Struggling to see progress with your weight loss? Here’s what to eat for weight loss as a woman over forty.

We speak to plenty of women in their 40s and 50s who are looking to drop a dress size or two. Yet, they’re struggling to see any movement on the scales.

They’re trying all the plans which worked for them in their 20s, but then they’re stepping on the scales at the end of the week and seeing zero movement. This can be really frustrating, and can leave people feeling completely trapped.

One of the main reasons this happens is down to the physical and hormonal changes that women go through as they get older. These changes can make it easier to gain weight around the middle and more difficult to lose it again with normal dieting.

The good news is that there’s a quick and easy way to escape from this situation! It usually comes down to a few simple mistakes that people make, which stop them from getting the results they want.

In this blog, we’re going to talk about nutrition. This is one of the main reasons that women over 40 struggle to see movement on the scales. Even if you get everything else right, if you don’t focus on the right things in terms of nutrition, you could still see zero progress.

Starvation diets for weight loss

Starvation diets spike cortisol levels, making them something which you should absolutely avoid. This is called a stress response, and this response increases with age. Most significantly, with age it increases three times more for women than for men.

Sources of stress not only include things like work and family life, but extreme dieting. Approaches which involve low calories also significantly stress the body.

So, if cortisol levels are too high for too long it can trigger the Weight Gain Triangle:

  • Leptin resistance – increased cravings, especially for comfort foods
  • Insulin resistance – increased fat storage, especially around the middle
  • Thyroid deregulation – slower metabolism

This makes it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it. Which is exactly what you don’t want when you want to lose a load of weight to feel great on your holidays!

For women over forty, there’s a specific calorie sweet spot that’s high enough to avoid over-stressing the body, and low enough to consistently lose 1-2lbs every week. We calculate this for every client who joins our Fit Over 40 program based on specific information. This info includes things like your dieting history and hormonal situation.

We call this Hormonally Balanced Eating, which doesn’t involve any extreme starvation dieting, just a sustainable and balanced approach where you eat slightly less than your body needs.

Calorific drinks and weight loss

While it’s really key that you don’t eat too little or do any starvation dieting, it’s also key not to eat too much. Most people focus on trying to to take in too many calories from their food, but drinks are one area where it’s easy to consume loads of empty calories in a very short space of time.

Some of the worst offenders are:

  • Lattes: Even a skinny latte is 102 calories, mostly just sugar.
  • Frappes: These can come to 338kcal from Starbucks. One per day over the week will see you gain ⅔ of a pound of body fat every week.
  • Orange juice: One 300ml glass contains 30g of sugar (6tsp) and 130 calories.
  • Fizzy drinks: A can of coke contains 35g of sugar (7tsp) and 129 calories.

If you are regularly having drinks like these, it’s easy to over consume calories and end up seeing no results in the mirror, even if you eat really well and exercise regularly.

What we recommend instead is swapping out calorific drinks for lower calorie alternatives, such as black coffee or diet coke.


Alcohol, like sugary drinks, contains a lot of hidden calories. However, drinking alcohol can cause you to gain weight, not just from the calories.

It increases appetite and suppresses inhibitions, leading to eating way more once under the influence. Hangover cravings also mean you eat way more the next day!

We recommend you to choose alcohol free or low alcohol versions of your favourite drinks, or to drink lower calorie alcohol alternatives.

Overall, it is possible to enjoy alcohol without sabotaging your results, it just has to fit into your overall plan in terms of your calorie allowance and the workouts you are doing.

We help our clients inside Fit Over 40 to find this balance, and this is different for everyone. 

Not enough protein

The recommended amount of protein is enough to survive, not thrive. A better allowance is roughly one gram per pound of lean body mass (e.g. your body mass minus your fat mass).

You need more as you get older, as the body becomes less efficient and loses muscle more easily. Protein is more difficult to digest, as 30% of calories are used in digestion, therefore you take in less calories from protein compared to carbs and fats.

Plus, it helps to retain muscle (making you firm, toned and youthful)! It also triggers the brain to feel full rather than your stomach feeling bloated.

We set a target for all of our clients inside Fit Over 40, and by hitting that target, they not only see better results in terms of losing weight but they also get stronger and more toned!

To find out more about how Trinity can help you see the results you deserve, click here!

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