Mainstream diets aren’t working for you? Here are some ways to finally see progress on the scale if you’re struggling to lose weight over 40.
If your scales have plateaued or you’re struggling to see results after turning 40, you’re not alone. It’s common for women over 40 to struggle with mainstream diets… but there are some simple ways to adjust your lifestyle when diets aren’t working.
We speak to many women in their 40s and 50s who’ve found their weight creeping up over time. They turn to dieting to lose a couple of pounds, only to struggle to see results long-term.
Diets which worked in their 20s and 30s now no longer have the same affect. Many women find themselves stepping on the scales after a hard week of dieting, only to see ZERO movement… and this can be discouraging!
Often, these women worry they’ll never be able to get their weight under control. They believe this is just a part of the ageing process…
This is never in a nice situation for anyone… and it can have a negative impact on confidence levels and self esteem.
The truth is this: dieting is not an ideal way to lose weight over 40. Despite what mainstream programmes might tell you… there are some easy ways to break through your plateau.
In our most recent podcast episode, we break down exactly what to do when diets aren’t working. Here are some step-by-step methods to drop two dress sizes over the next 12 weeks!
Find the right diet for your body
Unfortunately, most diets are generic and aren’t specific to age and gender. Women’s bodies are much different to men’s, and this is important to consider when trying to lose weight.
Women’s bodies change with age… specifically around menopause. When female sex hormones drop, you may see some unwanted changes in your body. For example, you may be more sensitive to certain foods. From increased joint issues, reduced bone density and slower metabolism… women over 40 have a lot more to consider.
On top of this, sensitivity to stress increases with age. Research often finds that women suffer from considerably more stress than men! And if cortisol levels are too high, this can lead to increased cravings from leptin resistance. On the whole, this means you’re more likely to crave comfort food as a women over 40.
Insulin resistance is also a factor to consider… which may be making it harder to lose weight around your mid-section. Not to mention thyroid deregulation means metabolism slows during this period.
This may all sound daunting… but this doesn’t mean weight loss needs to be difficult if diets aren’t working for you.
When women over 40 struggle to lose weight… it’s likely they’re still trying diets that used to work when they were in their 20s and 30s. Those shake diets, long distance cardio runs and HIIT training sessions might be negatively impacting your efforts.
These activities increase cortisol levels, spike stress, increase injury risk, and burn muscle. Frequently, this leads to muscle levels decreasing, and metabolism slowing.
So, what should you do instead?
You’ll need to find something that’s right for your body and lifestyle. You should prioritise a diet which keeps stress levels low, avoids foods that disrupt your hormones… and protects your joints.
It’s important to eat enough food to fuel your body, while avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and sugar…
When it comes to activity, low impact exercise is the key for women over 40. This method avoids spiking cortisol, so you’ll see better results in the long term.
We use these methods with all of our clients on our Fit Over 40 plan… who all see impressive weight loss in the first 12 weeks of working with us!
Perfect your energy balance
If you’ve ever been confused by points, tracking systems or ambiguous meal plans… you’re not alone. Most mainstream diet methods use cryptic systems to aid weight loss… which can lead to plenty of confusion.
Whether you’re following a points system, meal replacement plan, fasting method or cutting out a whole food group… these methods all work in the same way.
In reality, most mainstream diets only work because they reduce caloric intake. Calories are units of energy, and in order for your body to burn fat… you must consume fewer calories than you burn each day.
It’s easy to get this wrong and eat too much. With takeaways and alcohol consuming our weekends, and portion sizes getting too big for our bellies… there’s plenty standing in our way.
Perhaps you’re eating healthy meals but consuming too many snacks… or maybe you’re sitting at a desk all day and not getting enough activity. Whatever it may be, if you’re not losing weight, it’s because your calorie intake is too high.
So, what’s the solution?
Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix these habits. Rather than following ambiguous tracking systems… you need to directly control the things that lead to sustainable weight loss.
Firstly, your calorie intake must be right for you. It shouldn’t be too high or too low… it needs to be something you can stick to long-term. We make sure all our clients are eating the right amount for their body.
Secondly, you need to find the right balance of activity for you. This is a combination of step count and low-impact exercise, which leads to results.
Focus on consistency
If a diet is hard to stick to, it’s not going to work.
Whether you’re drastically cutting calories, following unrealistic exercise plans, or simply struggling around your lifestyle… your diet will lead to a lack of consistency.
Most people tend to only stick to diets for a short period of time. Going all-out at the weekend, after eating healthy all week, is not sustainable. Or, perhaps you start each day well and then go all-out in the evenings… these might all be reasons why you haven’t seen the results you deserve.
Consistency is key to change. However, most mainstream diets don’t take this into account. Plus, women over 40 have a lot more to consider!
With a busy family lives, a tough work schedule, and social events always in the calendar… it can be difficult to find a flexible diet to suit your lifestyle.
It’s imperative to find something you can stick to long-term to see results. You need something that’s:
- Flexible and can fit around family life… including travelling and meals out.
- Full of variety. You need to be able to have treats and still make it work!
- Suitable to your mindset. A productive diet acknowledges how to deal with negative thought patterns which prevent results.
- Full of accountability. You need to have someone to hold you to account and keep you on track when things are not working. It’s easy to fail alone!
These are all things we do inside our Fit Over 40 programme. We use these methods with every one of our clients. They’re able to stay consistent, and often lose 1-2 stone every 12 weeks… even with a high-pressure job and changing hormones!
If you’re interested in finding a long-term, sustainable diet designed for women over 40, you can find out more about working with us here!