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Help in losing weight over 40

Help in losing weight over 40
Are you over 40 and struggling to lose weight? more specifically body fat? Well I’m here to help you learn what makes us put on weight as we age and what you can do about it!

What makes us put on weight as we age?

There are a number of factors that make us put weight on as we age and it is usually a combination of many of these factors, of which each can have an impact and compound the issues of one another making it even worse.

Often weight gain can creep up on you and before you know it you’re 10-20 lbs overweight.

The following are what makes us gain weight as we get older:

  • Genetics, this could be an evolutionary thing that makes us store energy for survival, but in any case we presently have no control of our genetics.
  • Hormonal changes. For women this can be caused by the menopause and even pre-menopause. Both progesterone and oestrogen decease as you age. Progesterone helps make you less fat and oestrogen increases body fat. However although both decrease with the menopause there is a larger decrease in progesterone, hence weight gain occurs. For men this can be down to less testosterone production. Testosterone bonds to fat, helping with fat removal. Testosterone also helps build more muscle, which leads to a faster metabolism and less insulin sensitivity. Men also tend to get more belly fat, which in turn impairs testosterone production, a catch 22 situation.
  • Poor eating habits, including snacking, eating processed and junk food and comfort eating. With your metabolism slowing down and many people still eating the way they did when they were younger and often actually worse, it means you end up consuming more calories than you burn and so you put on weight.
  • Stress. This increases cortisol which makes your body store more body fat. This happens as stress was associated with times of low food sources and for survival reasons your body would store more body fat.
  • Age related health issues, such as osteoporosis, arthritis, cardiovascular issues, heart issues and injuries, all of which can stop you being more active and making you burn less calories.
  • Loss of muscle mass. We tend to loss muscle mass and gain body fat as we age. This change in body composition means we use less glucose for energy, hence more is converted and stored as body fat. Muscle is therefore metabolically active and burns more calories, while stored body fat doesn’t burn much calories.
  • Less active. Sitting watching TV, on the computer and sitting behind a desk for hours. Being less active slows down your metabolism and a low metabolic rate burns less calories.
  • Lack of motivation, lethargy, lack of energy, procrastination, laziness and no will power. These all lead to a vicious spiral downwards.
  • Being too busy. Life often gets in the way and stops you being more active with work and family commitments.
  • Lack of quality sleep and sleep disruption.
  • Numerous bad lifestyle habits, such as drinking too much alcohol, late night partying and much more that you can fill in here….

What are the problems facing people who gain weight in their older years?

The following is a list of the problems you can suffer from excess weight at any age. But it is even worse for many who are older and not in good health:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Osteoporosis and arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Bladder issues
  • Emotional issues
  • Heart disease
  • Joint issues
  • Mobility issues
  • Various and numerous other diseases and health issues

What we can do to remove that unwanted body fat?

Like the reasons for getting fatter as we age, there is no one way to lose body fat, you really need to do as much as possible of the following in combination to maximise fat loss. It essentially needs to be a lifestyle change, but it also doesn’t have to be a chore. Just replacing a little bit of ‘wasted’ free time to do active activities in place of sedentary things like watching TV or sitting in front of a computer and of course smarter food shopping.

Let’s be clear here however, losing weight, especially just body fat for most people regardless of age is extremely difficult. However it is very doable for most people and many people have lost weight in their more mature years. In fact some are slimmer now than when they were in their 20’s/30’s. You have got to want to do it and be able to stick to a plan and do everything to make it happen. It’s a lifestyle change for the good.

The following is a list of things you can do to help remove unwanted body fat:

Be more active:

  • Get off your ass…sorry had to be said. Even when I watch TV, I often stand and walk about. If you can watch TV sitting on a stationary bike etc…do it. Also do more work around the house and in the garden and/or do an active hobby.
  • Exercise. Use both weights or other resistance training and add cardio, both will increase your metabolism, strength, muscle mass, heart and lung health, allowing you to be more active. See about building muscle and cardio here.
  • If necessary use joint friendly activities and start slow. You may have to start with swimming and walking before working your way up to more strenuous exercise, especially the older and the less fit/healthy you are.
  • If you sit for long periods, get up every hour and move about.
  • Like reading a book? try reading a book while riding a stationary bike.

Improve your diet and plan your food:

  • Look to eat a balanced diet, you need to watch the calories, but it’s not about dieting either, don’t restrict your calories too much, eat enough to feed your activities and maybe grow some muscle. Restricting calories too much can have the opposite effect for long term body fat loss. Eat a good breakfast and plan and eat regular meals spread throughout the day. Eat in, not out, don’t be lazy about quick simple preparation of food, it can take less time to cook good food than go out and buy so called fast food takeaways or go to a restaurant. Plus it’s way cheaper and healthier preparing your own food. Stop eating processed food, junk, baked food and sugar. The nutrition plan.
  • Increase your protein intake. More protein helps feed the muscle, keeps you fuller longer and eating it also has a small thermic affect, i.e. you burn a few calories while consuming it. About protein.
  • Increase your healthy fats intake. About fat.
  • Eat more complex carbohydrates, which helps to control insulin. Sugary foods can make you insulin resistant, which leads to an increase in glucose being stored as body fat. About carbohydrates.
  • Stay hydrated. Also as we age we tend to drink less water due to the aging process making us have potential bladder issues. We often also substitute water for food, when in fact we are thirsty and not hungry, so don’t stop drinking water.
  • Stop or drink less alcohol.
  • Chew your food slowly. It gives your brain time to realise you are eating and can make you eat less in the long run.
  • Don’t buy the wrong foods when shopping, if it isn’t in the house you can’t eat it. Don’t shop when you are hungry, as you are more likely to by the wrong foods.


  • Get quality rest and sleep.
  • Get motivated. Find like-minded people and join a group/club.
  • Make a plan. It is easier to follow a plan than do this all adhoc and will hopefully encourage you to do it.
  • Keep track of it all. Make notes and keep a journal if necessary.

Remember you’re looking to lose fat not just weight, to do this you need to eat correctly and exercise. Exercise will help retain and/or build muscle, help with bone mass and mobility and add to heart and lung health. A good diet and exercise routine will help to repair the body, feed the muscles and not add to your body fat stores.


When you are older you don’t have to accept an increasing waistline, there are many things you can do to help reduce it and it’s never too late.

If you are planning to exercise, I’d like to suggest you get a medical check up first before starting any strenuous physical exercise program.

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