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Losing Weight After 40 Fast

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At 40 years old you’re as wise as you’ve ever been. You might have got yourself a successful career by now and your kids are starting to grow up.

You understand the pitfalls of life and what makes you happy,  and you appreciate that now is the time to start looking after yourself a little more.

There’s just one thing you’ve neglected over the last few years… you.

That that toned and slim figure that looked at you in the mirror has slowly turned into a softer, less athletic physique. You don’t feel as confident in your own body and you want to make changes – fast.

In this article we take a look at how to lose weight after 40.

You want to get fit? Look and feel great?

This is the guide for you.

#1. Be Just a Little Bit Selfish

Okay so it’s not a weight loss tip as such, but it is the most important part of getting your weight loss your journey underway.

With age comes wisdom, self-worth and empathy. But you’ve been putting everyone else first for so long now that you’ve forgotten to take care of your own body.

Now it’s time to make a change. No more ‘I don’t have time’. Make it.

Acknowledge the problem at hand, look at ways you can fix it and be purposeful.

You don’t suddenly have to stop preparing dinner or doing the school run. But planning just a little time for yourself is key.

Remember; anyone who’s successful at something has to be just that little bit selfish. If you’re not you’ll soon find yourself falling off of the rails.

Concentrate on organizing your gym sessions into your diary. Even if it’s only 30-45 minutes to begin with, it’ll soon become part of your habit.

Stock up on healthy foods that’ll help you achieve your targets. It’s not unfair to spend an hour or two per week making up your own meals to support your weight loss. That way you’ll be less likely to stray from the plan when cooking dinner for your family.

Middle-aged man and woman sitting together cuddling and smiling

#2. Calories – The Golden Rule of Weight Loss

Your body might have changed over the last few years, but the laws of thermodynamics haven’t. Even at 40, calories are still king when it comes to shredding fat and losing weight.

Whether you track your calories using an online app or program, or you just become more mindful of overall food intake, you need to be aware of daily calorie intake.

When the energy you take in through food is higher than the energy you burn off through energy expenditure there’s no reason for your body to drop fat. Instead it’ll take on that extra energy and store it as triglycerides in your fat cells. That’s why you begin to store fat under your skin.

But burn off more each day than you put in your body and you’ll break into those fat cells and use the fatty acids to make up the difference.

Regardless of your age, calories control what happens to your weight. And this is backed up by clinical study after clinical study.

To know more about exactly how many calories you should be taking in each day you can use our calorie calculator at the bottom of this article.

A range of healthy foods on a cutting board such as avocado and mixed peppers

#3. Get Stronger

At first look you might be think ‘why will getting stronger help me lose weight?’. That’s normal and you’re absolutely right to ask that question.

After 40, your metabolic rate begins to steadily slow down. The main reason for this is that you’ve started to naturally lose muscle.

One of the biggest contributors to the amount of calories you use each day is lean mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

Strength training boosts lean mass, physical capabilities, bone strength, muscle endurance and even metabolic health.

In fact, one of the biggest causes of loss of functional health further down the life is loss of muscle. So boosting strength now will help you maintain your health as you progress into your 50’s, 60’s and beyond as well.

Aim to complete 2-3 full-body strength workouts per week, covering as many large muscle groups as you can in each workout. Working 3 sets of 6-15 repetitions for each exercise will soon have your metabolism racing. There’s no need to go overboard – completing 8-10 exercises per session is enough to see a big difference.

And before you think ‘won’t I get big, bulky or overly muscular?’, don’t.

Unless you’re training mega hard and supplementing your workouts with, let’s say, pharmacological aids, you just won’t achieve anything other than an athletic, toned physique.

Older woman and athletic man after fitness workout with towel and water bottle

#4. Use Every Excuse to Be More Active

The most undervalued calorie-burning tool by far is unstructured physical activity.

So while you might be hitting the gym 2-3 times per week and throwing some heavy weight around, that’s no excuse to limit how much you move when you’re not in the gym.

This is where many people go wrong. If you have a mentality that blasting out an intense session for 30 minutes is enough to cause weight loss in your 40’s then you might be disappointed.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) accounts for as high as 30% of your overall daily calorie burning. It includes the energy you burn walking around, tidying up your home, doing your shopping, gardening and having sex.

So each day try your best to keep on your feet. Park far away from the entrance when you go to the mall, use the stairs instead of the lift and dance to music while doing your housework. These all contribute to more calorie burning.

Granted, they don’t burn much energy compared to an intense gym workout minute-by-minute, but they definitely add up over the course of a day.

Woman in her forties sitting on a bench outside after going running

#5. Adjust Your Bad Habits

The key word here isn’t stop… it’s adjust. 

With your busy lifestyle and non-stop days the last thing you want to be doing is making too many changes too soon. Not only will it make it near impossible for you to keep up with the plan, it’ll more than likely end up with you falling off of the wagon altogether.

Subtle, small changes to your lifestyle over a progressive period of time are key to successful weight loss in your 40’s.

Your goal is to make one or two changes per week. If you drink 2 glasses of wine every night then make it one instead. And then a few weeks later, try one every other night and so on until you feel that you can stop altogether.

Pretty much all of the research into diet adherence says that going cold turkey just won’t work.

So cutting back on junk food slowly but surely, phasing more activity into your weeks, easing off the alcohol and eventually going full ‘clean eating’ is the best way.

Change too much, too soon and you’ll likely not last long.

Older, middle-aged man and woman doing a body weight circuit fitness workout

#6. Rest, Recover and Sleep

You might be in the fortunate position of working in senior management by now – but it’ll be stressful. It might be that you run your own business – and of course it’s hard work. And there’s a possibility that the source of your late nights and excessive stress might just be down to too much partying.

But regardless of the source, one thing’s for sure – sleep is key when it comes to weight loss at 40.

Not only does a lack of sleep leave you tired, fatigued and unmotivated; it can also increase appetite, calorie intake and belly fat too.

Getting 8 hours of good rest can help you to:

  • Reduce your body mass and fat mass
  • Boost athletic performance for your big gym sessions
  • Optimize emotional well-being so you feel good day to day
  • Ramp up your metabolic rate
  • Control hunger so you find it easier to achieve a calorie deficit


With the onset of your 40’s comes wisdom, selflessness and empathy. But now it’s time to put you first.

By sticking to these easy-to-follow tips you’ll soon be dusting off that toned, athletic figure and finding that self confidence you deserve.

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