Weight gain is a common problem for many and can be especially difficult to manage for women over 40. Maintaining healthy weight becomes increasingly difficult as the body’s metabolism slows down with age.
Tips For Weight Loss
1. Adjust Calorie Consumption
Low-calorie diets containing 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day are appropriate and safe for women over 40 and do not require medical supervision. To lose approximately 1 pound per week, reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories, and to reduce 2 pounds, reduce the intake by 1,000 per week.
2. Go For High-Protein, Low-Carb Diets
According to a study, diets that are rich in protein but low in carbohydrates help you lose weight because of the high-protein component.1
3. Take Metabolism-Boosting Foods
By eating such foods, you will slow down insulin production and increase your metabolism. Whole grain cereals/oatmeal; low-fat yogurt/skim milk; green tea; lean proteins; fruits such as apples and pears; and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are great metabolism-boosting foods.
4. Get More Sleep
Sleeping well is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight and metabolism especially for women over 40. So make sure you get enough sleep to keep you energetic throughout the day.2
Because your body works differently after 40, make it a goal to exercise on a regular basis. Exercise keeps your metabolism active and in a healthy state. Weight training is recommended for women over 40 to compensate for the decreased muscle mass from fluctuating hormones.
6. Detox Your Liver
The liver performs a range of critical functions in the body. Two of its main roles are fat burning and detoxification.
Start the detoxing process by cutting down on sugar, artificial sweeteners, and trans-fatty acids.
Weight gain, especially around your midsection, may be a sign that your liver is not functioning properly. Detoxing your liver will help it work more efficiently.
7. Reduce Stress
Stress can also contribute to hormonal imbalance and lower your metabolic rate. Yoga and meditation can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses, promote hormonal balance, and may be helpful in managing both anxiety and depression.3
Why Women Tend To Gain Weight After 40
The unexplained weight gain in women over 40 can be attributed to natural hormonal changes in the body. In women, these changes are related to menopause.
The fluctuating hormone levels during perimenopause affect the digestion and metabolism of the body.
During perimenopause (the period shortly before menopause), the levels of hormones in the body, such as estrogen and progesterone, begin to reduce gradually, which eventually leads to menopause. These changes substantially contribute to increased abdominal obesity, which leads to additional physical and psychological morbidity.4
2. Thyroid Problems
An under-active thyroid could be one of the main reasons for gaining weight.5 The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism. Hence, any problem with the thyroid may decrease the metabolism of the body.
3. Changes In Sleep Patterns
Perimenopausal and menopausal women frequently report changes in their sleep patterns. Factors such as difficulty in falling asleep and insomnia all contribute to lower energy levels and fatigue.
Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to elevated cortisol levels, which contribute to fat gain.
Research shows that sufficient sleep plays an important role in weight management and decreasing the risk of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and diabetes as well as other sleep-related problems.6
|↑1||Soenen, Stijn, et al. “Relatively high-protein or ‘low-carb’energy-restricted diets for body weight loss and body weight maintenance?.” Physiology & behavior 107.3 (2012): 374-380|
|↑2||Sharma, Sunil, and Mani Kavuru. “Sleep and metabolism: an overview.” International journal of endocrinology 2010 (2010).|
|↑3||Yoga For Anxiety And Depression, health.harvard.edu|
|↑4||Davis, S. R., et al. “Understanding weight gain at menopause.” Climacteric 15.5 (2012): 419-429|
|↑5||Thyroid And Weight, thyroid.org|
|↑6||Sleep Health, healthypeople.gov|