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How to remain lean and healthy after 40?

After hitting 40, it’s easier for you to gain weight and harder to lose it. At this age, many people experience changes in their activity levels, hormones, and even eating habits. The downshift in metabolism makes weight maintenance harder than it was in your younger years.

Even so, staying lean after 40 isn’t impossible. There’s so much you can do to keep in shape, from eating healthily to enrolling for personal training courses in Hong Kong. That said, here are some tips for staying in shape after 40:

Cut Back on Carbs

The body gets carbs from whole food sources such as potatoes, whole grains, and fresh fruit. These get bundled with antioxidants, minerals, and fibre to give your body much-needed energy. After 40, your body’s carb requirements will start to decline. You won’t eat carb-rich meals without running the risk of gaining weight or struggling to shed it.

Nevertheless, it’s not advisable to eliminate carbs from your diet because this denies your body essential nutrients. Removing carbs from your diet can also cause fatigue, irritability, and constipation. It’s best to optimize the quality of carbs in your meals; Think of carbs as an addition to meals, rather than the main course.

Suppose you frequently eat carb-rich meals such as veggie burritos made using whole grain flour tortilla, guacamole, brown rice, and black beans. In that case, it will be challenging to maintain a healthy body weight, even if you exercise regularly. This is because such a meal contains more carbs than your body can burn.

In this case, you’re better off swapping the burrito for salads comprising leafy greens, guacamole, salsa, and black beans. Such a meal will still leave you sated and energized, besides supplying you with a healthy amount of carbs that your body can burn quickly.


Go Slow on Alcohol

It’s a no-brainer that alcohol makes you gain weight easily. It will be harder for the weight scale to move backwards until you go slow on alcohol or give it up altogether. Alcohol consumption is tricky because, if done in moderation, it can help with weight management. However, excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to your health since it increases the risk of obesity.

A pint of beer or a glass of wine at the end of a long day isn’t bad, but you should resist the temptation of carrying it over. If you drink an entire bottle of wine every night, there could be several challenges as far as maintaining a healthy body weight is concerned. For starters, alcohol lowers inhibitions while increasing appetite. Therefore, you are likely to end up eating more and without self-control.

When you consume alcohol, the body prioritizes breaking it down over other metabolic functions. Thus, any food consumed alongside liquor won’t be a priority. Excess alcohol consumption also disrupts your sleep cycle, and as we all know, healthy sleep has a positive effect on your body’s metabolism and weight management. Conversely, poor sleep makes it harder for you to exercise, while contributing to body fat accumulation.


Keep Up Your Protein Intake

After 40, you need more protein than ever. Proteins are vital micronutrients that should be incorporated into the diet to boost your body’s healthy functioning. They play an essential role in nearly all body processes, such as hormone production or immune system response.

When you keep up your protein intake, the body breaks down those proteins into amino acids before putting them back together as hormones. That’s why amino acids are commonly referred to as the body’s building blocks.

A common myth going around is that only bodybuilders need protein. However, that’s a lie because people who are over forty years of age need it even more. After forty, it’s recommended that you consume at least 0.75 grams of protein per 1kg of body mass. This equates to about 50g of protein for an adult weighing 70kg. Here’s why you should ramp up your protein intake after 40:

  • You are Losing Muscle Mass

After 40, the body starts to lose muscle mass naturally. This often happens at the rate of 1 to 2% per year. Although muscle mass loss shouldn’t alarm you, its side effects can be far from desirable and include fatigue, vulnerability to injury, and general body weakness. Increasing your protein intake can help stem muscle mass loss, thus keeping you in good health.

  • You’ll be Eating Less.

As you get older, your appetite diminishes. This means that your protein intake is also likely to be affected. Knowing very well that protein helps repair and maintain a healthy muscle mass, it’s best to ramp up its intake. So, even if you eat less food, your protein intake will still be high.

  • You’re Less Active

At forty, you no longer have the energy and enthusiasm you had in your earlier years. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you become more sedentary. Your body won’t waste energy in synthesizing proteins for muscle activity because the muscles will be inactive in the first place. Nevertheless, it would help if you still consume enough protein.


Get Enough Sleep

Anything can mess with your metabolism and body weight when you hit 40. At this age, you need a good night’s sleep more than ever. With so many things happening like hormonal changes to social pressure, your body needs rest even more. You’re at a higher risk of gaining weight if you don’t sleep for at least 8 hours every night.

Sufficient sleep helps with the body’s natural recovery, besides enabling you to settle into a regular and healthy routine. For example, you’re more likely to feel fresh and energized enough when you hit the gym after a good night’s sleep, but the same cannot be said of someone who only had a few hours of sleep.

Sleep deprivation also leads to unhealthy habits. When you stay up late at night, you’re more likely to tuck into sugary treats and other unhealthy foods. Therefore, you should get enough sleep every night.


Avoid Restrictive Dieting

Skip Restrictive Diets

Staying lean and healthy in your 40s doesn’t mean going on a restrictive diet. One of the worst mistakes you can make to stay lean and healthy is going on a highly restrictive diet

At this time in your life, your body needs all the high-quality nutrients it can get, and going on a diet will just deprive you of them. The best way to get these is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods.

Foods to avoid are ‘diet’ foods and highly processed foods. These types of manufactured foods are made to be hyper-palatable, are not filling, trigger inflammation and put extra stress on your immune system. Most importantly, these kinds of foods interfere with the healthy bacteria in your gut. Bad gut bacteria will inhibit weight management and weight loss.


Change Your Weekly Workout Plan

Balancing between family, career, and social life will always be a challenge when you hit 40. As a result, exercise is likely to fall even further down the order of priority. You’ll start feeling more tired and less inclined to work out. Those creaky and aching joints won’t make things any better.

However, this isn’t enough reason for you to stop working out. In any case, you’re more likely to get out of shape faster in your forties than in your younger years. So, rather than succumbing to the temptation of not working out, consider changing your weekly workout plan to accommodate your career, family, and social life as well as the physical changes that set in at 40.

If injuries prevent you from engaging in your favourite workouts in the gym, you’re better off signing up for personal training courses in Hong Kong. Staying active not only increases your metabolism but also boosts your mood. Better still, making changes in your weekly workout plan lowers the risk of suffering chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

If you’re a man, consider incorporating strength training into your weekly exercise routine. Strength training at least thrice every week leads to considerable improvements in muscle mass. However, if you strength train twice or less every week, there won’t be any notable improvements. In addition, there should be minimal time between the training sessions to guarantee positive adaptations.

For a beginner, personal training should be done at least thrice every week. This will ensure adequate recovery times in between workout sessions. As your body gets used to strength training, increase the frequency of your sessions to attain optimum results. Your trainers can have you tend to at least four strength training sessions per week.


Key Takeaways

Getting to 40 is an important milestone. However, it comes with a fair share of health challenges, which can only be kept at bay if you’re healthy and lean. Forty is a great age to rethink your lifestyle, diet, and even your weekly workout plan.

There’s no better way to whip yourself into shape after hitting 40 than signing up for personal training classes. At Raw Personal Training, we offer unrivalled science-based strength training in Hong Kong to help you stay in shape. So contact us to start your health and wellness journey.

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