With over half of America considered overweight, and more and more individuals feeling it is getting out of control in their lives as they approach the age of 40, it makes sense that more men than ever want to lose some of that excess gut – but how do you do it after you’re 40 years old. Isn’t your metabolism already ruined? Can you exercise without hurting yourself?
What are the realistic options out there?
The good news is that while it can be a challenge, following these five steps will help make the challenge of losing weight fast after the big 4-0 something you will be able to absolutely rock.
1: Set Realistic Expectations
This is one of the best pieces of advice. You know you need to change and you’re up for the challenge – great.
The first step is taking a realistic look at your health and fitness levels.
It doesn’t matter if you were a cross-country champion in high school or played football in college – you need to be realistic about where you are now especially when it comes to how long it’s been since you’ve been active.
Serious weightlifting and specialty exercises like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be awesome for getting fit and losing weight (especially from burning body fat) but if you haven’t been active in 20 years you need to work up to that point to avoid health issues and injuries.
2: Understand The Challenge
While there are going to be challenges, learn what the realistic scope of the challenge is. Look, chances are you’re not going to be the top-notch athlete you were at age 20. The body ages. But it is possible to be much more fit and in much better health in as little as 3 to 6 months than you are now. That needs to be a focus.
Another big one is the metabolism myth.
While it is technically true that your metabolism tends to slow down as you age there are a couple of very important points to remember: the actual amount you biologically lose is actually very little (it’s almost always other factors that make the weight gain much worse) and at any age you can boost your metabolism through working out, gaining muscle, and losing fat.
This is a mostly reversible process, so don’t use it as an excuse and don’t get discouraged!
3: Make Small Victories Count
If you’re used to drinking 6 beers or 6 sodas a day cut down to 4. Then 3, then 2, then get to twice a week.
If you have an upstairs and downstairs bathroom, go to the other floor to use it. Even 2-3 flights of stairs a day add up. Get into the habit of just a 15 or 20-minute walk right after a meal.
Small victories matter, and over the course of a year any one of these habits lead to many pounds of weight loss, and doing all of them really isn’t going to change your day up that much.
4: Don’t Sleep on Strength Training
More muscle means a higher metabolism, and that’s at any age. If you can gain a little bit of muscle and burn an extra 100-200 calories a day because of it, that’s a full 10-20 pounds in one year!
That’s a really big deal.
You don’t have to bulk up to a giant size to enjoy this benefit or do it all at once. Start where you are and slowly work your way up. Even small amounts of weight lifting will help bring back functional strength and help prepare your body for much more.
Strength training needs to be a serious part of any weight loss effort for men over 40, but this is a very important one to do with medical supervision in the beginning.
If your blood pressure is really high or you have heart disease doctors may nix this or want to design your program around where you’re at – make sure to heed their advice and do it right!
5: Get Educated
There has never been a time where so much research has gone into health, exercise, nutrition, and there has never been a time when information is so readily available and not controlled by lobbyists or corporate interests. Get educated to learn about everything that has changed since you last followed these topics.
The idea of a balanced diet has changed radically, for example, as have many opinions on dietary fat, protein vs carbs, and dairy.
Look to see if pure cardio is really what you remember it being and see how different approaches are being shown to currently work.
If You’re Struggling, Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help!
You can read all of the weight loss tips in the world, but that doesn’t always mean they’re easy to execute. Or you may just find that you’re having a harder time than you thought you would when it comes to dropping a few pounds.
If you happen to fall into either of these categories, don’t get discouraged! There are plenty of programs out there that can help you get your weight loss on track, and don’t be afraid to use them!
Here are some of our most recommended diets for men here at TheDietDynamo:
- Nutrisystem for Men
- Weight Wathchers
- Personal Trainer Food
All of the diets listed above have their own set of strengths and weaknesses, but they can all work for weight loss when used correctly. My suggestion would be to read more about each one of them, and find the plan that is going to fit your lifestyle and weight loss needs.
Nutrisystem for Men (check out our review here) is my personal favorite, but that’s because I hate grocery shopping and prefer a ready-made program that is easy to follow. If you enjoy cooking, meal prep, and grocery shopping, then something like keto or Weight Watchers may be more your style.
Either way, pick something that will work for you, and get started on your weight loss journey!
While losing weight over the age of 40 can be a major challenge, it is far from impossible. By following the five tips that are here you will find incredible results that will have you looking like a new man in no time at all!
And again, if you’re struggling at all, be sure to check out some of the diets on our list and get help from a doctor or health professional, so you can get pointed in the right direction.