In this How to Lose Weight for Women Over 40 guide, I’m going to teach you ten powerful ways to get motivated to lose weight – especially if you have spent decades fighting the same pesky pounds. And don’t worry if you’re younger than my 46 years, because the strategies work well at all ages.
We all want to live our happiest, healthiest life, am I right?
But sometimes life seems to stand in our way and we simply get stuck. You are smart, capable and you know what you want… But finding the motivation to lose weight and embrace the ultimate goal of living healthier and happier can sometimes feel impossible, and that sense of defeat – the very real procrastination that accompanies it, is what holds us back.
I founded my business, It Fits Personal Training, to help women lose weight in order to live their best lives. My philosophy is that we should keep it as simple as possible and that stems from my belief that truly good health depends on the power of three: mind, body, and soul. Living healthier and happier depends on what you consume, what you do, and what you think. It’s energy cubed.
I’m going to give you ten simple, direct ways you can motivate yourself to lose weight and live happier and healthier…
1. Ditch Refined Sugar to Speed Up Weight Loss
We all know that sugar is horrible for our waistlines, but studies show it’s even worse for our brains. The ugly truth is that refined sugar is a poison devoid of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can literally kill you. That’s why it’s the number one tip in this guide.
Here are some of the reasons to ditch sugar:
- It lowers your immunity
- It robs your bones of minerals
- It provides empty calories that show up on the scale
- It contributes to obesity
- It rots your teeth
- It promotes wrinkling
- It steals your energy
- It can cause cancer
- It weakens eyesight
- It contributes to diabetes
- It contributes to heart disease
- It’s almost as addictive as drugs are
The only thing sugar has going for it is that you like the taste. But when you weigh that against your health, is it really worth it?
2. Eat Enough Weight Loss Fuel: Protein
Did you know that we need more protein as we age? It’s true.
The recommended dietary allowance of protein is .8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. But if you’re over 65, this goes up to 1.0 – 1.2 grams. You can calculate your protein needs and other information with this online calculator:
Many researchers encourage eating thirty grams of protein at breakfast to kickstart your day and give you the mental and physical motivation to tackle the tasks in front of you.
Shoot for at least 40% of your breakfast calories from protein.
Foods high in protein will keep you feeling full longer than other foods because it takes your stomach longer to break them down. Protein also doesn’t mess with your blood sugar levels as much, so you don’t get cravings and hunger spikes.
Protein will keep you safe from the carbohydrate cravings that kill most healthy breakfasts. Eating eggs, or egg whites, and lean meats or drinking protein-filled smoothies for breakfast will help you avoid bagels, toast, and danish.
3. Go Media Free For a Day
Consumption isn’t only about what you put in your body. It’s also about what you put in your brain. If you’re over 40, then you probably yearn for the days of quiet solitude without the noise of the internet or everyday life on top of everything else.
We have a constant onslaught of images and ideas from our phones and computers. They fill up our brain and crowd out other thoughts—important thoughts, like dreams, hopes, and aspirations. And those bits are really the core of who you are.
Don’t let news updates and scraps of unimportant information clutter your brain because this can negatively impact your weight loss goals. I am much lighter, tighter and happier since I only turn the tv on when everything else is done for the day.
At least once a week, ditch your social media and consume only things that are good for you. Read a book or an article on good health or making positive changes in your life. Fill your head with good stuff the same way you fill your body with good stuff. All of that real, encouraging, uplifting info will help motivate you to be the person you want to be.
What you put in determines what you get out. The saying “garbage in, garbage out” is horribly inaccurate. The truth is… garbage in, garbage stays!
4. Increase Your Weight Loss by Tracking a Healthy Habit
Performance improves when you measure it. Just by recording your effort you increase the likelihood that you will succeed at weight loss. Pretty cool, eh?
The problem is that as simple as it sounds, tracking is difficult. If you’ve ever tried to keep a food diary for more than two days you know how easy it is to get sidetracked. But research has shown again and again that when you track a behavior it improves drastically.
We all know that tracking your food can help you lose weight. When you keep a detailed record of what you eat, you realize how much you eat and you think twice about eating some things because you have to write it down. It’s almost like you’re avoiding those hidden calories, you’re seeing patterns of consumption, and you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back for a day well done once you are more aware of what you actually eating.
Tracking isn’t only good if you eat a lot but also if you eat too little. Thanks to my food journal, I was able to see that I actually needed to eat more calories rather than less calories. Had I not had an accurate record, I would have made the mistake of eating even less calories, feeling deprived, and ditching all hopes of losing weight.
I encourage my clients to know exactly what and how much they’re eating, but tracking can be a real pain. So, if you can’t imagine logging every bite, lick or sip into a tracker like MyFitnessPal, then pull out your camera instead.
Taking a picture of everything you eat is a fun alternative to writing it all down which can feel like a chore. In all likelihood, you’ve already got your phone in your hand. Taking the time to snap a photo will give you a minute to think over your choice and an honest record of everything you ate. I recommend an app called Meallogger because you can still estimate portions.
Keeping track of how you’re doing, whether it’s a weekly weigh-in or a daily food log, will motivate you to keep making the smart decisions that will help you win your happiest, healthiest life.
5. Sleep at Least Seven Hours Each Night for Consistent Weight Loss
One in three Canadians gets less than the recommended seven or more hours of sleep.
Sleep is the first thing most of us give up when life gets too hectic. Deadlines and family demands have us setting the alarm clock earlier and earlier or staying up all night trying to “get it done.”
But getting seven to eight hours of good sleep will give you the energy you need to perform more efficiently, make healthier choices and lose weight. You might just find that you actually get more done when you get more sleep.
Healthy sleep habits are linked to: increased memory, longevity, better creativity, more focus, lower stress, decreased depression, less fat and increased muscle mass. That’s because sleep regulates hormones, and hormones have EVERYTHING to do with health. To read more about how your hormones are affected by sleep, check out my blog, “ Are Hormones Keeping You Awake. ”
Have you ever noticed that some of your worst eating choices happen in the wee hours? Why? Your body is trying to substitute sugar and caffeine for rest. And how much easier is it to cook a healthy meal and go to the gym when you feel well-rested?
Restore your body and your mind with good sleep and you’ll be so much more motivated to lose weight and live well.
6. Unclutter Your Life
Getting rid of the junk that you don’t want or need is incredibly motivating and satisfying. It’s easy to feel smothered by all of the underused resources in our lives. When you let go of the clutter, you make room for more energy and you can use that energy to change your life.
Studies show that people are more productive when they keep a clean desk. People are also more motivated to cook healthy meals in a clean kitchen. Clutter doesn’t just affect our environment, it affects our motivation and our mental state. The weight of all that “stuff” prevents us from performing optimally.
When I sit down to write articles like this Guide, I need a clean workspace. Otherwise, the clutter gives me an excuse (hello procrastination) to do anything but write.
So clear out your closets, clear out your mind, and pave the way for permanent weight loss.
7. Do Something Kind for Someone Else Every Day.
Helping others is one of the great joys in life. And the fact is, if we’re too busy to lend a hand, chances are that we aren’t living up to our potential.
Helping others allows us to connect with the people around us and shows us different sides of ourselves. It reminds us of what really matters and refocuses our energy on the greater good. It almost always changes our opinion of ourselves for the better.
That’s because, when we use our talents and resources for the benefit of others, we are able to see ourselves in a different light. It lets us appreciate both what we have and what we are capable of doing, both of which are powerful motivators.
Something nice you could do: Do you have a friend who is struggling with her weight? Then give her a free gift by sharing this Guide. You can compare notes and support each other.
8. Make Friends with Five People Who Inspire You to Lose Weight
The people you surround yourself with define you. Your mom probably told you, “You will be judged by the company you keep.” And even as an adult that rings true. If you choose hardworking, motivated friends who are trying to better themselves and their lives, chances are that’s where you will put your energy too.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Look at the company you keep. Do your friends build you up? Do they motivate you to be your best self? Do they bring out the best in you? Do they encourage you to make healthier choices? Do they support your weight loss journey?
If you find yourself surrounded by people who are lazy and drain your energy or who gossip, compete, and criticize, perhaps it’s time to move on. It’s ok to love those people but take the opportunity to look around and choose five people you admire to add to your social circle. What about them inspires you? Ask them questions and learn from them.
Use your friends’ gifts to motivate your weight loss success. Open up a great discussion by talking about each of the points in this How to Lose Weight for Women Over 40 Guide.
9. Do Something That Terrifies You Every Day
It has been said that twenty seconds of fear is all you need. If you are willing to confront fear for twenty seconds every day, you can change your life. So how does fear stop you?
If you take twenty seconds to make that phone call, ask that question, walk into that exercise class, post that picture, or share that dream, you’ll find that the anticipation was a lot more painful than the act itself.
Most of the time, when you step out of your comfort zone you aren’t actually entering a dangerous situation. You’re stretching yourself. You’re growing. And that’s how you win health and happiness.
Fear can motivate you. I challenge you to post your weight loss goals on Facebook or other social media. As scary as this may be, you’ll be surprised with all the support you receive in return.
10. Reflect on Your Blessings Every Day
Gratitude changes everything. It is the root of an abundant mindset. When you adopt a grateful attitude you open yourself up to unlimited opportunity.
While defeat limits growth, gratitude fertilizes it. Every time we reflect on our blessings we create a more fertile environment for a healthier, happier life. Positive things happen for positive people.
Rather than view your weight loss goal as a path paved with deprivation, be grateful for all the healthy foods you have available. Reflect on the incredible gift of health you are giving yourself with every healthy bite you take. This simple mindset shift will dramatically improve your outlook and improve your chances of success.
Each year, I complete a year-end review which begins with gratitude. Step one begins with digesting the wins of the past year. Because if you don’t acknowledge your wins, then you can’t build upon them.
Let your gratitude for the blessings in your life motivate you to lose weight and be your best self.
You deserve to lose weight and live your happiest, healthiest life.
You deserve a life that is abundant and joyful.
You deserve to love yourself.
There are hundreds of ways to find your motivation: Write a “To-do list.” Change your posture. Pursue your passion. Marry your best friend (it worked for me!). Take responsibility for your choices. Break big goals into baby steps. Be truthful with yourself. Plan indulgences. Raise your standards. Take a break.
Don’t be afraid to find what works for you. It could be as simple as creating a vision board to keep all your weight loss and other goals at the front of your mind. I like to keep inspirational quotes and goal photos as a collage in my office. Every time I walk into my office, I am reminded of what I want and it motivates me to keep moving forward.
Use the ten suggestions in this How to Lose Weight for Women Over 40 guide to start optimizing your potential. Life is a brief, beautiful journey. If you fill your days with what you love and use your energy, all of it, mental, physical and spiritual, to motivate your success, you can lose weight and will win the happy, healthy life you deserve.