Angela was horrified when she stepped on the bathroom scale the morning of her 46th birthday and saw that not only was the number higher than it had ever been, she now weighed more than her husband. Her clothes had been feeling tight for a while now and she knew that if she didn’t do something soon, things were only going to get worse.
Luckily, Angela had lots of experience with cutting back. Over the years, she had done it many times before, any time she needed to lose a few pounds. It never seemed that hard.
So once again, Angela started dieting. She cut out all of her favorite foods and replaced them with salads and protein shakes. She started going back to the gym and worked out on the elliptical machine for at least an hour every day.
But this time, the scale wouldn’t budge. In fact, it seemed like the harder she worked, the more weight she gained.
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If you’re over 40 and struggling with your weight, you are not alone. In fact, you’re in good company. According to a recent study, more than 60% of women in this age group are unhappy with their weight. And it’s not just a matter of vanity. Excess weight can lead to a whole host of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
So what exactly is going on here? What’s the deal with weight gain in women over 40? Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons.
Your body doesn’t work the way it used to
One of the most common reasons for weight gain in women over 40 is simply that your body doesn’t work the way it used to. As you age, your metabolism slows down and you lose muscle mass. This combination makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off.
As a general rule, the muscle you have, and the higher your muscle-to-fat ratio, the higher your metabolism will be. That’s because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even when you’re at rest.
But as we age, we tend to lose muscle mass. This is partly due to the natural aging process, but it can also be the result of inactivity. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
In addition, your body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients from food also declines with age. So even if you’re eating the same amount of food as you did when you were younger, your body may not be able to process it as efficiently, which can lead to weight gain.
You’re eating the wrong things
Another common reason for weight gain in women over 40 is that we tend to eat the wrong things. Granted, they might be the same favorite foods we’ve always eaten, but our body can no longer process them in the same way.
The biggest danger comes from carbohydrates—particularly highly refined white flour and starches, as well as sugar—and yet those tend to be the foods women crave the most.
One of the reasons carbs are so problematic is that they cause our blood sugar to spike, which in turn triggers the release of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps our body store fat. So when we eat foods that cause our insulin levels to rise, we’re more likely to gain weight.
But it’s not just refined carbs that can cause weight gain. Even healthy carbs like whole grains and fruit can have the same effect if we eat too much of them. That’s why it’s important to focus on eating mostly protein, healthy fats, and vegetables, with carbs only making up a small part of our diet.
You don’t exercise the right way
If you’re not exercising at all, that may be having an impact on your overall health and sense of well-being. But even if you are exercising, you might not be doing it the right way.
The truth is that exercise doesn’t actually help you lose weight. There’s no way to “burn” a significant enough number of calories to make a real impact, especially because such vigorous exercise will only make you hungrier.
But one of the biggest mistakes women make when they’re trying to lose weight is that they focus on cardio to the exclusion of strength training. Because while vigorous cardio can be good for your cardiovascular health & stamina, it is actually building lean muscle mass through strength training that will help boost your metabolism.
And that’s why most women who focus on cardio end up frustrated, because they don’t see the results they want. So if you’re serious about losing weight, you need to make strength training a part of your routine.
You stress too much
When we’re stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s designed to help us deal with stressful situations by providing energy and preparing our bodies for fight or flight.
The problem is that when cortisol levels are constantly elevated, it can lead to weight gain, especially around the midsection. That’s because cortisol causes our bodies to store fat in that area.
So if you’re constantly stressed, it’s not only impacting your emotional health, it’s also contributing to weight gain. And that’s why it’s so important to find ways to manage stress.
You don’t get enough sleep
Sleep is another one of those things that seems like it shouldn’t have an impact on our weight. But the truth is that if we’re not getting enough sleep, it can lead to weight gain.
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, when we’re tired, we tend to make bad food choices. We reach for quick, sugary snacks instead of healthier options because we’re looking for a quick energy boost.
Secondly, when we’re tired, our bodies release cortisol, which as we already know can lead to weight gain.
And finally, when we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies don’t have a chance to repair and recover from the day’s activities. This can lead to muscle loss and a decrease in our metabolism.
So if you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s time to make some changes. Start by setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it as much as possible. Then, create a relaxing bedtime routine that will help you wind down and prepare for sleep. And finally, make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet so that you can get the best possible sleep.
Your hormones have changed
As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. And one of those changes is that our hormone levels begin to decline. This can have a big impact on our weight, because hormones play a major role in regulating our metabolism.
When our hormone levels are out of balance, it can lead to weight gain, fatigue, and even depression. So if you’ve been struggling to lose weight, it’s possible that your hormones are to blame.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help balance your hormones and get your metabolism back on track. One of the biggest is switching to a low-carb diet. This can help to balance blood sugar levels and insulin levels, which in turn can help to regulate hormones.
Another thing you can do is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. As we already discussed, sleep plays a major role in hormone regulation. So if you’re not getting enough shut-eye, it could be impacting your hormones and contributing to weight gain.
Finally, you can try supplements to help balance your hormones. There are a number of different options available, so talk to your doctor about which one might be right for you.
For women, losing weight after age 40 can feel impossible, and the reality is that the struggle is not all in your head. It’s hard to lose weight after 40 because the body has a harder time burning fat due to a decrease in hormones and muscle mass. But it also means that a diet is not going to cut it anymore. Instead, a true lifestyle change is necessary to retrain your metabolism. And while change can be hard, the benefits are worth it!
So what’s the best way to get started?
We recommend starting with our Thinlicious™ 28-Day Metabolism Reset, which is designed to introduce you to the Thin-Adapted System and help you retrain the way your body burns fuel in just four weeks. Get it HERE.
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