6 Steps To Losing Weight After 40

Healthy Living, Lifestyle, Menopause

By: // July 12, 2021

Let me see if this sounds familiar: you’re over forty and exercising regularly. You eat a balanced diet and pass on dessert at parties. And yet, you can’t get rid of those extra pounds. If this scenario describes you, you’re not imagining things.

Oftentimes, losing weight does get harder as you get older, even if you’re someone who has always been able to easily manage your weight with diet and exercise.

Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of muscle per year. What does this have to do with weight loss? The more muscle you have on your body, the better your metabolism works.

So it’s not just in your head: losing weight after 40 is more difficult than when you were younger. But you don’t have to feel like weight loss after 40 is impossible.

Here are six ways to lose that extra weight after 40.

In this article:

1. Rule Out Underlying Metabolic Conditions and Check Hormones

Before you try anything else, make sure there isn’t an underlying factor interfering with your weight loss, like a thyroid condition. Did you know that nearly 1 in 5 adults over 40 suffer from thyroid problems that can interfere with weight loss? Your thyroid is the main regulator of your body’s metabolism, so having an over or under-active thyroid gland (hyper or hypothyroidism) can truly interfere with weight loss.

Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble losing weight and also experiencing any of the following symptoms of a thyroid disorder:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Thinning hair
  • Dry skin and hair
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

Hormone imbalance can also wreak havoc on your weight. Keep in mind that perimenopause and other hormone changes can start when you are in your 40s.

Estrogen dominance will definitely interrupt weight loss but so will the imbalance of cortisol, leptin, and insulin. We have a great article that covers, in great detail, how these hormones affect your body.

Check out Balance These 4 Hormones If You Want To Lose Weight for more information!

Related: How To Prevent Menopausal Weight Gain

2. Strength Train for More Muscle Mass

Remember how we said that the more muscle you have on your body, the better your metabolism works? Having more muscle increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This helps you burn more calories at rest—which is what you want if you’re aiming for weight loss after 40 (or over 50 and beyond).

So if you’ve been avoiding those weight machines or dumbbells, now’s the time to dedicate yourself to strength training. It is never too late to start strength training! If it is new to you, take advantage of any free personal training sessions that might be offered when you join a local gym or health club.

This is often to familiarize you with the equipment and the layout of the facility but can be a useful tool to get you started on a routine. Of course, if you have the finances to hire a trainer for a few sessions that’s another way to go.

Another great idea is to get into a group fitness strength training class. This is a less intimidating way to get started and in most gyms, you will find people of all ages and abilities attending; just ask the instructor if it is the right level for you. Strength training at home is another possibility.

By joining GHU TV you are spending a minimal amount and getting the personal training of experts like Chris Freytag and others who will do the workout with you providing the expertise needed to do it correctly!  Just pick up a pair of dumbbells, bring them home, and get started.

Keep in mind that if you are afraid to pick up the weights you can even use your own bodyweight to build strength through moves like push-ups, lunges, and squats. Strength training for as little as 20 minutes two to three times a week can build enough muscle to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR) over time.

3. Try HIIT Workouts for Weight Loss

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is where you exert maximum effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods, and it’s a great way to amp up your weight loss.

If you’re currently only using doing steady state cardio workouts like jogging or elliptical weight loss exercises, for example, you could benefit from incorporating HIIT workouts into your regimen. Because the intervals get your heart rate more elevated, they help you work harder, not longer. Studies show that HIIT also burns more fat than other workouts.

Related: HIIT For Beginners

4. Eat Clean, Protein-Rich Foods

This food is protein-rich, super-healthy and clean! Eating this type of food will help you lose weight and build muscle when combined with a consistent workout routine!

Eating well isn’t just about skipping out on processed junk food. It’s also about filling up your plate with clean, healthy foods that can actually assist in your weight loss.

Healthy fats like those found in olive oil, avocados, and nut butter nourish your body while helping you feel full longer—which means you’re less likely to overeat.

Incorporating healthy sources of protein like eggs and salmon will also help you feel more satiated as well as fuel the muscles you’re building through that regular strength training we mentioned above!

Hungry during the day? Keep a small pack of healthy almonds or other nuts in your bag to snack on in a pinch.  Just a handful will keep you satisfied until your next meal, all while providing healthy protein, fat, and fiber. Don’t wait until your tummy is growling! Be prepared.

5. Naturally Detox Your Body

image of green juice and fruit in a basket

Staying healthy is more than detoxing after an indulgent weekend. While some people try to fast or do week-long “cleanses” to lose weight, the truth is that your body already has natural detoxification processes in place to help manage your weight.

The trick is to aid that natural detoxification by adopting consistent, healthy habits. Three easy habits to help naturally detoxify your body are:

By aiding your body’s natural detoxification processes, you’ll keep your body healthy and your weight under control.

6. Get More Sleep

While quality zzz’s can become ever-elusive as you age from busy schedules, back pain, or menopausal symptoms like hot flashes or insomnia, getting enough sleep is an essential component to weight loss. A good night’s sleep actually burns calories!

image of woman sleeping in bed

Plus, studies have shown a strong link between lack of sleep and over-eating the following day. This is because the hormones ghrelin and leptin are thrown out of whack when you don’t get enough sleep, leaving you feeling more hungry but less satiated at every meal, which leads to overeating.

If you are committed to reclaiming your rest, here are some easy-to-follow tips to help you retrain your healthy sleep habits:

  • Do not eat a heavy meal at least three hours before bedtime. Limit yourself to a snack if needed no more than 45 minutes before bedtime.
  • Avoid using electronic devices or watching television at least one hour before sleeping. Remove them from the bedroom so you will not be tempted to check your email or messages.
  • Reduce caffeinated and high glucose drinks.
  • Adjust the temperature of your bedroom. It should be an average, comfortable temperature for sleeping (not too hot or cold). Sleep experts recommend a temperature of 60-70 Fahrenheit.
  • Evaluate your mattress and replace old, worn-out mattresses which offer inadequate support.

Read This Next: Your Anti-Aging Arms Routine (With Push-Up Alternatives)

Printed from GetHealthyU.com


on April 30, 2021 at 9:32 AM Reply

Awesome and interesting information. Thank you for sharing.

on February 22, 2019 at 8:26 AM Reply

I just hit 40 and decided to make things right for the second 40 ;) I always had a problem with diet and exercises. With diet it's always the same - radical changes, not enough food, recipes are rather complicated and not always tasty. With exercises - if you're not keeping the diet, you can work your ass of everyday and the result will be miserable. Thanks to one book - The Just Cut It Method by Jennifer Morris, I finally understood that the easiest way to lose weight and maintaine better diet is to do it slowly! Lose 50 lbs? Sure but in one year, not in one month! I'm after first month of cleaning my diet and fixing it to my lifestyle, I started to have a longer walks with dog everyday and slowly I'm awakening from the winter sleep ;)

    on February 26, 2019 at 2:16 PM Reply

    Dina - WOW!! This is awesome news to hear! Just know that you are not alone in trying to be healthy after 40 or even after 50! You couldn't have said it better though when you said to maintain a better diet and exercise routine SLOWLY! I always tell my clients that it is a healthy lifestyle that you are looking towards living. In my mind there are no such things as quick fixes and to make these changes over time will lead to the overall lifestyle you are looking for. Congratulations to you and continue to make those slow consistent changes to your health! YES U CAN!

on October 20, 2018 at 11:07 PM Reply

Hi, Thanks for this wonderful information. Exercise is one of the most powerful ways to take control of your health. Not only can it prevent heart disease, strokes, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer, it has been shown to help with depression, insomnia and stress. I hope this information will really help everyone to get motivated toward the importance of exercises not only for lose weight but to live a healthy life.

on January 4, 2018 at 11:47 PM Reply

Hi me yes I've been working out to and I'm at change the life and it's not doing nothing for me maybe my dad is not all the way clean but still at work out 5 to 6 times a week sometimes twice a week cardio and weight training what can I do please help

    on January 5, 2018 at 5:30 PM Reply

    Hi Cathy - you might be interested in this article: https://gethealthyu.com/25-sneaky-weight-loss-hacks-really-work/

on November 7, 2016 at 5:51 PM Reply

Probably my biggest issue is that it is literally impossible for me to get enpugh sleep. I dont know what to do. I was working out 6 days a week and unless i only ate 21 day fix cup portions i was still gaining weight. I am soooo frustrated. 2. Years ago at 38 i lost 30 pds this way.

on September 25, 2016 at 8:14 PM Reply

I would just like to say Thank You Chris for personally responding to these comment- many of us struggle and it's really nice to see you faithful and actually engaged with your followers/customers

    on September 26, 2016 at 9:52 AM Reply

    Of course, Jenn!

on April 14, 2016 at 1:44 PM Reply

So with the ACE HIIT workouts, hand weights are used, so does this mean you still have to do two separate strength training also? That seems like a lot of weight work? Please advise

    on April 18, 2016 at 4:27 PM Reply

    Hi Staci - Nope! That's the beauty of HIIT workouts - you get cardio and strength training at the same time. Also, check out the other interval and circuit workouts at www.gethealthyutv.com - you might enjoy them!

on April 12, 2016 at 10:55 PM Reply

How intense does the strength training need to be? Are push ups and squats and using hand weights during your HIIT training enough or should it be a more classic free weight workout where you do 3 reps of 12? I eat well and work out 6 days per week (get healthy u TV, running, etc) for 30-60 minutes each day. Nothing is helping my weight loss and I'm so frustrated!

    on April 18, 2016 at 4:18 PM Reply

    Hi Kathy - You are doing things right - I am a fan of bodyweight and dumbbells while doing HIIT and circuits, etc. You don't need to do the traditional free weight workout... BUT you do want to make sure you are challenging yourself enough to feel your muscles working - if you can go a little heavier, do it! Also - I don't know how much weight you have to lose - if it's only a few pounds - those are the hardest. However, if you have a lot of weight to lose and the scale isn't budging - you are doing a good amount of exercise - I would really analyze what you are eating - that is at least, if not more than 50 % of the equation. Have you checked out the Ultimate Healthy Eating Guide that you received when you signed up for Get Healthy U TV? If you need a copy, email help@gethealthyu.com

(This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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