Are you stuck in a plateau? Here’s what to do when the scales aren’t moving, so you can start your weight loss the right way.

It’s really common for women in their 40s and 50s to see gradual weight gain. One thing we see often is women still trying the things that worked in their 20s and 30s… but not seeing results now they’re over forty.

Many women find themselves stepping on the scales after a hard week of dieting, only to see zero movement. This can be incredibly frustrating. These women are often worrying that they’ll never be able to get their weight under control. They believe this is just part of the ageing process that they’ll have to accept….

This is never a nice situation for anyone to be in. If left unchecked, it can start to have an impact on all areas of women’s lives.

The reason this happens is simple; a lot of the ‘normal’ approaches to fitness are not the ideal way to lose weight when you’re over forty. Often, this is why so many women end up feeling stuck and unable get the scales moving, no matter what they try.

In our most recent podcast, we break down exactly what to do when you’re over forty and the scales aren’t moving. Below, we give a step-by-step method to drop two dress sizes over the next 12 weeks, in a fast and sustainable way.

Not right for your body

In most cases, mainstream diets are generic and not age or gender specific. With women’s bodies being greatly different to men’s, this can lead to issues when it comes to following these diets as a women over forty.

Women’s bodies change more with age:

  • Female sex hormones drop around menopause
  • More sensitive to certain foods e.g. wine and caffeine
  • Increased joint issues e.g. frozen shoulder or achy knees
  • Reduced bone density (osteoporosis)
  • Slower metabolism
  • Sensitivity to stress increases with ageing & 3x more than in men

Plus, if stress levels are too high, it leads to…

  • Leptin resistance – increased cravings, especially for comfort foods
  • Insulin resistance – harder to lose weight around the middle
  • Thyroid deregulation – slower metabolism

The things you used to do in your 20s or 30s won’t work so well (or at all) in your 40s and beyond, which means the scales aren’t moving anymore. So, what’s the solution?

You need something that’s right for your body and lifestyle now. You need something that keeps stress levels low-moderate i.e. not starving yourself, avoids foods that disrupt your hormones i.e. caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and protects your joints i.e. low impact exercise.

Energy Balance

A lot of diets use cryptic systems for you to lose weight. Whether that’s points systems, meal replacements, fasting, or cutting out whole food groups e.g. carbs.

In reality, these only work because they reduce your calorie intake.

In order for your body to burn fat and lose weight, you must consume less calories than you burn each day. It’s easy to still get this wrong and eat too much, especially with takeaways and alcohol at the weekend.

The solution is to cut to the chase and directly control the things that lead to weight loss:

  • Calorie intake – get this right for you. Not too high and not too low – something you can stick to sustainably
  • Activity level – find the right balance of general activity (steps) and exercise

Our clients typically lose 1-2 stone in 12 weeks doing just 3 LIST workouts a week, tracking their steps and eating the right amount for them!


A lot of diets are hard to stick to, as they drastically cut calories. This means you’re starving all the time, and doing an unrealistic amount of exercise. Plus, they’re often inflexible, and don’t fit around family life or work life.

People tend to only stick to these types of diets for a short period of time, often just Monday to Thursday and then blow out at the weekend.

However, consistency is absolutely key to change if your scales aren’t moving.

You need to figure out what’s stopping you from staying consistent, and work on that. Find something that you can stick to long-term – not just for a few days or weeks at a time!

You need something that’s:

  • Flexible – can fit around family life and with travel/meals out
  • Variety – can have some treats and still make it work
  • Mindset – know how to deal with those negative thought patterns e.g. “Sod it, I’ve ruined it all, what’s the point, I’ll start again next Monday…”
  • Accountability – someone to hold you to account and steer you back on track when things are not working as it’s easy to fail alone

These are all things we do inside our Fit Over 40 program, which means our clients are able to stay consistent and lose 1-2 stone every 12 weeks!

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!

Snacks to lose weight