5 Secret Tricks to Lose Weight At Any Age

Every year, it seems, the needle on the scale is a little harder to budge.



You cut back on portion size; you say, “No, thank you,” to dessert; you sign up for a Zumba class — and yet your jeans size goes up and your energy level goes down. What’s going on?

Starting in our early 40s, our bodies go through a series of changes that profoundly affect digestion, metabolism, and other bodily functions. Thanks to hormonal and other changes, the very growth rate of our cells slows down. It’s just something we have to learn to work around.

Sometimes, though, something’s gotten off track, metabolically speaking, and there’s an underlying medical issue that needs to be dealt with before the usual weight-loss measures will have any effect. Here’s a 5-step plan for understanding the challenges that prevent weight loss over 40, and for learning how to overcome them.

1. Get to know your body’s new biological rhythms — and adjust to them.


When it comes to burning calories, it’s a fairly simple equation. What goes in must be burned off, or it sticks to our ribs. Acquiring weight is absurdly easy — eating just 100 extra calories a day (100 more than what your body burns) will lead to a 9- to 10-pound weight gain over the course of a year, experts say.


How much is 100 calories? Not a lot: A can of Coke contains 155 calories, a chocolate bar more than 200.

Of course, that cola or chocolate chip cookie is no problem if we’re walking or running it off. But after 40, our activity level tends to decline, too. So the challenge is to bring the two into balance.

Make a list of what works for you, and what throws you off. Your own healthy habits in the past are the ones most likely to work for you now.

2. Eliminate underlying metabolic conditions.


Would it surprise you to know that thyroid problems strike as many as 1 out of 5 adults over age 40? And 8 out of 10 of those adults are women? The most common of these is hypothyroidism — an underactive thyroid — and it’s one of the primary reasons many women over 40 can’t lose weight.

If you suspect an underactive thyroid may be slowing your metabolism, the first step is to call the doctor and ask for a thyroid test.

3. Get more sleep to burn more calories.


As any perimenopausal woman or hardworking man over 35 can tell you, sleep gets ever more elusive as you age. It’s not just that we’re busier and more stressed. We also have multiple physical issues, from back pain to snoring to night sweats, any of which can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep.

Yet, paradoxically, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the keys to losing weight. In recent years, significant research has shown that lack of sleep is directly connected to weight gain because of the actions of two hormones, leptin, and ghrelin, that control hunger and satiety, or feeling full.

Here’s how it works: When you’re sleep deprived, ghrelin levels increase at the same time that leptin levels decrease. The result is more craving, less feeling full. Add to that the fact that sleep-deprived people often crave “energy” foods, which tend to be sweet or salty, and you can see how small changes in your routine can add up to big weight gain.

And there’s more. Recently, studies have shown that our bodies are most metabolically active while we sleep and that sleeping less than six hours impairs glucose tolerance, a key precursor to diabetes. So the longer we sleep, the more efficiently our inner fat-burning and sugar-processing engines function.

Add these all together and you can see a pattern emerging: The older we are, the harder it is to get a good night’s sleep — and the less we sleep, the more likely it is we’ll gain weight.

What to do? Take steps to combat sleep problems and your waistline will benefit, too.

4. Strike up a healthy relationship with your sweet tooth.


If you’re dying for a sweet treat, give it to yourself, savoring it slowly so it registers fully with your brain’s pleasure sensors.

A trick that many experts recommend: Cut the treat in half before you start eating, carefully wrapping the second half up to “save for later.” You may or may not want it — sometimes if you eat the first half slowly and consciously enough, you’ll feel satisfied. But knowing it’s there if you do plays a nice trick on your brain, which tends to crave things it perceives as being in short supply.

Also, don’t try to substitute artificially flavored sweets. Researchers have recently discovered that artificial sweeteners fail to trigger the body’s natural satisfaction response.

So eating that 100-calorie artificially sweetened cookie only adds to your problems; you’ll keep on wanting the real cookie, so the 100 calories you just ate were in vain.

5. Make slow, realistic changes in tune with your lifestyle.


Let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds. To do so right now, you’d have to burn 35,000 calories — an overwhelming number that would require you to eat nothing at all for about 2 weeks, or jog for 51 hours, or walk for 126 hours. Not only would it be impossible, but attempts like those would send your body into starvation mode metabolic slowdown, sabotaging your efforts.

But you could also, much more effectively, set out to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week for the next 5 to 10 weeks. Studies show that if you take the slow-but-steady approach, you’re much more likely to keep those 10 pounds off.


Remind yourself that you are the only one in charge of tuning up your metabolic engine. Decide whether to focus on cutting down the number of calories you’re consuming or on upping the number you’re burning. Most likely, you’ll strike a balance between the two that suits you.

If six half-hour walks a week is relatively painless for you, that’s a good choice; if you can only manage three, do that. If going outdoors in ten-degree weather is singularly unappealing and you wouldn’t be caught dead in a gym but it’s not too hard to give up dessert, then prioritize dietary changes instead.

Your primary goal should be making small, gradual lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your daily routine and stick with over time. That’s the ultimate secret to combating over-40 weight gain.


(source: http://healthyrecipeshome.com/5-secret-tricks-to-lose-weight-at-any-age/)

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