Losing weight and keeping it off can be challenging at any age. That said, if you’re a woman over the age of 40, then you have some additional challenges for meeting your goals. It can feel as though everything you do simply leads to more weight gain, even if you have been working very hard for the opposite outcome.
This struggle is very common and very real. It isn’t a matter of doing things wrong and there isn’t anything to be ashamed of. That said, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you feel as though you’re doing everything right and yet it is all going wrong.
When you reach your forties, the same strategies that once worked for you can change. You may think the problem is in your bathroom scale, but even if you replace it, you’re going to see the same trend.
The unwanted truth is that when women reach their forties, they will on average gain a pound and a half each year. Once menopause hits, that rate of weight gain accelerates. In fact, ninety percent of women will gain a minimum of five pounds per year once they reach menopause. Though this may not seem like a lot of weight, especially when considering that it is accumulated over a span of a year, it can rapidly add up. After all, 5 pounds per year for 10 years means 50 pounds of gained body fat.
There are many factors that contribute to this weight gain. Much of it has to do with hormones. This can include everything from cortisol – the stress hormone – to dropping estrogen levels. It is at about this age that estrogen levels start to fall in a woman’s body. Unlike popular belief, it doesn’t cause the metabolism to change. However, it can affect a woman’s ability to get a good sleep at night.
It’s very clear from dozens of studies that when people don’t sleep well – particularly on a regular basis – it becomes much harder for them to be able to eat properly. They crave fatty, salty and sugary foods and they want to eat too much of it. The body is trying to replace energy it is not receiving from sleep through the consumption of calories, instead.
Therefore, the top tip you can follow to help overcome the problem of weight gain in your forties is to get a good sleep at night as frequently as you can.