The Secrets to Losing Weight After 40

The Secrets to Losing Weight After 40

In your teens and 20s, it used to be that you could eat pizza every night for a week without a lot of pushback from your body in the form of extra pounds. In your 40s, not so much. Maybe you’re even eating much better now, but weight is still accumulating.

It’s usually not just due to losing muscle mass over time (more on that later). It’s also this: “as you get older, there’s a lot of competition for your time and energy,” says William Samuel Yancy, M.D., director of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center and associate professor of medicine at Duke University. “That can push out healthy eating and exercise.” Here’s how to hack your biology and your lifestyle to lose weight after 40.

Get stronger
Starting in your 30s, you can lose three to five percent of your muscle mass each decade if you don’t stay active. Note the last part of that point: “If you don’t stay active.” You can maintain that muscle or regain it with a regular strength routine—meaning you do moves that hit the major muscles of the body at least twice a week. A great place to start: This 3-Week Full-Body Workout Plan for Men Over 40.

Why that’s so important: “The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D.N., consultant for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine for the Cleveland Clinic. “It can be a game changer, in that it impacts metabolism in a way that allows a man to eat more.” Lots of over-40 guys like HIIT, since its compressed timeframe ends up having a low impact on your schedule.

That doesn’t mean you should only strength train; aerobic activity is helpful, too. But supplementing your Spin/run/row/elliptical routine with strength training is essential.

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