Losing body fat can be challenging at any age, but it can be exceptionally hard as we get older due to hormonal changes, a decrease in muscle mass, and our metabolisms slowing down. The good news is by making a few adjustments to your approach, it is possible to lose body fat over the age of 40.
Mindful eating One of the most important things you can do to lose body fat later in life is to focus on your eating. As we age, our metabolism tends to slow down, which means that we need to become more mindful of what we eat. Nutrient-dense foods, including a variety of whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of saturated and trans fats. Also, creating a calorie deficit by tracking your daily calorie intake is another way to achieve your goal.
Physical Activity Regular exercise is essential for losing body fat. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with two days of strength training. The combination of cardio and strength training can help boost your metabolism and increase muscle mass, both of which can help to reduce body fat.
Sleep it off Lack of sleep can increase weight in several ways. First, when sleep-deprived, levels of the hormone ghrelin which stimulates appetite, increase, while the levels of the hormone leptin, which suppresses appetite, decrease. This hormonal imbalance can lead to increased hunger and cravings for high-calorie foods. Additionally, lack of sleep can also lead to fatigue and decreased energy, which can make it more difficult to engage in physical activity and burn calories. Sleep deprivation can also cause changes in the body’s metabolism, which can make it harder to lose weight and easier to gain weight. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night.
Stress management When a person is stressed, the body releases the hormone cortisol, which can lead to an increase in appetite and cravings for high-fat and sugary foods. Stress can also disrupt normal eating habits and lead to overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods. Additionally, stress can lead to a lack of physical activity and can cause insomnia, both of which can contribute to weight gain. Consider incorporating stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or exercise into your routine.
Get help Finally, it can be helpful to seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare professional. Having a support system can help to keep you motivated and on track, and a healthcare professional can provide guidance and support to help you reach your goals.
Losing body fat over the age of 40 may require a bit more effort, but it is achievable. By focusing on a healthy diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, stress reduction, and seeking support, you can make progress towards your goals and improve your overall health and well-being.