Most people believe that weight loss for women over 40 is a near impossibility, and achieving that slim chance of success requires a Herculean effort. The first thing you should know is that this is not true at all. It is a dangerous myth that tends to frighten away women in their 40s, rather than helping them embrace their weight loss goals.
Yes, it is true that losing weight is more difficult for a woman in her 40s than someone in her 20s, but that is only natural and does not imply that weight loss for women over 40 is freakishly difficult.
The Biggest Challenges
The major challenges for women at this age are hormonal imbalances and declining muscle mass. The hormonal imbalances are mostly caused by approaching menopause, whereas the loss of muscle mass is the unfortunate consequence of aging. Both these physical changes lead to a slower metabolism. In other words, your body burns less calories than it did before. Naturally, this makes losing weight more difficult. However, difficult is far from impossible, if you are prepared to take the right steps.
To begin with, stop thinking in terms of a short-term diet or exercise plan. These steps hardly help women in their 40s lose weight. Instead, you need to make long-term and sustainable lifestyle changes that will speed up your metabolism.
Getting Good Sleep
This is a crucial factor, and progressively harder to achieve as you get older. Only when your body gets 6-8 hours of good sleep, will your metabolism function at optimal capacity. As far as possible try to stick to a regular sleep cycle, and make sure that your mind is calm and peaceful when you are preparing to go to bed. Night-time is not the time to take on additional stress. Also, try to control your home environment so that it is conducive to good sleep.
The Challenge of Stress
Stress is a major aggravator of hormonal imbalances and emotional bursts, and it can disrupt both your diet and your lifestyle. One of the biggest causes of stress is a tightly packed schedule, and this is something most women in their 40s have to deal with. Growing children, the pressures of a high level work position and the challenges of managing a home dont make life easy.
However, as far as possible, you need to give yourself some latitude with your schedule. You know your capabilities, so set your goals accordingly. There are forces in this world that will over-work you, if you are willing to be overworked. It is you who has to take the responsibility to say no sometimes, regulate your load and decide whats in the best interest of your health.
Stress is your enemy, and exercise is a great stress buster. Besides, the more exercise you get, the more calories you burn, and the better your muscle mass and metabolic rate, which are all desirable results to lose weight in your 40s.
It may be difficult to fit in a trip to the gym in your schedule, so start by incorporating exercise into your existing workload. You can do this by walking briskly for your errands, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and perhaps spinning on your exercise bike while you watch your favorite TV show.
With these positive lifestyle adjustments, weight loss for women over 40 is a very real and achievable goal. Naturally, you will need a healthy, low-calorie diet too. However, if you can put the two factors together, you will have an irresistible combination to weight loss success!
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