Losing weight is never easy, but as you get older, it becomes even more difficult. Women in their thirties may find themselves stuck on a certain weight or find themselves continuously gaining weight. Weight loss for women over 30 is impacted by several factors that make it seem like it is impossible to do so. Although it might be a little hard for women in their thirties to lose weight compared to how it was while they were in their teens or twenties, it does not mean it is impossible. Weight loss for women over 30 requires them to invest a lot of energy and time.
Reasons It Is Hard For Women Over 30 To Lose Weight
There are several reasons why losing weight for women over 30 years is difficult. Here are some of these reasons:
Age-Related Muscle Loss
As we get older, we start to lose muscles. The loss of muscles starts at age 30 and above. Studies show that people lose between 3% and 8% of their muscle mass every decade (1). The process of losing muscles due to age and other related factors like gender and physical activity is referred to as sarcopenia (1). Another reason people over 30 lose muscles is due to age-related health conditions such as arthritis. This is because these age-related conditions render a person less active, and this accelerates loss of muscle mass as you cannot go to the gym or do simple workouts at home.
The loss of muscle mass should be taken as a serious matter as you get older as this promotes weight gain and hinders efforts to lose weight. The reason for this is the fact that muscles have a higher resting metabolism compared to fat mass. Losing the lean muscles lowers your body’s metabolism, hence it becomes a little difficult to lose weight (1).
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As both men and women grow older, they undergo a change in the levels of certain hormones and this is linked to weight gain. For women, these hormonal changes occur in menopause and the years leading to menopause. During that period, women experience a significant decrease in the levels of estrogen (1). This decrease leads to fat settling around the stomach area. Weight gain starts being noticeable now that most of the weight settles on the stomach, and this could come with a risk of certain health conditions like high blood pressure, various cardiovascular conditions, high cholesterol levels, and even type 2 diabetes.
The change in the levels of certain hormones in the period leading to menopause also comes with mood fluctuations. These mood fluctuations make it hard for women to follow healthy diets as well as exercise regularly, which then leads to weight gain. Studies show women gain an average of 5 pounds in the period leading to menopause (1).
Slowing Down Of Your Metabolism
As covered earlier, this is mainly caused by loss of lean muscles, but that is not all. As people become older, they become less active, and this also leads to the metabolism slowing down hence a reason women over 30 have a problem losing weight (1).
In your twenties and your teens, you have so much time at hand that you can even go to the gym for four hours every day. The same cannot be said when you are in your thirties as possible family responsibilities, as well as career obligations, catch up with you in this period. Busy schedules translate to less working out time and hence making weight loss difficult (1).
Since you are mostly at work, it means you spend most of your time on your desk getting work done. This means you are more sedentary compared to how you were in your younger years. You also have less or no time to go for a healthy meal during your lunch break, and you may find yourself mostly eating from the vending machine, which doesn’t really offer healthy food options. All these factors lead to weight gain in women over 30 years.
Since you now know the reasons you are having problems losing weight, here are the best weight loss tips for women over 30.
Best Weight Loss Plan For Women Over 30
Weight loss for women over 30 years and above requires a total lifestyle change. This is not the time to go fad diets as they won’t help with your weight loss journey as they are unhealthy and unsustainable. Here are some changes in your lifestyle you need to make in order to lose weight.
Decrease Stress Less
Now that you are older, you have many responsibilities and a lot to stress on. Stress is part and parcel of life, but you need to come up with healthy ways of dealing with stress like talking to a counselor, exercising, and so on. Stress also creates unhealthy eating habits like stress-eating, and this increases your daily calorie intake leading to weight gain.
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Cut Your Alcohol Consumption
We know at 30 and above, those happy hours with your friends are an escape that you feel like you need, but alcohol consumption will deter your weight loss journey. It contains calories, and these are mostly referred to as empty calories as they have no benefit to the body (3). Taking in these empty calories increases your daily calorie intake resulting in weight gain. Alcohol also enhances your appetite, which is why you find yourself eating more while drinking. To add salt to injury, the chances of you reaching for healthy meals while drinking are very slim, and hence you find yourself going for fatty, salty, and/or sugary foods which are energy-dense and promote weight gain.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein is very essential in this period of your life as proteins help build muscles and keep the existing ones. Remember, at this age, you are undergoing age-related muscle loss and should do all you can to prevent the loss of muscles, and eating more proteins is a good place to start. Try to space your proteins through all meals instead of eating most of your proteins during dinner, as this also helps maintain your muscles (4).
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep and weight loss go hand in hand. A person should sleep for an average of 8 hours every day (2). When you spend more time awake you are more likely to consume more food, resulting in an increased daily calorie intake (3). Not sleeping enough also promotes unhealthy eating habits like late-night snacking that hinder weight loss.
Practice Resistance Training
If lifting weights has never been your thing, this is the time to start. You can also go for bodyweight strength-training exercises as they also build strength and muscles. Try to do resistance training at least 3 times a week.
Cardio exercises are proven when it comes to burning calories. They burn more calories than any other type of workout and hence a good arsenal to have in your battle against weight gain. Go for exercises like jump rope, swimming, running, mountain climbers, and the likes, as they burn the most calories.
Go For Healthy Food Options
This is not the time to succumb to pressure and go for fast foods since you have less time to cook (3). Aim to always prepare a balanced diet as foods rich in proteins and vegetables help in your weight loss journey since they contain a higher fiber content and fiber promotes satiety and this reduces your daily calorie intake (2).
Cut Your Daily Calorie Consumption
Reduce the number of calories you take each day but don’t starve yourself. If for example, you normally eat 2300 calories every day, reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories to 1800 each day, and by the end of the week, you will have lost up to one pound.
Drink A Lot Of Water
Water helps deal with your slowing metabolism as it helps increase your resting metabolism (3). Drinking water before meals also promotes satiety, which will lead to eating less than you would have if you hadn’t drunk water.
The Bottom Line
Weight loss for women over 30 is hard! But not impossible. Making the lifestyle changes highlighted above will help you in your weight loss journey.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 5 Reasons It’s Harder to Lose Weight With Age (2019, everydayhealth.com)
- 10 Weight-Loss Tips for Women in Their Thirties (2015, everydayhealth.com)
- 30 Best Ways to Lose Weight for Women Over 30 (2017, womansday.com)
- How to lose weight in your 30s: 6 habits to start now (2017, today.com)