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Ultimate Guide To Weight Loss For Men Over 40

Ultimate Guide To Weight Loss For Men Over 40

Let’s face it. The older we get, the more difficult it is to maintain a healthy weight. Not only do our bodies change over time, but many of us tend to not eat as healthy as we should, and we are not nearly as active as we should be. Once you hit 40, if you aren’t already living a healthy lifestyle and you find yourself needing to lose weight, it is time to start making some serious lifestyle changes. Here, we will talk about the various ways that men over 40 can get back into shape and stay in shape.

No More Fad Diets

One of the worst things you can do is try fad diets — they don’t work! Sure, you may lose a few pounds quickly, but once you go off the diet and go back to your normal way of eating, that weight is going to come right back, and those pounds will likely bring a few friends along for the ride. Not only are these diets not going to help you lose weight and keep it off, they are often very unhealthy. For instance, one diet may be so restrictive in calories that you won’t have enough calories daily to keep you healthy. Other diets leave out certain important nutrients. You will end up feeling tired, irritable, and hungry, and that is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

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Eat Healthy Instead Of Dieting

If you really want to lose weight and keep it off, the trick is to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in all of the nutrients our bodies need in order to stay healthy. Make sure that you are eating a healthy breakfast every day, because it really is the most important meal of the day. You need to have plenty of protein in your diet, as well as other nutrients. If you are unsure about how you should be eating, speak to your physician or a nutritionist to help get you on the right track. This type of “dieting” has led to plenty of success stories, such as James Barbour, who managed to lose almost 35 pounds in 60 days with no exercise and keep it off through the 3X Fat Loss program.

Be Careful With Comfort Foods

Many of us love to eat a lot of unhealthy things because they are comfort foods. Pamela Wartian Smith, M.D. and co-director of the University of South Florida College of Medicine’s master’s program in medical sciences, states that, “When you eat things to which you’re sensitive or intolerant, you get an increase of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, so you literally get a high.” In addition to this, the comfort foods you eat could cause many issues that lead to problems with weight loss, including water retention and inflammation.

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Don’t Skimp On Sleep

When we were kids, naps seemed like punishment. As we age, we start to see the importance of sleep and just how much it can do for our bodies and minds. There may have been a time when you could party all night and work all day, but that probably isn’t the case these days. The older you get, the more important sleep is. Even if you lose one hour of sleep a night for three nights, your appetite can be affected, and your body won’t tell you that it is full. When you are getting plenty of good sleep, it can actually help to encourage fat-burning. So, it really is time to start taking sleep a lot more seriously, and don’t feel guilty for sleeping in on the weekends. You, and your body, deserve it.

Be Careful When Eating Out

We all love to eat out once in a while, and we tend to use eating out as an excuse to not eat healthy. Even the unhealthiest of take-out places have some healthy options, and more restaurants are adding these options all the time because of the demand for healthy foods. For example, instead of getting a donut with your morning coffee, get yourself a healthy piece of fruit. Many of the breakfast fares offered at restaurants have more fat (which can actually be good depending on the kind of fat), sugar, and calories than a candy bar, so you have to be careful. Don’t stop at breakfast either. No matter what meal you are eating at a restaurant, check to see if there are healthier options that you can enjoy and not regret later.

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Start Taking Walks

You can eat healthy until the cows come home, but you aren’t going to notice huge weight loss results unless you are combining exercise with a healthy diet. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym every day, but it does mean that you need to get moving more, and that starts with walking. To burn enough calories to lose weight, you need to walk at 3 miles per hour, and it is recommended that we all take 10,000 steps per day.

On the flip side of this coin, it is important that you stop sitting around. The more you sit, the greater your chances are of developing a number of health issues, including Type 2 diabetes. If your job requires you to sit for eight hours a day or longer, you need to find ways to get up and move around — for the sake of your health and your weight. Ask your employer about bringing in one of those new stand-up desks, which raise and lower so you have the option to stand up once in a while and still be able to do your work. However, remember that excessive exercise can actually lead to massive inflammation.

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Get Motivated

Finally, the last thing we are going to talk about is motivation. This can be the most difficult part of any weight loss or health plan. After all, junk food tastes so good, and laying around the house seems a lot easier than getting out and exercising. If this sounds like you, then you need something to get you motivated. There are all kinds of things that you can do to get out of this rut. Get out and play with the kids. Get involved in a local team. Find ways to make living healthy seem a lot more enticing than laying around and eating junk food all the time. You can do it, and your life will be better for it.

Featured photo credit: SplitShire via splitshire.com

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Jane Hurst

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Published on July 18, 2019

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

1. Planks

Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

2. Side Planks

To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

3. Reverse Crunches

The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

4. Flutter Kicks

The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

5. Arms High Sit-Ups

Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

6. L-Sits

The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

7. Stomach Vacuums

And now for something different!

It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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8. Star Planks

Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

9. Boat Pose

Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

10. Mountain Climbers

Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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11. Russian Twists

Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

The Bottom Line

The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

Give them a shot!

Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

Reference

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