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If you are a woman in your forties, then you may be curious as to what the best weight loss program for women over 40 may be. Do you even need to alter what you have been doing all along to compensate for your age?

The answer is: yes.woman-995437_640

In your early forties, your body starts to change, and these changes affect processes, such as digestion, metabolism, and other functions. This can make it harder to lose those extra pounds. Here are some tips to help you regain control over your fluctuating weight.

1. Keep track of what worked and what did not.

Do you find that at certain points of the year you had a good week and lost a few pounds whereas during other weeks you feel like you only ate one thing out of the ordinary but gained an extra five pounds? If so, keep track of what you did during the weeks that worked and the weeks that did not work. Include not just what you ate but also what physical activities you engaged in. If you are menstruating, your body will have more water weight, so track that, too. Don’t forget to consider your job as well. Did your company have special events during certain times of the year? If so, perhaps the stress of the event or the foods at the event could have affected you.

Everyone’s body is different and goes through different life experiences. Knowing yourself and all of the factors involved will help you know how to better take care of yourself. It will also help make it easier for a medical provider to customize a weight-­loss plan that will be specific to your needs and lifestyle.

2. See a doctor to rule out any underlying issues.

Some women in their forties experience problems with their thyroids, a large problem causing difficult weight­-loss, since your thyroid is the gland that produces your body’s hormones. Towards your late forties, you may also be entering your menopausal stage, which, of course, involves a lot of hormonal changes. In addition, if you have any other medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, or even a medical condition that you are not aware of, then your weight-­loss journey may be more challenging. If you just cannot seem to shed those extra pounds no matter how many desserts you skip or treadmill runs you make, check with your doctor to make sure there are no underlying issues that may be hindering your weight loss process.

3. Make sure you are getting all of your vitamins.

Most of us do not meet the dietary recommendations of 40+ nutrients per day due to poor consumption of nutritious foods, strict dieting, poor appetite, and changing nutritional needs. This is even more difficult as your body ages and your metabolism slows. Women begin to lose bone density over time, and especially after menopause, so getting the nutrients in will help prevent osteoporosis later on in life. Taking a multivitamin daily is an easy way to fill in the nutritional gaps. However, a multivitamin is not a substitute for healthy food choices. If your meals come from all the different food groups, then you probably are already getting your vitamins and minerals. The multivitamin is just a nutritional addition to your diet, but it is important to add.

4. Continue to exercise.

As you age, you may be less likely to exercise due to various factors. You may feel that exercising is not safe because you could fall or otherwise hurt yourself. However, exercising builds strength, balance, and agility, and as a result, you will continue to be able to do the things you enjoy. Or, you may not want to exercise because you feel that you are too out­-of-shape, sick, tired, or quite simply bored of exercising. But, aside from physical strength, exercise also helps lift your mood and boost your memory. On top of all this, exercising will replace your fat mass with muscle mass,which ultimately will burn more calories. Women should not shy away from workout programs that include strength or resistance training. Workouts that combine cardio and muscle-­building are the ideal work­-outs!

Age does not need to define weight loss. By focusing more on the aspects that can affect weight gain, you will be able to target those parts of your life in order to understand how they affect your body. Don’t let your age hold you back from everything you’re more than capable of accomplishing.

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