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Honest truth, can you really lose weight after 40?


Tohru
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Yes. My mom, 61, has lost 40 lbs this past year+. She has counted calories exclusively. She has not been able to exercise. I think she used not having time to exercise as an excuse for many years, so this time she decided to ignore exercise.

 

She likes to say, "It has been 270 (or however many) days of misery." But, she feels better and is wearing a size 12/14 instead of 18+.

 

Emily

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I've lost 20 pounds over 40…but I still have 30 pounds to go before I'll be at my happy adult weight, which is nowhere near thin or even normal according to BMI standards.  It is the lowest weight I've ever maintained as an adult, so for me, it's my goal.  If I can get within 10 pounds of it, I'll be elated.  

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Yup, I lost a bit over 20 when I was 45.

As I said in another thread though, it's not going on a diet. It's changing lifestyle & really realizing how fuel efficient our bodies our & how few calories we need to operate.  Each 5 year period it seems I need to shave more calories off my daily allowance & add another workout. At this rate, by the time I'm in my 70's I'll be living on water & exercising hours each day :lol:   Seriously, it's doable & since I really want to see my 70's (& 80's would be nice too!) I'm motivated.

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My mom's lost about 40 pounds and she's in her 50's.  My grandmother lost about 30 a few years ago.

 

I think studies have shown that most metabolism lost as you age is directly attributable to muscle loss.  Lift some weights, or do bodyweight exercises like pushups, situps, dips, pullups, and squats to gain some muscle. 

 

If that seems too strenuous and you don't want to adapt the exercises to what you can do, try something gentler like Callanetics.

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I'm 48 and have lost 25 lbs in the last year, with 10-15 to go. It's *definitely* harder (I've taken off 30-35 pounds twice before and getting/keeping the pounds off takes more thoughtful effort, but it's absolutely not impossible) For me, weight loss is mostly food choices. I feel better when I exercise, but the weight comes off due to eating less.

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Yup, I lost a bit over 20 when I was 45.

 

As I said in another thread though, it's not going on a diet. It's changing lifestyle & really realizing how fuel efficient our bodies our & how few calories we need to operate.  Each 5 year period it seems I need to shave more calories off my daily allowance & add another workout. At this rate, by the time I'm in my 70's I'll be living on water & exercising hours each day :lol:   Seriously, it's doable & since I really want to see my 70's (& 80's would be nice too!) I'm motivated.

 

This. I have always been able to easily knock off a pesky 5 or ten pounds - the kind that creeps on during a lax summer or a stressful time. When I was younger and didn't eat well or exercise regularly, it was so easy- cut out some soda and cut back on snacking and go for a few walks. 

 

But once menopause hit, all bets were off.  I have gained almost ten pounds since I stopped having periods (which has just been this year) and I bike about 4-5 days a week.  Never less than 10 miles and often 25. I eat really well compared to how I ate ten years ago. There's not a whole lot of junk to cut from my diet, and exercising more is just annoying- I already work out more than most of my friends.  So yes, it's very possible to lose some weight at this age. But I'm finding it pretty difficult these days.

 

Most annoying: When my kids were really young I had no time to sit down and savor a meal. But my metabolism was high  and I could eat whatever I wanted.  Now I have the luxury of time AND money for quality food and my metabolism seems to be in hibernation mode. Grr. 

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This. I have always been able to easily knock off a pesky 5 or ten pounds - the kind that creeps on during a lax summer or a stressful time. When I was younger and didn't eat well or exercise regularly, it was so easy- cut out some soda and cut back on snacking and go for a few walks. 

 

But once menopause hit, all bets were off.  I have gained almost ten pounds since I stopped having periods (which has just been this year) and I bike about 4-5 days a week.  Never less than 10 miles and often 25. I eat really well compared to how I ate ten years ago. There's not a whole lot of junk to cut from my diet, and exercising more is just annoying- I already work out more than most of my friends.  So yes, it's very possible to lose some weight at this age. But I'm finding it pretty difficult these days.

 

Most annoying: When my kids were really young I had no time to sit down and savor a meal. But my metabolism was high  and I could eat whatever I wanted.  Now I have the luxury of time AND money for quality food and my metabolism seems to be in hibernation mode. Grr. 

Menopause can quit on you. I was gaining weight, having hot flashes, and my periods had stopped. The gyn confirmed through a lot of testing that I was starting to go through menopause. Well...menopause quit on me.

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I did. 

 

I lost about 70 pounds by walking once or twice a day and counting calories on SparkPeople. I even maintained it for almost a year.

 

Then my thyroid went insane and sent me to the hospital, and I've been gaining weight back ever since. After two years on anti-thyroid medication and a beta blocker (and another hospital stay along the way), I have now been diagnose with both Hashimoto's disease and Grave's disease, which essentially means my thyroid is at war with itself, and, as a lovely bonus prize this week, insulin resistance.

 

At this point, I've gained back all the weight I lost and then some.

 

In theory, once we begin treating the insulin resistance, I should be able to lose some weight again. At this point, I'll believe it when I see it.

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I have a close friend and a parent who did.  One has kept it off. I think keeping it off is hard at any age, though. Side note: it takes lower calorie intake/being hungry...at least research seems to point in that direction. Exercise is healthy, but not (generally) where the weight loss is going to come from.

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I think it depends on how overweight you are.  I know lots of obese people that are able to drop a significant number of pounds, but I know very, very few over 40 women that are able to drop 10-20 to get down to their ideal weight. The ones that get down to that size 2/4 are exercising a lot.  Like 3 hours a day and eating next to nothing.  A woman I worked with years ago did it by drinking two cups of coffee for breakfast, eating a cheese stick and 2 Ritz crackers for lunch then a salad with a piece of bread for dinner.  In the 3 years I worked with her, that is all she ever ate. 

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Menopause can quit on you. I was gaining weight, having hot flashes, and my periods had stopped. The gyn confirmed through a lot of testing that I was starting to go through menopause. Well...menopause quit on me.

 

My hope lies in how my sisters have fared with menopause. The first few years they struggled with weight and fatigue and then about year 4 things got much better and now they have much more energy and no weight issues.  It was like the first couple of years their bodies were getting used to the 'new normal'.  

 

Not looking forward to this winter- I live in a really cold climate and during winter I don't exercise nearly as much, and I tend to backslide into relying on easy comfort food for meals.  Can't let that happen this year. Might have to plan a couple of trips to see my sisters- Atlanta and Florida in the winter is MUCH better for keeping active. 

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I'm 51 and have lost about 10 pounds since May w/o much effort, w/o counting calories or anything else and w/o exercising.  Now granted that ten pounds is just getting me into the healthy weight range.  I'm not trying to reach a vanity size.  BTDT, not interested in doing it again.

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I think it depends on how overweight you are. I know lots of obese people that are able to drop a significant number of pounds, but I know very, very few over 40 women that are able to drop 10-20 to get down to their ideal weight. The ones that get down to that size 2/4 are exercising a lot. Like 3 hours a day and eating next to nothing. A woman I worked with years ago did it by drinking two cups of coffee for breakfast, eating a cheese stick and 2 Ritz crackers for lunch then a salad with a piece of bread for dinner. In the 3 years I worked with her, that is all she ever ate.

Well...I lost 15 lbs that had snuck up on me last year at 41 and am back to my normal size 2/4. I definitely eat more and more healthfully than your co-worker, and I don't workout for endless hours a day.

 

There really is no magic trick; it's all about not taking in more calories than you burn. Healthy food choices, portion control, and exercise work together along with maintaining a low stress, well balanced lifestyle.

 

For me, a commitment to counting calories and regaining a more active lifestyle is what worked. There are so many apps that help keep track of both, but it does take some motivation. Think of it as an investment in your long term health. That's worth more than that chocolate brownie any day (well--almost any day!).

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I lost 40# after 40, although have still never gotten back to pre-baby #1 weight...not sure that's feasible (or advisable).  I gained 20# back, but am slowly working that off.  I am back in the gym 3x a week, and will start a kickboxing class 1x a week (with younger son).  

 

Favorite recent gym moment...when my 45 year old flabbyself can lift as much (without too much effort...doing 3 sets of 12 reps) as the extremely fit 20-something Navy woman at the gym.  Yes, that was a good day (for me, anyhow).  Oh, and this was upper body -- not lower body.  

 

Yes, it can be done.  How easy or difficult will depend upon your body type, and how your body responds to certain foods, etc. I can (and have) lost weight on almost every diet out there -- but I do best by eliminating refined starches and sugars, limiting fruits.  The exercise speeds the process (and firms up the body), but I haven't found it imperative.

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I think it depends on how overweight you are.  I know lots of obese people that are able to drop a significant number of pounds, but I know very, very few over 40 women that are able to drop 10-20 to get down to their ideal weight. The ones that get down to that size 2/4 are exercising a lot.  Like 3 hours a day and eating next to nothing.  A woman I worked with years ago did it by drinking two cups of coffee for breakfast, eating a cheese stick and 2 Ritz crackers for lunch then a salad with a piece of bread for dinner.  In the 3 years I worked with her, that is all she ever ate. 

 

Honestly, I'd say if a person is eating THAT little and exercising THAT much, they are not at their "ideal" weight for their body or body-type....It took me years to accept my body type.  I will never, ever look as slim as my waif-like mother or cousins...or my own blondie-girl.  BUT, all of those women ate healthy portions, exercised normally, and were just naturally thin (my cousins are all dancers, and very fit -- but they are tall, like my mother, and don't have the same curves, bone structure, or muscle strength/development that I do).  I nearly starved myself of nutrients and exercised hours a day, and never got to a magic number on a scale -- I looked at least 20# lighter than I actually was -- but even at that fitness level/weight I couldn't wear a size 0/2...some size 4's, but only from the waist down.  I think I came to finally accept my body type in my early 30's.  I have been much happier and content with myself having a balanced fitness/eating level.  

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I think it depends on how overweight you are. I know lots of obese people that are able to drop a significant number of pounds, but I know very, very few over 40 women that are able to drop 10-20 to get down to their ideal weight. The ones that get down to that size 2/4 are exercising a lot. Like 3 hours a day and eating next to nothing. A woman I worked with years ago did it by drinking two cups of coffee for breakfast, eating a cheese stick and 2 Ritz crackers for lunch then a salad with a piece of bread for dinner. In the 3 years I worked with her, that is all she ever ate.

See, I just don't find that true. I'm sure it is for some but not all. I workout or run( and it was walking to start) about 40-45 minutes 5 or so days a week and eat about 1800 calories/day. I'm not crazy or starving.

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I am 48 (peri menopausal). I have lost 5 lbs since June----slow but steady :) I have an additional 12 lbs to lose until I'm at the weight I was six years ago before I started gaining (I stress-ate when my mom got sick and continued through my dad's death 3 years ago).

 

I am religious about tracking every bite I eat, using My Fitness Pal. I don't have any health issues so I don't see any need to eliminate a type of food. I have a glass of wine if I want. I'll have some chocolate or a few bites of a really good dessert. I eat excellent bread. I allow myself an untrackable meal for every week or 10 days. I'm sure if I dropped that I would lose weight more rapidly, but it's a quality of life thing for me :)

 

I just make sure I eat about 1300 calories per day. That's net, after whatever exercise I do that day.

 

I am making exercise a way of life now. I want to be a strong, fit older woman. I am inspired by several women in their mid70s who were on our China trip this summer :)

 

I exercise 5-6 days a week. I walk, hike, use the elliptical, and do Pilates. Today I'm starting to lift weights :D

 

(I am only 5'2" btw.)

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Honestly, I'd say if a person is eating THAT little and exercising THAT much, they are not at their "ideal" weight for their body or body-type....It took me years to accept my body type.  I will never, ever look as slim as my waif-like mother or cousins...or my own blondie-girl.  BUT, all of those women ate healthy portions, exercised normally, and were just naturally thin (my cousins are all dancers, and very fit -- but they are tall, like my mother, and don't have the same curves, bone structure, or muscle strength/development that I do).  I nearly starved myself of nutrients and exercised hours a day, and never got to a magic number on a scale -- I looked at least 20# lighter than I actually was -- but even at that fitness level/weight I couldn't wear a size 0/2...some size 4's, but only from the waist down.  I think I came to finally accept my body type in my early 30's.  I have been much happier and content with myself having a balanced fitness/eating level.  

 

I would agree on this. All the other women in my family have very light and slender builds. Their ideal weight is a BMI of about 18-19 (their height varies).

 

For whatever reason, I did not get those genes. I have very broad shoulders and more muscle, and my ideal weight (that puts me at a bodyfat % of about 20%) puts me at a BMI of about 23. I'm about 10 lbs over that now, wearing size 8 on the bottom half and size 12 on top because anything smaller is too constricting around the shoulders.

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We blame a lot on hormones. Yet, watching middle age women, I notice that they do not move much. Twenty something's are still twitching or swinging a thigh, shifting in their chairs, etc. I think anticipation of what is coming next keeps the young ones mobile. As we get older, we into such a predictable life, that anticipation wanes. We do not move as much as we did when we were younger.

 

This should be no problem because our portion size should decrease rapidly to accommodate. That is where I believe the problem lies. Portion sizes for a 45 yo should be 2/3 to 1/2 of what it was when she was 20. Nonetheless, few of us make that adjustment. Yes, hormones have something to do with weight, but much less compared to how much food enters our mouth. In addition, the big calorie hogs, our muscles, start atrophying about age 50.

 

To answer your question, I have known quite a few 45+ women who have lost quite a bit of weight. But, it is a commitment to greatly lowering food intake and rebuilding muscle mass through some sort of regular exercise activity. I think these women will agree, it is much harder to lose weight at this age than younger.

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I lost 45 pounds when I turned 41, and have kept if off. The only way that worked for me is religiously counting calories/moitoring everything I eat and working out vigorously 6 days a week.

I went from a size 14/16 to a size 6.

 

So, yes, it's definitely possible. But it requires great resolve and discipline. Basically, you have to want it more than eating what you please.

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Absolutely!  I lost 50+ pounds in my late 40's by following NoS principles and have kept it off....going on six years now. :hurray:

 

It is harder than when we were young, but I find it easier to focus on myself now that the kids are "grown up"--the youngest went off to college last year.....  Don't give up hope! 

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Yes. I used to be able to keep fit just with exercise, but after 40, I find I need to eat differently too. Some friends and I are following Trim Healthy Mama with great success. I prefer this program (rather a whole foods variation of it) to other weight loss programs because it's easier for me to do this one for life - I could never stay on a diet for life, like weight watchers for example.

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I think it depends on how overweight you are. I know lots of obese people that are able to drop a significant number of pounds, but I know very, very few over 40 women that are able to drop 10-20 to get down to their ideal weight. The ones that get down to that size 2/4 are exercising a lot. Like 3 hours a day and eating next to nothing. A woman I worked with years ago did it by drinking two cups of coffee for breakfast, eating a cheese stick and 2 Ritz crackers for lunch then a salad with a piece of bread for dinner. In the 3 years I worked with her, that is all she ever ate.

This is crazy and unnecessary, IMO. Most women could never stick with this and I'm so glad we don't have to to be fit. I eat high fat meals with very little carbs that are extremely satisfying, then, later i may eat lots of complex carbs with very little fat, throw in a protein with each meal and the weight melts off quickly. If I even look at a ritz cracker, I'll soon be carrying lots of extra fat. No thank you, I'll keep doing THM whole foods version!

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I think it depends on how overweight you are. I know lots of obese people that are able to drop a significant number of pounds, but I know very, very few over 40 women that are able to drop 10-20 to get down to their ideal weight. The ones that get down to that size 2/4 are exercising a lot. Like 3 hours a day and eating next to nothing. A woman I worked with years ago did it by drinking two cups of coffee for breakfast, eating a cheese stick and 2 Ritz crackers for lunch then a salad with a piece of bread for dinner. In the 3 years I worked with her, that is all she ever ate.

Tis.

 

I need to lose 15 to be my ideal weight...and I can't seem to do it.

 

Honestly though I am not trying that much. Ugh. No motivation.

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I lost over 46 pounds in the past year.  I am 48 years old.  To be successful you need to look at a complete overhaul in your way of eating.  No quick fix diet will work IMHO.  I have yet to find time to add in exercise, so my weight loss is all due to changes I've made in my way of eating.

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From experience, is it possible? Like 20lbs, maybe more?  It seems after a certain point when hormones start to fluctuate, it is really hard - near impossible - to get rid of those extra unwanted pounds.

 

For me, it has been very difficult.  I've been stuck with 5-10lbs to lose for over a year now.  I exercise, keep a food log, try to minimize stress, good sleep habits, etc.  But, weight loss has been very hard.  Yes, my hormones are fluctuating.  This can cause water weight gain too.  Yes, being just a tad over 50, my metabolism isn't what it used to be. 

 

Is it impossible?  I don't think so.  But I know it is not easy.  I know for me, I think I'm going to have to be content with where I am right now.  That doesn't mean I am giving up.  I'm going to keep a healthy lifestyle, which absolutely includes healthy eating.  Does that mean those last 10 lbs are coming off?  Maybe.

 

Every woman's body is a bit different.  What works for someone might not work for someone else.  What works at 40 might not work at 45 or 47 or 50. 

 

Again, in my experience, an overall wellness plan is essential at midlife. 

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