Effective Weight Loss Tips for Your 40s You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If it seems like losing weight gets harder as you get older, you’re not imagining things. But while it’s true that your metabolism slows as you age, you can still do something about it. It’s very possible to stay fit and healthy long after your 40th birthday.

For best results, figure out the most effective weight loss tips for your body. These are some of the best weight loss tips for your 40s you may not have heard of. (And make sure you get checked for the condition on page 10!)

Aim for 7 hours of sleep each night

Man and woman sleeping together in bed.

A full seven hours of sleep is ideal. | iStock.com

If sleeping your way slim sounds too good to be true, rejoice: Sleep is crucial to a good metabolism, especially as you age. Numerous studies have been published about the dangers of skimping on sleep, so make it a priority every night. Your body will thank you.

Next: Stay in the light.

Get more vitamin D

Senior Couple Walking In Park

Enjoy a little bit of sunshine. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Many of us are deficient in vitamin D, especially during the winter. But if you get more of it, it can help you lose weight. Or at least it can slow your weight gain.

Next: The ratio matters.

 Become an 80/20 eater

mature couple having a glass of wine at campsite

Watch your calories. | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Eating healthy foods and watching your calorie intake become even more vital after your 40th birthday, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself. One of celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels’ top weight loss tips is the 80/20 rule: Make 80% of the food you eat healthy, and allow the other 20% to be a splurge. This will keep you from feeling deprived and knock off the pounds in the long run.

Next: Change your timing.

Eat smaller, more frequent meals

Healthy Lifestyle Diet

Dieting can take some planning. | iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

It can be easy to fall into the habit of eating three calorie-packed meals a day — and sometimes those meals will leave you feeling hungry in between. When that happens, it’s far too easy to reach for an unhealthy snack. Instead, try breaking up your day into three meals lighter in calories and two calorie-light snacks. This will help curb hunger and keep you going all day long.

Next: Skip that bubbly.

Cut way back on your drinking

four different alcoholic drinks in glasses

Alcohol has a true effect on weight gain. | iStock.com

We know cutting back on the beer and wine isn’t fun, but if you’re over 40, it can make a huge difference in your weight. Besides, the effects of drinking hit you harder after 40, so consider this a natural boost in your productivity. You don’t have to give it up entirely, but saving it for an occasional treat will really help.

Next: Sweat it out.

Exercise more

a woman working out with a rope in the gym

If you want physical and mental benefits, sweat it out. | Javi Indy/iStock/Getty Images

It might seem counterintuitive, but once you hit 40, you need to hit the gym more often. As you age, it will become more difficult for your body to gain and retain muscles, and muscles help burn calories. So it’s time to step it up a little. Beyond the recommended 30 minutes a day of exercise, you might want to hit the gym and work on retaining your muscle mass on a regular basis.

Next: Be honest with yourself.

Know your habits

Plastic Gloved Hand Preparing Concession Nachos Tortilla Chips Snack Food

Don’t fall into the snack trap! | vsanderson/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to eating, we’re all different. And we have different goals. Most people have at least one food it’s hard for them to resist. So it’s important to know which foods might lead to overeating for you. If you eat one Oreo, are you going to eat the whole sleeve? Being honest with yourself about your eating habits can help you make the right choices.

Next: Watch your hormones.

 Women: Optimize your diet for changing hormones

Diet plan

It would be very wise to cut back on processed foods. | iStock.com

Your metabolism slows down as you near menopause, but eating more unprocessed plant foods — such as whole fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and seeds — will make your body more forgiving. Plus, you’ll enjoy a noticeable boost in energy that will make exercising a little easier.

Next: Eat the right meat.

Men: Get more lean protein

couscous with green peas and chicken fillet grill

Men should load up on lean protein. | iStock.com/mikafotostok

We all know protein is an essential weight loss aid for men and women of all ages. But as it turns out, it can make an especially big difference for men over 40. Here’s the shocker: While you should increase your protein levels, you should actually cut back on meat. Studies have shown that plant-based diets with limited meat are real weight loss boosters for men. So make eggs, nuts, black beans, and quinoa your new diet staples.

Next: Do you have this condition?

Everyone: Eliminate any underlying metabolic conditions

Human Thyroid Gland Illustration

Keep an eye on your thyroid health. | iStock.com/Nerthuz

Don’t let your body work against you! About 1 in 5 adults over age 40 has a thyroid condition, and many of them don’t even know it. A sluggish thyroid is a top reason people can’t lose weight, so get yours checked.

Losing weight after 40 doesn’t have to be a struggle. Keep reading for some other classic weight loss tips for more mature adults.

Next: A camera can help.

Take pictures of your food

A woman uses a calorie tracker while cooking.

Whip out your phone, and take snaps of your meals. | iStock.com

We have a tendency to underestimate how calorie-dense our meals and snacks are. This is why some food and activity tracking apps allow you to take pictures of what you’re about to eat to help you calculate its nutritional value. Snapping photos of your lunch might help increase your awareness of what you’re eating, allowing you to think more critically about the food choices you’re making throughout the day.

Next: Size matters.

Use smaller plates

Chinese sesame chicken

Using a smaller plate will help reduce the number of calories you consume. | iStock.com

Have you noticed bigger plates never seem to have empty space on them? The more plate we have available, the more we want to fill it with food. Try solving the problem before it has a chance to show up on your waistline by using smaller plates and bowls.

Additional reporting by John Wolfe.

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