One weekday night you may find yourself sitting on the couch, staring through the television. You look down at the bowl of ice cream in your hand and though just as delicious as it has ever been, you may wonder why in your 20's you could indulge then head straight to bed without a thought but now this bowl will end up on your hips! Why-oh-why is weight loss for women so hard as we age?
It Gets Tough after 35
After the age of 35, your metabolism slows down, meaning you burn fewer calories during everyday activities than you used to.“If you never had problems losing or maintaining your weight in your 20's or even in your early 30's, you may not be ready for what happens next,” Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center warns in a recent article in Good Housekeeping Magazine. “Your metabolism slows by 5 percent each decade. Compared to age 25, you’ll burn about 100 fewer calories a day at 35 and 200 fewer at 45. Do nothing, and you could gain eight to 12 pounds a year.”
You may soon start experiencing a hormonal imbalance, too. Some side effects of that include fluid retention, lowered thyroid function, weight gain, and bloating. Your prescription medications may also interfere with your ability to lose weight. (Talk to your doctor about alternatives that don't encourage weight gain.) Despite all this, you can take steps to encourage weight loss for women, including yourself. There is hope for those of us in the Over-35 Club!
- Put your book down, shut down the computer, and get some sleep! Strive for a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep per day. Weight loss requires getting enough sleep.
- Choose a diet that encourages weight loss for women. Just because a food says it’s low-calorie doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. Eat food with high nutritional value. The more processed foods with artificial sugars you eat, the more difficult it will be to lose weight as they hinder your body’s capacity to correctly process sugars. Healthy eating habits are essential in winning the battle of the "bulge" as we age.
- Weight loss for women means making use of downtime between activities and work to exercise. Do squats while you fold towels, or do some push-ups while you wait for the water to boil. Schedule time to get exercise at least three times a week. Write it in your calendar, or put it into your iPhone. Make it fun by exercising with a friend regularly. You might also download an audiobook to your iPod and listen to a chapter while exercising.
- Add strength training to help boost your metabolism since your metabolism rate increases as you gain more muscle mass. Muscle mass also decreases as we age. Weight loss requires a commitment to a regular exercise schedule.
- Weight loss for women necessitates eating less than you burn. First, determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR) using an online calculator to tell you how many calories your body burns through normal metabolic activity in a day (which can account for 60 to 70% of how many calories you burn daily). Then, determine how many calories you need to take in to maintain your current level of activity. You can also ask at the gym to have your body fat measurement taken and BMR calculated for you.
- Decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories per week to lose one pound per week, and by 1,000 calories to lose two pounds per week. Decreasing your caloric intake is vital losing the weight you want to see gone. Crash dieting won't work. In fact, taking in too few calories will slow your metabolism even further. Slow and steady wins the race. “If you stay within the 1,200- to 1,500-calorie range, you can still slim down — and you’ll lower your metabolic rate only by about 5 percent,” explains David C. Nieman, Dr.P.H., director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. “What’s more, about 90 percent of the weight you lose will be fat.”
- Water and weight loss for women go hand in hand. Compete with yourself every day to see how many ounces you can drink. Unsure of what amount is the right amount? Calculate how much water you need here.
Weight loss for women over 35 isn't impossible, but it does require you to recognize the changes in your body and adjust your diet and exercise habits accordingly. Strategize and stay fit, trim, and healthy for a lifetime!
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