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Why Women Gain Weight After 40

If you’re over 40 and you’ve gained weight you’re not alone. Many women notice that weight loss after 40 becomes difficult and the pounds/kilos start creeping on. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.



Weight gain after 40

Women gain weight from Hormonal Imbalances

Many women go through perimenopause in their 40s. This means a big disruption of female reproductive hormones. Progesterone levels drop, estrogen levels are erratic. Estrogen levels are also affected by your environment, increased body fat, alcohol, caffeine and stress. These hormones help you to maintain your weight and when out of balance it makes it harder to control. Some of the symptoms of perimenopause, like poor sleep, can also contribute indirectly to weight gain.


The male reproductive hormone testosterone can also play a role. Your levels of this hormone drop as you age, usually at a gradual rate.


But reproductive hormones are not the only issue. Along with perimenopause many women also experience thyroid hormone problems. Since one function of your thyroid is to control metabolism, low thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) can make it hard to keep the weight off. And medication used to control hypothyroidism often contributes to weight gain.


Other hormonal imbalances that become more common in women over 40 include blood sugar imbalances and cortisol imbalances. Both of these can contribute to weight gain.


Hormone guide


Women gain weight from Slower Metabolism

Your metabolism is the rate that your body burns calories. It naturally slows as you age. But some of the slowing is actually under your control.


Some things that contribute to a slower metabolism are hormone imbalances, decreased muscle and eating a diet that is too low in calories. Fasting, or simply going to long without eating can also slow your metabolism. This is especially true if you are under stress.


The hormone imbalances mentioned in the last section can contribute to a slower metabolism. Other hormone imbalances like leptin resistance can also contribute.

Muscle is important for maintaining metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat so losing muscle is detrimental to your metabolism. And “if you don’t use it you lose it” definitely applies here. Muscle needs to be stimulated, which means used, or it shrinks.

Chances are even if you haven’t gained weight, you’ve lost some muscle and your body needs less fuel than previously.


When you severely restrict calories, as on many diets, or fasting, your metabolism slows down. (Weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro also slow your metabolism). Your body thinks it is starving and fights to preserve fat stores by slowing down the metabolism. When you go back to normal eating, your metabolism doesn’t completely rebound so losing weight becomes more difficult each time.


Another problem with severe calorie restriction is that it causes you to lose muscle, further slowing your metabolism.


But while women may be quick to blame hormones and their metabolism, they shouldn’t forget things like activity levels and food choices.


What causes female weight gain after 40


Women gain weight from Less Activity

As women enter their 40s they may become less active. There are many reasons for this. They may no longer be doing activities with their children. Careers may have become busier, but household responsibilities are probably still large, leaving little time to be active. Many will have replaced public transit or active modes of transportation with driving.


Other factors like poor sleep, weight gain, pain, and stress can cause women to limit activity. Most of these are things that happen gradually and you probably don’t even notice it. Or it could be from the pain you experience from chronic conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. But this non structured physical activity is even more important than structured exercise for helping you maintain your weight.


Chronic injuries can also be a factor. If you were active in the past, but have suffered from injuries, you may have pain that keeps you from participating in the sports you once did or doing activities you once enjoyed.


Hormone Balance Ebook


Women gain weight from Food choices

Changes in your diet can also contribute to weight gain. Like less activity, this may have been a gradual change. Or if you’ve become an empty nester, it might not seem worth the effort to cook healthy meals. And if your life is really busy, you might be choosing more processed, convenient foods.


As people age, they often tend to eat less protein, when in fact your body needs more protein as you get older.


Hormone changes may also mean that the food choices you made in your 30’s might not work for you in your 40’s and beyond.


Food choices to limit weight gain


What can you do?

There are some simple steps you can take to avoid weight gain in your 40s:

  • Eat enough protein

  • Limit processed and sugary foods

  • Add strength training to your routine to limit muscle loss

  • Try to increase your non exercise physical activity. Go for a walk after dinner, use a step tracker, or even start to park further from the store entrance.

  • Schedule time for structured exercise

  • Avoid strict dieting

  • Create better sleep habits

  • Practice stress reduction

  • Get professional help

How to limit weight gain after 40

How I can help

If you’ve gained weight since turning 40, I can help. I am a Holistic Nutritionist and Online Weight Loss Coach that can provide you with a custom eating plan specifically designed for your unique body and lifestyle. This will help you get back on track. And I provide the personalized support you need to fit the changes into your busy lifestyle.





Warm wishes,


Vicki Witt Nutrition and Weight Loss





Vicki Witt | Clinical Nutritionist | Holistic Coach | Reiki Master | Certified LEAP allergy therapist Over 25 years of successfully helping you achieve optimal health and weight loss 🍏 | www.vickiwittweightloss.com


About Vicki:

Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.

ATMS
NSA

Certified and Registered Nutritionist


Linked in Vicki Witt Holistic Nutritionist and Online Weight Loss Coach
Vicki Witt Holistic Nutritionist and Online Weight Loss Coach





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