Losing Weight after 40: 3 Ways to Take Charge of Your Health

healthy living

Somewhere around my fortieth birthday a horrible thing happened. After years of  subjecting my body to yo-yo dieting, high-stress living and poor eating habits, I no longer could lose weight simply by cutting the junk food out. I mean, the scale wouldn’t budge…or if it did move, it quickly snapped back to my unhealthy weight…plus a little bit more.

I was convinced I was doing something wrong. I just needed to be stricter with myself or I wasn’t doing enough exercise, or the right kind of exercise. I counted every calorie that crossed my lips and still I was overweight and miserable. It was discouraging, to say the least.

What I learned after a lifetime of near-starvation diets followed by “normal” eating and snack binges was, my body was completely effed up! I was so insulin-resistant, I could gain weight simply by walking past a bakery!

Grab Hold of Your Health!

I learned 3 things that have made all the difference in my life. After years of suffering with unrealistic diets, coupled with an inability to lose a significant amount of weight, I’ve finally lost 24 pounds and managed to keep it off, even though I sometimes slip, I’m confident in my ability to lose weight and I no longer treat food AND my body like the enemy.  I still have twenty-five pounds to go, but I’m ecstatic with my progress. The key to it all is–

DON’T DIET

Create a food plan that you can live with. For me, it’s  low glycemic all the way. I focus on what I CAN eat, not on what I can’t. I no longer follow diets, which by their very nature are transitory and all about denial. I now follow a life plan. I’m in it for the long haul, because let’s face it, my goal is a happier, healthier me for now and the years to come!

EXERCISE

 exercise bike

Doctors recommend that you exercise 3-5 times a week. Ideally, you need to do at least 30 minutes of some sort of aerobic exercise. I try to ride my stationary bike 5 times a week simply because I feel better when I sweat.

Plus, when I exercise, my insomnia is not as big of a problem and my stress level diminishes.

RESISTANCE TRAINING

This is good at any age…but absolutely necessary as we age. Resistance training helps with balance, can reduce the risk of injury and generally helps one live a longer and more active lifestyle. You can lift dumb bells, use stretchy bands or go to a gym and use expensive machines. However you do it, start slowly and build up your weight and repetitions. Do strength training every other day and be amazed at how quickly you tone up and increase your energy.

For more info, check out the link below to a Huff Post Healthy Living article.

13 Reasons To Start Lifting Weights

Like I’ve said, I’ve banned dieting and I’ve stopped setting myself up for failure by having unrealistic weight-loss goals. I know I can lose approximately one-half to one pound a week–if I diligently exercise five times a week and follow a low glycemic plan. The goal is not to suffer, and since I love chocolate, I make sure I have some several times a week. If I know a big event is coming up and I might not be able to eat as healthy as I would like, I don’t sweat it. One “off” day isn’t going to sidetrack me, that’s the beauty of a life-plan versus a diet.

For more information on low glycemic living, check out the following links:

Slow Carb Diet

The Glycemic Load Diet

Low glycemic may not work for you. You might swear by Weight Watchers or Atkins or any other number of food plans. My one caution is, stay away from plans that have you buy food from them. Part of  living a healthy lifestyle is learning how to select, prepare and enjoy healthy foods. Spend time at a local farmer’s market and try out new fruits and vegetables.

Take the time to make food your friend and love yourself in the process!

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