Healthy weight loss over forty can seem like an uphill battle and the older you get the more difficult it can seem.
As middle age hits sometimes it seems impossible to lose the flab. The decline in metabolic rate means those pounds stay put, and it takes a lot of work to get them off even though you know very well that being over weight and over forty is not a good combination.
The secret to healthy weight loss at any age is really no secret at all, just a simple mathematical fact.
You have to use more energy than you take in to shed the pounds and you have to do it as part of a long term anti aging strategy. Losing weight if you need to is vital to looking younger and staying healthy. Simple to say – but it can be hard to do.
What you need is some help and advice from people who have done it. There’s no shortage of diet and fitness sites on the web offering weight loss tips – so here’s my pick of the best:
1. Boost your activity levels – physical activity raises your metabolism, causing you to lose more weight, more quickly than dieting alone.
2. Drink green tea – Green tea is proven to boost metabolism and helps you shed excess fat around your middle. You need to around four cups of green tea a day or take a good green tea extract.
3. Go for permanent change – You may use a diet to get your weight down to start with but you need to make the weight loss permanent – change your long term eating habits for good.
4. Find a weight loss program that suits you and follow it. What suits one person will be no good for another. could work for you and go for it.
5. Start reading food labels. You should know what’s in the food that you’re putting in your mouth. Check both the ingredients list and the nutritional facts, especially the serving sizes.
6. Tell your family – you need help and support and someone to share the highs and lows with.
7. Go public – tell everyone. It’s much more difficult to quit if everyone knows what you said you would do.
8. Find an exercise program that you will enjoy and follow it regularly – it has to be something you want to do and not something you dread
9. Use music – Music can help you zone out and get moving whether it’s on a mat at home, in the gym, doing some yard work – music can help
10. Eat half size first helpings. Put only half what you think you need to eat on your plate to start.
11. Wait 20 minutes before second helpings. Your body takes around this time to send messages to the brain that you’re full. Give your brain time to catch up!
12. Use a smaller plate. Self-deception – but it works! Using a small plate means that a full sized portion just looks gross – you’ll feel you’re eating more than you are and you’ll be able to make do with less more easily.
13. Drink more water – especially when you feel a hunger pang. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger and a glass of water can stop you feeling hungry. Start every meal with a glass.
14. Don’t compare with other people. Your body is different from anyone else’s and you will lose and gain weight in different ways. Two people following the same program won’t have the same results, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t lose weight as easily as a friend or other people in a weight watchers group.
15. Accept that men lose weight quicker than women – If you’re dieting with your male partner, he may shed weight more quickly. Women are biologically programmed to retain fat around areas like hips and thighs.
16. Take a multi vitamin supplement – it can improve your health overall and help you to lose weight a little faster.
17. Don’t give up just because you have a relapse – one piece of cake or pizza doesn’t mean that you have ruined the diet. It’s your calorie intake over time that matters not on any one day.
18. Set yourself a target weight – Find out what your ideal weight is (based on your BMI) and target that as your end goal.
19. Go ‘cold turkey’ on junk food It contains very high levels of salt, sugar and fat – all of which is bad. It comes in portions that will make you gain, rather than drop pounds. Convenience is not worth the extra fat it makes you put on. Go for permanent weight loss and switch to healthier fresher food and you’ll look younger and feel fitter almost instantly.
20. Don’t obsess over the bathroom scales – Weigh yourself regularly but no more than once a week at the same time. Your weight will change throughout the day and you need to keep your eye on the overall trend, not a daily number.
21. Build up your muscles – do some resistance or load bearing exercise. Muscle mass raises your metabolic rate and helps you burn fat.
22. Set realistic weight loss goals – Achieving healthy weight loss means losing around two pounds a week. You could lose a little more in the early weeks – depending on how overwight you are.
23. Record your success – take photos of your progress as you lose weight and share it with other people. Try buying a bag of sugar for every 2 pounds of weight you lose and sit it on your desk where you can see it. When you’ve lost quite a lot – fill up a rucksack or sportsbag and try carrying it around for a bit to remind yourself how life used to be. Or do what I did and keep a weight loss diary – great to look back on and see how far you’ve come.
24. Eat low GI Food – eat as many low glycemic index foods as possible. Foods that take time to convert to blood sugar help you feel full for longer. Eating low GI food can make quite a difference if you are fasting once or twice a week to lose weight – it helps you stay full for longer.
Whatever weight loss program you go for – it all comes down to eating less and exercising more.
Find a way that suits you to take in less calories than you use up each day and you will lose weight. However you get there – losing weight over 40 is one of the best ways to look younger and feel great.