- Mary Caldwell For the AJC
Losing weight in a healthy way and keeping it off can be difficult at any age. Once you reach your 40s, however, it can be even more challenging as your metabolism slows. In fact, according to WebMD, you usually have to eat about 100 fewer calories a day after your reach age 40 just to avoid gaining additional weight.
That's only a small part of the picture, however. Eating a healthy diet with less fat and fewer calories and exercising regularly can help you lose weight no matter what your age.
Atlantans in their 40s who have shared their weight loss stories often have several things in common. The following are three weight-loss secrets that they learned along the way and that can help you in your weight-loss journey.
Don't give up
It's very common to try to lose weight and fail repeatedly or to lose weight only to put the pounds back on. You may not have been ready to make the necessary changes, or perhaps you didn't find a program that best suited your needs. If you've previously tried and failed, you may become discouraged and think that you'll never succeed.
Many Atlantans who lost weight in their 40s were in the same position, but they kept trying and eventually succeeded.
Eullanda Broome, 46, of Riverdale, experienced this before she lost 58 pounds: "I feel like I've always been dealing with weight issues. My mother was overweight. ... I had lost weight before and I had personal trainers. I would lose the weight, but then I would gain it back. ... I was looking in the mirror and looking at pictures of myself and I wasn't happy with myself. I decided it was time to lose it and keep it off."
Tawni Taylor, 42, of Atlanta, said her previous efforts to follow a diet program had "failed miserably." However, she was able to try again and has lost 144 pounds, which she's been able to maintain over time.
Having support may make your weight loss journey easier. It can help provide much-needed accountability, information and motivation, helping you to overcome plateaus and discouragement. Although the programs and methods they used vary, Atlantans in their 40s have often gotten help to make their weight-loss journey easier and more successful. Whether you're looking for a gym, a supportive program like Weight Watchers or a medical weight-loss program, the key is finding the support you need.
Taylor started with the OPTIFAST program at the Emory Healthcare Bariatric Center. Broome joined Casi's Straight Military Style Bootcamp. To get the help he needed to lose 90 pounds, Brian Wingate, 41, of Atlanta, joined LA Fitness to step up his cardio workouts.
People who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off often do at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it doesn't have to be done at one time – you might exercise 30 minutes in the morning and 30 more minutes in the evenings if that's more convenient.
Taylor echoes this sentiment, stating, "Exercise is the key to maintaining my weight loss and avoiding mindless eating due to stress and daily life."
She vigorously walks four to five times a week, sometimes choosing to use the treadmill and other times walking around Stone Mountain. Broome, who used to hate running, has learned to enjoy it and has also added weight training, cardio and kickball. Wingate went from doing no exercise at all to logging up to an hour of cardio a day for five or six days a week on the treadmill and elliptical machines.
- How to lose weight in your 20s, according to Atlanta trainers
- How to lose weight in your 30s, according to Atlanta trainers
- Weight loss secrets from Atlantas who dropped the pounds in their 50s