4 Lifestyle Factors That May Contribute to Weight Gain if You're Over 40
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
There are many factors that may contribute to weight gain for those of us over 40. Some things - like genetics and hormonal fluctuations - we can't change, but there are many lifestyle factors that we can work to improve. Slow, consistent change is usually best for long term success so don't try to do everything at once. And remember, if you need more personal advice, please message me!
1. Unhealthy eating habits:
Rather than fixating on a number on the scale, focus on feeling better from the inside out by following a healthy, balanced diet filled with nutrient-dense whole foods. Cut back on sugar and limit refined carbs and processed foods. Increase colorful fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.
2. Consuming too many calories:
Taking in more calories than you burn causes weight gain. Cutting your intake by 500 calories/day (or burning an extra 500 calories through exercise) can create a sustainable rate of weight loss of 1–2 pounds per week.
*This number, however, can be influenced by stress, lack of sleep, medications, metabolic issues and other factors.
3. Too much sitting:
Has a year of Zoom meetings and working from home led to more sitting? If you have a sedentary job, try to get up from your desk at least once an hour to move around or try a standing desk. A wearable tracker (or your phone's built in pedometer) can log how many steps you take each day. Start with a baseline and then slowly increase your daily goal.
4. Not enough exercise:
Getting enough exercise after 40 helps prevent muscle loss and regulates the body's metabolism. The busyness of life can mean that fitness often takes a backseat, but as you age, your body typically needs more exercise to lose and maintain weight. For long term success, it's important to devise a realistic exercise routine you can slowly build upon and stick to.