Metabolism, bodily functions and digestion
Starting in their early 40s, women’s bodies undergo certain changes that have a great impact on their metabolism, bodily functions and digestion. Due to these transformations and hormonal changes, the rate at which their cells grow also slows down.
However, change in metabolic rate is just one of the reasons for gaining excess fat over 40. Age, genetics, thyroid function and lifestyle habits are also big factors to consider.
Losing weight is all about calories, calories in, calories out. So the first step women over 40 should take if they want to lose weight is understanding the right calorie intake for their age, body type and activity level.
This means creating a caloric deficit to help them reach their weight loss goals. They can do this by consuming fewer calories than they are burning, doing more exercises or a combination of both.
Below are some steps to help women over 40 to find their right calorie deficit
Understanding and determining the basal metabolic rate by using a BMR calculator.
Link to BMR calculator. By entering your age, height, and gender, the calculator will give you the approximate amount of calories you burn. After learning your BMR, the next step is determining your maintenance calories – the calories you need to consume based on your BMR and activity factor to maintain or adjust your current weight.
Adjusting calorie consumption to be able to lose weight.
This can be done by doing regular exercises and eating healthy diet with fewer calories. Women should select foods which are high in nutritional value like fruits and vegetables and including protein and fiber in their diet in order to boost their metabolic rate.
Getting sufficient calcium and eating nutritious foods that contain vitamins and minerals is also important.
Exercise is another important factor for losing weight
and offers many advantages for women over 40. Women begin to lose muscle mass as they age which is the reason for the slowing down of their metabolic rate. In order to slow down the loss of bone and muscle strength, regular exercise is needed.
Doing exercises not only helps strengthen the muscles, but also boosts the metabolic rate, thus burning more calories. Women should pick an exercise that is suitable for their abilities and fitness level and make sure they can make it fun and interesting to keep them motivated.
A brisk 30-45 minute regular exercise 3-4 times a week will help most women over 40 lose weight more effectively. However, many fitness experts now say that shorter, more intense workouts can be just as effective, but have less stress on the joints. Still, you should always start off slowly until your body becomes accustomed to the activity in order to avoid injury.
There are also medically supervised programs for extremely overweight or obese women over 40.
These programs involve a very low-calorie meal and quick weight loss plans that can help reduce the risks of chronic diseases or obesity-related health issues too. These programs are safe only under medical supervision and are done to help obese women over 40 to boost their metabolism and adapt to dietary changes to be able to attain rapid weight loss effectively.
Health problems that can affect weight loss
There are instances, though, that certain health problems have to be dealt with first before undertaking any weight loss program. This is necessary to achieve weight loss goals safely and effectively. Some of these health issues are:
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Higher risks in menopause symptoms
- Insulin resistance
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
It is therefore very important for women over 40 who are planning to lose weight to ask their doctor first for recommendations on how to effectively lose weight. For some women, exercise, diet, and weight loss supplements are not enough for successful weight loss.
There are other options available for them like liposuction or diet pills, but they should always consult with their doctors first because there might be risks involved and certain side effects that come with these weight loss surgical procedures and medications.
The following are several guidelines to help women over 40 to understand the issues that will prevent them from losing weight and to learn how to overcome these challenges:
Understand and adjust to the body’s biological rhythms.
Take the time to learn what works best for you and what doesn’t.
Get rid of the basic metabolic issues that make it difficult to lose weight.
The most common of these is hyperthyroidism. Consult your doctor if you are a candidate and ask a referral to an endocrinologist for additional testing and proper medication.
Boost metabolism by making adjustments to your eating routine.
One way to effectively do this is by eating frequently, but consuming less. This can also help steady your blood sugar. A balanced and nutritious meal is highly recommended for this. Schedule your eating when your body’s metabolism is at its maximum level, like eating a heavy breakfast in the mornings.
Eat more foods that fight fat and other foods in moderation.
Fruits and vegetables are healthier substitutes for those junk foods you’ve eaten in the past.
Exercise to develop more muscle mass to help boost metabolism and burn more calories.
As we age we tend to lose muscle and replace it with fat, but by doing basic strength training, we can gain back those muscles and prevent weight gain.
One of the factors to losing weight effectively is getting more sleep.
Sleeping becomes harder as we age, not only because we are busier and stressed, but also because of health issues like back pains, night sweats, snoring, etc. which interfere with our sleep. Getting enough sleep helps regulate body weight and metabolism.
Cut down on sweets and avoid artificial sweeteners too.
Instead of dieting, make gradual adjustments so your body can gradually adapt to the changes.
Set realistic goals that are suitable to your lifestyle
Take that slow-but-steady approach to finally achieve the healthy weight loss you desire.
Menopause weight gain can be very challenging and this is the time that women often look for support and understanding.
Family, friends, and loved ones can help. Women over 40 can also get help by joining a support group with other women who are experiencing the issues. They can share and discuss their problems and opinions and together come up with ideas and answers to help resolve or ease some of them.
As we age, we burn fewer calories because our metabolism slows down. This usually happens when women reach menopausal stage at the age of 40 to 50. The result of failing to adjust to low metabolic rate is weight gain due to the storage of fat over the years because fewer calories are being burned.
However, losing weight for women over 40 is still possible. Many have experienced significant weight loss by simply following a healthy diet and doing regular exercise. It is important to ask for your doctor’s advice and recommendation first before going on a diet or exercise program to be sure that there will be no medical or physical problems that will prevent you from taking the necessary steps needed.