Maintaining a Healthy Weight After Forty

You had no trouble staying fit when you were in your teens, twenties and even your thirties. However, now that you are in your forties the pounds just seem to come out of nowhere. If this sounds like you, know that you're not alone. Many people in their forties experience weight gain because of poor habits and a slowing metabolism.

Portion size

Part of the reason people begin to gain weight in their forties is that their level of activity decreases, yet they still eat the same amount of food as they used to. When you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Thankfully, this is something you can change immediately, by reducing the amount of food you eat at each meal. One great way to do this is to use portion containers. You can find them in many department stores and they're excellent for bringing your lunch to work and avoiding those always-so-enticing fast food restaurants.

Lack of Sleep

Worrying about things that go on in your life can prevent you from falling into a deep sleep. Sleep is essential to the health and well-being of not only your body but also your mind. Without the proper amount of rest, you will not be able to perform at your best and you may actually eat more. This is because you produce more of the hunger triggering hormone, ghrelin when you don't get a sufficient amount of sleep. This results in a false hunger, the hormone signaling to your brain that you must eat.

Luckily there are ways to get the proper amount of rest. Adding blackout curtains to eliminate light in the bedroom and turning on a fan to create white noise are just a few ways. You should also get in the habit of turning off all of your electronic devices a half hour before bed. Some people take a hot bath with lavender or chamomile, while others use a spray like hemp melatonin spray to help them fall asleep.


Life doesn't always move along smoothly and as a result, you can have more stress than normal at times. Combine a slower metabolism with stress and you can count on weight gain. Unfortunately, tense situations will happen. However, if you deal with them as they occur, you can minimize the amount of stress your body absorbs.

If you have a high-pressure job, try to bring others in to complete assignments or achieve goals so that the pressure doesn't sit squarely on your shoulders. If your stress derives from raising children and a lack of time to get things done, solicit the help of other family members so that you don't have to do everything yourself.

Meditation is another great way to relieve the tension that has the potential to take over your life. You don't have to sign up for retreats or buy any fancy equipment. Just practice deep, relaxed breathing at home and you'll be well on your way.

Stay Active

When you're active your body sweats and temporarily raises your metabolism. This does two positive things that benefit weight control. First, sweating releases toxins and burns fats. Second, jump-starting your metabolism, helps you to burn more calories and your metabolism remains higher for several hours after your workout.

Any physical activity that increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping will work. You can take a brisk walk in the morning and then again in the evening. You should pick up the pace when you are out and about and park the car a distance from your office, the store or bank so you have to walk farther.

Gaining weight after forty is not something you have to accept. By reducing your portion size at meals, promoting a good night's sleep and remaining physically active, you can keep your weight at a healthy level.