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.
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.
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.
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.
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