As a woman gets older and approaches menopause, often her metabolism slows and hormonal balances in her body shift to prepare for a different stage of life, making it easy to gain weight. However, there are ways to counteract this process of perimenopausal weight gain. With consistency and diligence, you could lose weight and tone your body, at and after the age of 40.
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Reduce Portion Sizes
To burn a pound of fat, you must use 3,500 more calories than you consume. A simple solution to this problem is reducing the amount of calories you take in. To ensure an appropriate serving of food, the portion of meat and each side should be comparable to the size of your balled fist. To help fill yourself at a meal, drink an 8-oz. glass of water before sitting down to eat.
What you consume is just as important as how much you consume. Protein, carbohydrates and fat are essential nutrients for your body, and a representative of each group should be present at every meal. Protein should account for approximately 20 percent of your caloric intake; carbohydrates should make up about 50 percent; and the remaining 30 percent of calories should be from fat.
Prepare a lean meat for each meal, such as chicken, turkey, fish or lean beef, prepared with a cooking oil low in saturated fat, such as olive oil, corn oil or safflower oil. Baked potatoes, rice or vegetables are ideal complex carbohydrates to consume with your protein. Add a fresh fruit for dessert to help meet your carbohydrate goal.
Aerobic activity helps burn excess calories consumed to rid your body of unwanted fat faster. For best results, do some form of aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes a day, along with a five-minute warmup and cool-down, most days of the week. Join a fitness facility and use a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical machine or stair-stepper, or attend a group aerobics class regularly to burn excess calories. If you would rather exercise outside, take a fast-paced walk around your neighborhood or ride a bicycle on trails in your community.
Strength training coupled with consistent aerobic exercise and a nutritious meal plan will have you on your way to battling middle-aged weight gain. Exercising with weights builds essential lean body mass, which requires more calories to sustain. Strength train at a fitness facility with weight machines at least four days a week, or begin a home strength-training regimen with dumbbells. Alternate working your upper and lower body with weights on opposite days to ensure proper muscle recuperation from workouts.