This Is the 1 Reason It Feels Almost Impossible to Lose Weight After Age 40

Does it seem like losing weight reached a whole new level of difficulty after you turned 40? You may think it’s a simple case of your metabolism slowing down with age. In fact, there are many factors affecting your ability to shed pounds after 40.

Here are the reasons it feels impossible to lose weight after age 40 — and the one hurdle you probably didn’t expect.

Sleep plays a bigger role than you think

Asleep girl stopping alarm clock

Are you getting enough sleep? | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

You know you can’t pull all-nighters like you did in college. But unfortunately, you’re probably still not getting enough sleep. The hustle and bustle of adult life is leaving you sleep-deprived, which raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. (More on that on Page 6.) Cortisol leaves you open to weight gain, and can make you crave unhealthy foods. The solution? Try going to bed earlier to insure you get the most sleep possible.

Next: Since we’re on the subject of food…

You need to give your diet a makeover

Healthy stir fried vegetables

You can’t eat what you used to and get away with it. | iStock.com/Mizina

A balanced diet is pivotal for weight loss, no matter what age you are. But you may not realize how important it is to revamp your eating habits after age 40 in order to help keep yourself both fit and healthy. Fitness Magazine suggests having more fiber in your diet — it keeps you fuller for longer, keeping you from reaching for unhealthy snacks between meals. Loading up on lean protein and good fats can also aid in weight loss.

Next: But beware…

You also need to stop with the fad diets

Fresh green salad with grilled chicken

Do these ever really work in the long-term? | iStock.com/Lilechka75

Warning to yo-yo dieters. If you are picking up the latest diet trends and then dismissing them just as quickly, you’re actually putting yourself at risk for gaining weight. Instead, Fitness Magazine recommends cutting calories from your daily menu, and eating healthy fair every few hours to keep your metabolism going.

Next: Here’s something you probably didn’t think of.

You don’t know how toxic you are

Toxic sign

This is a truly terrifying thought. | iStock.com

Thanks to food preservatives and chemical-pumped household products, there are more toxins present in your body than you know about. Happy Hormones For Life explains that your fat cells latch onto toxins found in your food and the air you breathe so they don’t go to your organs. But then your fat cells hold onto those toxins, making you a more bloated vessel than you should be. HHFL recommends eating organic and swapping out household products.

Next: A health issue you should never ignore.

Thyroid issues arise

Human Thyroid Gland Illustration

Your thyroid may be at risk. | iStock.com/Nerthuz

Thyroid issues become more prevalent after age 40 — and they can also be a source of weight gain. “An unexplained change in weight is one of the most common signs of a thyroid disorder,” WebMD tells us. “Weight gain may signal low levels of thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism.” Consulting your doctor can help you better identify if this is the source of your weight gain.

Next: Perhaps the biggest reason it seems like you can’t lose weight.

You’re too stressed

nervous stressed young woman

Stress does horrible things to the body. | iStock.com/SIphotography

As we previously mentioned, stress hormone cortisol makes us reach for unhealthy foods for comfort. And if your life is a constant cycle of stressful situations, you’re set up to gain weight even if you don’t mean to. “Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds,” Pamela Peeke, MD, tells Prevention. Exercising to relieve some of your anxiety — and stocking up on vitamin-rich foods — can go a long way to helping keep weight off when your life is a big ball of stress.

Next: Last but not least…

Medications

Medicine with a glass of water

Are your medications impacting your weight? | FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

The side effects of many popular pills include weight gain. Plus, as HHFL tells us, “regular use of painkillers, antibiotics, indigestion tablets, poor quality supplements and other medications can over-burden your liver and damage your gut lining.” Be mindful of how many pills you are popping, and check in with your doctor on what medications you are on.

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