Losing weight at any age is no easy feat, but by the time you hit 40, it can feel virtually impossible. As we near middle age, our metabolisms tend to slow down right as our careers are reaching their apex, meaning we’re spending more time at our desks, and wearing the extra pounds to prove it. The good news? Just because shedding those pounds is harder after 40 doesn’t mean you have to sit idly by as the numbers on the scale creep upwards.
However, unlike at 20, when you could not opt for that second donut and wake up five pounds lighter, shedding the pounds after 40 takes a little more effort. So, how can you ditch that spare tire safely and effectively?
Add some weight training to your routine. While, as with any exercise program, it’s important to touch base with your doctor before starting to make sure you’re healthy enough to participate, weight training can make a huge difference in both your health and appearance. According to a study published in the journal Obesity, among a group of 249 older adults, those who added weight training to their routine fared better than those who cut calories or did aerobic exercise alone.
The members of the weight training group, who also reduced their caloric intake, lost an average of 20 pounds each, including 18 pounds of fat and just two pounds of muscle. In contrast, the aerobic exercisers lost the same amount of weight, but lost just 16 pounds of fat and four pounds of muscle. The participants who just reduced their calories without exercising shed an average of 12 pounds, including two pounds of muscle.
Better yet, both exercise groups had increased their lower-body strength, potentially sparing them from future injury. In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reveals that the addition of resistance training to the routines of low-bone-density women between the ages of 75 and 85 reduced their risk of falling.
So, while you’re unlikely to ditch much unwanted weight with the occasional dumbbell curl alone, a combination of scaling back your calories and incorporating weight training into your routine might just be the solution to your weight woes you’ve been looking for. A slimmer, healthier you is just a few reps away. And when you want to start slimming down your recipes, ditch the 40 Unhealthiest Foods if You’re Over 40, too.
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