Best Ways to Lose Weight as You Age: Best Ways to Lose Weight for Women over 40
Weight loss becomes more difficult with age, although many of the best ways to lose weight after age 40 are some of the same methods used earlier in life. After 40, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight, and most women find that they must put more effort into weight loss to achieve their goals. During this time in life, the body begins to go through changes in metabolism and digestion that can result in weight gain around the midsection, in the thighs, and elsewhere. Hormonal changes can send your metabolic rate off its intended course, hampering weight loss. The problem is exacerbated by any medical issues you may be dealing with. We’ve developed a list of ways to lose weight ranging from the minimal portion control to the extreme weight loss camp depending on what suits your lifestyle.
1) Portion Control and Eating Better Food
When looking at the best ways to lose weight for women over 40, it goes without saying that the less you eat, the fewer calories you have to burn in the first place. While no doctor recommends an ultra-low-calorie diet, one of the best ways to lose weight for women over 40 is controlling your portions and making the right food choices. By eating less of the foods you love, you will find the scales tipping in your favor. Learning to eat the right foods can also help you feel fuller longer so that you don’t end up eating to satisfy your hunger between meals. One trick to eating less is to use a smaller plate; it creates the illusion that you’re eating more. Measuring out your food can also help you keep portion size in perspective while you’re counting calories.
2) Low-Sodium and DASH Diets
If you are like many 40-plus-year-olds, you may find your blood pressure edging up with each passing year. The DASH plan is widely considered to be one of the best ways to lose weight for women over 40. Losing weight may help to lower your blood pressure numbers, and many physicians now recommend the DASH diet or another low-sodium plan to help do just that. DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, and it involves lowering your intake of dietary sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to achieve weight loss and blood pressure reduction. The plan also focuses on consuming foods rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, as well as low-fat dairy, veggies, fruits, and whole grains with a bit of lean protein. If blood pressure is a concern, talking to your doctor about the DASH plan is a good place to start on the road to better health and reduced weight. Your doctor can determine if the DASH eating plan is one of best ways to lose weight for you can also be instrumental in monitoring your results and helping you get started. There are also valuable resources online for adding DASH eating principles and lifestyle changes to your specific weight loss plan.
3) Yoga and Meditation
Many women find that yoga and meditation are some of the best ways to lose weight for women over 40. Yoga can help boost your energy levels, enhance mood, ease body aches, and promote weight loss, which makes yoga one of the best ways to lose weight for women over 40. When combined with meditation, the benefits are even greater. If you are unsure about the power of yoga, perhaps a recent study will convince you that it can be a viable part of your weight loss plan. A study by the Boston University School of Medicine found that practicing yoga for just an hour, three times a week, for three months boosted the mood-elevating chemical gamma aminobutyric acid in study participants. Adding a yoga routine to your day, whether you go to an official class or just practice on your own at home or in the office, can be a good way to give your weight loss efforts the added push you need to achieve your objectives and realize better health at the same time.
4) Weight Loss Camps
Attending a weight loss camp or resort is one of the best ways to lose weight for women over 40. These camps and resorts take all of the guesswork out of losing weight. A typical camp will provide you with healthy, low-calorie meals while teaching you how to plan weight-loss menus so you can continue your diet after you leave. They generally have plenty of physical activity available so you can tailor programs to help you shed the pounds but that are well within your physical capabilities. Many also offer individual or group counseling, and some even have spa facilities on the premises. Cheaper weight loss camps for adults start at roughly $200 per day, but some programs run up to several thousand dollars per week or more.
Related Article: 5 Best Weight Loss Camps in the US
5) Commercial Weight Loss Plans and Programs
Commercial weight loss centers and group plans, like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, are among some of the best ways to lose weight if you are someone who appreciates the structure provided by these types of programs. Jenny Craig offers customized meal plans and pre-portioned foods that you simply heat up at home and enjoy. Weight Watchers takes a group approach to weight loss, with weekly meetings and support groups that allow you to interact with others who are struggling with the same issues. In addition, Weight Watchers provides a proven weight loss eating plan that involves calculating points for each bite of food you put in your mouth—which can be a great way to stay on the right track when it comes to eating less and eating the right foods. The group meetings can also provide a sense of accountability and camaraderie—attending a weekly weigh-in can prove very motivational for some women.
Related Article: Weight Loss Camps vs. Weight Loss Programs: Pros and Cons
6) Burning Calories
Weight loss can be an uphill battle due to the series of changes the body begins to experience in the early 40s. One basic tenet when you’re considering the best ways to lose weight for women over 40 remains unchanged, however: you have to burn more calories than you take in if you want to lose weight. The leveling off of hormones during middle age results in your body making less efficient use of the calories you consume. According to experts, eating just 100 additional calories per day will stick to your ribs—literally—and can lead to a weight gain of up to 10 pounds over just one year. That’s why it becomes even more important for the 40-something woman to burn more calories than she takes in. This is achieved through regular exercise and by adding more physical activity to your daily routine. Pick up an extra few steps each day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking on your lunch break, or even adding a Zumba class or other exercise class to your weekly routine. The point is to add additional activity to your day to counterbalance your slower metabolic rate.
7) Medically Supervised Weight Loss Plans and Surgical Intervention
Many woman reach their 40s and find that they’re just plain tired of struggling with their weight, so they look to medically supervised weight loss plans or even surgical procedures to help. Several medically supervised plans have received good reviews in recent years and are counted among the best ways to lose weight, including OPTIFAST and Medifast. These programs offer a pre-designed menu of foods that are already portioned out with personalized instructions and advice from medical professionals. Some women also turn to bariatric surgery, although certain risks are involved, to achieve weight loss goals. This includes laparoscopic gastric banding and other restrictive surgeries that essentially restrict the amount of food a patient can eat.
Related Article: How Much Does Lap Band Surgery Cost without Insurance?
Big Benefits to Losing Weight after 40
Although weight loss after 40 can be a challenge, the good news is that even a modest loss of weight, such as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, can have an astounding effect on your health. Weight loss can lower your blood pressure, reduce your blood cholesterol, and impact your blood sugar level, not to mention make you feel and look a lot better so that you can enjoy this momentous time in your life to its fullest. No matter which of the best ways to lose weight you choose, losing the weight is a positive step that will allow you to get the most out of your 40s, 50s, and beyond.