Hormonal fluctuations and altered metabolism during menopause make losing weight a frustrating proposition for many women over 40. We give tips on how you can still get rid of unloved pounds.
Who hasn’t experienced this: When a favorite piece of clothing becomes too tight, it doesn’t immediately end up in the old clothes container or at the flea market, but is first stowed away in the closet again. Because as soon as you have lost weight, the beautiful part fits perfectly again. Or? Unfortunately, in many cases it’s not that easy to lose weight quickly – especially if you’ve already passed 40. Although it seems as if not much has changed in terms of diet and exercise, the kilos seem to climb slowly but surely year after year. What is the reason?
It’s no secret that the body changes from the age of 40 – and for some women, sooner or later: The hormonal changes during menopause, less muscle mass and other factors are responsible for the fact that digestion, metabolism, cell growth and Co. run on the back burner as opposed to in the past. No miracle thus that the Pounds are more heavily loszubekommen and the way to the desire weight longer than still with 20 is. In addition, when you’re 40+, you’re usually in the "rush hour" of life, and your job, family and social stress leave you with less free space and energy for sports or healthy eating. However, this is by no means a reason to despair. We have tips that will help you lose weight healthily – and stay slim – even after 40.
1. Even in old age weight loss rule number 1: Take your time
Even though many things change in the body after 40, the golden rule of losing weight, which also applies to 20-year-olds, should always remain in focus. After all, what good is the most sophisticated weight loss plan if there is already a lack of basic understanding? So once again to repeat:
Take things slowly! Crash diets always backfire in the long run and usually make you weigh even more after some time than before. Especially when there is a lack of exercise, short-term weight-loss diets break down muscle and fat – after the diet, it’s usually just the fat that settles back in. A weight loss of half a kilo to a kilo with reduced 1000 calories a day are not only more realistic, but also healthier and longer lasting. If you are relaxed about your weight loss plan, you will be less stressed and give yourself enough time to adjust your eating habits and integrate exercise into your daily routine.
2. Always on the go: sports and exercise
For the (calorie) basal metabolic rate of our body at rest, in addition to body weight, age and gender, it is primarily muscle mass that is decisive. And it naturally wanes after 40. That’s why it’s important, especially at this age, to include regular exercise and sports sessions in your daily routine. The following methods have proven to be effective:
Strength training: You’ve never been a fan of dumbbells and fitness equipment? You should become that at the latest starting from 40 however. Because targeted strength training makes you fit and builds muscle, which in turn burns more calories on an ongoing basis. No matter what age: It’s never too late to start. You don’t have to sign up for a gym, where beginners often feel out of place. Find a sports group that has the same goal – or get the necessary equipment (it doesn’t take much) and train at home – preferably at least 20 minutes two to three times a week. But be careful: to avoid injuries and to create an effective workout, it is important to have a professional instruct you on the equipment and exercises at the beginning of strength training!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): High-intensity interval training is particularly strenuous, but also enormously effective, and can be done in the gym or at home. From cross-trainers to treadmills to working out with a simple jump rope, push-ups and squats, basically any exercise that gets your heart rate up can be used. The power phase, in which you should go to your load limit, and the subsequent active recovery phase makes the body fat melt away. The intensity of the training is adjusted to the individual fitness level. And HIIT has another advantage: The afterburn effect, i.e. the time in which the body has to expend energy to even get back to normal, can last for several days.
Take advantage of every opportunity: You can incorporate more exercise, for example by increasing the number of steps, into your daily routine without much effort. Simply use the stairs instead of the elevator, get off one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way, or take a short walk instead of a sunbathing break during your lunch break.
3. Nutrition: quality, quantity and frequency
While in our 20s we still eat a lot of carbohydrates, sweets and co. If you were able to tolerate snacks without gaining weight, they quickly end up on your hips at 40. This is precisely why you should pay particularly close attention to your diet from this age onwards if you want to reduce or maintain your weight:
The perfect combination: Fruits and vegetables not only provide us with many vitamins and trace elements, but also ensure that we are full thanks to the fiber and water they contain. Lean protein such as in yogurt, eggs, chicken or fish is digested more slowly, which in turn prolongs the feeling of satiety. If it must be carbohydrates, then rather complex as in whole grains, beans, fruit and starchy vegetables. Add to this an appropriate amount of healthy fats like in avocado, nuts or seeds – perfect.
Fewer calories, more frequent meals: In contrast to dieting, the goal of a long-term dietary change should be to maintain an adequate feeling of satiety and keep the metabolism going. This means eating several mini-meals, but not exceeding the total number of calories you are aiming for. In this way, blood sugar levels remain relatively constant, and cravings and fatigue are avoided.
Indulge yourself: Speaking of blood sugar levels, sweet and salty snacks are simply a part of life for many people. Especially in the pre-menopausal and menopausal periods, however, falling estrogen levels affect insulin sensitivity, making it harder for the body to control blood sugar levels. So be choosy about what you indulge in and to what extent. Be honest with yourself and take precautions: If you know that eating just one piece of chocolate isn’t going to work, switch to another sweet treat. If you want to give up alcohol as part of a healthier lifestyle, don’t think of it as deprivation, but a choice you’ve made for yourself.