Nope, you’re not imagining it. Losing weight after 40 really IS harder, especially for women! But, the good news is, there’s hope. Here’s why it’s so darn hard, plus what to do about it.
Ever feel like no matter WHAT you do or what you try, you just can’t seem to lose weight? It’s infuriating, isn’t it?
You spend the whole day thinking about food and trying not to eat it, only to watch that number on the scale REFUSE to budge…or even worse, you GAIN weight.
If you can relate to this—especially since reaching a certain age— then THIS is the blog post you need to read!
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Dealing with weight gain? You’re not alone.
The reality is that it’s hard enough to lose weight at ANY age, but for us women over 40, it can honestly feel downright IMPOSSIBLE!
Do you know what I’m saying?!!
Where it used to be enough to cut back for a few days (or MAYBE even a few weeks) after a vacation or the holidays and fit right back into your skinny jeans, now those extra few pounds are reeaaally starting to feel like they might be permanent.
And despite all your best efforts, that number on the scale keeps creeping up.
What used to work for you—all those tried and true fallbacks—just don’t work at all anymore.
It’s kinda scary, isn’t it? All of a sudden, it feels like losing weight after 40 might be totally impossible. You might even feel like your best days are behind you and that your body might never bounce back to where it once was.
Plus, it’s downright depressing to see all those clothes in your closet that used to fit (that you don’t want to get rid of because, deep down, you’re hoping you might still be able to turn things around).
But despite mindful eating and tracking how many calories you take, it’s just getting harder and harder and harder.
And while I know this is all starting to sound SUUUUUPER depressing, I don’t want you to lose all hope just yet!
The good news is that while your weight loss journey can be more challenging than it did in your 20s…it’s not impossible.
Not even close. (I mean it!)
The thing is, once you learn more about how your body actually burns fuel–and what you can do to retrain your metabolism–maintaining a healthy weight after 40 can actually become almost effortless. I kid you not.
The question then becomes whether you are actually willing to rethink your approach and consider a whole new way of eating.
But I might be getting a little ahead of myself.
Why is losing weight after 40 so hard for women?
So what makes it SO hard for women to start losing weight after 40?
Honestly, it’s a lot of things that contribute to the problem. Here are the top contributors:
First, there’s the hormonal change. Because it’s not just the fun menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings that you need to worry about!
Women over 40 experience a sharp decline in estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that play a major role in weight regulation. As these levels drop, it can cause an increase in appetite as well as changes in where your body stores fat.
In other words, you may start packing on the pounds in places you never did before, like belly fat in your middle.
So yay for hormones….not!
But it gets even better (and by better, I mean worse).
Slowing Metabolism Due to Less Muscle Mass
At the same time all these hormonal changes are happening, your body’s metabolism is also slowing down as you lose lean muscle mass.
And you’ve probably already heard this at some point, but muscle burns more calories than fat. Put another, more scientific way, muscle tissue is much more metabolically active than fat tissue, so as you age and begin to lose muscle, your metabolic rate declines.
This means that you burn fewer calories at rest, making weight loss more difficult.
More Sedentary Lifestyle
Many women over 40 tend to find themselves in a more sedentary lifestyle than they’ve ever had before. This could be due to a number of reasons including a desk job, kids at home, or just a general lack of motivation to exercise.
Whatever the reason, a decrease in activity level can further slow down your metabolism and make it more difficult to lose weight.
All that to say, if you’ve been struggling with not being able to lose weight, it’s NOT totally your fault. The deck has been stacked against you, and you’re basically fighting against your own biology!
How to Lose Weight After 40
But I guess that brings us to the big question of the day….. what can you actually DO about it?
The short answer is A LOT, actually.
Rethink Your Fuel Source
And the first step is understanding how your body actually burns fuel.
Most people think that weight loss is all about calorie intake and eating less food in order to take in fewer calories. But that’s not even close to the whole story.
In reality, your body has three different fuel sources (aka macronutrients) that it can use for energy: carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
Carbohydrates are the body’s easiest, most low-effort fuel source. When you eat carbs, they are broken down into glucose and sent to your cells for energy.
Your body will only store a limited amount of glucose, however, so when you eat more carbs than you can immediately use for energy, the excess is converted to fat and stored in your cells.
This is why a diet that is high in carbohydrates and sugar, especially high in REFINED carbohydrates, can lead to weight gain. That’s also why ditching the carbs (see what I did there?) can be very effective for weight loss.
It’s why almost everyone you talk to who has lost a significant amount of weight WITHOUT drugs will probably end up telling you something like, “Oh, I went keto.”
And as an aside, in case you didn’t know this, the EXACT reason why those new weight loss drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic are so effective is that they basically work the SAME EXACT WAY a low carb or ketogenic diet works. They regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn allows you to more easily burn fat. And because you’re burning fat for fuel and your body is getting what it needs, you’re less hungry.
It’s what WE call being Thin Adapted.
That means if you can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars a month on designer drugs or don’t want to be stuck taking medication for the rest of your life, I’ve got GREAT news! You can actually get all the benefits of the drugs (with none of the side effects) just by changing the way that you eat.
I promise you big pharmaceutical companies don’t really want you to know that.
Do Low Carb the Right Way
Unfortunately, especially with the dramatic rise in popularity of low carb and ketogenic diets over the past few years, there are a whole lot of women who are doing “low carb” totally WRONG.
They’re eating complete crap and too much processed food and unhealthy seed oils, or they’re getting bad information, or they’re eating way too much fat and not enough protein.
And what usually happens is that they’ll lose weight at FIRST, but then they will totally stall out, and get frustrated or get bored. They end up falling off the wagon and gaining all the weight back, and being one of those people who says, “oh yeah I tried Keto but it just didn’t work for me.“
Honestly, that’s why I’m so adamant about changing the way you eat for LIFE and adopting a healthy low carb lifestyle that you can actually stick with and maintain long term, without ever feeling deprived or miserable.
Ditch the Diet Mindset
Because diets don’t work. They don’t. All the studies that have ever been done about diets PROVE they don’t work, again and again and again.
Believe me—the statistics are grim. According to one study, as many as 95% of people who go on a diet end up regaining all the weight (and often more) within a few years.
Those weight loss drugs that seem so tempting don’t work long term either unless you stay on them forever. And who wants that? I know I don’t.
The reality is that in order to successfully lose weight after 40 and actually KEEP it off, you have to commit to making a complete lifestyle change.
While that might mean overhauling your diet, getting more active, and training your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs, it also means changing your mindset and the way that you actually think about food.
But it also means that realistically, the only way to make that sort of lifestyle change stick is for it to be something you can actually live with. You need a way of eating and living that you actually enjoy so much that it doesn’t ever feel like you’re depriving yourself.
You have to GIVE UP the diet mentality for good.
Because I’ll say it again. DIETS DON’T WORK!
And here’s why: when you tell yourself you are on a diet, your whole life becomes all about deprivation and about all the things you can’t have. Your brain looks at it as a temporary punishment, and when that punishment is over, you find yourself craving all those forbidden foods even more.
As women, we’ve been conditioned to think that deprivation and misery mean we’re doing a diet “right,” and so we keep deluding ourselves that the more miserable we feel, the more it’s going to work.
Except it doesn’t. Especially after we turn 40.
So what DOES work?
Change the Way Your Body Burns Fuel
The simple answer is fixing your metabolism and changing the way your body burns fuel.
Here at Thinlicious™ that is exactly what our Thin Adapted System™ is designed to do.
So how do you actually DO it?
Well, the best and easiest way to get your metabolism working again is by stabilizing your blood sugar in order to allow your body to burn fuel more efficiently. This happens when you cut out the foods that tend to spike your blood sugar and instead focus on eating the foods that will keep your insulin levels stable, which will then allow your body to go into a state of ketosis, or fat-burning.
So what are the foods that will spike your blood sugar and raise your insulin levels, the ones that you should avoid at all costs?
I’ll give you three guesses.
Sugar, sugar, and more sugar, right???!!
I guess technically I should say sugar and carbohydrates, but really they’re pretty much the same thing because your body just turns carbohydrates INTO sugar.
I also should mention that a lot of FAKE sugars, at least the chemical ones, such as sucralose, aspartame, and saccharine are basically just as bad for you, and raise your insulin levels just as much as the real stuff. (Yep, that’s right, that diet soda you think is “being good” is actually making you fat.)
95% of your success with changing the way your body burns fuel will be MENTAL, not physical. Your success will come when you stop believing you need to deprive yourself, and start embracing a new way of thinking about food.
Understand the Science of Losing Weight After 40
That said, I do STRONGLY believe that understanding the science behind why this actually works is extremely important for retraining your brain and the way you think about food as fuel.
That’s one of the big reasons why I started this company. Knowledge is power and the more you know and understand about how this works, the better equipped you will be to make good choices, which is essential when it comes to losing weight after 40 (or any age!).
So here’s the basic science of it all.
In essence, your body needs fuel to function, very similar to the way a car needs fuel to drive.
In your body, that fuel can come from one of two places: either carbohydrates or fat.
Because carbohydrates are less work & easier for your body to burn, your body will always default to burning carbs FIRST, before burning fat. Thus, as long as you continue refueling your body with carbohydrates, your body will continue relying on carbohydrates as its primary energy source.
Ketosis happens when your body runs out of carbohydrates to burn and instead begins burning fat for energy. This can happen after a prolonged period of fasting (such as overnight), but it will also happen when you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet.
Essentially you are forcing your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates.
And that’s a very GOOD thing for your body.
Benefits of Becoming Thin Adapted
So what does it mean to become what we call Thin Adapted?
Well, becoming Thin Adapted happens when your body switches its DEFAULT energy-burning system from burning carbohydrates to burning fat. This will only happen after a prolonged period of ketosis–typically around 4-6 weeks.
But once your body has become fully Thin Adapted, all sorts of really amazing things happen.
Significant Increase in Energy
First, you will likely experience a significant increase in sustained energy throughout the day.
Because your body is now relying on FAT rather than carbs, and because you have a nearly unlimited amount of fat available to burn in your body, you suddenly have a constant source of fuel to energize your body, regardless of whether you have eaten recently.
That means no more afternoon slumps or coming home from work feeling utterly spent. It’s amazing!
Reduced Hunger Levels
Second, once you have become fully Thin Adapted, you’ll likely find that you are very rarely hungry.
Again, because your body is already burning your stored fat, you simply won’t need to eat as often or as much as before. You’ll feel satisfied most of the time, without even trying.
Effortless Weight Loss
Third, losing weight will become pretty much effortless. Yes, this means you CAN lose weight after 40!
As long as you stay in fat-burning mode, the pounds will continue to melt away, just like they do for the people taking those weight-loss drugs. Except for much cheaper and without the side effects.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Yep, it really is!
More Benefits You’ll Enjoy
The reality is that even though losing weight after 40 IS a lot harder for women, but it’s not impossible. And I probably don’t have to tell you this, but there are also some pretty amazing benefits that go far beyond just fitting in your skinny jeans.
- Reduced risk of chronic disease. Excess weight is a major risk factor for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Losing weight can help to reduce your risk of developing these conditions.
- Improved mental health. Being overweight or obese can take a toll on your emotional well-being, especially for women. Losing weight can help to improve your mood and increase your self-confidence.
- Better sleep. excess weight can lead to sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time during the night. Losing weight can help to alleviate this condition and improve the quality of your sleep.
- More confidence. When you feel good about your appearance, it shows. Losing weight can help to increase your confidence and improve the way you feel about yourself.
- Longer lifespan. Studies have shown that people who are at a healthy weight live longer, on average than those who are overweight or obese. So not only will you feel better if you lose weight after 40, you’ll also be doing your health a favor in the long run.
For women, losing weight after age 40 can feel like an uphill battle, and the reality is that it’s 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! Once you’ve become Thin Adapted, you’ll have more energy, better sleep, and a longer lifespan (not to mention smaller jeans!)
Next Steps to Start Losing Weight After 40
So what’s the best way to get started?
Well, if you’re reading this, you’re already making huge strides toward taking control of your health, so that really is step one.
But if you’re really ready to lose weight and get healthy for life without dieting, drugs or making yourself miserable, our brand new (and totally free!) on demand video training will help you understand why it’s been so hard and what do to about it.
Not quite sure and want to learn more? Grab our free starter guide here.
Want to hear more? Listen to this podcast, HERE!
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