Stress beating and lifestyle tips to lose weight for women over 40
Did you know that stress causes a rise in the hormone cortisol? Cortisol is a hormone that is very useful for short-term stressful circumstances, giving you the energy to focus on getting through a crisis. However, with persistent stress, cortisol levels can get high, which is terrible for your bones and belly. When cortisol levels remain high because of long-term fear, they weaken your bones and encourage fat to accumulate around your middle.
Just as bad, this kind of long-term pressure, including the fatigue it can affect, can make you hungrier because ghrelin (the hormone that tells you you’re hungry so that you need to eat) levels appear to stay elevated as well. In contrast, leptin (the hormone that suppresses hunger) levels remain low. What can you do about that?
Tip number one: Sleep
Women are notorious for taking care of everything and everyone else but themselves. However, if you skimp on sleep, not only do you contribute to or even cause health problems like high blood pressure because of the stress resulting from fatigue. But you make yourself crave “bad for you” foods like simple carbohydrates — cakes, cookies, potato chips, etc.
Fatigue and other stresses seem to raise levels of cortisol and ghrelin (as stated above) and lower the levels of leptin in your body. It also increases blood sugar levels. Only by getting your 7 or 8 hours a night, you’re fighting the bulge’s battle. It is one of the most straightforward tips to lose weight for women over 40! To get a better night’s sleep, practice something called “sleep hygiene.” Turn off bright lights, TV, and computer for an hour before you get into bed. Relax by doing something calming, for example, reading a good book (no exciting mysteries!) or taking a hot bath. By the time you go to bed, you should be ready to drift off.
Tip number two: Take a break – Another of The Most Important Tips to Lose Weight for Women Over 40
Although it doesn’t feel like it, the world is not going to end if you take just a couple of minutes to take a deep breath and de-stress during particularly hectic times. When you find yourself racing around and tempted to grab the first thing to eat that looks good, stop. Take a deep breath and slowly count to 10, reminding yourself to slow down at the same time. Do a personal check-in. If your heart is racing and your mind is, too, you’re going too fast. For just that one moment, take a deep breath, pause, and then get back your day in a calmer frame of mind. Do this quick and easy little exercise whenever you feel yourself getting out of control.
Tip number three: Watch those antidepressants
Antidepressants are notorious not only for making you gain weight in and of themselves but also for killing sexual desire. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take them if you need them, but make sure that your doctor monitors you closely and weans you off as soon as possible.
Tip number four: Make sure you get enough of the proper nutrients
This ties in with diet (above), too, but the amount of stress you feel can be made worse if you’re not getting the right nutrients. For example, most Americans’ diets are woefully inadequate in brain-important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, in calming minerals like magnesium and calcium, and stress-busting B vitamins.
We also tend to be low in vitamin D; low levels can mean a depressed mood and, therefore, higher stress. Check with a nutritionist or other nutritionally-savvy healthcare professional to make sure you’re getting enough; supplement with a multivitamin, fish oil capsules, extra vitamin D, and some extra calcium/magnesium if your doctor okays it. (Proper supplementation along with proper diet can reduce or even eliminate your need for antidepressants in some cases, too.)
Tip number five: Don’t forget about you
Women, especially wives and mothers, tend to forget about themselves in favor of everyone else. To reduce your stress and get back the spark you had when all you had to think about was you, think back to those earlier times. What did you do just for fun and just for you? Grab one of those previous passions and resurrect it. Take up writing or painting again, take a yoga class, whatever. (And if you can get the hubby/life partner in on it sans kids, do that or another shared passion together, to touch base with your earlier days together, too.) Reconnect with yourself as you were younger, before you had all this responsibility, and do it regularly. One of the essential tips to lose weight for women over 40 is to take care of YOU.
Tip number six: Get checked out
Women in their 40s are rife for hormonal problems that can masquerade as or facilitate fatigue and stress. Perimenopausal or menopausal hormonal fluctuations and low thyroid levels can make you feel awful, but they’re usually relatively easy to fix once they are diagnosed. Go to the doctor and get thoroughly checked out to make sure you’re okay, and that out of whack hormones or other health problems aren’t contributing to your fatigue and stress.
Tip number seven: Resurrect romance
Regular intimacy isn’t just fun and romantic. It can genuinely help you beat stress, in part because it releases the hormone and oxytocin, often called the “love hormone.” It is a hormone released during orgasm and naturally rises during feelings of intense connectedness to loved ones, such as the bonding of mother/father and baby, closeness between husband and wife, and so on. Being intimate with your husband or significant other is probably the last thing you think about when you’re stressed out, but remember, women over 40 can be sexy.
The next time your husband or partner gives you that unique look, go ahead! (If it’s been a while and doesn’t initiate anymore, you take the lead — surprise him!).
Put these tips to lose weight for women over 40 to work for you, and see a difference in the mirror that you (along with everyone else) will genuinely appreciate.