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Around the age of 40, many people start to gain weight, particularly around their waistlines. Even if you have a healthy diet and you exercise regularly, your metabolism may start to slow down, making it more difficult to lose weight.

When you were younger, it might have been easier to stay at a healthy weight.

In the past, you may have been able to eat whatever you wanted and if you gained weight, you would just need to make a few small changes to your diet and increase your exercise routine to lose the extra pounds.

Although age-related weight gain is something that can happen to anyone as they get older, there are some things that can be done to manage it. Diet and lifestyle changes can help to promote weight loss after the age of 40.


Why You Gain Weight After 40

Age-related weight gain is often genetic. For many people, getting older is simply a byproduct. There are many biological factors that can cause weight gain after the age of 40.

Most people’s hormones start to change in their mid-30s and 40s. There is a shift which involves less estrogen production for women and less testosterone production for men. This causes fat to start to accumulate around the middle of the body.

Genetics: Many people are genetically predisposed to weight gain. Scientists have discovered that certain genes play a role in how much fat cells a person has as well as where they are stored in the body.

There are some aspects of your physical appearance that are determined by your genes and which you cannot change. For example, you may find that you store excess fat in the same areas as other members of your family.

Muscle loss typically starts in a person’s 40s and becomes progressively worse as they age.

Although the number and size of muscle fibers decline with age, researchers believe that the motor units that stimulate those fibers fire with less regularity over time. This is why older adults are often recommended to do strength training.

Lower metabolism: There are a couple of things that happen to your metabolism after the age of 40. Firstly, your basal metabolic rate decreases and secondly, you use less energy when exercising.



Lifestyle Factors to Consider

Other than many age-related reasons, there are other factors that play a role in weight gain after 40.

Weight gain is often caused by lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise. The good news is that you have complete control over these lifestyle factors.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

If you’re gaining weight as you age, don’t worry or fixate on it too much. When you are trying to lose weight, it may be tempting to follow a fad diet that promises quick weight loss. However, these diets are rarely effective in the long term and you may end up gaining the weight back.

Instead of stressing over a number on the scale, focus on feeling better from the inside out. This begins with following a healthy, balanced diet that is full of nutrient-rich whole foods. Remember, you really are what you eat.

As people get older, they often gain weight due to poor diet and lack of nutrition. Eating junk food can make you fat.

You should consume less sugar and fewer refined carbs and processed foods.

Current dietary guidelines set forth by the U.S. The Department of Agriculture suggests that people should eat a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients, such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats.

A diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals can help manage weight and improve overall health. If you want to stay full and avoid overeating, choose foods that are high in fiber.



Start Exercising After 40

It’s always a good time to start exercising, even if you’re starting to see age-related weight gain. If you couple regular exercise with a healthy diet, you’re more likely to see success in terms of weight loss, according to research.

Exercising for weight loss is a great idea, but there are other reasons to start exercising as well. Instead of seeing exercise as a quick fix for your physical appearance, try to think of it as something you’re doing for your mental and physical health for the long term. If you shift the focus of your exercise routine away from weight loss, it may seem less daunting and you will be more likely to get moving.

You can start by doing some basic exercises every day, like walking or streaming a cardio class before work. If you want to improve your health by exercise, here are some tips to follow.


1. Set a Weekly Exercise Goal

If people want to avoid gaining weight as they age, they need to exercise more often and more intensely.

The CDC recommends that for optimal health, adults should get at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity each week and do strength training at least twice per week.

To get additional health benefits such as weight loss, you might need to do twice as much cardio as the American Heart Association recommends.

If you’re brand new to exercise, it’s a good idea to start off slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.

After a few weeks of doing simple cardio and strength training exercises, you can move on to more difficult workouts. The amount of exercise you need to lose weight will depend on how much weight you want to lose.

The goal is to do moderate exercise for 30 minutes every day, and then slowly increase the amount of time you exercise.

This level of exercise can help improve your cardiovascular health by reducing your cholesterol and blood pressure.

This is a great place to start your exercise journey whether you’re just getting into it or are coming back after a long break. If a person sticks to a workout routine for a few weeks, they will become stronger and have more endurance.


2. Be Consistent

To maintain your weight after you have lost it, you don’t need to exercise as much as you did to lose the weight.

Around 150-250 minutes of exercise per week is a sustainable goal for many people. Staying consistent with exercise can help prevent weight regain.

Being consistent also means allowing yourself some flexibility. For example, one week you might only be able to find time for 150 minutes of exercise, and another week you might be able to do 300 minutes or more.

Working out too much can lead to injury, burnout, or overtraining, which can be very frustrating when trying to lose weight. It is important to be consistent, but it is also important to maintain a balance.

If you’re feeling pain or emotional distress, listen to your body and take a break. It is important to take care of yourself and to give your body the time it needs to heal.


2. Make Time for Exercise

Many 40-somethings have little free time to work out due to having desk jobs, commuting, and family activities.

It is imperative that you find time to fit in at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate physical activity every week in order to maintain a healthy weight and overall health. Make sure to pencil in some time for yourself in your calendar and make those times a priority.


3. Build Muscle

As people age, they naturally lose muscle mass, particularly women after menopause. When you have more muscle, your body burns more calories. This makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off.

Regular strength-training can help gain muscle and maintain muscle definition.



4. Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Fill half your plate with them at every meal. Fruits and vegetables tend to contain more nutrients and fewer fat and calories than meat, dairy products, or grains.

It is possible that eating slowly may help you to feel more satisfied even if you eat less. Fruits such as apples and berries can be eaten as snacks instead of high-fat or high-sugar snacks.


5. Don’t Skip Breakfast

A healthy morning meal like oatmeal or whole wheat toast with fruit is recommended by experts.

Eating breakfast can help you avoid snack food cravings and overeating later in the day. Eating smaller meals or snacks every few hours can help you control your appetite throughout the day.



6. Eat Less at Night

If you eat most of your calories for the day at lunchtime, you may lose more weight than if you have a large meal later on. But still the most important thing is what you eat and not when you eat it.


The way you prepare food can add a lot of extra fat and calories. Instead of frying, try grilling, baking, or broiling your food. This will cook it without all of the oil or butter. You should avoid eating fried food or food that comes in creamy sauces when you are at a restaurant.


8. Don’t Make a Second Trip

As you get older, you may need a few hundred calories less than you used to. If you want to lose weight, you will need to eat fewer calories. If you want to eat less, try eating smaller portions and tracking your calories with a food diary or an app.



9. Pay Attention

When your life is full of work and taking care of kids, it’s easy to just grab food on the go or try to eat while doing something else. You will more likely overeat if you are not focusing on your food.

Make sure to sit down during meals and pay attention to the food on your plate rather than whatever is happening on your TV or computer screen. That helps your brain realize when you’ve had enough.


10. Lay Off the Soda

In order to avoid consuming excess sugar, replace sugary drinks with water or zero-calorie drinks. Your sweet drinks have lots of added sugar, which can make you gain weight and raise your risk for diabetes.


11. Cut Back on Alcohol

Beer bellies aren’t always caused by booze. However, a “spare tire” is a common occurrence in middle age and can be partially attributed to alcohol consumption.

A glass of beer or wine contains approximately 150 calories. If you drink frequently, this can quickly add up. Additionally, alcohol may stimulate your appetite, causing you to eat more.

14. Relax, Don’t Stress

If you’re stressed, you may be more likely to turn to food for comfort. This can lead to overeating, and make it harder for your body to break down and use fat. There are many things you can do to relax, including yoga, deep breathing, meditation, taking a walk, and reading a good book. What works for one person to relieve stress may not work for another person. Find what works for you to relieve stress.



15. Get Good Sleep

There are many things that can interfere with sleep after the age of 40 including health problems, stress, medications, and menopause (for women).

If you don’t get good quality sleep, you’re more likely to gain weight. If you cut back on sleep because you have a lot to do or you’re stressed, try to change your habits and stick to a regular schedule.



16. Have Your Thyroid Checked

If you’re doing everything right but still not losing weight, your thyroid might not be functioning properly. In approximately 5% of individuals, this is most prevalent among females and those over 60.

Other potential side effects include fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and depression. If you think your mental health might be an issue, get checked by a professional to see if medications can help.


17. Get Support

Many people find it more difficult to lose weight when they go it alone as opposed to having support from others. You might joined a weight-loss contest at work, or join a group on social media, or ask a friend to go for early-morning walks or classes at the gym.

If you share your goals with others, they can help keep you accountable and encourage you as you make progress.

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