
- Increase the Intensity of Your Workouts
- Snack on Some Citrus
- Get Eight Hours a Night
- Calculate Your Metabolic Rate
- Switch Up Your Fragrance
- Buddy Up
- Keep Your Hands Busy
- Skip the Salty Snacks
- Turn Off the TV
- Get Some Sun
- Add Yoga to Your Routine
- Get a Thyroid Check
- Manage Your Mental Health
- Don’t Eat Like a Kid
- Cool Off
- Get Some Digital Support
- Indulge Those Carb Cravings
- Feed Your Gut
- Spice Up Your Sex Life
- Adjust Your Expectations
- 40 Most Effective Weight Loss Tips for People Over 40
- Ditch the Yo-Yo diets.
- Educate yourself before eating out.
- Take your sleep really seriously.
- Stop reusing your water bottles.
- Go mason jar crazy.
- Start Instagramming your food.
- Be pessimistic for a moment.
- Go easy on the hand sanitizer.
- Beware the viral Facebook videos.
- Reassess your comfort foods.
- Get a stand-up desk.
- Do it yourself,
- Make it tea, all the time.
- Swap your bread.
- Stop the soda habit.
- Drink 2 cups of water before each meal.
- Let legumes take charge.
- Don’t drink so many calories.
- Walk more.
- Sit less.
- Slip in other ways to be active.
- Boost metabolism with micro workouts.
- Let your body fast.
- Embrace seaweed.
- Learn about ‘eating clean.’
- Stop doing sit-ups.
- Try meditation.
- Live by the half-plate rule.
- Eat less salt.
- Don’t fear the fat.
- Use your non-dominant hand.
- Cut back on wine and booze.
- Be your own therapist.
- Eat for health, not weight loss.
- Buy organic.
- Always be prepared with snacks.
- Turn off the tube.
- Go swimming.
- Go Greek.
- Adopt a weight-loss mantra.
After 40: Women’s Nutrition and Metabolism Needs
They say 40 is the new 30, thanks to healthier habits. Yet, women (like men) continue to struggle with weight and other medical concerns as they enter their 40s.
Both your nutritional needs (the food and water) and your metabolism (how fast your body converts food to energy) change at this age. Your metabolism gets slower. Women lose about half a pound of muscle per year starting around the age of 40. That makes losing weight even more difficult. Some of the changes women experience are due to decreased hormones, reduced activity level, and medical conditions.
Path to improved wellness
What you eat is even more important as you enter your 40s. Women need protein (meat, fish, dairy, beans, and nuts), carbohydrates (whole grains), fats (healthy oils), vitamins, minerals, and water. These foods have been linked to some disease prevention, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. The American Academy of Family Physicians supports the development of healthy food supply chains in supplemental nutrition programs so as to broaden the availability of healthy food.
If you haven’t gotten serious about your nutrition by the time you are 40, it’s time to start.
- Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and non-starchy.
- Eat a variety of fruits.
- Include grains in your daily diet. Half of your grains should be whole grains.
- Stick to fat-free or low-fat dairy. This includes milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy products.
- Have protein at every meal. Healthy protein includes lean meat (chicken), seafood, eggs, beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Use healthy oils, such as olive oil.
Additionally, women should consume:
- Less than 10 percent of your daily calories from added sugars (desserts and processed foods).
- Less than 10 percent of daily calories from saturated fats (red meat, high-fat dairy).
- Less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium.
- Nor more than one drink per day of alcohol.
Calcium, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C are important nutrients to include in your daily diet.
After 40, your hormone levels (estrogen) drop. This causes your insulin (hormone that helps your body use sugar) rise. Your thyroid levels go down. This combination makes you hungrier. You end up eating more and burning fewer calories. Much of the weight gain occurs around your belly. Eat more foods with fiber (berries, whole grains, nuts) to fill you up and help you eat less. Aim for 25 grams of fiber each day after the age of 40. Other ways to increase your metabolism include:
- Eat breakfast.
- Drink cold water.
- Sleep well.
- Eat spicy food.
Things to consider
After 40, most women gain belly fat. Belly fat has been linked to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers. If you have any of these conditions in your 40s, follow your doctor’s advice for nutrition.
At age 40, women lose muscle mass twice as fast as men. Most of the loss occurs in your core muscles, which supports your abdomen (another reason for belly fat). Crash diets (eating a very low amount of calories to lose weight fast in a short amount of time) and not using your muscles also causes muscle loss.
Questions to ask your doctor
- How long should I exercise to help lose weight?
- Do certain foods build muscle?
- How do I know if I am not getting the proper nutrition?
- Should I have my hormones and thyroid tested?
Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Your Health at Every Age
Tiago Estima I look at life as a plane flight. Several decades ago, your parents started the engine. They revved the motor and headed down the runway until — liftoff! — you were born. Your plane continued to climb through childhood and adolescence, until you reached adulthood: full cruising altitude. Throughout your 20s and 30s, flying felt effortless. No matter what you ate, how little you slept, or how infrequently you exercised, your body kept its sleek, strong lines. No engine troubles for you!
Then, out of the blue, you hit the Big Four-O. Suddenly, you’re not cruising along so easily anymore. Hormonal and metabolic changes are creating turbulence. Your plane is losing altitude. Time to turn off the autopilot and seize the controls. As you guide your plane through post-40 skies, here are some tips for a smoother ride.
Don’t Clean Your Plate
As your body nears menopause, it burns calories less efficiently. The end result is that although you may be following the same diet that kept you slim at 30, it no longer works when you’re 40 or 50. Cutting a mere 100 calories from your daily consumption can put you back on track. What’s 100 calories? It’s equal to a small snack. Another way to look at it: At the end of the day, it’s the same as leaving two bites of every meal untouched on your plate.
Steer Clear of Starbucks
If you’re anything like most post-40 women I know, you’re in the business of coordinating life amidst everyday chaos — work, husband, dirty laundry, hyper kids. And that’s exactly what those frozen-cappuccino peddlers are counting on. You drive up, run in, pop a straw through the top, and peel off to pick up Junior at swim camp. Big mistake. Studies show that your body doesn’t register a feeling of fullness from the calories you drink. Whether it’s juice, soda, or alcohol, your body won’t say to itself, “Wow, that eight-ounce glass really filled me up.” If you ate an orange instead of drinking the juice, you would feel satisfied. But instead, liquid calories help you gain weight by causing you to overeat later. Do me a favor: Keep a piece of fruit in your bag at all times. Whenever you want a snack, drink a 12-ounce glass of water, then eat the fruit. Not only will you feel full, but most importantly you’ll stay that way until dinner. And your hips will thank you.
Eat Like a Grown-Up, Part I
Do you remember when the only person you had to feed was yourself? Those days are gone. For many women over 40, the main concern is getting enough food on the table to satisfy one husband and two or three children — fast. And more often than not, those meals are composed of what you know the kids will eat. The trouble is, many of these are unhappy meals for an adult on a diet. Cheeseburgers? Pizza? Macaroni and cheese? Don’t get me started. Rather than tailoring your dinners to your children’s whims, maybe it’s time they started eating more like adults. Pasta primavera. Broiled scallops. Grilled salmon. Or just add a big bowl of steamed vegetables as the first course. If these menu changes feel drastic, try alternating kid days with grown-up days. It’ll be healthier for all of you.
Eat Like a Grown-Up, Part II
Okay, now that you’re cooking lighter fare, don’t blow it by adding unnecessary calories. The recipe may call for a generous brushing, pouring or slathering of oil or butter, but you know better. Butter has a whopping 90 calories per tablespoon; every type of oil has 120. The over-40 edit of all your recipes should read: “drizzle,” “lightly spray,” or “dab” the butter. Think of it this way: Kids’ dinners are high in fat because oil is used to add flavor to an otherwise bland meal. But if you start with a quality cut of steak or fillet of fresh fish, why destroy the flavor by suffocating it in grease? Instead, season generously with the recipe’s spices and invest in an oil sprayer so you can make a little bit of fat go an extra-long way.
Drop and Give Me 20
Push-ups, sit-ups, lunges — your choice. The biggest factor for succeeding with your weight-loss plan once you’ve reached age 40 is strength training. If you’ve tried my easy workout, you know that strength training builds lean muscle, which, in turn, can burn 50 calories per pound every day. So push yourself a little: Each morning, between the time you roll out of bed and the moment you hit the shower, string together 20 sit-ups, 20 squats, 20 leg lifts, and as many push-ups as you can manage. It won’t take more than five minutes, but over the next year, it can trim five pounds from your frame.
Befriend Your Scale
Funny how as your waistline expands, your interest in tracking the numbers wanes. Don’t let it. It’s no longer advisable to guesstimate your weight by the way your favorite jeans fit (or don’t fit). Headlines that scream, “Stop Being a Slave to Your Scale!” are missing the point: Post-40 weight gain sneaks up on you. If the plane symbolizes your body, then its instrument panel is your scale — it provides you with important data. Once a week, same time, same scale, weigh yourself and see with your own eyes what’s happening with your body.
Make Weight Loss a Priority
Let’s face it: Finding time to exercise only gets harder as you age. It helps to remember that working out gives you the sanity, strength, and good health to keep the rest of your world running smoothly. Can an overweight woman really preach to her children about the merits of eating right? Can an out-of-shape mom hope to get through an afternoon of soccer with her son without gasping for breath? Committing to a fitness routine is the first step in becoming a positive force to those around you. The time crunch isn’t going to go away, so maybe you’ll need to wake up earlier, or use your lunch break to hit the gym or walk home from work instead of driving. The better shape you’re in, the better you’ll feel inside and out. And the better you feel, the easier it will be to deal with life’s headaches — like demanding bosses, moody teenagers, and your husband’s addiction to Monday Night Footbal. Some things you can’t change. Thank goodness your weight isn’t one of them.
Get a Regular Tune-up
Until this point, you’ve treated annual physicals as optional, but now you need to get serious. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels all need routine checks, especially if you know there is a family history of troubles. The ache you feel today could be nothing — then again, it may have been caused by too much or too little exercise, a diet deficiency, or something more serious. The sooner you catch it, the less damage done. If your knees ache, your back hurts, or you suffer from persistent headaches, see your doctor. Wouldn’t you be hesitant to pilot a plane that didn’t receive regular maintenance and service?
Beware Post-40 Stress Attacks
Some days, just making it to midnight without a major catastrophe is an accomplishment in itself. Stress is one of the biggest reasons women overeat, so taking a few minutes each day to unwind is key to your weight-loss success. Soak in a hot bath, light some candles or get out and enjoy the summer sunshine. You started life as a sleek new jet, one that was built to last. Feed your body high-quality fuel, monitor its intake and routinely push your engine’s limits to keep it running smoothly. Remember, you are the captain of your plane. Just reach out and take the controls.
The 5 Crucial Diet Changes Women Over 50 Must Make
A person’s nutrition after 50 is crucial. It is, arguably, the most important factor in maintaining a healthy body at this age. It cannot withstand much more abuse in the form of fast food, inactivity and too much alcohol. The side effects are imminent.
Good nutrition is essential throughout the entire lifespan, of course, but around and after age 50, changes occur within the body that make the food you consume of particular significance, says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area.
“As you age, you lose muscle mass, about 10 percent each decade after age 45,” she says. “While you’re losing muscle, you’re more likely to gain body fat and require less calories.” This is because muscle burns more calories than body fat, she adds.
It’s also important to prioritize exercise—in particular, resistance training to help counteract that decline in metabolism that happens with aging, Gorin says.
You have to prioritize nutrition to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions that are of greater concern as people get older.
Eat: Fatty fish
“Having at least two 3.5-ounce servings of cooked fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, or herring each week can help keep your heart health strong,” Gorin says. These fish provide heart-helping omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential to a person’s overall health and they are promoted for their protective effects, especially on the brain, heart and eyes.
Bone health is important as you get older. About a third of women and 20 percent of men over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis, Gorin says. “Eating prunes helps to strengthen bone health and keep your bones healthy.” In fact, she adds, eating five to six prunes daily has been shown to help prevent bone loss, per a study in Osteoporosis International.” You can snack on prunes, add them to a salad, or make jam or even brownies with them.”
Eat: Tomato Sauce
Surprisingly, this food helps prevent wrinkles, Gorin says. “Tomatoes are red gems that provide the antioxidant lycopene.” This antioxidant can help protect skin from wrinkles and other damage that happens due to UV light, she adds. Cooked tomatoes are preferred because your body best absorbs the lycopene from them. You can add tomato sauce to pasta or use it in a spaghetti squash recipe.
Limit: Added Sugars
All people should limit intake of added sugar, and this is even more important as you get older, Gorin says. “Added sugar such as table sugar and brown sugar should make up no more than 10 percent of your total calories.” So for a 2,000-calorie daily diet, that comes out to about 12 teaspoons of added sugar. “For the added sugar you are adding to your day, I recommend using one that offers some nutrition. My favorite is pure maple syrup.” It’s a unique sweetener because it boasts 60-plus health-helping polyphenols, as well as the blood-sugar-helping mineral manganese and the B vitamin riboflavin, she adds. “I like to use it to lightly sweeten overnight grains, a muffin recipe, or maple-Dijon salad dressing.”
Don’t eat: Trans Fats
Although you want to avoid these at all times, doing so is even more important as you get older. Before menopause, estrogen provides some protection against heart disease. “But after menopause, women are at a heightened risk for heart disease—and trans fats do not help the case!” Gorin says. “They can raise your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, lower your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, and increase your risk of heart disease.” Avoid them by reading ingredient labels to ensure that partially hydrogenated oil is not an ingredient.
More from The Active Times:
50 Things Every Woman Over 50 Should Know About Her Health
The Best Things to Do to Look Unbelievably Fit and Fabulous Over 50
Life Changes You Should Make After 50
Women over 40 have different nutritional needs than younger women. A woman who has never had trouble keeping weight off may suddenly be gaining weight. A woman who has always found it easy to exercise may have trouble finding the energy to do so.
Hormonal changes may be to blame for weight gain, loss of bone and muscle density, and even digestive issues. Choosing a nutrient-rich diet including healthy fats, lean proteins, dairy, and lots of fruits and vegetables as well as a regular exercise program can help women fight against the changes caused by aging.
Why Do Nutritional Needs Change?
Research shows that hormonal changes causing weight gain, especially in the midsection, may be to blame. As women age and approach menopause, they produce less estrogen. As they get even older progesterone production slows as well. Once women hit menopause, their body actually metabolizes fat differently, often causing weight gain.
Women can take a proactive approach to aging and help prevent some of the unwanted changes to their body. Follow the tips below.
Being physically active decreases your chances of developing metabolic diseases such as diabetes. According to a study, women whose activity decreased the most gained the most weight especially in the midsection. The women who maintained their weight exercised for the recommended 60 minutes a day.
Exercise also helps maintain bone density. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, or resistance training are beneficial because they add force to the body which helps preserve bone density. Wearing a pedometer can help you manage how many steps you take each day.
Lean Body Mass
As we age, our lean body mass decreases. Muscle loss causes your body to burn fat differently, so women must adjust their diet to account for the decrease. Douglas Paddon, PhD and professor in the department of nutrition and metabolism at the University of Texas Medical Branch says that women lose about 1% of their lean body mass each year if they aren’t physically active. Exercise is important to maintaining and building muscle.
Just like calcium is needed for our bones, protein is needed to protect our lean body mass. Protein should be evenly distributed throughout the day for the most benefit. The protein will work to build muscle, especially when eaten after a workout.
Protein is a big factor in building muscle, but carbohydrates need to be monitored too. Eating the right kind of carbohydrates can limit spikes and blood sugar which helps fat metabolize more efficiently.
Another concern for aging women is bone density. Women who maintain a healthy weight, are physically active, and don’t smoke lose less bone density than overweight women who smoke and don’t exercise.
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D from foods is an important step to preventing bone density loss. to see a chart detailing foods with calcium and vitamin D. Supplements can be taken, but focusing on foods containing calcium and vitamin D will have a greater effect. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
After reading above, you may still be wondering what you should be focusing on. Here are some basic guidelines to try. As always, speak to your doctor about your nutritional and physical needs.
- Focus on lean proteins, such as fish and chicken. Be sure to spread protein consumption evenly throughout the day.
- Get plenty of exercise. Slimming down can reduce the risk of developing certain disorders and can also cut down on hot flashes.
- Be sure to get plenty of calcium from foods and supplement if necessary.
- Watch out for processed carbohydrates which can be stored as fat and cause gas and bloating.
40 Foods Women Over 40 Should Avoid Like the Plague
Once you hit the big 4-0, it’s not only the number of candles on your cake that signifies you’re getting old, it’s also the achy feeling in your joints and the inability to slash those last five pounds off your frame. While aging in reverse is a miracle we’d all like to get in on, there are a few tweaks you can make to your diet to help slow down the process, such as eliminating certain foods that age you.
Below, we’ve put together the worst foods that you shouldn’t eat if you’re over 40. These sneaky culprits are found in many American households and are responsible for the unnecessary amounts of added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium we consume on the daily. Plus, they age you so it’s time to ditch them.
Here are 40 of the worst foods for women over 40.
Powdered Coffee Creamer
The powdered stuff that dissolves into your cup of Joe and transforms it from dreary to creamy contains some unexpected ingredients. Sodium aluminosilicate, which is added to the creamer as an anti-caking agent, is also found in detergent and has been found to cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritations. Not only that, but Coffee Mate’s Original also contains hydrogenated vegetable oil, which adds to the heart-harming saturated fat content. If you’re not dairy-averse, you’re better off getting healthy fats from a splash of heavy cream or even opt for nut milk.
Too Much Coffee
The key phrase here is “too much.” While we rave over coffee for all of its antioxidant benefits, chugging six cups a day is a recipe for the jitters and compromised sleep quality. “As we age, our circadian rhythms change, as do our hormones, which can make us more sensitive to caffeine and affect our ability to sleep soundly,” Isabel Smith, RD tells us.
We all know that choosing soda over H2O is a poor decision when it comes to maintaining health, but why is the classic bev so bad? Studies link regular consumption of sugary drinks to heart disease, and if that’s not alarming enough: One longitudinal study followed 80,000 women over the course of 22 years and found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink (such as Coke or Pepsi) had a 75 percent higher risk of developing gout than women who rarely imbibed.
Commercial Weight Loss Bars
“While younger folks can get away with skipping breakfast or simply eating a starchy ‘weight loss’ cereal or bar, research suggests that eating 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is ideal—especially as we age,” Chris Mohr, former sports nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals tells us. What’s more, many of these commercial bars sneak in a ton of unneeded ingredients such as artificial sugars and inflammatory palm oil.
“It’s increasingly difficult to get a good night’s rest with alcohol in your system. While you may have been able to get away with minimal sleep in your 20’s, that’s not the case in your 30’s and beyond. Sleepless nights lead to carb and sugar cravings the next day, which can contribute to further weight gain,” Martha McKittrick, RD, explains.
As you age, you may find it more difficult to shed those last few pesky pounds. If you’ve been guzzling OJ with your breakfast or adding the stuff to smoothies, your 40th may be time to kick the habit to the curb. Fructose, the primary sugar found in fruit juice, has been linked to abdominal fat—the dangerous type of fat that can cause metabolic diseases.
7 & 8
Muffins & Cupcakes
Unless you’re spiking your home-baked goods with hidden veggies and swapping sugar for stevia, you should actively avoid these sweets. Store-bought muffins and cupcakes make our list of foods that age you because they can contain a full day’s worth of added sugar—and the effects of the sweet stuff on aging are quite bitter. A report in Clinics in Dermatology states that glucose and fructose can compromise the collagen and elastin that support your skin’s elasticity, so avoiding baked goods with added sugars is a sure-fire way to keep wrinkles at bay.
9 & 10
Bacon & Hot Dogs
They may be packed with protein and keto-friendly, but processed meats can wreak havoc on your health. Deli meats, bacon, and hotdogs usually contain cancer-causing nitrates and nitrites as well as pack in elevated amounts of blood-pressure-spiking sodium. A 2013 study published in the journal European Cytokine Network found that sodium nitrate increases oxidative stress, which can damage youthful-skin-promoting collagen and elastin.
As you age, your risk for heart diseases increases. And while spreading a teaspoon of salted butter on whole-grain toast every once in a blue isn’t detrimental to your health, loading your chicken recipes with butter and buttering your pans on the daily can. Butter contains seven grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, and using just two spoonfuls can put you over your daily limit of the fat.
Barbecued meats are a summer staple, but you shouldn’t make festive cookouts a weekly habit if you’re concerned about your health. Scorching steaks and other proteins at high temps over an open flame can produce heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These chemicals have been found to alter the DNA and increase your risk of cancer.
Non-Enriched Nut Milk
As we age, our risk for osteoporosis increases, giving you all the more reason to dig into calcium-rich foods. A great source of the bone-strengthening nutrient is milk and if you opt for the almond variety over dairy, you may be gypping yourself of real milk’s benefits. Just one glass of two-percent milk contains about 30 percent of your daily value of calcium. If you’re avoiding dairy, opt for a nut-based milk that’s enriched such as Silk Almond & Cashew Protein Nutmilk.
That sky-high sodium content in that dish of General Tso’s is a solid enough of a reason to stay away from Chinese takeout.
Not only do Doritos contain MSG, but the triangular chips are colored with artificial dyes such as Red 40 and Yellow 6, which have been linked to cancer. To top it off, the party favorite also lists artificial flavors in its ingredient list, but doesn’t specify which.
16 & 17
White Pasta & White Bread
Refined grains have been stripped of fiber and other nutrients in order to render the white color and pillowy texture Wonder bread is known for. However, refined and processed grains are also very high-glycemic, which means that they cause your blood sugar to spike rapidly—and so consuming too many of these refined foods can lead to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. To meet your daily intake of gut-healthy fiber and nourish your body with the nutrients it needs, skip the white spaghetti and bagels and opt for ab-uncovering carbs such as Banza chickpea pasta and sprouted bread.
Your go-to fast food joints achieve perfectly crispy fries by frying the spuds in oil that has been reused over and over again. A study in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research found that heating oil to the smoking point during stir-frying may decrease the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids because of oxidative degradation. Those are the heart-healthy fats that nourish your skin and joints. Instead of grabbing a bag of fries at the drive-thru, opt for baking your own at home with a brush of olive oil and fresh herbs.
The avocado and cucumber are innocuous enough, but the California roll’s imitation crab meat is not the protein you want to load up on. Imitation crab, or krab, isn’t a crustacean at all: the pseudo seafood is actually a mix of ground whitefish and other fillers like wheat, egg white, and transglutaminase (also known as meat glue). It also often contains harmful food dyes that mimic real crab’s rosy hue.
Low-Fat Flavored Yogurt
If you’re an avid reader of Eat This, Not That! You likely know that low-fat foods aren’t the best for neither your waistline nor your health. Many seemingly diet-friendly foods that are labeled low in fat sneak in added sugars to make up for the lack of flavor that results from stripping out the fat. And when it comes to yogurt, which already contains natural sugar in the form of lactose, you definitely don’t want the extra added sweet stuff. Not to mention, fats found in dairy have been shown to keep you satiated and slim down your gut.
The freezer aisle is stocked with appetizing frozen dinners that make busy weeknight suppers a breeze, but these convenient and inexpensive foods may cost you your health in the long run. Many of these meals are jam-packed with sodium and preservatives and are void of sufficient fiber, which will help keep you full and less prone to midnight munchies.
RELATED: 150+ recipe ideas that get you lean for life.
Baking up a batch of fluffy pancakes for breakfast is one of life’s simple pleasures, but the syrup that you choose to drizzle your hotcakes with may be spelling trouble for your tummy. Maple-flavored syrups like Log Cabin’s and Aunt Jemima’s are made with high fructose corn syrup, a sugar that has been linked to metabolic syndrome including abnormal weight gain, increased triglycerides, and increased harmful visceral fat around the gut, Princeton researchers found. Instead, stick to real maple syrup, which contains trace minerals.
We’re looking at you, Cool Whip! Since these products don’t contain cream as the primary ingredient, government regulations prohibit the brands from labeling them as whipped cream. The next best thing? “Whipped topping.” These imposters are filled with sketchy ingredients such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup—two culprits your diet could definitely do without.
24 & 25
American Cheese & Cheese Dips
Why go for the fake stuff when real cheese is so accessible? American cheese is a cheese product (often known as pasteurized processed cheese spread) that’s stuffed with additives—such as phosphates and colorings—to the point where it contains less than 51 percent of actual cheese. And if you take a look at Tostito’s Smooth and Cheesy dip, you’ll find that it reads “cheese flavored” on the jar. Odd, right? Next time you reach for the sandwich staple, consider swapping it out with a slice of goat cheese, which has been shown to increase iron absorption, improves bone formation, and increase the bioavailability of certain minerals more effectively than cow’s milk, a Journal of Dairy Science study found.
Sorry Starbucks frequenters, but that daily skinny vanilla latte may be the reason your skinny jeans aren’t slipping on comfortably. Sbux’s sugar-free vanilla syrup that it pumps into skinny lattes is sweetened with sucralose, an artificial sugar that has been found to increase the risk of developing tissue inflammation by disrupting the gut microbiota, a study in Frontiers in Physiology journal discovered, adding that this chronic inflammation can cause obesity and diabetes.
A good chunk of the canned soups sitting on supermarket shelves can pack in a half day’s worth of sodium as well as additives such as appetite-spiking MSG. Instead, opt for meal prepping your own soup at home with grass-fed bone broth and store leftovers for easy use. “When we ingest bone broth, it acts as an intestinal Band-Aid, protecting and healing the lining of the digestive tract which aids digestion and helps us absorb extra nutrients from the foods we eat,” nutritionist Lauren Slayton, MS, RD tells us. Not to mention, bone broth is chock-full-of collagen, which helps turn back the clock on our skin.
Jarred Pasta Sauce
To clarify, we’re not betting that all the marinaras in the pasta aisle should be avoided like the plague—just some. Processed pasta sauces may contain tomatoes or tomato paste as the first ingredient, but oftentimes, these sneaky saboteurs also contain loads of inflammatory oils, added sugar, and salt. And alfredo sauce is no exception: the creamy white stuff can contain around 20 grams of fat per half-cup serving—an excessive amount to ingest in one sitting.
Commercial Peanut Butter
Choosy moms shouldn’t choose Jif—whether you’re spooning into the jar yourself or spreading it onto your kid’s PB&J. besides peanuts, the red-capped jar contains molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, and mono and diglycerides—which add more fat to the spread. Peanut butter can be a satiating, healthy spread if you choose the right one. We like Maranatha and Smucker’s Natural because they contain two simple ingredients: protein-packed peanuts and a hint of sea salt.
Down a large Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Milkshake from Baskin-Robbins and you’ll devour 42 Chips Ahoy cookies worth of sugar and almost a half-pound worth of calories. Instead, you can make a protein shake at home with wholesome add-ins such as dates, cacao nibs, and a rich protein powder that can help you feel satiated without adding weight onto your waistline.
Boxed Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese has likely been your guilty pleasure ever since you were a young kid, but that doesn’t mean you should continue to indulge. Many commercial boxes contain up to 30 percent of your daily recommended intake of sodium as well as blood-sugar-spiking empty carbs coming from the white shells.
While java can boost your metabolism and give you the jolt you need to hit the gym, many bottled varieties can do just the opposite. Take Gold Peak’s salted caramel and almond toffee cold brew flavors. Both pack in 270 calories and a whopping 53 grams of sugar—that’s over double your daily recommended amount! Excess sugar can heighten your risk of diabetes, wreak havoc on your hormones, and cause collagen to decrease.
33 & 34
Toaster Waffles & Toaster Strudel
You may have enjoyed them for breakfast as a child, but there’s no reason for you to pop some Eggos or strudels into the toaster come 40. The nutrient-devoid a.m. meals barely contain any gut-loving fiber or muscle-maintaining protein to keep you full. So if you opt for forking into these for breakfast, you’ll find yourself reaching for office snacks sooner than you think.
35 & 36
Diet Soda & Diet Iced Tea
Sean Locke Photography/
As a general rule of thumb, anything that seems too good to be true probably is. And the case remains for zero-calorie artificial sweeteners found in sugar-free drinks such as Diet Coke and Diet Snapple. Yale University researchers found a link between the fake sugar and an increased risk of obesity and excess belly fat. “If drinks with artificial sweeteners are a staple of your diet, it’s best to kick the habit to maintain health and prevent diseases throughout the aging process,” says registered dietitian Lisa Moskovitz.
Unless you have a gluten sensitivity or suffer from celiac disease, there’s no reason for you to eliminate wheat products from your diet. Many whole-grains contain fiber, which helps flush out toxins, level blood sugar, and keep you regular. These grains also contain magnesium, which helps prevent osteoporosis.
Unless you’re on vacation and are stopping in a famous bakery in France, it’s best to leave the croissants off your plate—and yes, that includes chocolate ones. The flaky pastry might be delicious, but the treat can set you back in terms of fiberless calories that will just end up leaving you hungry again a short while after you eat. A chocolate croissant from Starbucks, for example, will cost you 340 calories and 13 grams of sugar—not worth it.
Unlike wild-caught, farmed fish contains higher levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Plus, wild salmon is naturally red thanks to the astaxanthin-rich krill and shrimp they feed on. Since farmed salmon don’t feed on this cancer- and aging-preventing compound, manufacturers are forced to dye the fish artificially in order to market it. Next time you’re at the seafood aisle, opt for wild over farmed to gain anti-inflammatory and other healthful benefits.
Commercial Protein Shakes
Sure, they’re loaded with protein and promise to keep you full in between meals. However, many bottles are teeming with artificial additives, added sugar, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and more calories than you’d typically eat in a meal. In other words, this combo a recipe for weight gain.
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This is Almost Certainly the Best Diet for Women Over 40
The best diet for women over 40 is one that considers both caloric and nutritional requirements. Knowing which foods work best for you and your needs will help you to create an amazing body that lasts a lifetime.
Here’s how to build a great diet.
Why Whole Foods are Best
Eating whole foods is the best weight loss and healthy eating strategy for numerous reasons.
Whole foods are loaded with nutrients as they haven’t been processed, or altered in any way. They are the foods you find in nature.
Whole foods are free from added sugars, preservatives, other fillers, and are usually lower in calories (and higher in fiber) than processed foods.
Examples of whole or minimally processed foods to include in the best diet for women over 40 are:
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Organic meat, chicken, poultry, fish, or seafood
- Extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and other healthy fats
- Low-fat dairy foods or calcium-rich substitutes
Because whole foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, these foods maximize energy during weight loss.
They also prevent nutrient deficiencies that can take a toll on your health.
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What Makes Weight Loss Over 40 Work?
There are numerous key components of the best diet for women over 40.
When broken down into individual parts, planning weight loss meals and menus can feel like a breeze. An effective weight loss diet over 40 includes:
#1 The Right Number of Calories
Planning a weight loss diet for women over 40 involves controlling your calorie intake.
Increased age is associated with lower calorie requirements, as metabolism tends to slow down the older you are.
To maintain a healthy weight, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 suggest women over 40 eat the following number of calories based on how active they are:
- Age 41-50: 1,800-2,200 calories
- Age 51-60: 1,600-2,200 calories
- Age 61 and older: 1,600-2,000 calories
If weight loss is your goal, subtract 500-1,000 calories from your usual intake.
For many women, this means eating just 1,200-1,500 calories per day (up to 1,800 calories for women who weigh more or are very active).
To follow a reduced-calorie diet for weight loss, aim to eat about:
- 3 meals containing about 300-350 calories each
- 2-3 snacks containing 200-250 calories each
#2 Lots of Vegetables
There are three main categories of vegetables. Starchy vegetables are rich carbohydrates and sometimes protein too, and non-starchy vegetables are much lower in calories and carbs.
Aim to fill half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables during weight loss and one-fourth of your plate with starchy foods. Examples of the various types of vegetables include:
Protein-Rich Starchy Vegetables: peas, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, and other legumes.
Other Starchy Veggies: corn, yams, squash, and sweet potatoes.
All vegetables are loaded with fiber, which enhances weight loss by boosting satiety and keeping you full longer.
Protein foods aid in weight loss because they increase satiety, help your body burn extra calories, and enhance muscle maintenance during weight loss.
Fill one-fourth of your plate with nutritious protein foods like organic lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, and seitan.
Limit red meat and steer clear of processed meats like bacon, sausage, ham, cold cut meats, and hot dogs.
#4 Calcium-Rich Foods
Foods rich in calcium are crucial for maximizing bone health in women, and many of these foods are loaded with vitamin D and protein.
Aim to consume 2-3 servings of dairy foods or calcium-rich substitutes daily.
Examples include low-fat milk, Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, reduced-fat cheese, almond milk, soy milk, other plant milk, and vegan yogurts (such as soy or almond milk yogurt).
#5 Protein Shakes
Protein shakes make excellent meal replacements or satiating snacks during weight loss, and are usually good sources of calcium.
To create your own homemade protein shake mix together whey, casein, egg, or plant-based protein powder with water or milk.
Add in fruit or nut butter if you desire, blend it with ice, and enjoy!
#6 Heart-Healthy Fats
Nutritious fats are an important part of the best diet for women over 40.
These fats increase satiety, maximize brain health, and help keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy.
Choose a heart-healthy fat at each meal and snack to complete weight loss meal plans for women over 40.
Examples include avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olive oil, other plant oils, olives, fatty fish or fish oil, and hummus.
Dip fruit in nut butter, cook with olive oil, dip veggie sticks in hummus, add avocados to salads and sandwiches, snack on nuts between meals, top yogurt or cottage cheese with seeds, and take a fish oil supplement if your doctor recommends it.
#7 No Processed Foods
Cutting back on processed foods aids in weight loss over 40 and can improve your overall health and wellness.
Processed foods are often loaded with added sugar or sodium, and contain less fiber than many whole foods.
Examples of foods to avoid when following the best weight loss diet for women over 40 include sweets, sugary drinks, potato chips, processed meats (hot dogs, regular bacon, ham, etc.), white rice, white bread, regular pasta, fried foods, baked goods, and pizza.
#8 No Alcohol
Alcohol is linked with certain types of cancer and contains 7 calories per gram vs. the 4 calories per gram in protein and carbohydrates.
Mixing alcohol with sugary drinks or other mixers further boosts its calorie content, and these calories don’t nourish your body.
Steer clear of alcoholic drinks if you can or limit them as much as possible for effective weight loss in women over 40.
Choose water, coffee, and green tea instead.
Some of the most effective short-term weight loss diets are difficult to maintain for life.
When weight loss is your goal, choose a well-balanced diet you can continue indefinitely.
Losing weight at a slower pace of 1-2 pounds per week might not sound desirable, but this rate of weight loss is most effective for long-term success vs. a temporary quick fix.
#10 Gender-Specific Components
What works for weight loss in men might not necessarily be right for women.
While the concept is the same, women over 40 have unique nutritional and weight loss needs compared with men and younger women.
The best weight loss diet for women over 40 is something that’s specifically designed for women in this age category.
Let us show you how you can start losing weight this week! We’ll email you our free meal plan & workout + email coaching.
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Do Popular Weight Loss Diets Work?
You might have heard about some popular weight loss diets, many of which are effective in the short term. But fad diets aren’t always sustainable for life, especially if they’re very restrictive or drastically reduce certain food groups.
Examples of some popular weight loss diets include:
#1 Low-Carb Diets
Low-carb diets help reduce your overall calorie intake for weight loss, especially when you limit or avoid added sugars, sugary drinks, and refined grains (white bread, white rice, baked goods, etc.).
But drastically cutting carbs can drain your energy and is often difficult to maintain long term.
Cutting unhealthy carbs is an excellent weight loss strategy, but keep nutritious carbohydrates in your diet.
Examples include legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Doing so makes it easier to adhere to a weight loss diet, and helps prevent nutrient deficiencies.
#2 Intermittent Fasting
Studies show that intermittent fasting decreases fat mass and aids in weight loss, as it helps reduce your overall calorie intake.
Intermittent fasting occurs when you fast, or don’t eat, for specified time periods.
For example, you might skip a meal, only eating during an 8-hour window each day, or eat just fruits and vegetables with the exception of a larger meal at dinner time.
You may also consider intermittent calorie restriction by eating just 800 calories 2-3 days per week.
Avoid all-day fasts to prevent negative side effects of fasting, such as fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
#3 Low-Fat Diets
Like low-carb diets, low-fat diets help reduce your overall calorie intake for weight loss.
That’s because fat contains 9 calories per gram and carbs and protein each provide 4 calories in each gram.
While low-fat diets can be effective for dropping weight, they may not be as satisfying as other weight loss diets because fat helps boost satiety.
Everybody is different but you may prefer a well-balanced diet vs. low-fat or low-carb dieting for weight loss.
#4 Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
Cutting out meat or other animal-based foods is an effective way to cut calories when weight loss over 40 is your goal.
Studies show that switching from a standard American diet to a vegetarian diet, especially a vegan (entirely plant-based) meal plan, works for weight loss in overweight adults.
But if you choose a vegan diet for weight loss, carefully plan menus to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Taking dietary supplements can help.
#5 Ketogenic Diets
Following a ketogenic diet is another effective weight loss strategy, especially short term.
But studies show that while weight loss using ketogenic diets usually peaks at about five months, the diet is difficult to sustain long term.
Keto diets are high in dietary fat, low in protein, and very low in carbohydrates.
They often boost satiety and help your body burn fat as fuel, but can lead to fatigue and nutrient deficiencies over time.
#6 Paleo Diets
Paleo diets are loaded with nutritious, whole foods that aid in weight loss.
These diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats, fish, and plant oils – but lack grains, legumes, potatoes, and dairy foods.
They are low in sodium and free from added sugar and highly processed foods.
But because Paleo diets are restrictive, they can be difficult for some people to maintain indefinitely.
#7 Very Low-Calorie Diets
Very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) contain just 500-800 calories (or less) daily and can lead to drastic weight loss of 3-5 pounds per week. VLCDs can lower your risk of obesity-related health problems, but require medical supervision.
That’s because while very low-calorie diets are effective for weight loss, they aren’t sustainable long term because of difficulty with adherence, possible side effects, and the risk of nutrient deficiencies.
Ask your doctor is a short-term VLCD is right for you.
#8 Meal Replacement Diets
Using meal replacement shakes or bars can help you cut calories for weight loss, especially if you’re always on the go.
But while replacing meals with shakes or bars is an effective weight loss strategy, avoid substituting every meal with supplements.
Some ready-to-drink protein shakes and bars are loaded with sugar and other additives, so be careful which ones you choose.
We recently launched an amazing new formula of SuperFuel, which includes additional nutrients and less than 1g of sugar per serving.
Homemade protein smoothies containing protein powder, plant milk, and fruit or nut butter work well!
What is the Best Diet for Women Over 40?
The best weight loss diet for women over 40 is well-balanced, sustainable for a lifetime, and specifically designed for women’s unique nutritional needs.
The Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) is a comprehensive weight loss plan created for women ages 35+ who lead busy lives but want to take control of their health. FM30X offers the following key components:
- Meal and menu plans
- Custom workout plans
- Motivational support
- Q & A access with health experts
- Fit mom social media support
- Healthy recipes
- Weekly newsletters
- Nutrition education
- Much more
Studies show that social support enhances weight loss, but friends and family might not have the qualifications necessary to help you.
Let the Fit Mother Project health and medical experts lead you through a journey toward a healthier, happier lifestyle you can maintain indefinitely.
Workouts are just as important as a healthy diet for weight loss because getting lean boosts your metabolism and re-shapes your body to one you’re proud to show off. FM30X gives you with the fat-burning workouts necessary to get leaner, not just lighter when you don’t have hours to spend at the gym.
When you’re ready to give FM30X a try, sign up for the FREE Fit Mom Jumpstart Kit. In it you’ll receive a FREE weight loss meal plan, FREE fat-burning workout, FREE email coaching support, and private fit mom Facebook group access.
Give it a try risk-free to achieve the body weight and figure you’ve been striving for!
Your new friend & health coach,
Erin Coleman, B.S. – Nutritional Science, Registered Dietician, Licenced Dietician
Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.
She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.
Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.
If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…
Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:
- The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
- The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
- VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X > Read the FM30X Program Overview letter here
40 Best Superfoods for People Over 40
As we age, it becomes increasingly more difficult to combat chronic diseases, maintain a healthy metabolism, and keep belly fat at bay. But contrary to what you may believe, your health isn’t actually doomed to plummet downhill with every turned page of the calendar. Sure, you may not be able to cut out bread for a week and lose pounds as easily you did in your twenties, but you certainly can add specific foods—like these superfoods—to your diet in your quest to turn back time.
Choosing these youth-promoting foods will equip your body with the cancer-fighting, wrinkle-smoothing, and metabolism-revving vitamins and nutrients it needs to help you look and feel young and vibrant, in the most natural way.
So the next time you head out for a grub run, make sure to stock up on our stellar list of the best superfoods to eat after 40, while practicing restraint when it comes to ordering these meals you should never eat after 40. Your body will thank you.
“Hormonal changes in your 40s can affect your appetite hormones, ghrelin, and leptin,” explains Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, and founder of Foodtrainers. “Both supplemental vitamin D3 and extra lean protein can help keep your appetite under control.” Wild salmon fits the bill, boasting some of the highest levels of weight loss-aiding vitamin D3 as well as muscle-maintaining protein.
If your tummy has been rounder than a pufferfish, it’s time to cut foods that cause bloat from your diet. “As we age, our bodies can’t break down lactose as efficiently. When we can’t efficiently digest something, it tends to cause gas and bloat, which is the opposite of a flat stomach. Avoid dairy foods, and you’ll likely see some improvement!” advises Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN of Real Nutrition NYC. Can’t give up your late-night cereal sessions? You don’t have to! Just opt for these better-for-you milk alternatives.
“Many types of healthy fats can help you lose body fat. Omega-3s are one type with these superpowers,” Slayton says. “Try to have one omega-3 rich food every day.” Sprinkling chia seeds into your morning smoothie or oats is an effortless way to reach your daily quota. (Bonus: chia seeds are also one of the best high fiber foods!)
If you’ve stuffed your diet with processed foods, uncomfortable digestive problems can start creeping up in your forties. Thankfully, we have fermented fare to combat that. “A daily serving of sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, sour pickles, kombucha, or live culture yogurt can help balance your gut bacteria,” says Dr. Rob Silverman, DC of NY ChiroCare.
Not only do raspberries contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals, but these textured berries also contain an impressive eight grams of fiber per cup, which can help you feel fuller longer in addition to relieving constipation.
Blueberries are notorious for being jam-packed with antioxidants, which can fend off anything from the flu to weight-inducing inflammation by fighting free radicals. Toss the indigo orbs into whole-grain pancakes or eat them on their own for a belly-filling snack!
Making an omelet? Forget separating the white from the yolk and embrace the whole egg! The healthy fats within the yolks can help you feel fuller longer and curb cravings, explains Kayleen St. John, MS, RD. Not to mention, choline—a belly fat-blasting nutrient—is only present in the orange part of the egg, rather than the whites, that most dieters tend to avoid. Next time you’re whipping up a scramble, crack the whole egg, yolk and all, into the pan.
Avocados, in all of their creamy glory, aren’t only pleasing to your taste buds—they can be your body’s best friend, too. This fatty fruit has healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad fat that clogs arteries) and placate a growling tummy. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, people who noshed on just half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours after.
Not only clad with the powers of transforming even the blandest burger into a scrumptious bite, onions are also stellar at combating cancer. According to University of Guelph researchers, Ontario-grown red onions pack a solid dose of quercetin and anthocyanin, which can fight off colon and breast cancers. “Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death,” Abdulmonem Murayyan, the study’s lead author, explained. “They promote an unfavorable environment for cancer cells and they disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth.”
A half-cup serving of garbanzo beans pack in about eight grams of fiber, helping you easily hit the FDA’s 25-gram daily fiber recommendation. While these beans make a seriously satiating salad topper, we also love blending them with a bit of tahini, lemon juice, and salt for a mouth-watering homemade hummus.
A tasty portable snack, these subtly sweet nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol. Although munching on almonds during any part of your day is a smart choice, getting your daily serving before you hit the gym can actually help you stay even slimmer. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that the amino acid L-arginine, which almonds are brimming with, can help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts.
Adding high volume leafy greens like spinach is always a good idea if achieving a bikini body is your goal. Popeye’s favorite pick is rich in vitamin E as well as the amino acid betaine and the nutrient choline, which work together to turn off fat-storing genes in the liver.
Just one medium-sized carrot is bursting with 203 percent of your daily recommended vitamin A, which will help keep your skin smooth and vision as sharp as it was in your twenties! “This vegetable is orange thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A… which also happens to be a form of the main active ingredient in Retin-A (the topical ointment that helps fight dark spots, wrinkles, and acne by increasing cell turnover),” explains certified board dermatologist and Founder of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute Dr. Leslie Baumann.
Curcumin, this bright-colored root spice’s main antioxidant, has shown to prevent a plethora of ailments from inflammation to cancer. Good thing you can easily reap its benefits by sprinkling turmeric into practically anything! (We especially love it on over-easy eggs.) To enhance its effects, pair turmeric with black pepper, as the latter activates the former’s bioavailability.
If you’ve never added this delicate green to your salads, now is definitely the time to start. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consuming 85 grams of raw watercress (about two cups) could reduce DNA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. What’s more, the leafy green is teeming with beta-carotene and vitamin A, two compounds essential for youthful skin. No wonder why watercress is our #1 best superfood healthier than kale!
Tired of starkly staring at the bags under your eyes every morning? (Pun intended!) Fortunately enough, this summer fruit can help you look doe-eyed way past the big 4-0! “Though it may sound counterintuitive, the high concentration of water in watermelon can actually reduce the water retention that leads to puffiness around the eyes,” says Baumann. “And because watermelon is low in sugar—well, compared to many other fruits—you don’t have to worry about glycation, the chemical reaction that compromises collagen and leads to lines and wrinkles.”
An apple a day can keep heart disease away. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who regularly ate apples were found to have a 13 to 22 percent lower risk of coronary disease than those who didn’t bite into the crunchy fruit.
This fiber-filled smoothie star is packed with anemia-fighting folate and vitamin C to help your immune system combat winter colds with minimal effort. Good thing there are countless ways to reap the benefits of this leafy green besides blending it. Try cooking up a kale quiche or scramble. You can also coat the veggie with olive oil and salt before popping it into the oven if you’re craving a crunchy, and equally as a healthy snack.
Not all sugars are created equal, which is why we prefer to sweeten things up with a natural source. Unlike artificial sweeteners, honey contains minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc that help boost your immune system and overall well-being. Next time your a.m. oats are tasting a bit bland, try drizzling in some honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon, our next must-buy superfood.
Regret dumping that extra teaspoon of sugar into your overnight oats? Undoing the damage can be as simple as sprinkling some cinnamon in! This warm spice may help reduce high blood sugar levels associated with sugar consumption as well as prevent pesky insulin spikes. One study even found that the oatmeal topper can help reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.
In their quests to get trim, many dieters think that refraining from a few olive oil drizzles will help cut calories and boost overall weight loss; meanwhile, it’s actually the complete opposite. The heart-healthy oil helps unlock the nutritional benefits of fat-soluble vitamins’ (vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are found in many veggies like salad greens). Olive oil is also linked to reducing weight circumference and preventing heart disease, giving you the green light to dress that spinach salad.
Just one cup of collard greens offers 36 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement—a vitamin essential for maintaining strong vision and resilient skin. Not only that, this Southern favorite is a rich source of flu-fighting vitamin C as well as satiating protein and fiber.
A natural detoxifier, garlic can improve your cholesterol profiles as well as reduce high blood pressure. Plus, a study in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research found that frequent intake of garlic can protect against esophageal cancer and stomach cancer.
“As we age we start to lose muscle mass, but we’re still able to build and maintain. I do strength exercises and cardio exercises, but they won’t be as beneficial without sufficient protein,” says Maria-Paula Carrillo, MS, RDN, LD. Grass-fed beef, a potent protein source, contains more omega-3s as well as fat-burning CLA than its grain-fed counterparts.
This protein-packed blue-green algae is brimming with energizing thiamine (vitamin B1) as well as calcium and iron. Add it to your morning smoothies for a free radical-fighting antioxidant boost.
Guava provides over 600 percent of the day’s vitamin C in just one cup! Compare that to an orange, which contains just 85 percent of the cold-preventing vitamin. Not only that, this tropical fruit has just over four grams of protein per cup, making it a smart Greek yogurt pairing.
Thanks to eggplants’ anthocyanins, eating the veggie will provide you with impressive neuroprotective benefits like a sharper short-term memory and reduced inflammation. As if you needed another reason to toss them into your next stir-fry!
Much like the vino they form the base of, grapes are jam-packed with resveratrol—an antioxidant-like polyphenol that has been linked to slashing your risk of heart disease and cancer.
“To balance hormones, such as leptin, the diet must contain high fiber vegetables to stabilize leptin levels by making you feel full longer. They’ll balance cortisol, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,” explains Lisa Avellino, Fitness Director at NY Health and Wellness. “The fiber found in cabbage, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts help stabilize blood sugar and insulin by slowing down digestion.”
Just like their cruciferous brother broccoli, cauliflower boosts your satiety with a generous helping of fiber. Not only that, this flowery veggie contains two cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolate, and isothiocyanates, which have also been shown to boost antioxidant status.
This Peruvian root plant is usually found in powder form, which makes it almost effortless to reap its benefits. Maca is rich in amino acids, phytonutrients, and a number of vitamins and minerals, admits registered dietitian Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD. Maca is also a stellar energy booster and inflammation killer.
Bone broth is exactly what it sounds like: when animal bones simmer in water for a while, the process extracts their collagen and other nutrients such as glucosamine. According to a study published in the journal PLoS One, when overweight, middle-aged adults took a glucosamine supplement, they were able to decrease inflammation biomarker serum CRP levels by 23 percent more than those who didn’t supplement their diets with glucosamine. In addition, bone broth contains the amino acids glycine and proline in addition to gelatin, which can help rebuild your gut lining to help your body’s biome function on its A-game.
Pepper contains piperine, a powerful compound that holds the power to fend off inflammation and digestive troubles.
Per cup, pumpkin seeds contain about half the calories of almonds yet pack in an extra gram of fiber! Satisfyingly crunchy pepitas are also high in iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and immune-system-boosting zinc.
You likely haven’t heard of this nutty-flavored gluten-free grain, but it packs a nutritional punch that’s worth reckoning with! Teff is loaded with fiber, amino acids, bone-building calcium and de-stressing vitamin C—a nutrient that balances levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping combat belly fat.
Another gluten-free grain, quinoa is loaded with protein as well as all nine essential amino acids that we need for energy and growth. What’s more, “Whole grains give us fiber, which is key to helping digestion and satiety,” Carrillo explains. “They allow you to stay satisfied for longer. Whole grains prevent the rise in blood sugar as well and help to regulate blood sugar. They also work to reduce cholesterol, which is heart healthy.”
“Cutting back on processed carbohydrates is essential for weight loss after 40,” explains Jennifer Cassetta, clinical nutritionist, personal trainer and health expert from ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours.” “Maintaining blood sugar and insulin levels is vital to weight loss, so cutting back on foods that spike blood sugar and insulin is a must.” A good place to start would be by replacing the refined carbs in your diet with unsweetened steel-cut oatmeal. Oats are a solid source of blood sugar-regulating magnesium, a nutrient that also helps boost fat burn.
Beets contain a powerful nutrient called betaine, which lends the root veggie its rich red hue as well as fights inflammation, boosts metabolism, improves your mood and turns off your fat genes.
An ancient remedy for obnoxious tummy troubles, ginger is a natural miracle worker when it comes to your gut. But its powers aren’t limited to ridding your body of nausea and bloat—this root spice has also been linked to slashing cancer risk and reducing arthritis symptoms. Researchers attribute ginger’s health benefits to its gingerols, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-disease compounds.
Ditch the Sriracha and grab a bottle of cayenne instead! The fiery pepper contains a compound called capsaicin, which has been shown to act as a serious appetite suppressant. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who supplemented their diet with capsaicin consumed 200 fewer calories during their next meal—which is why cayenne is one of our foods to lose your gut.
Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
Weight Loss For Men Over 40: The Easy 5 Step Guide
Welcome, my friend! You’ve finally found the page you’ve been looking for that explains the fundamentals of what you need to know about weight loss for men over 40.
If this is your first time visiting the Fit Father Project, I want to welcome you! This is one of the most extensive posts on this site, because I want to hand you the proven 5 step guide to lose weight – and keep it all off – as a man over 40.
First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi. I’m a men’s health doctor who specializes in weight loss for men over 40. I’ve helped over 35,000 fathers over 40 get healthier using the 5 step method I’m going to show you in this guide.
FAIR WARNING: This article is far more VALUABLE and in-depth than your average “Top 10 Silly Tips” posts you see cluttering up the internet.
If don’t have 10 minutes to carefully read this article right now, bookmark this page and come back later. You won’t want to miss a thing.
My promise to you with this post: if you diligently read this article and understand this 5 step process, you will have the big picture plan of weight loss for men over 40.
FREE 1-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan For Men 40+
Lose weight. Eat like a man. Enjoy your life. Over 55,000 men are using this.
Get yourself back into great shape – at any age the Fit Father way.
Here’s are the 5 key points we’re going to cover…
- Your two weight loss foundations (sleep & mindset)
- The sustainable weight loss meal plan
- Doing “daily activity” vs “exercise”
- Time-efficient exercises to boost your metabolism
- The 5 Point Summary & Your Action Steps
The PROPER weight loss knowledge is power. Let’s dive in.
First, Here’s Why Men Over 40 Struggle With Weight Loss
“I’ll just cut my carbs, scale back my portions, and start exercising again… I’m bound to drop some weight…”
Have you heard something like that before? Maybe you’ve had a similar thought yourself…
This “shotgun” weight loss approach sounds simple enough, and it’s the general plan that most guys over 40 follow when trying to lose weight.
The BIG problem is that 92% of men fail at sustaining weight loss by using this general approach (New Data from The University of Scranton).
I find those statistics shocking.
Tens of millions of guys (probably yourself included) are failing on diets because they are not following a specialized plan that integrates the 5 necessary steps of weight loss for men over 40.
That’s not ok with me, so know this…
Key Takeaway #1:Any unspecific & “cookie-cutter” weight loss plan won’t work for you long-term as a guy in your 40s, 50s, or 60s.
Because you’re over 40 at this point, your body is undergoing a whole slew of metabolic and hormonal changes that need to be accounted for to lose weight effectively.
Instead of failing at weight loss again (and again), here’s what you need to start doing instead…
From helping thousands of fathers in their 40s, 50s, & 60s successfully lose weight and get healthier, I have distilled down the successful weight loss process into these 5 core principles of weight loss for men over 40.
For your viewing pleasure, I put these 5 principles into this nifty “Pyramid Diagram” below…
We’re about to cover why this pyramid is key for your success.
This pyramid is progressive – meaning to lose weight successfully, you MUST start by working on the foundations at the bottom.
Only after working on the fundamentals, should you work your way up the pyramid. With that in mind, let’s dive into Step #1.
Step #1: DO NOT start with diet and exercise
One of the biggest mistakes I see guys make when trying to lose weight is that they attack diet and exercise first.
This is a SUPER EASY mistake to make because it seems like diet and exercise would be the “perfect” place to start when trying to lose weight. Yet, this is the WRONG first step.
Although both diet and exercise are very important (we’ll discuss extensively in Steps #3-5), there are 2 prior foundations that you need to build first.
Here are your FIRST two steps…
- Foundation #1: Sleep Optimization For Weight Loss
- Foundation #2: The Proper Weight Loss Success Mindset
Let’s examine these Two Big Foundations now…
Poor Sleep Forces Your Body To Rampantly Store Fat EVEN IF You Are Following A Good Nutrition Plan
During sleep, your body regulates all of its major weight loss hormones. Your body absolutely requires balanced levels of these hormones to lose weight effectively. Weight loss for men over 40 is dramatically impacted because of these hormone levels.
Here are the most prominent hormones that impact your weight loss…
- Growth hormone – a key anti-aging hormone – naturally surges at night to help your body burn fat, build muscle, & repair tissues.
- Insulin – a key food and fat storage hormone – decreases to its lowest levels at night, enabling your metabolism to burn a ton of fat.
- Cortisol – your body’s main stress hormone – decreases at night allowing your cells to relax and rejuvenate.
Key Takeaway #2:Without proper sleep, these critical fat-burning & fat-storing hormones get ALL sorts of messed up – literally forcing your body to hold onto fat.
In fact, after a single night of disrupted sleep, your body experiences lower growth hormone, higher cortisol, a slower metabolic rate, and greater insulin resistance (1,2)*.
How effective do you think your weight loss efforts will be as you’re pushing against this terrible hormonal cascade?
Your weight loss progress will flat out suck if you’re not getting enough sleep. In fact, a recent study from the University of Chicago showed that people trying to lose weight with inadequate sleep experienced profound MUSCLE LOSS – with little to no fat loss (3)*.
That’s the exact opposite of result of what you want.
For future reading on how to optimize sleep, check out this extensive blog on the 3 best sleep strategies: The 3 Tips To Sleep Better Tonight
For now, just know this: for the thousands of guys on my Fit Father 30X Program, I require 6-7 hours of sleep as a minimum number.
Adequate sleep is the foundation of your weight loss success.
Now, let’s transition to the second foundation… “The Proper Weight Loss Success Mindset.”
Here’s How To Get Your Mind Ready For Weight Loss Success…
Weight loss is a BIG goal. Anyone who says differently is either 1) full of crap or 2) hasn’t been through the process themselves.
Transforming your health & body requires unwinding the unhealthy lifestyle habits that got you overweight in the first place.
I’m talking about your eating patterns, your habits for coping with stress, and your exercise habits (or lack thereof)…
We need to shift you AWAY from the bad habits that are keeping you stuck, while also moving TOWARDS the new healthy behaviors that will support your goals.
As you can imagine, this degree of health change takes effort.
That’s precisely why your successful & sustainable weight loss requires you develop a strong mindset with the emotional fortitude to handle making these healthy changes over the long term.
To get more tips on how to improve your mindset for anything you want to tackle, check out this post on the: 5 Navy SEAL Mindset Secrets On Fitness, Success, Manliness, & War
Key Takeaway #3: You need to develop a mindset that is DEEPLY committed fully to your weight loss journey. (Hint: for the “RIGHT” reasons).
In the inspiring words of Eric Thomas, “The Hip Hop Preacher:”
You’ve got to find something within. You need to know what moves you. What drives you. WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
And your WHY has to be deeper than you. When you find your WHY, you don’t hit snooze anymore. When you find your WHY, you find a way to make it happen. – Eric Thomas
I recommend watching this great 2 min clip about finding your WHY:
Here’s my question for you: “What’s is your big weight loss WHY?”
What motivates you DEEP down to lose weight & be healthy?
Not all men over 40 want to lose weight for the same reason.
For me, my “WHY” is the promise I made to my Dad just before he passed away from cancer to help as many fathers as I can during my lifetime to stay healthy & strong for their families.
That promise I made to my Dad is my “why” and the big reason I started the Fit Father Project (read the full story here).
For you, “your why” may be losing weight to stay around to see your kids and grandkids get married. It may be to stay strong to take care of your spouse.
I’ve found (in most cases) the strongest “Why Powers” are almost always rooted in something bigger than you or me as individuals.
Take a minute now to think about your weight loss “WHY”…
- Why do you want to lose weight and get healthy?
- Is there somebody you need to stay healthy for?
- What will happen if you don’t make health changes?
- What reasons and emotional power will keep you on track when weight loss gets hard?
My challenge to you is to DISCOVER your “why power” that will serve as the emotional bedrock of your weight loss success.
You will be shocked at how much more weight you’ll lose over the next month when you have the PROPER MINDSET fueling your actions.
Yes, losing weight will get hard at times. That’s guaranteed. But having the inner strength, commitment, and purpose can always transcend “hard.” That too is guaranteed.
Now that we’ve talked about sleep and mindset, we can move onto the NEXT STEP of “The Pyramid.”
Step #2: You must start a sustainable weight loss meal plan.
Nutrition accounts for 80% of your weight loss results. It is 10x more important than exercise. Know that right off the bat.
To illustrate this point, I want to mention one of my Fit Father 30-Day Program members named Vijay. Over the past 4 months on the program, Vijay has dropped 45lbs.
- Vijay hasn’t performed one single “workout” yet.
- He also eats bread every single day for lunch.
Vijay just follows a simple, effective, and sustainable meal plan we put together that works with his schedule. And he walks during the day. That’s it. No voodoo involved to drop that 45lbs.
And know that when I say “Effective Nutrition,” I’m NOT referring to calorie counting, highly restrictive meal planning, or any of that unnecessary garbage.
Because when we trim all the fat & complication away from eating for weight loss, effective nutrition is as much about BEHAVIORS as it is about the food itself.
That’s worth repeating…
Key Takeaway #4:Eating for weight loss is about sustainable behaviors – not getting caught up in the hype of “magic fat burn foods” – despite what the latest fad diet wants you to believe.
This is not a knowledge-intensive decision. It’s a behavior-based decision that relies on habits & willpower…
The beautiful part is that you already know which foods are healthy and which aren’t.
You know the salmon on the dinner menu is better than the burger. You know chips aren’t as healthy as fruits & veggies.
Knowledge is not your issue. Your issue is establishing the right eating habits and behaviors on a consistent basis.
The key to your weight loss success lies in finding ways to get those healthy foods into your mouth consistently – ideally in a simple, sustainable, and enjoyable way that doesn’t feel like work or torture.
Weight loss is about building sustainable nutrition habits.
Key Takeaway #5:I recommend you start with a simple eating approach like my Free 1-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan that simplifies healthy eating into a sustainable and enjoyable plan.
When you download your free meal plan, I’ll also send you my VIP “3-Day Weight Loss Kickstart” Training (Value: $199) – 100% FREE – as my gift to welcome you to the Fit Father Project family.
Next, AFTER you have a sustainable nutrition plan in place…
Step #4: Start doing DAILY ACTIVITY – not formal exercise.
What’s the difference between “daily activity” & “formal exercise”?
Formal exercise is a “workout.” It’s training with weights. It’s performing fat loss interval training. It’s doing cardio.
“Working out” is useful and quite effective for weight loss, and I have a ton of great workout tips to help you with that on this site. But…
Remember: exercise is just one TOOL for weight loss. It’s not the foundation of your weight loss efforts.
In fact, to lose weight, “formal exercise” is the LEAST important part of the pyramid as you see here again…
Please know that I’m NOT saying you can sit on your ass all day and lose weight. We both know that won’t work…
What WILL WORK is understanding that it’s 1000x easier to NOT EAT 500 calories than it is to spend 1-hour exercising.
Key Takeaway #6: You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. It’s so much more efficient to make some smart changes to your eating than to throw more exercise at a “bad eating is keeping me fat problem.”
That’s why “formal exercise” is not as important as healthy eating for the initial stages of weight loss.
Daily movement is VERY IMPORTANT though…
In fact, new research from neuroscience has shown that our BRAINS require a minimum amount of daily movement each day to properly regulate our feelings of hunger & weight loss (4)*.
The MINIMUM amount of activity your body needs to lose weight is called your Daily Required Movement Threshold.
Here’s the important (practical) part: your brain actually requires that you perform at least 30-45 min of active movement (things like walking) in order for it to properly regulate your hunger level.
If you fail to get this minimum amount of activity, your brain’s appetite control centers malfunction, and your hunger runs wild (5)*.
Being hungry all the time is the worst scenario for weight loss.
If you miss this Daily 30-45 minutes of active movement, your brain forces you to crave calorie dense foods – even if your body has an “energy excess” (lots of stored body fat).
Crazy, right? That’s why DAILY MOVEMENT is so important.
I recommend a simple morning walk if possible – in the sunlight to get some Vitamin D. That’s the ideal plan.
If you have an active job already, you’re good to go! Your daily activity threshold is already being met, so focusing on starting a smarter nutrition plan will get you the best results.
If you work a desk-job AND can’t do a morning walk… try setting a timer every 50 minutes to get up and walk around. I use this online timer www.e.ggtimer.com/50minutes.
Every 50 minutes it beeps on my computer reminding me to get up and move around. Plus, moving around every hour while working really helps alleviate back tension and stiffness.
Pro Tip: Grab a pedometer & set a daily goal of 7,000 steps.
You can buy an inexpensive physical pedometer like this one here or use the free pedometer apps on your phone (Android, iPhone). Using a Pedometers is a great motivation tool to help you hit your daily movement threshold.
Here are a few other tips to move more:
- Park the car farther away in the parking lot.
- Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
- Walk while you are talking on the phone.
- Hell, even walk your dog, your wife, or your girlfriend :-).
All of this seemingly small movement adds up to big results.
Remember: the goal of daily movement is NOT to burn calories. The goal is to hit your “Daily Required Movement Threshold,” so that your brain can maintain proper hunger control. As a result, you’ll naturally eat less and lose more weight.
Finally, once the activity threshold is in place (coupled with a good diet, ~7 hours sleep, and a strong WHY-motivated mindset), we can address the capstone aspect of the weight loss pyramid: formal exercise.
Step #5: Use The 2 Best Exercise Types For Men 40+.
We’re finally here! “Formal Exercise” – the tip-top of the weight loss pyramid! Thankfully, your formal exercise approach for weight loss is simple…
There are TWO (2) Types of exercise that you need for weight loss:
Type #1: Fat-Burning “Interval” Cardio: the proper interval cardio workouts burn 2x as much fat in HALF the time of typical “jogging on the treadmill” workouts.
Type #2: Strength Training: Nothing naturally boosts your body’s natural levels of anti-aging & weight loss hormones faster than pumping some iron. There are 5 key strength training exercises that you need to be regularly performing (6).
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Key Takeaway #7: You need BOTH time-efficient “fat-burning” interval cardio AND the proper strength training routine to lose weight as quickly & easily as possible.
I’m not a gambling man, but I’d be willing to bet that you have some tightening up to do with your nutrition, sleep, and daily activity before we start implementing formal exercise…
Remember Vijay. He lost weight with just sleep, mindset, daily walks, and the damn effective Fit Father Meal Plan inside my Fit Father 30X Program.
You can do the exact same. Start with nutrition. Exercise comes after.
The Undeniable Proof These 5 Steps Work Wonders
Please know: Weight loss results vary from individual to individual.
Meet Fit Father 30X program member Jim Younger (62 years young).
Before starting with our new “Fit Father” approach, Jim was rampantly gaining weight and feeling exhausted all the time. Jim let his health slip while raising his 5 kids and building his construction business.
At 62, Jim finally committed to getting his health handled for good.
With this 5-step approach distilled into a simple action plan inside the comprehensive Fit Father 30X Program, Jim dropped 45lbs of stubborn fat in just over 9.5 weeks.
Here’s the exact process Jim used – based on the 5 steps in this guide:
- Jim first started by getting his sleep on track at 7 hours.
- Jim also completed the FF30X Motivation “Why Power” worksheet.
- Next, Jim started the Fit Father Meal Plan found inside the FF30X.
- Then Jim began 30-minutes of walking each morning before work.
- Lastly, Jim began the time-efficient FF30X workouts (just 120 min of exercise/week).
There is a proven path to follow.
Article Summary: The 5 Key Points of Weight Loss For Men Over 40 in 30 Seconds
Ok! So that’s the 5-step big picture view of weight loss for men over 40. I hope you found this article extremely valuable.
Key Point #1: Get 6-7 hours of sleep every night. Missing sleep destroys the hormonal environment your body needs to lose weight. Sleep is foundational!
Key Point #2: Figure out your weight loss WHY Power. What motivates you on a DEEP emotional level to lose weight? This is your WHY power that will keep you on track.
Key Point #3: Get on a simple & sustainable eating meal plan. Eating for weight loss is all about behaviors. You need a habits-based system that you can actually stick to.
Key Point #4: Start 30-45 minutes of daily activity – NOT exercise. Your body needs to hit it’s minimum daily movement threshold to properly regular your hunger levels.
Key Point #5: Once steps 1-4 are in place, you can start formal exercise. The most effective exercise options are high-intensity interval training and strength training combined into a time-efficient routine.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed 5 steps that cover the fundamentals of weight loss for men over 40.
Please don’t underestimate the simplicity of this approach. Your weight loss success lies in generating momentum through the consistent application of these fundamentals we’ve covered in this weight loss for men over 40 guide.
If you liked this guide and you want more great training on how to eat, exercise, and get healthy as a busy man over 40, I want to invite you to subscribe to our weekly Fit Father Project email list, join 200,000 smart men getting life-changing health info like this every week on our email list. It all starts when it Free Meal Plan.
Plus, when you subscribe, I’ll send you your “Welcome Gift Bundle” – including the “1-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan” & “3-Day Weight Loss Kickstart Training” that goes into exactly what you should eat (meal by meal) to reignite your new fat-burning metabolism.
It’s my mission with The Fit Father Project to spread the proven, high-quality info on weight loss for men over 40 to as many guys as I can. You can help by sharing this awesomeness with somebody important in your life. We can make this world healthier – one man at a time.
Also, drop me a comment below and let me know…
• What was most impactful for you in this article?
• What’s most challenging about weight loss for you?
• How are you going to implement this info into your life?
I look forward to speaking more with you. This is only the beginning of your journey. You can do this. I’ve got your back.
Get yourself back into great shape – at any age the Fit Father way.
Your new friend & weight loss coach,
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi
Founder, The Fit Father Project
Brotherhood Nickname: “Mr. Results”
Bragging Rights: Has helped over 35,000 fathers lose fat, build muscle, & get healthy for their families Click here to view the scientific research cited… If you’re interested in a proven and completely laid out “done-for-you” weight loss meal plan & workout routine – designed for you as a busy man…
I’d recommend you read the program overview letter for our Fit Father 30-Day Program (FF30X). Inside FF30X, you’ll receive:
- The simple & delicious Fit Father Meal Plan
- The metabolism boosting Fit Father 30X Workout (under 90 min/week)
- VIP email coaching where I’ll personally walk you through the program
Read the FF30X Program overview letter here to see how our plan can help you lose weight – without the complication & restriction of normal diets.
Small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information. Thanks for reading!
Choosing a Weight Loss Program for Women Over 40
Various weight loss programs for women over 40 exist, and choosing the right one for you is the key to long-term success. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all weight loss program for women over 40.
There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a weight loss program that best matches your individual needs.
JOIN OUR FIT MOTHER 30X PROGRAM
FM30X is the first sustainable weight loss program designed exclusively for *busy* mothers like you…
Learn More >
Dieting isn’t All About Food
What you eat is important when following a weight loss program for women over 40, but your diet isn’t the only thing to consider.
In fact, there are many other lifestyle habits that could be just as important, if not more so. Implementing a holistic approach is the efficient means of adopting a new weight loss program.
When planning a weight loss program for women over 40, try the following:
Have the Right Mindset
Making up your mind to lose weight is the first step in the process. Decide that it’s more important to get excess weight off and be healthy than to eat unhealthy foods you may love.
Allow yourself cheat days every now and then so you don’t feel deprived, but make the commitment to eating better, staying active, and making other healthy lifestyle changes needed for long term weight loss success.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle means more than simply adopting a reduced-calorie weight loss meal plan. Try the following healthy lifestyle tips and tricks to boost your chance at weight loss success:
- Sleep at least 7 hours each night
- Keep stress levels low
- Drink 2 cups of water before meals
- Avoid eating while distracted (watching TV, etc.)
- Fight depression
- Spend time outdoors
- Stand or walk instead of sitting when possible
- Work on personal development
- Enhance your spirituality
- Attend regular health checkups
Unbalanced hormone levels, taking certain medications, and other medical conditions can hinder weight loss. That’s why regular medical checkups are so important for effective weight loss and healthy weight management.
Listen to Internal Cues
Unless hunger hormones or your metabolism is off, your body gives you internal clues that you are or aren’t hungry. Listen to hunger cues that might include:
- Stomach growling
- Bad breath
- Low blood sugar
- Difficulty concentrating
- An empty feeling in your stomach
Before you eat, ask yourself: are you truly hungry? Or is eating a desire because you see or smell food, are at a restaurant with friends, or feel sad or bored? If you’re not sure, drink a large glass of water and reevaluate possible hunger cues.
Make a Financial Commitment to Weight Loss
There are numerous ways you can make a financial commitment to weight loss, so you have more than will power invested in your weight loss journey. Sign up for a weight loss program, such as the Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X), which is specifically designed for women over 40. You can also make a financial investment in weight loss by hiring a health coach or personal trainer, buying smaller-sized clothes, and purchasing healthy weight loss foods or meal replacement shakes.
Shopping Lists for Weight Loss in Women Over 40
Before beginning a weight loss program for women over 40, shop for nutritious foods that fill you up without the extra calories and keep energy levels high. Fill:
1. Half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables
2. One-fourth of each plate with protein foods
3. one-fourth of each plate with fiber-rich starches
Doing so creates the perfect plate of food for weight loss in women over 40.
Nutritious Protein Foods
The following grocery list includes healthy protein foods you can use when following a weight loss program for women over 40:
- Grilled chicken or turkey
- Very lean, fresh meats
- Salmon, tuna, catfish, or other low-mercury fish
- Shrimp or other seafood
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Nonfat Greek yogurt
- Tofu or seitan
- Reduced-fat cheese
- Plant milk
- Protein powder
- Nuts and seeds
These vegetables are non-starchy, meaning they contain just 5 grams (or less) of carbohydrates per serving. Eat a variety of these veggies when following a weight loss plan for women over 40:
- Spinach, lettuce, or other leafy greens
- Green beans
- Bell peppers
The following foods are rich in fiber and carbohydrates, and are part of a healthy weight loss meal plan because they fill you up for long time periods and give you energy:
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Whole-grain pasta
- Dried beans
- Sweet potatoes with the skin
Heart healthy fats, while higher in calories than protein and carbohydrates, keep you full longer and are an important component of weight loss plans for women over 40. Choose a healthy fat at each meal, such as:
- Plant oils
- Fish oil
- Nut butters
- Oil-based dressings
Foods to AVOID
You probably already know about many of the foods you should avoid when weight loss is your goal. Choose the healthy foods listed above in recommended portions to help avoid cravings for junk food, such as:
- Fast foods
- Fried foods
- Baked goods
- Refined grains like white bread
- Frozen pizza
- Other prepackaged foods
- Other processed snack foods
- Sugary drinks
Cooking at home vs. dining out helps you avoid fried and processed foods, and added ingredients often hidden in restaurant foods.
Healthy Weight Loss Recipes
When you begin a weight loss plan for women over 40, try the following nutritious recipes to get started.
- Zucchini noodles with avocado pesto and shrimp
- Mexican cabbage soup
- Meal replacement weight loss smoothies
- Cod with Italian crumb topping
- Slow cooker chicken creole
- Citrus poached salmon with asparagus
- White turkey chili
- Falafel patties
Adjust portion sizes as needed so you’re eating about 300-350 calories per meal, for a total of 1,200-1,500 calories per day. Aim to eat smaller, more frequent meals every few hours rather two or three large meals.
Examples of Weight Loss Diet Plans for Women
Numerous weight loss diets for women over 40 exist, which is why choosing one that best matches your individual needs is the key to long term success. Pick a weight loss program based on your food preferences and lifestyle. Examples of different weight loss diets that have been effective in research studies include:
1. Low-Carb Diets
Numerous studies show that choosing a low-carb, higher-fat diet is an effective weight loss strategy.
One such study published in 2018 in the Journal of European Nutrition found that lower-carb diets containing 100-150 grams of carbs per day appear to be a practical way to drop excess weight.
To reduce your carb intake to less than 150 grams per day, reduce or eliminate bread, pasta, potatoes, cereal, sweets, baked goods, and sugary drinks. Focus on protein foods, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables.
2. Low-Fat Diets
Low-fat diets help reduce your overall calorie intake for weight loss, and some women prefer low-fat vs. low-carb diets. Research shows that both low-fat and low-carb diets can be effective for weight loss, but some studies say low-carb diets are more effective long term. This might be because of the satiating effects higher-fat diets often have. Either way, low-fat diets can work for weight loss if you burn more calories than you eat.
3. Vegetarian/Vegan Diets
Cutting out meat and other animal foods is a strategy some women use to shed unwanted pounds, and for good reason.
Studies show that vegetarian dieting, especially vegan dieting, leads to greater weight loss vs. non-vegetarian eating plans.
Cut out red meat, processed meat, poultry, and seafood to go vegetarian – or nix animal foods entirely to further enhance weight loss.
4. Whole Food Diets
A whole food diet is also beneficial for weight loss and improved health parameters. That’s because whole foods, or foods that haven’t been processed, are healthier for you and usually lower in calories than foods processed with sugar and other additives.
When following a whole foods diet you’ll eat lots of fruits, vegetables, unprocessed whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, plant oils, organic plant milks, and fresh poultry or fish if you eat animal foods. You’ll steer clear of sweets, sugary drinks, white bread, other processed grains, fried foods, baked goods, and other packaged snack foods.
5. Well Balanced, Reduced-Calorie Diets
Well-balanced, reduced-calorie weight loss plans for women over 40 often contain about 1,200-1,500 calories per day. They provide a good mix of carbohydrates, protein, and nutritious fats in recommended amounts, but include smaller portions than traditional meal plans.
For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1,200-calorie meal plan for weight loss includes:
- 1 1/2 cups of vegetables
- 1 cup of fruit
- 4 ounces of whole grains
- 2 1/2 cups of dairy foods or plant milks
- 3 ounces of protein foods
- 4 teaspoons of oils
- 100 extra calories
This well-balanced plan helps you meet daily nutritional needs and feel satisfied during weight loss.
6. Mediterranean Diets
By switching from a standard American diet to a Mediterranean-style meal plan, you’ll lower your risk of weight gain and abdominal obesity, according to numerous studies. Additional studies show that Mediterranean-style diets are more effective than low-fat diets and just as beneficial as low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss.
Mediterranean-style weight loss programs for women over 40 focus on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and herbs. You’ll avoid red meat, processed meats, sweets, sugary drinks, refined oils, refined grains, and other processed foods – and might choose poultry, cheese, yogurt, and eggs in moderation.
7. Meal Replacement Diets
Drinking meal replacement smoothies is an excellent way to shed unwanted pounds over 40.
Simply replace one or two meals with a protein-rich shake to help boost satiety from fewer calories.
Try homemade weight loss protein smoothie recipes providing about 300 calories per shake, or look for ready-to-drink meal replacements containing little to no added sugar.
Weight Loss Exercises for Women Over 40
Any form of regular exercise is better than being sedentary, but the best weight loss exercise plan for you is based on your experience level and exercise preferences. As a rule, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
To enhance weight loss, aim to burn 400-600 calories with cardiovascular exercise. Studies show that doing so is an effective weight loss strategy. To expend 400-600 calories, a 155-pound adult can:
- Jog at a pace of 5 miles per hour for 45 minutes
- Use an elliptical trainer for 40 minutes
- Swim the crawl stroke for 30 minutes
- Rope jump for 35 minutes
- Rock climb for 30 minutes
- Cycle at a pace of 15 miles per hour for 35 minutes
- Circuit train for 45 minutes
- Do calisthenics for 45 minutes
- Row for 45 minutes
- Use a ski machine for 35 minutes
Strength and Circuit Training
Add strength training to the aerobic workouts above or try circuit training, using various combinations of the following exercises:
- Medicine ball slams
- Box jumps or box step-ups
- Side-to-side jumps
- Front-to-back jumps
- Jumping jacks
- Rope jumping
- Walking dumbbell lunges
- Dumbbell or barbell biceps curls
- Triceps dips, triceps extensions, or triceps kickbacks
- Medicine ball squat throws
- Dumbbell or barbell bent-over rows
- Pushups or dumbbell chest press
- Squat to press
- Barbell squats
- Squat to kickbacks
- Traditional planks
- Plank rows
- Russian twists
- Lying leg raises
Aim to complete 2-4 sets of 30-60 seconds of each of exercise you choose, and take minimal rest periods between sets to maximize fat burning. For example, a full-body workout might include:
- Circuit 1: 30-60 seconds of squat to press or medicine ball squat throws, 30-60 seconds of burpees, and 30-60 seconds of Russian twists.
- Circuit 2: 30-60 seconds of walking dumbbell lunges, 30-60 seconds of rope jumping, and 30-60 seconds of plank rows.
- Circuit 3: 30-60 seconds of dead lifts, 30-60 seconds of biceps curls, and 30-60 seconds of side-to-side jumps.
- Circuit 4: 30-60 seconds of box jumps or step-ups, 30-60 seconds of jumping jacks, and 30-60 seconds of lying leg raises.
Complete each circuit 2-4 times, and add extra circuits if you’d like!
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Which Weight Loss Program for Women Over 40 Is Best?
The right weight loss program for women over 40 is one that best matches your preferences, and is something you can stick with long term. The Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) is a weight loss and healthy weight management plan for women over 40 that’s helped thousands of people lose weight and keep it off for life. When signing up for FM30X, you’ll receive:
- Motivational support to stay on track with your program
- Customized meal plans
- Numerous fat-burning workouts
- Coaching from health experts
- Access to a community of fit moms
To get started, sign up for your free Fit Mom starter kit today, which includes a free 1-day fat-loss meal plan, a free metabolism-boosting workout, free email coaching, and Fit Mom Facebook group access! Because this kit is entirely FREE, you’ve got nothing to lose by signing up!
Writer, The Fit Father Project
A 15-year freelance writing veteran, Erin is registered dietitian and health educator who is passionate about health, fitness and disease prevention. Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife and mom of two beautiful children.
A Weight Loss Plan Designed for Women Over 40
It truly isn’t your fault! You’ve been following all the rules of weight loss, just as your doctors, trainers, programs, magazine articles, and diet books have told you to—it’s just that you were handed a pack of misguided advice. You don’t lack willpower or possess some sort of personal weakness. There isn’t anything wrong with you—what’s wrong is the diet advice that has been widely spread since the 1950s.
Misleading Diet Advice
Incredible as it might seem, most of the multimillion-dollar diets on the market are actually designed with inherent flaws that cause them to backfire. The main mistake that these diets make is telling you that the key to losing weight is to cut calories, eat a low-fat diet, and exercise more. While it’s possible that the diet industry is set up to fail you so you remain forever dependent (as some conspiracy theorists posit), the mantra to “eat less and move more” is so ingrained in our society and has been around for so long that I’m not sure the folks who design most weight-loss programs even realize that their advice is misleading.
Furthermore, there’s an additional problem when it comes to women over 40. Even if a weight-loss plan is on the right track, most women over 40 find that this strategy, though successful for many, ultimately backfires for them.
The Irony: Women over 40 need to both cut Sugar Calories and add Sugar Calories (carbs) to repair their metabolism and balance out their hormones and neurotransmitters. How do you do both simultaneously? There lies the biggest irony no other weight-loss program has talked about, until now.
First a couple of key definitions:
What is a Sugar Calorie? Any carbohydrate in a food (including all sugars) is a Sugar Calorie. This is because all carbohydrates and sugars are broken down into glucose (the body’s sugar) at a molecular level.
What is serotonin? Serotonin is a chemical messenger (also called a neurotransmitter) that is responsible for modulating and controlling the effects of appetite, food cravings, impulse control, motivation, and mood.
Throughout my career, and especially over the past decade, I have gained a wealth of information from my clients. Specifically, two critical issues have come to my attention. First, the large majority of my clients are women and, notably, most of them are over the age of 40. Second, while many of my female clients initially have had great weight-loss success on my past programs, such as The 100™ (for rapid results) or The Belly Fat Cure™ (my core weight-loss plan), they would inevitably say they hit a plateau or were not able to keep the weight off in the long run.
As I observed these women struggling, blaming themselves, and needing extra help to get back on track, I began asking myself if they needed more motivation or support in some way—or was something else going on? What was missing? I knew it couldn’t be their fault. I know that my clients, like most women, are deeply sincere and motivated to make a change. So what else could be going on here?
Low Seroronin Levels
That’s when I turned my attention to researching scientific studies aimed at women over 40 and weight loss—I was shocked by what I discovered. The bottom line is twofold. First, previous dieting efforts by way of dramatically cutting calories make weight loss nearly impossible because it recalibrates a person’s metabolism to constantly fight back. Second, when serotonin is low, it causes people to uncontrollably crave carbs (or Sugar Calories) and many women over 40, especially those in pre- or perimenopause, have just that issue going on—low serotonin. Bingo.
The light bulb went on: It wasn’t a lack of self-control or a lack of motivation that these women were struggling with, but a natural, biological imperative to consume sugar and carbs to solve the problem of low serotonin. This is where I saw the irony: women need to cut Sugar Calories to lose weight yet still have Sugar Calories to keep their serotonin up, which inevitably repairs their broken metabolism.
I started talking to my clients and going through my years of notes from the women I have worked with in the past. I was blown away by my findings—if women were over 40 and dieting, they were all feeling “off” and had trouble sticking to a plan long-term. All of my research pointed to the fact that it was due to low serotonin.
A Weight Loss Contradiction
It wasn’t their fault, and it’s not your fault either. All women over 40 must add Sugar Calories in their diet to feel good, even though they need to cut Sugar Calories to lose weight. This contradictory situation women find themselves in is what led me to an amazing study from researchers at the Genesis Prevention Center at the University Hospital in South Manchester, England, which helped me create the plan in my book, Happy Hormones, Slim Belly, called Women’s Carb Cycling™.
These researchers noticed that when women in their study restricted what I call Sugar Calories in their diet for just two days a week, they lost nearly twice as much weight and body fat compared to women who ate an overall calorie-restricted diet (a Mediterranean-style diet with 1,500 calories per day) all seven days of the week. Another striking benefit to using this strategy can be seen in that the dieters who cut Sugar Calories for two days a week reduced their insulin resistance by 14 to 22 percent, while the blanket calorie cutters saw only a 4 percent improvement.
Losing Weight By Cutting Sugar Calories
These British researchers have revealed a dieting strategy that has never before been commonly prescribed to women, but which appears to be extremely successful. The results: by cutting Sugar Calories for just two days of the week, these women were able to reset their bodies so that they were at maximum fat-burning mode and minimum fat-storing mode. Furthermore, by returning to healthy eating, which includes intermittently adding back carbs, the women were able to satisfy something that is missing on most low-calorie diets—they were able to feed their serotonin receptors (the “nirvana neurotransmitter”).
In Happy Hormones, Slim Belly we delve into the science behind serotonin and the other hormones that keep your weight loss on track. For now, just know that serotonin is critical in keeping you both happy and slim for the long-term. This method of Women’s Carb Cycling™ is critical because it addresses the weight gain, belly fat, mood swings, and sugar cravings caused by the wild hormonal fluctuations that women over 40 experience.
40 Genius Tricks for Slimming Down in Your 40s
Ask anyone who has ever tried to ditch those last 10 pounds in middle age and they’ll tell you: losing weight before and after 40 are two different animals. The easy weight loss you enjoyed in your teens and 20s is a thing of the past, replaced by newfound difficulty getting the scale to budge, even with loads of exercise.
According to research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the metabolic rate of study participants decreased by up to 78 calories a day with every passing decade, while calorie burn dropped by up to 68 calories a day. While this may mean that it takes more work to shed the pounds in your 40s, it’s far from impossible to do so; in fact, just a few small changes to your usual routine can have you hitting your goal weight before you know it. And when you want to jumpstart that slimdown, discover Why Sunshine Is Your Weight Loss Secret Weapon!
1 Get Up Earlier
Want to ditch those extra pounds plaguing you in your 40s? Start by waking up earlier. According to research published by The Obesity Society, early birds tend to make healthier food choices than their night owl counterparts. And when you want to know why you’re so tired in the mornings, discover the 40 Ways Your Sleep Changes After 40!
2 Work Out Before Breakfast
Getting a good start to your day means working on your weight loss before you even sit down to breakfast. A study published in Obesity reveals that the combination of fasting and exercise produced greater weight loss in study subjects than either calorie restriction or exercise alone. Luckily, a better body is well within reach—just make sure these 7 Most Surprising Everyday Exercise Killers aren’t standing in your way first.
3 Lift Some Weights
Eager to lose weight? Start lifting it. Researchers at Wake Forest University found that cutting calories and weight training helped study participants lose more fat and less muscle than aerobic exercise, calorie restriction, or a combination of the two, while losing the same amount of weight as the aerobic exercise group. And when you want to get even more cut, This Is the Safest Way to Lose Weight Over 40.
4 Start Your Day With Eggs
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you opt for eggs. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity reveals that study subjects who ate eggs for breakfast had a 61 percent greater drop in their BMI and a 34 percent greater waist measurement reduction than those who ate a similar number of calories, but from carb-rich sources. And for more great ways to look your very best, here are the 15 Men’s Haircuts That Will Make You Look Instantly Younger.
5 Make Breakfast Your Biggest Meal
Slimming down over 40 doesn’t have to mean meager meals. In fact, eating a big breakfast might just help you reach those goals. In fact, a 2013 study reveals that women who ate the bulk of their calories at breakfast lost more than twice as much weight as those who had the majority of their calories later in the day. And for more health news, check out the 30 Weirdest Things You Do in Your Sleep.
6 Get Some Sunlight
A little controlled sunlight might just be the thing you need to help you whittle that waistline after 40. Researchers at Northwestern University have linked exposure to early morning sunlight with lower BMIs, so don’t be afraid to get outside in the AM. And for more great habits you should pick up, check out the 50 Life Changes to Make After 50.
7 Grab an Apple
An apple a day does keep the doctor away, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Research published in Nutrition reveals that eating three apples a day was associated with significantly more weight loss than eating a similarly-caloric oat-based snack. And when you want to discover the fountain of youth, start with the 25 Foods That’ll Keep You Young Forever.
8 Take the Stairs
While it may seem like a small change, taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a big difference when it comes to your weight loss. According to research conducted at McMaster University, short bursts of stair climbing significantly improved study subjects’ cardiovascular health. Better yet, an average-weight person can expect to burn more than 10 calories per flight of stairs—not an insignificant number over the course of a week or month. Need more incentive to break a sweat? The 7 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Exercise will have you convinced.
9 Drink Two Cups of Water at Every Meal
Want to slim down at every meal? Pregame with some water. One study reveals that study subjects who drank two glasses of water before meals lost five pounds more over a 12-week study than those who dug in right away.
10 Buddy Up
Feeling hard-pressed to find the motivation to hit the gym on a regular basis? Grab a buddy. In fact, research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that people who received social support following weight loss were more likely to maintain a calorie deficit than those without similar support.
11 Plan Some Stress-Reducing Activities
Keeping off those unwanted pounds requires more than just hitting the gym: it means some self-care in the forms of stress-relieving activities, too. A 2017 study reveals that concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream are significantly linked to obesity, so give yourself ample opportunities to decompress without food whenever possible. And who knows? Maybe you’ll age as well as These 10 Over-65 Leading Ladies Who Look Amazing.
12 Add Some Healthy Fat to Your Meals
To get thin, eat fat. Research published in Experimental & Clinical Cardiology reveals that a high-fat diet not only yielded significant weight loss, but also improved good cholesterol among obese study subjects.
13 Eat in Front of a Mirror
Don’t have a dinner companion? Try eating in front of a mirror instead. According to a study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, people who ate in front of a mirror were more acutely aware of their poor food choices, finding them less pleasurable. And for more clever hacks, check out these 50 Genius Weight-Loss Motivation Tricks.
14 Squeeze Some Citrus
The key to slimming down over 40? A little lemon in that water. Not only does staying properly hydrated help you slim down and ignore those thirst cues you might mistake for hunger, research published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition reveals that lemon polyphenols helped attenuate diet-related obesity in animal test subjects.
15 Keep a Food Diary
Diaries aren’t just for keeping track of your teenage crushes. In your 40s, commit to keeping a food diary and you can enjoy greater weight loss. In fact, research from Kaiser Permanente found that individuals who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t jot down their food.
16 Take Some Deep Breaths
A few deep breaths could mean a few pounds off the scale, even if you’re dealing with an over-40 metabolic slump. Research published in the BMJ suggests that much of the fat we lose is breathed out, and deep breathing may help reduce cortisol levels, reducing your overall risk of weight gain.
17 Enlist Your Significant Other
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, don’t go it alone. Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that the partners of people who started a weight loss program were more likely to lose weight themselves, even if they weren’t trying.
18 Add Some Olive Oil to Your Meals
Heart disease remains the number one killer across the world, but a Mediterranean diet might be the key to lowering your risk. Better yet, it may even help you lose weight. According to research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, an olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet yielded significant weight loss, despite its high fat content.
19 Take Photos of Your Food
Want to shed that spare tire? Start by photographing your food. Research suggests that taking food photos may increase a dieter’s accountability, so go ahead and post that beautiful steak or salad to your Instagram before digging in. And for more great life hacks, consider these 70 Genius Tricks to Boost Your Confidence.
20 Ditch the Trans Fats
Unlock a leaner life by getting those trans fats out of your diet today. Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that diets high in trans fats caused greater weight increases than those with the same number of calories, but with healthier forms of fat.
21 Pregame With a Pear
Before you start your meal, snack on a pear—it might just keep those numbers on the scale heading in the right direction. Research published in Nutrition reveals that people who consumed three pears a day lost significantly more weight than a control group.
22 Skip the Binge-Watching
Swap that Netflix binge for a more active date and you might just find the pounds melting away, even if your metabolism seems sluggish after 40. According to researchers at Brigham Young University, binge-watching is linked to the consumption of fewer fruits and vegetables and a lower likelihood of getting the recommended amount of physical activity.
23 Snack on Some Nuts
While they may not be low in calories, adding some nuts to your diet may help you stave off weight gain over time. In fact, a five-year study conducted at Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center found that people who regularly ate nuts were less likely to gain weight than those who skipped them.
24 Get Some Social Media Support
Losing that over-40 pudge starts on social media. According to research at the University of California, Irvine, getting support through social media helped keep dieters motivated and on track.
25 Fight the Urge to Eat With Exercise
Want to fight the urge to eat? Try moving your body. One study reveals that, somewhat counterintuitively, exercise actually decreases the urge to eat, so when a craving hits, try jogging in place or doing a few reps to see if it passes.
26 Set the Mood With a Scented Candle
If you find yourself hungrier over 40 than you were earlier in life, try using some strong scents to help temper the urge to eat. Many scientists believe that certain scents, including vanilla, can reduce the urge to eat, so try lighting a vanilla-scented candle during meals and see if it takes the edge off your hunger.
27 Skip the Added Sugar
The key to a leaner you in your 40s is ditching those added sugars in your food. Not only do Americans get a shocking 13 percent of their daily calories from added sugars on average, research suggests that cutting out those added sugars now may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease in the long run.
28 But If You Do Indulge, Opt for Dark Chocolate
If you do decide to give into that sweet tooth, choose dark chocolate instead of the sugary milk chocolate variety. Research suggests that cocoa polyphenols reduce inflammation, potentially reducing an individual’s propensity toward obesity, a condition often linked with a chronically-inflamed state.
29 Spice Up Your Food
Give your taste buds something to look forward to and whittle that waistline by spicing up your food with some hot peppers. Research suggests that capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat, may increase the human body’s ability to burn fat, so don’t be afraid to bust out that five-alarm chili recipe.
30 Skip the Commercials
Want to slim down? Try watching your favorite movies or TV shows on a streaming service instead of TV. One study reveals that children ate 45 percent more after watching a food advertisement, while adults consumed by more healthy and unhealthy snacks after seeing food advertising.
31 Pack on the Probiotics
Losing weight and flattening your over-40 belly start with the addition of some probiotics to your diet. Research suggests that adding some probiotics to your meals may reduce your risk of weight gain, so don’t be afraid to make sauerkraut or kimchi part of your regular meal plan.
32 Take a Lunch Break
Many workplaces offer hour long lunches, but so few of us actually take our employers up on that midday break. Research suggests that distracted eating can increase weight gain, so whenever possible, give yourself a distraction-free period during which to eat.
33 Dial Up the Intensity
A little more intensity in your workout could mean a lot less weight on your body in the long run. Research published in the Journal of Obesity reveals that high intensity exercise increases fat oxidation, making it easier to shed the pounds simply by dialing up the intensity.
34 Tighten a Muscle
Trying to control those impulses to eat? Try clenching your fist. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, simply clenching muscles can increase willpower almost immediately.
35 Ditch That Nightcap
Losing weight over 40 might be as simple as losing that nightly cocktail or glass of wine. In addition to saving yourself a few hundred calories, ditching the drinks will improve your REM sleep, potentially increasing your body’s fat-burning capability, too.
36 Opt For Full-Fat Foods
Skipping those sad low-fat substitutes for your favorite foods may save you some pounds in the long run. Not only are full-fat foods more satisfying than their low-fat counterparts, research suggests that full-fat dairy may even reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
37 Slim Down Your Dinner
Ditch those feast-like dinners and you may find those unwanted pounds melting off. Starting your day with your largest meal and tapering to a light dinner is the key to losing more weight in the long run.
38 Turn Up the Lights
Say so long to candle light if you’re trying to lose weight over 40. Research suggests that dim light actually makes us eat more, so have your meals in a well-lit room free of distractions whenever possible.
39 Cook Dinner at Home
A healthier body over 40 starts with healthier meals. And, unsurprisingly, research suggests that our healthiest meals tend to be prepared in the comfort of our own kitchens. So, whenever possible, ditch that greasy takeout and treat yourself to the delicious, weight-loss-promoting meals you deserve by channeling your inner Julia Child.
40 Close the Kitchen
You have a bedtime at night, and so should your kitchen. Research suggests that closing down your kitchen at night and giving yourself a few hours of fasting time before sleep may be the key to saying so long to those unwanted pounds you’ve gained in your 40s for good.
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When you hit 40, there are so many reasons to celebrate: You’re at the power years for your career, sex life, and confidence (don’t believe us? ask Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Claire Danes, Busy Phillips, and Brandy, who all recently celebrated the big 4-0). But reaching that milestone birthday also means that some things become more of a challenge. Top of the list: losing those extra pounds that sneak in when you’re middle age. This doesn’t mean you can’t be in the best shape of your life—it just means you have to work a little harder to get there. But by adding in some additional strength-training and following a healthy diet, you can not only look your best, but lower your risk for heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
The Over-40 Challenge
The number one reason it gets harder to lost weight post-40 is that your metabolism slows down every year, making it harder to burn calories. You also tend to lose muscle mass as you age, and muscle burns calories at a faster rate than fat does.
Plus, falling estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause (which can begin in your 40s) can cause insulin sensitivity, which makes it harder for your body to control the amount of sugar in your blood, says Caroline Cederquist, M.D., a board-certified bariatric surgeon and founder of the meal delivery service BistroMD. If your blood sugar levels constantly spike and crash, it can increase your cravings for unhealthy snacks, Dr. Cederquist says.
So it’s no wonder why so many women over 40 end up hitting a weight-loss wall. But don’t worry, you got this: Here are a few ways you can outsmart your slowing metabolism and get lean—for good.
1. Create a list of reasons you want to lose weight
Those who are most successful at losing weight after 40 do it when they have a very clear reason why they want to get leaner. Maybe you’ve been watching the scale creep up a pound or two every year and are ready to nix bad habits, or you’ve been given a wake-up call by your doctor that it’s time to get serious about how your weight is impacting your overall health. “You need to have a mental awakening that puts you in a state of readiness to change. If you’re not engaged mentally, it’s not happening,” says Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of The Hunger Fix.
2. Balance your plate
Evaluating your diet is a good place to begin your journey. Limiting refined carbs and processed foods from your diet can help combat age-related insulin resistance and promote steady blood sugar levels, Dr. Cederquist says. Incorporating more protein into your diet can also help curb hunger and keep you satiated so you’re not tempted to load up on unhealthy foods. Not only does the macronutrient help stave off age-related muscle loss, but it also helps keep your metabolism revved because the body has to work harder to digest it than, say, a bagel. How much of each nutrient you consume each time you eat matters, too. In a perfect world each meal and snack should have:
- Vegetables: Half your plate should be filled with veggies. They’re high in fiber and water, so they’ll keep you satisfied and stave off hunger without contributing too many calories to your diet. Plus, they deliver ample amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants and nutrients that’ll help you reduce risk of disease.
- Lean protein: At each meal, your plate should have a protein serving that’s about the size of your palm. Excellent sources of lean protein include Greek yogurt, eggs, chicken, and fish. Some plant-based sources of protein are quinoa, edamame, faro, and hemp seeds.
- Complex carbohydrates: Carbs are essential in any type of weight-loss diet—they leave you more satisfied with your meal, we all know that eliminating them from your diet isn’t sustainable long-term. Whole grains, beans, fresh fruit, and starchy veggies like sweet potatoes are all good choices.
- Healthy fats: Healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish, are essential for a strong heart, a sharp mind, and glowing skin. But it’s important to note that these foods are also calorie-dense, so be mindful of how much you consume daily. Aim for 7 to 10 grams of fat every time you eat: That’s 1½ teaspoon of olive oil, a quarter of an avocado, or 2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds.
3. Be mindful of portion sizes
“When it comes to losing weight, what actually moves the needle is always dietary change,” says Dr. Cederquist. It doesn’t matter if all you eat is grilled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. If you don’t cut back on your portions, you won’t lose weight. Everyone’s calorie needs are different, but in general, a woman is has typically been eating 2,000 calories per day should aim to cut back to 1,500–1,600 a day to lose weight, recommends Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color.
4. Consider intermittent fasting
There are different methods for practicing intermittent fasting, including the 16:8 diet, which restricts eating to an 8-hour window and fasting for a 16-hour period. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can not only be beneficial for weight loss, but it can also help you get prediabetes and diabetes under control.
5. Eat fewer calories, more frequently
Increased insulin resistance might leave you feeling hungrier. Dividing up your food into three moderately sized meals and one to two small snacks will keep your blood sugar levels steady while combatting the urge to nibble on junk, Largeman-Roth says. Piling your plate with more low-calorie, high-volume foods—like fruits and vegetables—can help fill you up, too.
6. Save sweets for a true treat
Sadly, you can’t scarf down cupcakes and chocolate shakes like you did in your 20s and expect to lose weight. But you can still enjoy your favorite foods. You just might need to save them for when you really have a hankering—and say goodbye to the treats that fall lower on your list of craveables. Instead of mindlessly dipping into that bag of chips just because it’s there, think about what would truly satisfy you. Is it chips or are you actually craving something else? If you decide the chips are worth the calories, then help yourself to a small serving, and savor every bite. (That means no mindless munching in front of the TV.)
Best Weight-Loss Foods
7. Watch your alcohol intake
Alcohol counts as a treat, too, so save it for special occasions (Friday night date night?), and try sticking to low-calorie alcoholic drinks. “You could fit two to four glasses of wine per week into a weight loss program,” Largeman-Roth says. Just make a point to stick to the five-ounce recommended serving size, since it can be easy to over-pour when you don’t pay attention. And yes, if you enjoy a glass with dinner, it means you should skip out on that piece of chocolate for dessert.
8. Do muscle-building exercises
Losing weight through diet alone isn’t possible, especially after 40, when hormones like testosterone tend to dip, and you start to lose muscle mass, says Dr. Cederquist. Adding in four to five weekly resistance training sessions can help you maintain your muscle mass and burn even more calories, Largeman-Roth says.
But one common mistake to avoid is jumping straight into an intense exercise regimen, Dr. Peeke says. “That’s the worst thing you can do because it increases your risk of injury,” she says. Brisk walking, on the other hand, helps you shed pounds and keeps you pain-free. Be sure to talk to your doctor about recommending a workout routine that works best for you. Or, hire a personal trainer who can develop a fitness program that meets your weight-loss goals.
9. Move more
Along with your strength training, make sure you’re burning off even more calories—and keeping your cardiovascular health in top shape—by doing some sort of aerobic activity at least 30 minutes a day. That can be from taking a dance class, biking, or simply getting out and walking (aim for at least 10,000 daily steps).
10. Avoid trigger foods
Being over 40 doesn’t automatically mean that you now have to cut out certain foods to get (or stay) slim—unless you know deep down that a food is truly getting in the way of your goals. “If having a square of chocolate leads to eating an entire bag of chocolate, having a square of chocolate does not work for you,” Dr. Cederquist says. That might feel tough at first. But instead of seeing it as deprivation, reframe your decision as a choice—and a positive one at that. “Acknowledge that these foods don’t work for you and the health goals that are important to you,” Dr. Cederquist says.
Lastly, keep in mind that the weight-loss strategies that work best for you could change down the road. “I find that for women over 40, myself included, it’s vital to assess what you’re doing each year,” Largeman-Roth says. If your progress starts to stall, consider switching up parts of your diet or fitness plan. “Our bodies like a challenge,” Largeman-Roth says.
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Marygrace Taylor Marygrace Taylor is a health and wellness writer for Prevention, Parade, Women’s Health, Redbook, and others.
40 Tips For Women Who Want to Lose Weight After 40
When we’re in our teens and twenties, losing weight is often as simple as turning down that extra scoop of ice cream or adding some occasional exercise to our routines. However, as our age increases, our metabolic rate has a tendency to plummet, turning what used to be an effective diet and exercise plan into a recipe for serious weight gain.
For women, in particular, hormonal changes after age 40, including menopause, can make it harder to lose weight and keep it off. However, just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to buying a bigger wardrobe every year. Weight loss after 40—and weight loss for women over 40, especially—is possible. Better yet, it doesn’t have to be a struggle.
So when it comes to losing weight at 40, follow our tips to get the body you’ve always wanted, no matter what your age, and reading up on the best supplements for people over 40 can even expedite the process.
Start Weight Training
A little muscle goes a long way when it comes to your weight and health. Women generally have less natural muscle mass than their male counterparts, and aging can spur the depletion of what little muscle tissue you have, sometimes by as much as 5 percent in a 10-year period after age 30. Fortunately, building some muscle with a light weight-training routine can kill two birds with one stone: you’ll burn some calories doing the exercises, and research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reveals that, even though weight loss is often associated with a slower metabolism, women who added resistance training to their routine actually maintained their resting metabolic rate.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is great for preserving more than just memories; it’s an amazing tool for maintaining your weight loss, too. As we get older, our memories tend to become a bit less sharp than they were in our younger years, making it easy to forget those little bites of dessert we took, and making it even easier for them to show up as unwanted pounds on the scale. Fortunately, a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center For Health Research reveals that individuals who consistently tracked their eating habits enjoyed a nearly 50 percent greater weight loss than those who skipped the journaling.
Take a Daily Walk
Adding a daily walk to your routine means you’ve taken the first step toward achieving a healthier weight. Middle-aged and senior women have an increased risk of hip fracture, but staying active can help you burn more calories and lower your chances of suffering an injury. Research suggests that regular exercise can reduce a person’s risk of osteoporosis, and shaving off those extra pounds means you’re putting less strain on your joints, making it easier to prevent a fall that can keep you sidelined.
Up Your Omega-3s
Want to see those numbers on the scale get smaller? Try adding some fish to your meal plan. Research published in Obesity Reviews reveals that adding some omega-3s to subjects’ diet helped them lose more weight, keep it off longer, and limit those nagging hunger pangs. For women over 40, omega-3-rich fish, like salmon and tuna, are a particularly good choice; a study published in the journal Menopause suggests that adding them to your diet may reduce your risk of hot flashes, too.
Turn Up the Fiber
Hormonal changes in middle age can wreak havoc on our weight and our waistlines, but boosting the amount of fiber in your diet can help. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that increasing fiber intake helped participants shave off 4.6 pounds over an 8-week period and maintain that weight loss over the course of a year. Even better, dialing up the fiber in your meals can help combat the bloated belly and sluggish digestion that often accompany hormonal changes, like menopause. Don’t know where to find the fiber you seek? Start with the best high-fiber foods!
Skip the Sweeteners
Kick off your weight loss today by skipping the artificial sweeteners. Researchers at Yale University have found a link between artificial sweetener consumption and an increased risk of obesity and excess belly fat, but nixing them from your diet could help you get rid of those unwanted pounds. Skipping the sweeteners may have another benefit for women of a certain age, too: many women find that artificial sweeteners can trigger hot flashes, so cutting them from your diet can help you keep your cool.
Add in a Leg Day
Adding a leg day to your workouts can help you tone up your lower half and make it easier to shave off unwanted weight. Not only will increasing your muscle tone help you burn more calories, research conducted at Chungnam National University suggests that individuals with more muscle tone in their lower bodies have a lower risk of falls and fractures that may keep them from getting adequate exercise for months, if not years. A study published in Gerontology also suggests that strong legs are a good indicator of the strength of another important muscle: your brain.
Take a Swim
Hitting the pool is a great way to get your body into the best shape of your life, no matter what your age. A 155-pound woman can expect to burn nearly 500 calories an hour swimming at a relatively leisurely pace, adding another 200 calories to that number by doing some faster laps. For women over 40, low-impact exercises, like swimming, are particularly beneficial, thanks to the limited wear-and-tear they cause on joints, making it less likely an overuse injury will keep you benched.
Stick to a Schedule
Keeping a regular eating schedule could be the key to ditching those extra pounds after 40. Researchers at Hebrew University found that feeding mice high-fat foods on a regular schedule kept them leaner than when they were fed the same foods on a sporadic basis. Sticking to a consistent eating schedule can also help you fend off the hunger pangs that can prompt cravings for high-fat or sugary foods, which often get worse around menopause.
Sip Some Green Tea
A little green tea in your cup could yield a lot of weight loss. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition reveals that adding green tea to subjects’ meal plans increased their fat-burning ability by a whopping 12 percent over the course of 12 months. Even better, green tea’s combination of antioxidants and caffeine can give you the boost you need to fend off those energy lulls that often accompany middle age.
Close the Kitchen
Closing up the kitchen for the night makes it easier to shed those unwanted pounds, no matter what your age. Research published in Cell Metabolism reveals that mice who spent 16 hours a day fasting and the other eight hours eating high-fat food remained relatively lean, while those who ate the same number of calories and the same amount of fat over the course of the day significantly increased their risk of obesity.
Boost Your Calcium Intake
Want to maximize your fat-burning potential after 40? Start by making sure you’re getting plenty of calcium in your diet. The results of a study conducted at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville reveal that obese women who consumed more calcium (via three servings of yogurt) lost 11 pounds of body fat in over a 12-month period. Even better, increasing your calcium intake can help increase the strength of your bones, reducing your risk of a fall or fracture.
Opt For Organic Foods
Eager to shave off a few pounds after your 40th birthday? Start by opting for organic produce instead of the conventionally-grown stuff. A review in Interdisciplinary Toxicology summarized that organochlorine pesticides can alter the levels of thyroid hormone in the human bloodstream, potentially increasing weight gain and causing thyroid health issues. Considering that older women are already at an increased risk for thyroid problems, like hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it’s a good idea to go organic ASAP.
Make Whole Grains a Priority
There’s no time like the present to ditch those refined carbs and opt for whole grains instead. Whole grains are higher in fiber than their refined counterparts, which will not only help you stay full for longer, but can also be an effective means of battling the belly-bloating effects of menopause.
Drink More Water
What you drink is just as important as what you’re eating when it comes to weight loss. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics reveals that well-hydrated people ate up to 206 fewer calories each day than those who skimped on the H2O. And by “well-hydrated,” we mean increasing water intake by just 3 cups a day! For middle-aged women, staying hydrated can have particularly profound effects; drinking ice water is a recommended solution for battling the hot flashes that often accompany menopause. For more ways to hydrate and shed those unwanted pounds, add the best teas for weight loss to your lineup.
Snack on Some Almonds
Trading in your usual snack for some almonds can help you shed weight and improve your health. Loaded with fiber and protein, almonds can help keep you feeling full for longer, and may even help you slash the stress that can lead to weight gain. Research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine also reveals that adding magnesium-rich foods, like almonds, to your diet can help reduce anxiety, lowering cortisol levels and decreasing your body’s tendency to store belly fat.
Pile on the Protein
Want to slim down over 40? Try increasing your protein intake. Research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that low-protein diets prompted greater lean muscle loss in postmenopausal women, potentially slowing their metabolisms along the way. If you’re not a big fan of meat, try adding some extra beans, nuts, or whole grains, like quinoa, to your menu.
Opt For Red Wine
If you drink, try opting for red wine instead of white and you might just find yourself a few pounds —and inches— smaller in no time. Red wine is a good source of resveratrol, which has been deemed effective at reducing belly fat and improving memory retention in the aging brain. Even better, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine reveals that resveratrol supplementation was effective at improving hormonal issues in overweight postmenopausal women, potentially bolstering your weight loss efforts.
Cut the Cocktails
Say so long to those sugary happy hour drinks. A single flavored martini or blended drink can pack upwards of 600 calories per 8-ounce pour, and many menopausal women find that the blood vessel dilation that occurs with alcohol consumption can make hot flashes worse. If you do choose to drink, make sure you check out the tips for choosing healthy alcoholic drinks first.
Add Some Flax to Your Meals
Boost your fiber intake and slim down by mixing some flaxseed into your favorite food. Flax is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation and promote weight loss, and they may even help you fend off another sign of aging, too: the dreaded wrinkle. Flaxseed is loaded with alpha-linolenic acid, which researchers at Winnipeg St. Boniface General Hospital and Cuba’s VI Lenin University Hospital have linked to improvements in weight and cardiovascular status among study subjects. The omega-3s in flax have also been shown to trigger improvements in the texture and hydration of skin, fighting wrinkles in the process.
Increase the Intensity of Your Workouts
Losing weight as you age isn’t always about how much time you’re spending at the gym, but what you’re doing while you’re there. If you’re frustrated with your rate of weight loss, try adding some high-intensity interval training to your routine; a review of research published in the Journal of Obesity reveals that it’s a more effective means of improving overall fitness, increasing lean muscle, and improving insulin sensitivity than traditional aerobic exercise.
Snack on Some Citrus
Easier weight loss over 40 could be as easy as peeling an orange. The results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry & Nutrition reveal that citrus polyphenols can help undo some of the damage caused by a high-fat diet, helping you ditch those extra pounds in no time. Better yet, research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science reveals that the vitamin C found in citrus fruit can help boost your collagen production, helping you fight wrinkles, too.
Get Eight Hours a Night
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and also a surprisingly effective means of slimming down. The results of the Nurses’ Health Study reveal that, among a group of 60,000 women studied for 16 years, those who got 5 hours of sleep or less at night increased their risk of becoming obese by 15 percent. Getting adequate rest can also reduce your risk of dementia, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Luckily, you’ll be heading off to the Land of Nod in no time once you learn the ways to improve your sleep quality!
Calculate Your Metabolic Rate
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, the best way to figure out how much you should be eating or scaling back is to calculate your metabolic rate. Fortunately, using the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation, it’s easy to figure out how many calories you’re actually burning, and even better, it’s adjustable for your age, so, unlike cookie-cutter diet plans, you can use it year after year and continue enjoying results.
Switch Up Your Fragrance
It’s time to sniff your way slim. Switching up your fragrance can do more than make you smell delicious, it can also help you shed those extra pounds as you age. The results of a study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery reveal that sniffing scents like apple and mint increased weight loss among study subjects, so seek out fragranced products, like tea tree shampoo or apple-inflected perfume, for maximum effect.
Hitting the gym with a pal will not only keep you accountable, it may help you lose weight faster, too. Researchers at the Society of Behavioral Medicine have found that bringing a buddy along when you hit the gym boosts calorie burn and can help you increase the duration of your workouts.
Keep Your Hands Busy
They say that idle hands are the devil’s playthings, and that’s certainly true when it comes to weight loss. Keeping your hands busy with activities like knitting, origami, or even those dreaded fidget spinners, can help you from reaching for the closest fatty or sugary snack. Research also suggests that using your hands to fidget throughout the day can burn upwards of 800 calories, making it easier to slim down in an expeditious manner.
Skip the Salty Snacks
Skipping those salty snacks will put you on track for more weight loss in a hurry, no matter what your age. Research conducted at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine reveals that, contrary to popular belief, salt tends to make people hungry, not thirsty. Two groups on simulated missions to Mars were examined over the course of 105 and 205 days, respectively, with one group receiving saltier foods during the final weeks of their mock voyage. Researchers discovered that those given saltier foods actually drank less water than those on a low-salt diet, but complained of hunger more often. However, as expected, the saltier food did increase study participants’ water retention, meaning it can exacerbate the water retention and bloating issues associated with menopause, too. Salt isn’t the only habit making you heavy; the worst breakfast habits for weight loss could have you packing on the pounds with every passing year.
Turn Off the TV
Sure, we’re in the golden age of television, but one of the easiest ways to increase your over-40 weight loss is by turning off the TV (as much as it may break your heart to miss the latest GoT). A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that people who snacked while watching TV ate 10 percent more per sitting than those who focused on their food. Even more depressing, research published in the Journal of Consumer Research indicates that seeing beauty advertisements can trigger feelings of inadequacy in women, which can often lead to emotional eating.
Get Some Sun
While sun-worshipping can have you looking more leather bag than human, a little-controlled exposure to UV rays can yield some serious benefits for your weight. According to research conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, overweight women between 50 and 75 who had adequate vitamin D levels shed more weight and more body fat than those whose levels remained low. A study in Psychopharmacology also reveals that subjects with depression who popped a vitamin D supplement experienced improvements in their mood in just five days, so don’t be afraid to let the sunshine in.
Add Yoga to Your Routine
Tired of your usual workout? Try adding some yoga to your lineup and you might just find those pounds melting off easier than you ever thought possible. A 160-pound woman can expect to burn approximately 477 calories per hour of hot yoga; if you’re up for power yoga, that number jumps to 594. Fortunately, yoga is also low-impact and great for improving muscle tone, reducing stress on your joints and providing support for your bones that may reduce your risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.
Get a Thyroid Check
If you’re having trouble losing weight after your 40th, it’s time to ask your doctor about a thyroid screening. Women are more likely to develop thyroid health issues than their male counterparts, which can lead to symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, and depression. Fortunately, for many people, the problem can be fixed with medication and dietary modification, getting you back on track to the body you want in no time.
Manage Your Mental Health
Not everyone relishes the idea of getting older, but if you’re experiencing serious blues you just can’t shake, you could be putting yourself at risk for pounds you can’t shake, either. Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals a link between depression and severe obesity, particularly among women, but found that weight loss improved mental health outcomes, potentially breaking you out of this vicious cycle for good. Start on the path toward a happier you today by kicking the foods that put you in a bad mood off your menu.
Don’t Eat Like a Kid
Spending time with your children or grandkids can be fun and may even lower your risk of dementia. However, all that time spent in the land of chicken nuggets and pizza might have you packing on the pounds before you know it. Many busy caregivers find themselves mindlessly eating the leftovers from their little ones, adding hundreds of calories to their daily total. Just because you’re 40 doesn’t mean you should feel old, but it also means you can’t eat like a kid anymore.
If hot flashes are causing you to heat up, lower your thermostat and you may lower your weight, too. Research suggests that sleeping in a 66-degree room can increase the amount of healthy, brown fat on your body, boosting your metabolism and helping you shave off those unwanted pounds.
Get Some Digital Support
Our obligations to our families, jobs, and community tend to increase along with our age, making it harder to find time to attend in-person weight loss groups. Luckily, research published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics suggests that online social support can encourage weight loss every bit as much as in-person meetings, making it easier to shed the pounds, even if factors like your schedule or mobility issues are making it hard to leave the house.
Indulge Those Carb Cravings
If you’re cutting carbs or limiting your whole grain intake to a single slice of toast in the morning, you could be doing yourself a disservice when it comes to weight loss. Research conducted on members of the Israeli police force found that eating carbs in the evening actually increased weight loss and body fat loss, and consuming whole grains throughout the day can help you fight the bloating and sluggish digestion that often become an issue around menopause. Make healthy carbs a staple in your home by adding the best overnight oats recipes to your routine.
Feed Your Gut
Getting your gut health in order is a good idea no matter what your age, but after 40, it’s essential. Improving your digestive regularity with prebiotic fiber-rich foods, like asparagus and leafy greens, may help reduce your risk of colon cancer, and can even help regulate the hormonal challenges that come along with menopause. Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine have also found fiber effective at reducing estrogen concentrations in the bloodstream, helping you avoid the hot flashes and mood swings that can hit around mid-life.
Spice Up Your Sex Life
A little action between the sheets can mean a lot less weight on the scale. Not only is sex a great stress reliever, helping to lower the amount of belly fat-storage hormone cortisol in your bloodstream, but the results of a study published in Breast Cancer Research suggest that even moderate weight loss can help postmenopausal woman achieve a more favorable hormonal balance, making it easier to get in the mood. Fortunately, kicking the foods that kill your sex drive off your menu will have your libido soaring in no time.
Adjust Your Expectations
While weight loss after 40 is absolutely possible, keeping your expectations about how fast you’ll shed those pounds in check can help you stay on track in the long run. Managing your expectations about your weight loss can help keep you from getting discouraged if you’re not slimming down as fast as you had hoped, making it easier to stick to your plan and recover from those little hiccups that could otherwise send you face-first into the next brownie sundae you see.
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40 Most Effective Weight Loss Tips for People Over 40
There are certain things everyone over the age of 40 should be doing to guarantee that the second half of life’s big game is as exciting as the first half. After all, once you hit 40, your body begins to lose muscle mass, the lean tissue that helps you burn fat and calories; women drop about half a pound of muscle per year after crossing 4-0, according to Pamela Peeke, author of Body for Life for Women. That’s why 40 tends to be the dividing line between those who are headed for a long, healthy lifetime of lean, and those who are headed for an early (and probably much larger) grave.
To keep you in top shape, we’ve uncovered these 40 essential weight loss tips for playing your second half perfectly.
Ditch the Yo-Yo diets.
The cabbage soup diet? Really? Just no. Restricting calories and losing body fat too quickly can wreak havoc on insulin, leptin, ghrelin and other hormones, prompting a surge in hunger and a slump in metabolism. These effects can last for more than a year, even after the diet is abandoned, according to a 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Yo-yo diets also prompt a decline in dopamine, which means you’re left feeling unmotivated and sluggish.
Educate yourself before eating out.
Eating out is a treat and is probably something you’re doing because you deserve it—maybe it’s your birthday, you’re celebrating a family member, or just getting together with old friends. But letting yourself indulge doesn’t mean you have to be completely blind to just how deceptive many restaurant menu options can be. From breakfasts that have more sugar than seven Snickers’ bars to pastas that have more saturated fat than 50 eggs (yes, 50), it’s well worth your time to read up before you go out.
Take your sleep really seriously.
Over the years, you’ve probably had moments where being able to get by on very little sleep was almost like a badge of honor. But as sleep medicine progresses and people are learning more about sleep health, the ties between your Zzzs and your LBs on the scale are becoming clearer. Losing just an hour of sleep each night for three days can prompt a surge in the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and a slump in the hormone leptin, which tells us when we’re full, says Norfolk, Va.-based clinical psychologist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., co-author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan. Deep sleep, on the other hand, fuels the production of the fat-burning human growth hormone (HGH).
Stop reusing your water bottles.
You think you’re being economical or environmentally friendly, but you’ll want to start avoiding those plastic bottles in the first place. A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to toxins like bisphenol A (BPA), organophosphate pesticides and phthalates may be fueling weight problems. “We are starting to see a lot of human studies showing an association between the presence of chemicals and obesity,” says University of California, Irvine, researcher Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., who coined the term “obesogen” to describe such toxins. A 2011 Harvard study found that adults with the highest concentration of BPA in their urine had significantly larger waists and a 75 percent greater chance of being obese than those in the lowest quartile. Reusing plastic bottles with BPA adds to the risk because temperature changes and the gradual breakdown of the plastic will increase the rate of the release of the chemical.
Go mason jar crazy.
Nope, we’re not just talking about Pinterest-y D.I.Y. decor tips. Some of the healthiest food trends out there right now suggest using mason jars—namely, mason jar salads and overnight oats. While eating salads or oats out of a mason jar may make you feel good, it’s what you put in them that will make you look good—and earn you a flat stomach. We aren’t saying you have to toss out your Tupperware; we’re just saying you might beat boredom and find slimming down all that much easier.
Start Instagramming your food.
Speaking of social media, it’s time to take a cue from those iPhone-crazy millennials because it might just be the weight loss boost you want! Holding onto that food memory may help you eat less at breakfast…and lunch…and dinner. An analysis on a number of “attentive eating” studies printed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that if people recall their last meal as being filling and satisfying, they tend to eat less during their next meal. Researchers found techniques like writing down or drawing meals (and even keeping food wrappers and receipts!) to be particularly beneficial.
Be pessimistic for a moment.
Picture this in your mind: You’ve dieted and worked out for the past 10 years and you’re fatter than ever. Your health is in shambles and you’re hopeless at resisting food temptation. You know better, but you look and feel unhealthy. It’s that kind of “negative fantasizing” that researchers say paradoxically provides powerful motivation for weight loss. According to the Zero Sugar Diet, a study in the journal Cognitive Therapy & Research revealed that obese women on a weight loss journey who had the most positive fantasies—showing off their new, hot bodies to friends a year later—actually lost 24 pounds fewer than those with the most negative thoughts. While it’s fun to visualize the future benefits of weight loss success, researchers say negative fantasies about weight loss mentally prepare dieters for temptation and hardship.
Go easy on the hand sanitizer.
We know, we know: It’s flu season. But we’re sorry to say that, after our research team here at Eat This, Not That! dug into the science, we have some bad news for you: Your hand sanitizer could be making you fat. Triclosan is a synthetic antibacterial agent frequently added to soap. It’s referred to by researchers as an “obesogen”—a compound that can potentially cause weight gain by disrupting the body’s endocrine (hormone) system. Studies suggest that triclosan can negatively affect the thyroid. As thyroid hormones control metabolism, any hit to the organ’s functionally could cause you to gain weight. The evidence is of particular concern for hospital workers, researchers say, as they’re exposed to the antibacterial agent on a regular basis and often show significantly higher levels of triclosan in their urine. A study in the journal PLOS One found a detectable level was associated with a 0.9-point increase in body mass index (BMI). If you’re a frequent hand-washer, experts recommend sticking to good ol’ soap—not the antibacterial kind—and to buy organic cleansers when possible.
You know the ones: In 30 seconds or less, you watch a mysterious pair of hands layer cookie dough with Oreos with brownie mix. Bake, cut, and oh how yummy—and insanely, ridiculously, break-the-chair fattening. “The internet and social media sites are basically making you fat,” Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, and founder of The WellNecessities, told us for our article on The 30 Worst Flat Belly Mistakes Women Make. “If it isn’t 25 ways to eat tater tots then it’s national day. The internet has made it basically impossible to stay away from cravings and indulgences. These are not excuses to eat unhealthy food.” Next time you see one of those videos, ask yourself how you could make it healthier—and if you can’t, click out of it and never look back.
Reassess your comfort foods.
This one has a surprise twist you won’t see coming. “When you eat things to which you’re sensitive or intolerant, you get an increase of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, so you literally get a high,” says Pamela Wartian Smith, M.D., co-director of the master’s program in medical sciences at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, who explains that this reaction can result in cravings for the very foods we should avoid. Food sensitivities may also lead to inflammation and water retention. To compound the problem, over-the-counter antihistamines bolster appetite and dull energy, studies show.
Get a stand-up desk.
At this point, you’ve spent around 20 or more years in the workforce. You’ve paid your dues and ran circles around your competition—resulting in your own office, possibly. So, why aren’t you owning that space like the boss you are? The first tweak for your office makeover: Invest in a height-adjustable stand-up desk. Here’s why this can be such a game-changer for your waistline: A British study found that standing at work burned 50 more calories per hour than sitting. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider this: If you stand for just three hours of your work day, you’ll expend more than 30,000 extra calories per year—which amounts to about 8 pounds of fat!
Do it yourself,
Remember when you were 23 years old and wouldn’t even dream of spending your coveted cash on letting someone else mow your lawn, wash your car, or paint your living room? Try tapping into that scrappy, resourceful inner you a bit more and you’ll wind up torching calories. For example, a 150-pound person will burn around 200 calories if they wash and wax their car for 40 minutes.
Make it tea, all the time.
We get it: You’ve been in a relationship with coffee longer than your spouse. But the benefits of tea are so incredible. Here’s the thing about tea: Study after study proves that tea boosts metabolism, turns on your fat-burning hormones, and help reduce stress. You can put it in smoothies or even cook with it, like food journalist and author Kelly Choi suggests in these 60-Second Weight Loss Tips Celebs Swear By. If you don’t know which tea to start with, go for matcha: It’s the superhero version of the already-mighty green tea.
Swap your bread.
Once upon a time, you probably thought white bread was a basic staple for the pantry. And you’ve maybe switched to wheat, which is something of an improvement—if it was still 1996. But if “enriched flour,” “high fructose corn syrup,” or “sugar” is one of the first few ingredients listed on your bread’s label, you’re not doing your waistline any favors. The trio to try for: Look for bread that comes in less than 80 calories, has less than 3 grams of sugar per slice, and lists whole grains as the first ingredient. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread and Alpine Valley Organic 21 Whole Grains Bread both fit the bill.
Stop the soda habit.
If you have one soda a day, studies show that you’re accumulating fat around your organs (visceral fat) and likely giving yourself a “soda belly”—a protruding, beer belly-like gut that’s the result of about 1.8 pounds of fat pushing out your belly. And that’s in addition to all the other harmful things we know about soda. (Diet doesn’t do you any favors.)
Drink 2 cups of water before each meal.
Drinking water is essential for all your body’s functions and it dramatically ups your odds are of staying thin. In fact, one University of Utah study found that dieters who downed two cups of water before each meal lost 30 percent more weight than their counterparts who didn’t sip any H20 before noshing. If you don’t have a water cooler at your office, fill a BPA-free bottle with water at home. If you drink two cups before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that just leaves you with two more cups before you meet your minimum recommendation for the day. So easy!
Let legumes take charge.
According to a review published in the journal Obesity, legumes—including beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas—could keep you from the snack drawer until dinner. Researchers found that subjects who consumed between ¾ and 1 cup of legumes daily felt as much as 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t! But there’s a catch: Although participants felt fuller when they ate legumes, they didn’t always eat less throughout the day. It’s still up to you to tune out the call of cravings—a completely different beast than hunger. But when it comes to willpower boosters, beans are a great way to get a jumpstart.
Don’t drink so many calories.
That zero-calorie diet soda is its own death sentence. But as for that cream-and-sugar coffee every morning? That’s 80 extra calories, and that’s if you’re ordering normal coffee and not one of those tricked-out frappa-cappa-whipped-something drinks from your favorite coffee shop that have a couple hundred calories. Many fruit juices, energy drinks, and even big-chain smoothies are loaded with calories.
There’s a host of benefits that come with walking more, from stress relief to stronger leg muscles. But the simple act can ward off weight gain simply because you expend more calories than taking the elevator or parking as close as possible to the door. But for weight loss and to actually start burning, you’ll need to walk 3 mph, which is as if your plane is about to start boarding and you are still walking toward your gate. And while they don’t have to all be 3 mph steps, the average recommendation is 10,000 steps a day.
Sitting is the new smoking. Researchers from Toronto recently showed that sedentary behavior can lead to death from cardiovascular issues and cancer, as well as cause chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. Prolonged sitting, meaning sitting for 8-12 (or more) hours per day, increased your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90 percent. And weight gain. So. much. weight gain. Be mindful of not plopping down on the couch all evening and if you can swap times you sit at work for standing. Have you heard of stand-ups? They’re meetings where everyone stands and many people love them because these meetings often wind up shorter than other meetings where people get too cozy at that conference table!
Slip in other ways to be active.
Whether it’s playing with your dog, carrying the stroller for your family members with little ones, or exploring a nature path, it’s crucial to fit in extra activity when you can. “Metabolism and hormonal changes in your 40s create an ideal environment for excess fat storage in women—especially in the midsection,” says Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD. “In your 40s, activity is essential.”
Boost metabolism with micro workouts.
That mom of three who also teaches spin class and always looks fantastic? Awesome. But that’s not attainable for everyone, which can leave you feeling frustrated that you can’t be a workout god or goddess, too. The good news: You only need 2 ½ minutes to boost your metabolism and start burning calories, too. Research printed in the journal Physiological Reports showed that people who did five 30-second bursts of max-effort cycling, followed by 4 minutes of rest, burned 200 extra calories that day and boosted their metabolism for the next 24-48 hours. It’s highly unlikely you have a stationary bike handy at your place of work, but a similar result could be achieved by running up the stairs and doing jumping jacks.
Let your body fast.
When Eat This, Not That! spoke with the dieting and fitness experts from My Diet is Better Than Yours, we learned some pretty incredible tips. One idea that seemed more attainable for someone over 40 is from wellness expert Jovanka Ciares, who said try eating only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Can you imagine a college guy or a new mom abiding by that rule?!) As long as you are still getting enough calories to keep your metabolism up, this tactic can help you lose weight because it puts your body into a fasted state, which Ciares says can make the process easier and faster.
It can get overwhelming to keep up with all the superfoods out there, we know. But if there’s one amazing food you should be getting more of (and that we know you’re not), it’s seaweed. The sea plant is a great source of iodine and you can enjoy seaweed in sushi, broth-based soups, as chips or snacks, and more. “Without sufficient levels of iodine, your thyroid function becomes impaired and it’s harder for your body to burn fat,” says nutritionist Dana James of Food Coach NYC, who suggests sneaking sea vegetables into your diet at least three times a week. Seaweed also contains a compound called alginate, which has been shown to significantly cut fat absorption, says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear–with Fiber.
RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.
Learn about ‘eating clean.’
You’ve heard this buzzy phrase a bunch of times by now, right? It’s way more mainstream than you may realize, though—and much more attainable than you think. The basic rule of eating clean—and, forgive us for watering it down—is to eat more real food and less fake food. Doritos are not food. Those sketchy frozen enchiladas by Big Store Name Brand are often not much better. And that cream of something soup you mix into every chicken dish is a way of life that’s making your waistline expand.
Stop doing sit-ups.
Not only is this antiquated exercise less effective than something like a front plank, sit-ups are terrible for your spine and can cause herniated discs. Fact: A traditional sit-up puts around 3,350 newtons of compressive force on the spine, but the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states says anything above 3,300 newtons is unsafe. Now you can understand why Mark Langowski, celeb trainer and author of Eat This, Not That! for Abs hates to see people do sit-ups. “I created an entire workout plan to give you a rock-hard core and it doesn’t involve one single sit-up,” he says.
The older, wiser, less-bendy sister of yoga, meditation is an amazing activity that people can reap major rewards from. Studies show that people who regularly practice mindfulness meditation have more activity in their left prefrontal cortexes, which makes you calm and happy. Plus, a 2014 study found that individuals who meditate are less likely to overeat or give in to emotional eating. To get started, unroll a yoga mat or sit on a carpet in a sunny room (east-facing if possible) and take five uninterrupted minutes thinking about something that you’re grateful for. You’re supposed to lose a few LBs, but even if you don’t, we guarantee you’ll still be glad you made meditation part of your life.
Live by the half-plate rule.
Nope, the rule isn’t to only eat half of what’s on your plate. It’s that half of your plate should always be made up of veggies. This rule is most effective when you eat all the veggies, first. You’ll feel fuller faster, longer, and be less likely to go for seconds. As always, don’t fret about cleaning your plate or wasting food; it will go to waste whether you eat it or not!
Eat less salt.
High amounts of sodium can lead to belly bloating and there’s a good chance you are already getting more sodium than you need. To cut back on salt intake, Alexandra Miller, RDN, LDN, Corporate Dietitian at Medifast says to eat fewer processed foods like bread, pizza, and condiments. “Read the Nutrition Facts label to find how much sodium is in each serving,” she says. “Very Low Sodium is 35 milligrams or less per serving; Low-Sodium is 140 milligrams or less per serving; Reduced (or less) sodium is at least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level.”
Don’t fear the fat.
Sometimes, you have to eat fat to lose fat. Specifically, healthy fats—those with omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and oleic acid—dramatically help to satisfy hunger and fire up your metabolism. Think avocados, walnuts, coconut oil, and even full-fat dairy.
Use your non-dominant hand.
Remember when you were little and would try to write with different hands? Eventually, a long time ago, you probably gave up on that. But personal trainer to the stars Jay Cardiello says it can be a great weight loss trick. “It takes 15 minutes for your brain to realize that you’re full,” he explains. “To give your mind time to catch up to your mouth, simply switch your fork to non-dominate hand. It may be frustrating, but it’s a simple and unnoticeable way to curb overeating and lose weight.”
Cut back on wine and booze.
You deserve that glass of Scotch or wine, we know. But the unfortunate truth is that your body doesn’t metabolize alcohol as efficiently as you age. So, not only are you going to add on (or not be able to lose) weight because of alcohol, you also wind up looking older and sleeping worse. ” it will be increasingly difficult to get a good night’s rest with alcohol in your system and sleepless nights lead to carb and sugar cravings the next day,” says registered dietitian Martha McKittrick in 30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30. Meanwhile, alcohol zaps moisture from your skin making fine lines more noticeable and speeding up your skin’s loss of elasticity.
Be your own therapist.
In an Orlando Health survey of more than a thousand respondents, only 10 percent of people listed their psychological well-being as part of their weight loss journey. The problem? Not being in tune with your emotions and their connection to food is why nearly 66 percent of people gain weight back after losing it. “Most people focus almost entirely on the physical aspects of weight loss, like diet and exercise,” neuropsychologist and Program Director of Integrative Medicine at Orlando Health Diane Robinson, Ph.D. said in a press release. “But there is an emotional component to food that the vast majority of people simply overlook and it can quickly sabotage their efforts.” To stop emotional eating and unlock the door to weight loss success, try keeping a journal that tracks your food choices and current mood. Then look for healthy and unhealthy patterns, which can help you identify the specific life and emotional connections you have with food.
Eat for health, not weight loss.
“To see real results, you need to eat real food,” says Angelo Grinceri, People’s one-time Sexiest Trainer Alive. “When your eating habits consist of eating a variety of real foods that provide the body with nourishment, a healthier body is created. And the healthier you are, the faster you’ll recover post-workout and the better chance you’ll have at losing fat and building muscle.” Plus, eating for health instead of weight loss means you’ll develop a habit that makes smarter food choices easier and easier.
By now, you should know that weight and health problems are often the result of an accumulation from what you’re consuming. With that in mind, take a moment to think about how you’ve had at least four decades to accumulate toxins from food and drink—some seriously bad stuff that can lead to obesity. Many of those come from pesticides and hormones in your meat and produce. So start choosing organic fruits and vegetables and hormone-free meat.
Always be prepared with snacks.
Remember the Boy Scout motto about always being prepared? At 40 or older, you most likely have more things demanding your time and attention than ever before. To make it easier to eat lower calories and avoid stuffing your face when you’re starving, always keep your desk, pantry, car, and purse stashed with healthy snacks. Raw almonds and bananas are two of the easiest, but you can get more ideas with these healthy snack ideas under $1. And whatever you do, do not hit up any vending machines!
Turn off the tube.
Studies show that lean people watch less television, plain and simple. A recent analysis of multiple studies found that for every two hours spent watching TV, the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and/or early death increased by 20, 15 and 13 percent, respectively. Because you’re expending less energy as you zone out in front of the telly, there’s a surplus blood sugar flooding your bloodstream and contributing to weight-related risks that crop up in your 40s and beyond. Even knitting like will keep you younger than just sitting and watching show after show!
Many people stop working out or become less active as they age because they’ve started experiencing more joint pain or discomfort from old injuries. This is why swimming can be a great solution. It’s low-impact, builds endurance, and burns calories. Dive in!
The benefits of Greek yogurt are far and wide while making your figure tighter and slimmer. High-quality Greek yogurt is low in calories (less than 100 for 6 oz.), has a very high amount of protein (20 grams), and provides your gut with some much-needed probiotics. Flavored, non-Greek yogurts, on the other hand, are often packed with additives that harm your health and can even make you hungrier. If you’re not a Greek yogurt fan, do know that it can be an acquired taste—but mixing in some berries, walnuts, or homemade granola might just become your new, belly busting addiction!
Adopt a weight-loss mantra.
There’s a lot of advice out there, but having a go-to mantra that gives you strength can be a powerful weapon in your weight loss arsenal. “There will always be another meal” is just one of the 25 Weight Loss Mantras Nutritionists Swear By and The Nutrition Twins explain that they came up with it because people all too often eat as if they’ll never have their favorite foods again. Find your mantra and make it work for you!