As you head into your mid-forties you might find excess weight accumulating more than it used to. This happens from your thirties until your sixties, as lean muscle and bone mass decrease and fat increases. You need a combination of diet, cardio exercise and resistance training to shed extra pounds. Women need to be particularly careful in their mid-forties, as this is often around the time that menopause and its accompanying hormonal changes occurs. Speak with a physician before beginning any major diet or weight loss strategies at age 45.
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Food for Thought
Diet is a huge factor when it comes to losing troublesome weight at age 45. Your metabolism has already begun to slow down, which means that you have to watch what you eat more carefully than you used to. This can be particularly hard if you have never had to do this before. You need to eat 3,500 fewer calories in a week -- or burn them with exercise -- to lose approximately one pound per week. This is a 500-calorie per day deficit. Eat mainly unprocessed foods that consist of lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy, healthy fats, and fruits and veggies. Drink six to eight glasses of water per day to keep your digestive system running smoothly and to help you feel full in between meals. Drinking plenty of water actually helps prevent your body from retaining fluids that can make you feel fat and bloated.
Get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise every day to lose weight at age 45. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, hiking or taking an aerobics class at the gym are all effective cardio workouts. If 60 to 90 minutes of exercise at one time is not possible for your schedule, split up your routine two or three times a day. Do a 20-minute aerobic DVD in the morning before work. Take a walk for 20 minutes at lunch. Dance for 20 minutes around the house before dinner.
Perform a balanced strength training routine three times per week for 30 to 60 minutes per session. Work out both your upper and lower body. This will help replace the fat you are losing with muscle and raise your metabolism when you are not working out, both of which are important factors in weight loss at age 45. Strength training also increases bone mass which helps you feel younger longer and remain active into old age. Lift weights at the gym, do plyometric exercises, or use your own bodyweight in yoga or Pilates. Effective exercises include dumbbell squats, dumbbell lunges, pushups, pull-ups, bicycle crunches, the plank, calf raises and deadlifts.
Yoga for Health
Add yoga to your weekly schedule once or twice per week to help increase mindfulness and body awareness. This can help fight middle-age spread as you hit 45 by influencing the choices that you make regarding diet and exercise. Yoga also promotes a sense of calm and relaxation, which can help keep you from gaining weight due to stress. Yoga is a form of resistance training that uses your bodyweight, so doing it regularly will shape, tone and build muscles. It also helps keep you flexible in your mid-forties because you stretch a huge variety of muscles doing the poses.
- Harvard Health Publications: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- University of Rochester Medical Center: For Seniors: How About Losing Weight Today?
- Exercise for the Ages: University of Rochester Medical Center
- Yoga Alliance: Benefits of Yoga
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: Regular Yoga Practice is Associated With Mindful Eating