How to Lose Fat in Your 40s

How to Lose Fat in Your 40s

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Commit to daily exercise.

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It's probably harder to go rock climbing or run a marathon in your 40s than it was in your 20s, but middle age isn't without its advantages. Although it may be physically more difficult to lose fat in the later decades of life, you may have a better attitude now than when you were young. Perseverance, determination and a commitment to healthy diet and exercise habits will help you trim away the pudge.


Get your thyroid checked. The symptoms of hypothyroidism -- an underactive thyroid -- are easily mistaken for aging. You may feel tired, achy and depressed and have thinning hair, dry skin and a puffy face. Unexplained weight gain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism and can only be reversed with treatment. Women in their 40s are particularly prone to thyroid malfunction. Discuss your weight with your physician to ensure that an underlying medical problem isn't to blame.


Eat less. As you age, your resting metabolism -- the number of calories you burn while you sleep or watch television -- decreases by 5 percent for every decade past 40, according to WebMD. In order to lose weight, you need to adjust your calorie intake accordingly. Eat 100 fewer calories each day by skipping seconds or snacks or reducing portion sizes at meals.


Exercise. Even if you don't lose weight, regular physical activity can trim away fat and keep it from coming back, according to Harvard Medical School. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two, full-body strength-training sessions each week, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.


Follow a well-balanced diet. What you eat is just as important as how much you eat. Certain foods, including trans fats and fructose-sweetened products, encourage fat deposition in the belly area. Avoid unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates and sodium and eat a diet rich in whole grains, seeds, nuts, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and healthy fats such as olive oil, almond butter and avocado.


Stop smoking. In addition to a host of other medical problems, cigarettes can cause your body to store visceral fat, according to Harvard Medical School. Talk to your physician about smoking cessation aids and programs.


Visit a psychotherapist. When you're depressed, your body releases high levels of a hormone called cortisol. One of the side effects of excess cortisol is a buildup of fat, with or without weight gain. If you've been experiencing negative emotions and feelings of depression or hostility, talk to a professional to get your mental health in order.