Weight loss after 40 can prove difficult, but it is definitely possible!
While there are many contributing factors that make weight loss more difficult as we age (such as hormonal changes, use of medication, lack of sleep, stress, etc…), the main shift that occurs as we age, which makes weight loss seem nearly impossible, is a metabolic decline. One of the culprits for age-related metabolic decline is ‘Sarcopenia‘. Sarcopenia, defined as age-related muscle loss, can be thought of as the muscular equivalent to osteopenia (age-related bone loss).
Sarcopenia not only causes a decrease in metabolic rate, but also leads to a loss of functional mobility which results in a more sedentary lifestyle! This creates a dangerous vicious cycle- the less you do, the less you can do and progressively, the less you can do, the less you do, and the less calories you burn! This combination of the metabolic decline and a more sedentary lifestyle makes sarcopenia (muscle loss) enemy #1 when it comes to weight loss after 40!!! If you want to get lean and STAY lean, it’s all about muscle!!
Use it or Lose it!
Whether you’re “thin”, overweight, or obese, if you’re not exercising, you’re losing muscle mass and strength as you age. However, the good news is that this condition, sarcopenia, is preventable. In fact, muscles remain ‘trainable’ at any age, which means it’s never too late to get in shape! Weight training is like the magic fountain of youth!!
What to do
While staying active(gardening, hiking, dancing…) increases energy level, and generally promotes a better better outlook on life, strength training, at least twice weekly, is the best way to get your muscles in shape. Resistance training will improve lean body and bone mass.
Doing it right
If you want to get in shape and start a resistance training program the most effective way to maximize results and decrease chances of injury is to work with a certified and experienced personal trainer. This is an investment that will pay off handsomely in enhancing your physical and mental well-being for years to come! A qualified trainer will not only motivate you but also teach you what exercises are appropriate for you (based on your individual needs and goals).
The key to achieving great results when it comes to weight loss after 40 is to get and keep your muscles in great shape!! The right weight training program will increase your metabolism, tone your muscles, reshape your body as well as improve functional capacity and decrease your overall health risk. Just 30 minutes twice a week can achieve dramatic results.