Happy Woman

Losing weight anytime can be a real challenge, but being over 40 can present even more struggles! This is because at this age, many women are dealing with unique hormonal and metabolic changes.  

Being overweight can cause you to be at a higher risk for potentially serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This is why reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help you to age gracefully, feel more confident and energetic, and allow you to spend more meaningful time with your loved ones!

In this article we will discuss how exercise, diet, intermittent fasting and hormones all can help with weight loss as you age. You’ll also learn simple lifestyle changes that will help to boost your metabolism and put you into fat burning mode. 

I even recorded two short videos on this topic that you are definitely going to watch to help you get even more practical tips you can start using right away. 

Click the links below to watch these helpful videos now! 

Trouble with Weight Loss After 40? Try These 3 Things Right Away

Why Is It So Hard for Women Over 40 to Lose Weight? 

Now let’s get into several highly effective ways you can get into fat burning mode for free from the comfort of your own home!

5 Simple Ways to Lose Weight After 40:

1. Get Stronger: With age, metabolism slows down and loss of muscle mass starts to occur (sarcopenia). This means it’s important to make sure to add strength and flexibility training to your workout routine!

Building muscle mass through strength training will help you to lose weight and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time since muscles require more energy to maintain.

Using dumbbells, resistance bands, or even using your own weight at least 3 times per week for a 10 – 20 minute session can help you get a tighter physique.

2. Flexibility training: Stretching exercises help to ease stress on your body and maintain healthy joints. Stretching will also help you feel better during your workouts as it can keep age-related aches and pains away.  

There are plenty of resources on YouTube and free apps like the 7 Minute Workout which provide free videos on stretching. All you need to do is commit to just 10 minutes a day. You will feel so much better after only a few minutes of stretching, allowing you to be more active during the day and reducing your risk of injury and pain in the future. 

3. Focus on Whole Foods: Now more than ever is the time to let go of overly processed and overly sweet foods and instead focus on filling your plate with a variety of whole, nutrient-dense foods. 

Fill half your plate at each meal with vegetables while being sure to include sources of lean protein in your diet throughout the day. Being sure that you get enough protein over the course of each day will help to build and keep muscle mass as you age. In general, the amount of daily protein is recommended as 10-35% of your total caloric intake. This will depend on your goals and the values will differ if you are trying to gain muscle versus maintain muscle versus focusing on weight loss. 

If you’ve never gone gluten-free before, it can also be a great time to make that lifestyle change. Gluten is the protein found in barley, rye, and wheat. Avoiding these food products while adding in more nutritious, whole foods (fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables) can help contribute to weight loss and overall well being! 

It’s important to note that everything labeled as gluten free is not healthy. If you are going gluten free, try your best to skip the highly processed options at the grocery store as they are often laden with sugar and excess salt. For example, instead of choosing a muffin for breakfast, opt for an omelet with a side of fruit.

Also, remember, give yourself some grace! It’s okay to have an occasional treat, but aim to maintain a healthy 80/20 approach to your meal plan. 

4. Intermittent Fasting: Have you heard of intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that follows a regular schedule of eating and then fasting. Timing is key! 

One of the best reasons for women over 40 to start intermittent fasting is for more energy, increased metabolism, and better sleep. Intermittent fasting can offset the weight gain and poor sleep that are the result of hormonal changes.

There are various intermittent fasting schedules, but the most common is the 16/8 method. This means, you should eat during a consistent 8 hour window and fast for the other 16 hours.

I recommend keeping a food journal to help keep track of what hours of the day you find it best to eat, and what nutrient dense foods you are choosing to help you feel satiated and well during the fasting period.

To learn more about intermittent fasting, I wrote a whole blog post on this very topic that you can check out here: The Secret to Losing Weight Without Changing Your Diet

5. Balance Hormones: The endocrine system is a complicated place, but knowledge is power. Learning about your hormones and how they affect you can have a positive impact on your day to day life and help you avoid unpleasant consequences (like weight gain). 

Here is a brief overview of four critical hormones and what you can do to balance them: 

Estrogen – is a hormone that regulates the female reproductive system but is also important for immune, skeletal, and vascular health. Estrogen fluctuates every month if you are in a regular cycle with a period.  In your 40’s though, hormone levels decline and you can end up being estrogen dominant. 

Estrogen dominance can cause a variety of issues such as mood swings, decreased libido, bloating and sudden weight gain and body fat.

Here are some ways to balance your estrogen levels:

  • Avoid environmental toxins such as BPA, phthalates, and fragrances
  • Ensure that you have regular bowel movements
  • Avoid alcohol which can inhibit your body’s ability to metabolize estrogen
  • Avoid processed sugar 
  • Reduce stress
  • Lower body fat
  • Progesterone – this is what I call my “secret weapon”  hormone. It is a female sex hormone but it is also important for heart health, bone health, and it has a natural sedative effect. Progesterone helps you to achieve restorative and healing sleep, and as a result you will be able to think more clearly and have plenty of energy to get through your busy day! 

Symptoms of low progesterone can be: headaches, migraines, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and irregularity in menstrual cycle

You can balance your progesterone levels by:

  • Reducing stress
  • Getting high quality sleep at night
  • Maintaining a moderate weight
  • Living an active lifestyle
  • Testosterone – is a hormone that supports bone growth and strength, promotes cognitive health, and helps to maintain libido. Testosterone exists in both men and women and can decline as we age. 

Low testosterone levels in women can result in: depression, low energy, and muscle weakness.

Fitting in regular strength training is critical for maintaining balanced testosterone levels. The more muscle you have, the easier it will be to burn that stubborn fat!

Cortisol – is a stress hormone as well as a fat storing hormone. When your cortisol levels are high, your body is in flight or fight mode. Prolonged cortisol elevation can cause a myriad of health issues and can cause your body to store excess fat.

High cortisol levels result in: mood swings, depression, weight gain, heart disease, low energy, and high blood pressure.

Here are some things you can do to decrease cortisol levels:

  • Get plenty of quality sleep
  • Exercise, but not too rigorously
  • Learn some deep breathing techniques
  • Maintain healthy relationships
  • Don’t overschedule
  • Eat a nutrient-dense diet
  • Take time to meditate and pray
  • Spend time in nature


Strength and flexibility training (even just 10-minutes a day), intermittent fasting, choosing whole foods over processed foods, and balancing your hormones are key steps to burning fat and maintaining good health in your 40s and beyond. 

Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t reached your goals yet. Even if the scale only seems to have gone up since you hit 40, don’t give up! There is still hope for you! 

As you consider the tips I shared here, take a moment to honestly assess where you are on this journey, be honest with yourself and be specific about your goals.

Remember, the daily, small decisions such as choosing to do a few push ups before bed or, skipping the bread at lunch, and learning some new strategies to manage your stress will all add up to great gains. Do the daily work and you will start to experience an improved metabolism, more energy and an overall joy (instead of dread) for your beautiful life beyond 40!

If you enjoyed this blog post, then be sure to check out these helpful videos I recorded on this topic!

Trouble with Weight Loss over 40? Try these 3 things Right Away!

Why is it so hard for women over 40 to lose weight?