Find Out Why Losing Weight After 40 is SOOO Difficult?
If you feel that regular weight loss tips don’t seem to be working for you. And, if they seem to be crafted only for youngsters, you might not be wrong.
Losing weight, especially after 40, can get even more difficult. A simple cut in calories or a jog in the park just doesn’t seem to do it any longer.
Note that the body goes through considerable changes by the time it reaches 40. Do not expect it to work as swiftly and effectively as it did during your 20s or 30s. Especially, if you barely ever kept a check on your diet or maintained a healthy workout regime.
As we age, our body goes through several changes, often irreversibly, that slows down the overall functioning of the body – perils of aging! Combine this with a sedentary lifestyle, over-exposure to processed and junk-food, and ever-increasing stress and pollution, and you have a recipe for disaster.
It thus get’s extremely difficult to lose weight at such a juncture in life. Diseases related to obesity in your 40s can prove to be fatal and may lower your quality of life significantly. So, it is vital you take corrective action immediately. But, first let’s try to understand what makes losing weight in your 40s more difficult.
10 Reasons Why It Is Harder to Lose Weight After 40
1. Slowed Metabolism:
As we age, the body’s metabolism slows down due to numerous reasons including loss of muscle mass, wear-and-tear of organs, increased toxicity (calculate your toxicity score here), and hormonal imbalances.
Thereby, it gets harder for the body to process the food we eat for energy. As such, more of the excess calories get stored as fat. Reduced activity levels further reduces the opportunity to burn such excess fat, leading to obesity.
Another reason why many women can’t lose weight beyond the age of 40 is because of Hypothyroidism or an under active thyroid. Found in almost 20% of adults over 40 (of which 80% are women), Hypothyroidism can wreck havoc to an individual’s metabolism.
The thyroid is a tiny glad with the important task of producing hormones that regulate metabolism. With a sluggish thyroid, it is impossible to burn off excess calories.
Some symptoms of hypothyroidism include cold feet (literally), clammy hands, exhaustion, lethargy, hair loss, and unprecedented weight gain. If you do have any of these symptoms do consult your doctor for medication and undertake tests such as TSH.
3. Decline in Activity Levels:
Lifestyle at 40 reduces many opportunities for activities that would have been common in 20s or 30s. Thus, reducing the opportunities to burn calories. At this age, comfort and convenience take precedence due to the reduced vigor in life.
Additionally, people usually peak in their career during this age and find access to most comforts in life, making it even more difficult to workout.
Moreover, between work and managing the family and house, there’s very little time and energy left for additional activities any ways!
4. Lesser Sleep:
Greater responsibilities at work and home also means that you have lesser time to complete tasks, which often spills into your bed time. Result, lack of sleep.
Often this becomes a pattern and soon your bed time reduces considerably to a point where you only manage 4-5 hours of sleep. (Find out 10 telling symptoms of lack of sleep)
You are usually groggy in the morning and get tired easily. Coffee and energy drinks become your greatest ally to fight the day.
Lack of sleep causes considerable damage to your weight loss program (Find out how lack of sleep leads to weight gain). It manipulates the hormones responsible for appetite, reduces the repair-time required by the body to heal itself, and increases the strain on all organs.
5. Additional Stress:
While age gives you wisdom, it might also add the levels of stress in your life. Managing multiple responsibilities at once on reduced timelines causes many to get anxious and worried. This eventually becomes a habit and stress becomes a constant companion in the day.
People often resort to unhealthy habits of consuming excess alcohol and smoking in their 40s, leading to further damage.
Stress increases the production of cortisol, which impedes the functioning of insulin leading to increased blood sugar levels in the body. Eventually, the body develops insulin resistance and it gets impossible for the body to do away with excess calories. This increases the risk of deadly diseases including type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, etc.
6. Hormonal Changes:
Who are we kidding? At 40, you cannot expect to have the same estrogen and testosterone levels you had back in the day! It is simply not going to happen, especially for women.
There new studies being conducted that reveal a strong correlation between estrogen levels and body weight among women aged beyond 40. The results are actually double-edged as both low and high levels of estrogen may lead to weight gain. While low estrogen levels slows down the metabolic rate, high estrogen levels increases appetite and reduces energy to work out.
7. No Change in Eating Pattern:
By the time we reach 40, it seems impossible to make a change in eating patterns. The body has grown so used to its morning coffee and breakfast routine that making even tiny changes can appear unfathomable.
In fact, we continue to eat the same amount of food as we used to eat a decade or two earlier – thinking that the body still needs the same amount of fodder. However, as we age and our activity levels decline, the body’s overall calorie requirements also decline. Thus, we must reduce our portion sizes accordingly.
Since we mentally don’t feel satisfied till we fill ourselves up completely leading to weight gain.
8. Loss of Muscle Mass:
As the body ages, it starts to lose muscle mass. This could be due to a slowed metabolism or reduced consumption of protein-rich foods.
The body burns protein instead of fat or carbs to meet its energy requirements leading to tremendous weight gain as excess calories are left behind.
9. Years of Poor Eating:
“The past cannot be altered. But, it can be learned from.”
Even though you might be much more dedicated and honest to your diet regimes and take special care about what you eat, years of poor food consumption (including junk, processed, frozen foods) has lead to considerable rise in fat storage and toxins in the body. Both affect the body’s metabolic activities negatively.
10. Lack of Nutrient Absorption:
Another big concern with age is that the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals drops substantially. Nutrients are essential for the body to maintain proper metabolism and functioning of organs. As the body’s ability to absorb these nutrients declines, so does its ability to hold off weight.
Yes, it is much harder to lose weight once you hit the big 40 for biological, physical, and psychological reasons. However, don’t get disheartened as it is possible to lose weight, even if you are doing it for the first time, once you hit 40.
A watchful control on your diet and subtle lifestyle changes combined with mild exercises are the pillars of weight loss at this age.
Find out more tips and tricks to lose weight post 40 here.