When you’re over 40, and trying to lose weight, you face more than just a numbers game of calories consumed. There are behavior, biological and psychological hurdles that can derail your efforts and weight loss motivation.
Eating Like You’re 20
Everyone has their own personal “7 taco” story. You know the one. You ate seven tacos in one sitting and didn’t gain a pound. You were also still very young, and had a metabolism that was firing on all cylinders.
Fast forward twenty years, and you may be caught in a time loop of wanting to eat like you were twenty, but the reality is you can’t. Well, you can but you definitely shouldn’t.
You’re a different person. Your body is different, and more importantly your metabolism is different. As we age we need fewer calories to maintain our current weight. You may be eating the same calorie count as you were twenty years ago, and wondering why you’re gaining weight.
It’s because we lose efficiency as we age. We don’t burn calories the way we used to and need to adjust our needs based on our current age and lifestyle.
You’ve Conceded To Father Time
Maybe you’re well aware of the changes your metabolism, muscles, bones and everything else has gone through and you’ve conceded to weight gain. It happens. It becomes an uphill battle, and you begin to accept a five pound weight gain every year as inevitable.
But it’s not.
Every few years you’ll need to make more changes to your behavior, lifestyle and eating habits but as long as you’re willing to make those changes you don’t have to gain weight.
If you decide to give up without even trying, then more and more weight gain lies ahead.
Skipping The Fiber
Your body needs help with digestion and controlling your appetite. You don’t need as many calories as an active twenty year old, but your appetite doesn’t know this. You still crave high calorie foods even though your body won’t efficiently utilize those calories.
At 40, fiber should become a daily habit. It’s a simple task that solves so many diet problems as you age. You can choose to eat fiber rich fruits and vegetables or just take a few tablets with water, but consuming fiber should become a nearly religious ritual.
Avoiding Resistance Training
There’s a difference between weight training and bodybuilding. You may not want huge, bulging muscles so you’ve made a decisive effort to avoiding all weight training. But the benefits to the over 40 crowd are so overwhelming, it almost becomes a necessity.
We naturally lose bone density, and muscle tissue as we age. We’re less active and don’t put our bodies through the same daily stress as a younger person. It’s the loss of muscle tissue that contributes to our slowing metabolism.
Muscle tissue requires calories to maintain. As you lose muscle the fewer calories you need, and the fewer calories you’re allowed to eat without gaining weight. Resistance training can help slow this process, and helps maintain functional strength as you age.
Related: Why your body hates diets
Not Helping Your Metabolism
Supplements can get expensive, and it can get a little silly with the amount of pills you have to take each day. But there’s hope! There are foods and certain spices that have proven to help your metabolism. Mix in some of these foods with your meals for a little metabolism boost:
– Cayenne Pepper
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