How To Lose Weight After You’re 40

by Ahmed Zayed, MD on May 8, 2019
Last updated on May 23, 2021

Are you struggling with losing weight? Are you wondering why it seems as if your extra body weight does not want to leave your body as easily as it used to? Well, you are right about one thing, we must admit it.

woman watching child playing on beach during daytime

It is really harder for women after the age of 40 to lose weight as compared with women in their 20s or 30s. In fact, as you will grow older, you will find it harder and harder to lose weight. But do not worry. As long as you have the motivation that you need to lose weight, you are on the right track.

In the following article, we took the time to explain everything that you need to know about why the weight loss process is more difficult for women in their 40s and share some awesome tips on losing weight in this age period. So let’s start, shall we?

Why women after the age of 40 experience difficulty losing weight?

Unfortunately, there are a few key factors that make the weight loss process after the age of 40 a bit more difficult than it was in the 20s or 30s, especially in the case of women. The biggest factor of them all is the slow, reduced metabolism as a result of the normal aging process (1).

A slower metabolism is equal to fewer calories being burned on a daily level. Add to that a higher than recommended calorie intake and being physically inactive, which is characteristic for older age, and there you have it – the recipe for weight gain and the inability to lose those extra body pounds as before.

Stress plays its role in this process as well, as it is typical for older people to be under a lot of stress in this period of life. Hormonal changes in the premenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal period make it especially harder for women to lose the weight that they have gained during these stressful life periods filled with numerous body changes (2).

How to lose weight after the age of 40?

Choose five smaller meals a day instead of three big ones

Anyone who is telling you that you should starve in order to lose weight is lying to you. Of course, you should watch your calorie intake and sometimes limit it to a certain number, especially if you have had the habit to intake more calories than recommended on a daily level.

For a woman who usually intakes around 2000 calories, we would recommend making an effort to cut at least 400 to 500 calories down. However, this does not mean that you should go day after day feeling that excruciating hunger as it rips your stomach.

We warmly recommend you to choose five over three meals a day, by choosing smaller portions rather than big ones. And when you do, choose your calories wisely. Filling up your plate with more low-calorie, high-volume foods, including fruits and vegetables, will help you satisfy your hunger on the long run, give you energy, and cut back those calories so that you can actually lose weight for a change. Choosing smaller plates might help you with that, as it has been scientifically proven that smaller plates help with the weight loss process (3).

Choose your snacks wisely

As a part of those five meals a day that we mentioned earlier, you should also include snacks. The ultimate effect would be achieved by choosing two snacks and three main meals during the day. When it comes to choosing snacks, you should definitely act smart!

We do not recommend snacking on chips and dip, or candy, for sure. Instead, we advise you to choose some healthy snacks such as fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, different nuts, homemade granola bars, smoothies, etc.

You need to watch out for the so told “healthy” snacks that contain more calories than you could ever imagine. There are different dips that are supposable healthy and low-calorie, then the so-called healthy granola bars which you will see in the supermarket that are packed with lots of sugar, protein bars, and many others.

Remind yourself to read the ingredients list before you peruse to buy your favorite snacks and make an effort to prepare your snacks at home and take them with you to work, or wherever you are headed so that you would not have to buy them at the supermarket.

Watch your alcohol intake

Yes, it is true that alcohol knows to make us happy and even maintain our bodies healthy, speaking of the occasional glass of wine or beer. But, you better watch out your alcohol intake if you are interested in any weight loss.

You might want to know that alcohol has been linked to a greater risk of obesity (4)! So add that to your difficulty to lose weight and what you are facing is some serious risk of becoming overweight and even obese.

We encourage you to stay away from “Happy hour” or any late night drinking for the sake of losing those couple of annoying extra body pounds. Of course, you can have the occasional glass of wine or champagne when you are celebrating something, but anything outside that would not be recommended.

Drink water before your meals

Let us ask you this – How much water are you drinking on a daily basis? Do you follow your doctor’s advice to drink at least eight glasses of water each day? Yeah, we thought so – there are very few women that are remembering to drink their recommended daily amount of water each day, and that is sad. Water is healthy, refreshing, and it can help you lose weight!

From now on, dedicate yourself to the goal of drinking enough water each day. It does not matter if you are trying to lose weight or not. Everyone should make an effort to drink water on a daily level, but especially those of you who are struggling with the extra body pounds. And take our advice telling you to drink at least half a liter of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Why, do you ask? It is because it has been scientifically proven that drinking at least 500 ml of water before your meal will make you intake fewer calories and directly help you limit your calorie intake (5).

Start moving on a daily basis

How physically active are you really? Do you visit the gym, or have you been a part of a yoga class or anything related to staying physically active? Because let us get something clear – there is no diet plan that will help you lose weight, no matter your age, if you do not combine it with regular physical activity of any kind.

This is especially important because of the fact that after the age of 40, the female testosterone levels start to drop, and as you may know, testosterone is essential for keeping your muscles lean and strong, your metabolism working, and the weight loss process still possible.

Take on walking, jogging, running, hiking, cycling, swimming, yoga, weight lifting, or aerobic exercises as some of the most popular weight loss methods, combining them with the diet plan of your choosing. Make sure that you are physically active every day (6). Physical exercise will not only help you lose weight, but it will also help you with the many health issues that come with the normal aging process such as osteoporosis, muscle mass loss, common falls and fractures, low energy levels, slow metabolism, etc (7, 8).

Include all of the nutrients in your diet plan

We alert you to find a diet plan that will allow you to include all of the essential nutrients on a daily level. Any diet plan that tells you otherwise is strongly not recommended. Now that you are going through some more rapid body changes due to the aging process, the last thing that you would want is a deficiency of some nutrient that will only cause you troubles.

But that is not the only reason why you should make an effort to include all of the nutrients in your everyday diet. For starters, including more clean proteins in the diet can speed up your metabolism to lose around 80 to 100 calories on a daily level (9). Fresh fruits and vegetables, filled with numerous vitamins and minerals, will support your weight loss as well (10). Fiber, especially the water-soluble fiber, is essential as well, as it will keep you fed and satisfied longer (11).

Aim to lose around 1 to 2 pounds per week

Avoid making impossible goals that will bring nothing more than disappointment in your life. Do not make the weight loss process even harder than it already is by the time that you reach the age of 40.

You should aim to lose around 1 to 2 pounds a week, depending on how physical activity you are, and what type of a diet plan have you chosen. If you have chosen a healthy diet plan, taken into consideration all of the previously mentioned advice, and stayed physically active each day, then you should not have any major problems with achieving this goal. But remember, it is not recommended to force yourself to lose more than 3 to 4 pounds a week.

We want to keep close to a healthy weight loss, through healthy habits and physical activity, not closer to the risk of gaining all of that lose weight and even more back in the near future.

Caffeine is your friend

Now you have a really good excuse to drink your favorite coffee or green tea as much as you like! Okay, we are joking – we still recommend you to stick to the recommended 400 mg of caffeine on a daily level, but at least now you can gain something more than the delicious taste of caffeine. We are talking about caffeine’s ability to help you lose weight.

According to multiple scientific studies, caffeine has the ability to increase the calorie count that is being burned on a daily level. This means that caffeine will help you increase your, now, slow metabolism rate by amazing 10 to 29 percent (12)!

However, stay away from any sweeteners, and if you have to, use stevia as a natural sweetener. Also, milk seems that it does not help the case, so get used to the delicious, awakening taste of black coffee.


In conclusion, despite the fact that the weight loss process might be harder for a woman in her 40s, nothing is impossible! With the right tricks, which we coincidentally shared with you today, you will be losing weight by the minute. Soon enough, you will have a great looking body, a new, stronger self-confidence, and a big smile on your face as you deserve! Make the first step and peruse these methods for the most effective weight loss ever!


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