This article was first posted on Verywell.com by Malia Frey.
Losing weight at any age is a huge challenge. But losing weight after 30 is especially hard. Why? Because it takes a lot of time to create weight loss for women over 30. And it’s nearly impossible to find extra time during a stage of life when career and family are top priorities.
So is it impossible for a woman in her 30s to lose weight? Absolutely not! It just takes smart planning and organization.
Use these tips specifically tailored to address the unique challenges you face when you try to slim down at 30 and beyond.
Losing Weight After 30: The 5 Best Tips
1. Identify and eliminate barriers. Everyone faces a few roadblocks during the weight loss process, but when you’re in your 30s the challenges are likely to be time-related. Lack of time due to work and family obligations are likely to get in the way of your best weight loss efforts.
To win the weight loss battle, you need to know what you’re up against. Almost any barrier - including lack of time – is manageable. But you have to know what it is before you can develop a plan of action. At the start of your weight loss process, take at least 20 minutes to identify your weight loss barriers. This simple step will save you time and energy from setbacks later.
Once you identify barriers, it becomes easier to overcome them. If lack of time is a problem, ask your spouse for help managing childcare or chores so you have time for healthy meal preparation and a regular home exercise program.
2. Understand muscle and metabolism. If you want to keep a healthy metabolism to lose weight in your 30s, you need to maintain muscle. Ariane Hundt, M.S. trains 30-something women as part of her Slim & Strong 4 Week Fat Loss Program in New York City. She says that women in their 30s need to be especially careful about building and keeping muscle mass to support a healthy metabolism. “Women start losing muscle in their 30s and unless that muscle is challenged and maintained with regular workouts, muscle loss will slow the metabolism.”
So how does a woman with a busy life work out to keep her calorie burning fires from fizzling? If you can’t get to the gym, there are simple strength workouts you can do at home. Short, intense exercise sessions will also help you burn more fat.
3. Get organized. It might seem like life will settle down when the kids are older or when you career is more established, but trust me, it won’t. Now is the time when you need to set up healthy lifestyle habits that will help you lose weight and keep it off for life.
Meal planning for weight loss is one of those routines that you need to learn when you are losing weight after 30. Set aside one day each week to shop for healthy food, prepare diet-friendly meals for the whole week and set up your refrigerator with healthy snacks. You can even schedule your workout sessions. Ask your spouse or family members to help if necessary to make this habit a priority.
4.Stop falling for fad diets. Women in their 30s are too smart and too sophisticated to fall for the popular diet trends that younger women fall for. Ariane explains why these fads can cause harm. “If you’ve dieted on and off until your 30s, chances are your metabolism is confused. With every new diet attempt, you may put your body into starvation mode and weight loss is harder and harder, ” she says.
Your first step to healthy eating is to evaluate your daily caloric intake. You should also keep a pre-diet food journal. Then make sure you eat enough protein to maintain a healthy metabolism, limit your sugar intake, and monitor your carbohydrate intake to stay energized and satiated throughout the day.
5. Learn to manage stress. Your 30s may be the most stressful time in your life. Babies, job stress, and relationship issues can keep you awake at night. Even the simple act of dieting can cause stress. But those challenges can cause problems if they are not addressed. “Life stress can challenge your metabolism by activating the stress response and in turn fat storage,” says Ariane, “so balance in lifestyle is key.” Get support from friends and family or reach out to a certified professional if you think that stress is preventing you from losing weight.
If you are a busy woman trying to lose weight after 30, you might be tempted to back burner your health and your weight. Or worse yet, you might go on the first diet you see in a fashion magazine. Don’t make those mistakes. Now is the time when your decisions have real long-term consequences. Make the best choices for lifelong health and well-being. Weight loss for women after 30 is possible with smart organization, support and a healthy dose of common sense.