Yes, it may be more difficult to lose weight after 40 but not for the reasons you think...
Yes, it may be true that it’s more difficult to lose weight after 40 but before you nod your head with that “I told you so” look, my reasons may surprise and annoy you. You see, after helping hundreds of people lose hundreds of pounds over the last 21 years (many who were 40 and older) I’ve found that the only reasons we may struggle with weight loss over 40 is because of some habits, behaviors and thinking that’s been holding us back. Once we change them, you’ll be amazed at how well your body begins to respond. Ready? Here they are:
1. You’ve become more sedentary- there’s a good chance that you’re not nearly as active as you used to be. Sure you may be putting the time in at the gym but if that’s the majority of movement you’re doing throughout the day, it’s simply not enough. Think about it: Do you drive to work, find the closest spot then take the elevator to your office where you sit at a desk all day? When your work day is through do you reverse that same routine but add in sitting on the couch after a long day until it’s time for bed? If so, you may find that over a period of 24 hours...you're hardly moving!
2. Loss of muscle mass- You know the saying “use it or lose it?” That especially applies to your muscles. With a lack of use, you lose muscle which (besides helping us look sleek and sculpted) also fires up our metabolism. If you’re not exercising and moving much throughout the day or if your exercise routine lacks adequate muscle building, you’re losing muscle that in the past was keeping your metabolism strong. Studies have found that it’s never to late to start and the benefits out way any excuse you can think of. Just start slowly and if you need some direction, get it from a certified fitness professional who can put you on the right track.
3. Lack of accurate or updated information- Anyone who’s telling you that you’re too old to lose weight is either projecting their lack of weight loss success on you or is offering you information that’s simply untrue. They may be sharing with you (or you’re believing yourself) information that’s outdated or simply inaccurate. For example, years ago we were told that a low fat, high carbohydrate was the key to weight loss. That model is perfect…if you want to GAIN weight! Nothing packs on the pounds faster than empty calories coming from sugar while driving our hunger, encouraging fat storage as well as illness and disease. Add that to lowering your fat intake and you’re always hungry, looking for the next piece of bread, cracker, cookie or donut. It’s entirely possible to achieve your sexiest and leanest body yet with the right information coming from a qualified health professional or at least, the right information.
4. Stress-With age comes wisdom…as well as more tasks, chores, commitments and responsibility. Remember those carefree days of years ago? They may have been replaced with stressors like financial responsibility, raising a family, caring for aging parents and more. Stress floods our bodies with hormones and chemicals that encourage fat storage (particularly around your middle). Under stress our sleep is also impacted which also impacts our effort to lose weight. When we wake up groggy and fatigued after a sleepless night, we may look for immediate energy using caffeine and sugar; a perfect recipe for weight gain. If that weren’t enough, think about it. When you’re stressed, do you really make the healthiest choices? Are you really interested in reading labels, preplanning healthy meals and saying no to the sweets and treats that give momentary pleasure? NO! When we’re under stress, we look to soothe, calm, numb and relax. We self-medicate…food being the drug of choice. Find some healthy outlets for your stress and watch the pounds melt away.
5. Habits have more time to be ingrained-While habits may seem hard to break, habits lasting DECADES may seem even harder. Some of your habits that have contributed to your current weight and health have become such a part of your daily lifestyle you barely notice them. Every single choice you make throughout the day is bringing you further or closer to the body, health and lifestyle you want. Take a look at some of your daily habits. That afternoon coffee concoction (a.k.a. “liquid time bomb”) that drive thru habit or those few hours of TV each nigh for example. Are they helping or hurting your efforts?
6. Hanging onto story/belief-So often, we’ll subconsciously punish ourselves in order to prove ourselves right. What do I mean? You may have a story that you solidify every time you give it thought and attention. Unfortunately, that story may be keeping you stuck. “It’s too hard,” “Everyone in my family gained weight after having kids, “I can’t…” Lose the story and lose the weight.
7. Fear- Dig deep to find what may be holding you back from just about anything and you may find fear, doubt and insecurity behind it all. It’s great to discover it because with that awareness, you can create a plan to go through, over or around it. Is it a fear of success, failure, change or the unknown? Discover it, create a strategy to overcome it and watch your best body emerge.
If you’ve been subscribing to any one of these beliefs, it’s time to let them go. A slim, sleek and toned body filled with health and vitality is waiting for you and it starts with the first step.
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®, founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com is a leading health, fitness, wellness, lifestyle, self-improvement expert and THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most dynamic, energetic and successful people today. Sign up for your "10 FREE Strategies to Get You Lean, Sleek and Sculpted"! (These are complete programs and videos) and take the FREE "Mojo Lifestyle Assessment" to see how you score.