Do you find it increasingly difficult to stay in shape now you are over 40?
Me too! and in fact, it has become very easy to gain a mountain of fat that looks like it has appeared from nowhere in places that you didn’t even know you could get fat!
And as for my belly, well in order to keep it in check, I feel like I have to do a ton of ab work and really pay close attention to what I eat. The minute I let slip on the diet, the belly makes an unwelcome return!
BUT did you know there is another way? Without having to count every calorie, take diet pills or spend hours and hours sweating it out at the gym.
If you don’t like the idea of any of these then I have created an awesome list of things you can do without ‘going on a diet’ or spending any time in the gym or other fitness activity.
Let’s call it the lazy person’s guide to weight loss!
Does that sounds good?
If you follow these simple steps, you will effortlessly lose weight and wonder why no-one had told you about them before!
These are all recommendations that I have implemented myself and they are now second nature, so I can honestly say they are not difficult to follow.
I have also created a video on the same topic which you can watch above.
15 hacks to successful weight loss
1. Drink a gallon of waterWell to be exact 4 litres of water which is a bit more than a gallon but whichever one you choose – this works an absolute treat! And if you do nothing else on this list you will notice a BIG improvement if you follow this! Why is this? Because drinking water boosts your metabolism, cleanses your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Now I will be honest, you will find you need frequent trips to the bathroom but after the first week or two your body will adjust to the extra hydration and you will find you need to pee less often. Other benefits include the improved condition of your skin and better performance in the gym (yes, I know this isn’t meant to be about exercise, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt mention this!)
2. Eat your vegIf you put lots of lovely fresh veggies on a plate, they are low in calories and will fill you up. Fact. The lower-carb veggies like green beans, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, courgette (zucchini), mushrooms, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are even better because they are very low in calories. I am not saying restrict anything but just fill your plate with these and your body will thank you for it, as they have lots of health benefits and add lots of volume making you feel fuller.
3. Eat Konjac noodles.Again, I am not telling you cannot eat a specific food but just saying eat plenty of these, because like the veggies they will fill you up. Konjac noodles otherwise known as Shirataki noodles, also come in the form of rice and pasta. They fill you up, but they are very low in calories (about 8 calories per 100 grams) so put plenty of these on your plate with a meal or as a snack with some of those low carb veggies. You can see me cook a recipe using these in my ‘What I eat in a day video’ which is about 8 minutes in:
4. Intermittent fasting.I debated about whether to include this as some people would consider this a ‘diet’ but on balance I think it is fair to include because it’s not about what you eat but when you eat. In line with everything else in this list is very easy to implement. Typically, you fast for a set time every day, the most popular being the 16/8 method when you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours. For example, this could be to start eating from 12 midday then finish by 8pm and then fast for 16 hours. Many women find this really effective for losing weight. You can read more about this on my blog here.
5. Reduce stress.Stress can play a big factor in your hormones and therefore your weight. So, it’s a really good idea to try and reduce your stress levels if you would like to lose weight. Now I know that it’s easier said than done to do something about being stressed, but it’s so important for your overall wellbeing and health too. Some of the techniques for reducing stress are mindfulness or meditation, taking a relaxing bath, taking time out to do the things you enjoy, yoga, going for a walk or dancing. It’s very personal the activity that works for you, but find out what that is and try to introduce it into your daily routine. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
6. Get more sleep.If you are not getting enough sleep, it can wreak havoc with your hormones and potentially sabotage any efforts to stay in shape. You will know how much sleep you can function on, but for most people that is around 7 to 8 hours. Lack of sleep can also cause you to overeat and crave sugar. Look at making your bedroom more calming by keeping it clean and tidy, lighting candles and avoid having any tech or TVs in your bedroom. Some useful tips are:
- Lie down and practice relaxation techniques before you actually go to sleep
- Have a bath
- Avoid using your smartphone before going to sleep
7. Eat mindfully.If you can find the discipline to do mindful eating it is highly effective. This involves eating without any distractions around you, no TV, smartphones or computers. You need to be in a quiet space. You eat very slowly and chew each mouthful 20 to 30 times noticing the taste and the sensations you have in your mouth, the smell and the look of the food. This will take a great deal longer than a standard way of eating. This results in you becoming fuller much more quickly, so you are much less likely to overeat. It takes practice and a great deal of discipline but can really yield some great results.
8. Deal with any eating issues.Do you have emotional or binge eating issues or even perhaps an eating disorder? I understand this is a complex issue for women as I have emotional and binge eating issues too. There is a feeling of reward that you get from eating something that is high and sugar and fat like a donut or cupcake that you don’t get from eating broccoli or spinach! Addressing any emotional or psychological issues with food will inevitably have a significant impact on your weight. There are some good self-help books. Personally, I have found Paul McKenna books excellent: Freedom from emotional eating: Amazon UK £14.99 Amazon USA $12.01 Instead, you may want to seek professional help through a counsellor or hypnotherapist and there are lots of useful resources online.
9. Avoid sugary drinks.Avoid any sugary drinks like sodas, juices and smoothies which are absolutely loaded with sugar. Stick to water, zero-calorie (diet) drinks tea and black coffee. But if you are going to drink coffee, read the next step below:
10. Cut out lattes and cappuccinos.A takeout or drink in coffee at one of your favourite chains can be absolutely loaded with calories. For example, a Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte is a whopping 510 calories. Even standard Starbucks latte is 190 calories. So, opt for an Americano (preferably black) or a skinny latte instead.
11. Watch portion size.The average portion size has gone up dramatically in the last 30 years in Europe and the USA. Like me, you may remember when portion sizes were smaller in the 1980s and 1990s. Don’t eat from a large size plate and if necessary, buy smaller plates. A 9-inch rimmed plate is a good idea. You can’t fit very much on this. But don’t go back for second helpings! As an example of size, a portion of cooked rice or pasta should fill 2 hands cupped together. Some meat fish or chicken should be the size of your palm. Cheese or other fats should be no more than a tablespoon. But you don’t have to worry too much about the portion size of veggies, which I have discussed in point 1.
12. Eat lean protein.Now you could argue that this point IS about diet and I would allow you that. However, eating plenty of chicken breast, tofu, 5% fat beef, eggs, white fish, yogurt, low fat cheese will keep you more satiated and promote muscle growth.
Protein also burns calories because of its thermic effect. These benefits will help you to lose weight.
Now if you’re worried about muscle growth, don’t! Women over the age of 40 like me have lost our muscle as we have got older so its a good idea to put it back on to keep your weight in check. If you want to understand more about the benefits of putting on muscle read my article here.
13. Avoid bringing unhealthy food to your home.This is one I have to give a shout out to my Mother for. She always said ‘if you don’t buy it and have it in the house you can’t eat it’. Maybe that’s not strictly true these days because you only have to walk down the street and there are food places and temptation is everywhere. BUT it’s a good idea NOT to have foods that are high in sugar, processed or very high in fat in your home.
14. Take the stairs, not the lift.I think this might have been from my mother too! This is a really easy method to increase your activity level. I implemented it years ago and its never a question for me to take the stairs. If you work in a tall building with lifts it could be really beneficial to you, especially if you pick up pace doing this and you may even be able to ditch your gym membership!
15. Park your car further away from the shopping mall, grocery store, supermarket.One of my exes used to park really far away from the supermarket when we went shopping. I found this really perplexing. He didn’t do it for fitness reasons. I think he was worried about someone damaging his car and he didn’t like being too close to everyone. But I have now started doing this myself as I realised it’s an easy way to increase your activity levels without too much effort!
OK so maybe takeaway is the wrong word because in the UK that means ‘takeout’ and we are trying to avoid those (maybe I should have made that number 16?)!
So, what is the payoff?
I promised you at the start I would show you how you can lose weight without diet or exercise. You should have all the information to start successfully losing weight from today.
Would you agree you now have that? Let me know in the comments section below the email sign up form.
Of course, you don’t have to do them all right away and many experts say making small changes over time is better for giving you longer-term success.
If you want to find out more information about how to lose weight after 40 you can read my blog here, which IS about a diet and exercise plan that you could put in place if you would like to take things a step further.
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