How to Lose Weight When You're Over 40

 We tell you what you need to keep in mind when losing weight over 40 and show you delicious recipes that make it easy to keep it off!

Why do I find it harder to lose weight after 40?

The diet that worked well when you were 30 certainly doesn't have the same effect when you're 40. This is due to one simple thing: In women's early to mid-40s, menopause often begins and hormones go crazy. This is a time when fat deposits accumulate in many women, as the body shuts down the metabolism. Anyone who wants to lose weight from 40 onwards should therefore take the following tips to heart:

Hardly any salt and carbohydrates

From the age of 40, salt and simple carbohydrates belong on the list of foods that you should only eat in small quantities: They bind water in your body - and thus lead to water retention. Complex carbohydrates, lean fish and meat as well as (non-flatulent) fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, should definitely be on your menu - and not only while you are dieting.

Moderation and conscious nutrition

After a certain age, your body will no longer forgive you for all your sins - this means that you should generally learn to exercise moderation and eat consciously. This does not mean counting calories, but rather avoiding sweets and salty snacks. Prefer whole foods that are rich in vitamins, and it's better to avoid a lot of fatty meats or processed foods.

Avoid stress and get enough sleep

Stress causes cortisol levels to skyrocket, but at the same time, blood sugar levels drop. This, in turn, causes cravings, which settle particularly quickly on the hips from the age of 40. Healthy sleep is at least as important. Because if you don't sleep deeply and soundly at night, your metabolism slows down. And that in turn makes it harder to burn the calories you consume.

Exercise is the be-all and end-all

Diets alone do not help; only in combination with exercise does fat begin to melt away. And this is especially true for women entering menopause. Whether it's regular walks or a workout in the gym, exercise helps to maintain weight or lose a few kilos. However, it is important to find the right sport that you enjoy and that doesn't get boring.

It is better to avoid alcohol

There is evidence that moderate alcohol consumption can have a positive effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease. Excessive alcohol consumption, on the other hand, increases the risk of liver disease, high blood pressure, (breast) cancer, and dementia. Especially after the age of 50, the brain also reacts more sensitively to alcohol, and cognitive decline is accelerated.

Iced tea instead of hot tea

Even if it has always been part of the morning routine: it is better to do without hot drinks with caffeine or teen. They cause hot flashes and cravings. It's better to go for cold drinks that don't contain caffeine but are wonderfully refreshing.

What exactly happens to our bodies after 40?

For those who have already diligently trained all their muscles, almost everything remains the same. For those who have not done any sports, the tissue is rebuilt: Muscles disappear and fat takes their place. This is no different for men, but for many women, it is now "aggravated" by the fact that after pregnancy and breastfeeding a few kilos have already stuck on anyway.

The fact that every child gives its mother two kilos more in the long run (as the popular saying goes) is not scientifically proven, however. There are no clear results on how best to prevent excess extra kilos during pregnancy (studies have examined individual nutritional advice, cooking demonstrations, and exercise programs).

What is certain, however, is that stress plays a major role in the decade of life between 35 and 45. "High-stress hormone levels already occur during pregnancy," says Prof. Christoph Bamberger of the "Medical Prevention Center Hamburg." The new life with the baby is then even more stressful. Also, the everyday life without (small) children can make thick in this life phase: Work intensification, fear of the job, or a tight schedule in the free time can increase the stress level and let the sleep come too short.

According to studies, lack of sleep is a fattening factor because it lowers body temperature, curbs energy consumption, and boosts appetite, especially for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods. At the latest during the daily balancing act between job and family or leisure time, we are literally flooded by our most important stress hormone, cortisol. And cortisol is nothing other than the drug cortisone. "Chronic stress is therefore like a permanent therapy with cortisone". The known side effects: Weight gain. "Especially the dangerous belly fat becomes more," says Bamberger.

What can I do to continue to stay slim?

"Good stress management is important now," says Christoph Bamberger. There are various methods, such as the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) program. It often helps to relax with autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation. It doesn't matter what you choose, as long as the method suits you. Taking time to relax is not a luxury that you allow yourself. It is a way to make your life easier.

Just like with the right muscle training. "The fact that it is so important for staying slim was underestimated for a long time," says Prof. Bamberger. Today we know that muscle is the organ that burns energy even at rest, unlike fatty tissue. This means the more muscles, the higher the basal metabolic rate, and the more energy the body consumes even when we are lying on the sofa.

Apart from the fact that strength training shapes the figure - you look better and feel better. These are findings that many women have now come to realize, as the increase in the number of women's fitness studios, which mainly train on machines, shows. That one gets bodybuilder arms from strength or weight training, as some fear, is not true. Says Bamberger, "To build bigger muscle packs like a woman, you'd need protein and hormone supplements; training alone won't do it."

The best strategy for losing weight over 40: Keeping track and gaining composure

Change careers? Plan a trip around the world or get pregnant after all? In your mid-30s, anything really is still possible. "According to Ayurveda philosophy, a lot of fire burns in us, especially in this phase of life," explains Kerstin Rosenberg from the "Ayurveda Health and Spa Center" in Birstein am Vogelsberg. Of the three energy principles Kapha (water and earth), Vata (space, air), and Pita (fire) dominate in this turbulent time completely clearly the Pita power. "As a result, our metabolism is working at full speed," says Kerstin Rosenberg. "On the other hand, however, there is always the danger of overheating." How wonderful to try out an Ayurvedic diet at this time, too.

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