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Weight Loss for Women Over 40: The Ultimate Guide


By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

weight loss for women over 40

As you get older, weight loss for women over 40 may start to seem like an impossible feat. But by using our ultimate step-by-step guide you can shed pounds efficiently at any age!

If you’ve tried other diets without success, it's only because the right weight loss program hasn’t crossed your path yet!

Here at the Fit Mother Project, we can help you make your next weight loss goal a reality.

Our team of doctors, trainers, and nutritionists work together to develop the best programs to get you (and keep you!) on the best track for weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

Ready to take back your health and fitness? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss for Women Over 40!


The Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss for Women Over 40

Set Goals and Rewards

Getting into the right frame of mind is one key to success for weight loss for older women.

Set goals, and reward yourself for meeting them. Choose attainable goals, and write them down in your journal or diary.

Choose a Goal Weight

To determine your ideal body weight and set weight loss goals, use the weight you’ve looked and felt your best at in the past.

Sample ideal body weights for women of different heights based on normal body mass indexes (BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9) are:

5‘ 0”97 to 127 pounds
5’ 1“100 to 131 pounds
5’ 2“104 to 135 pounds
5’ 3“107 to 140 pounds
5’ 4“110 to 144 pounds
5’ 5“114 to 149 pounds
5’ 6“118 to 154 pounds
5’ 7“121 to 158 pounds
5’ 8“125 to 163 pounds

You don’t have to necessarily pick a weight loss goal within your ideal body weight range, but doing so means you’ll reduce your chronic disease (heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, for example) risks.

Split up Weight Loss Goals

To make weight loss goals more attainable, divide them up into sections.

An initial weight loss goal recommended by John Hopkins Medicine is losing 10 percent of your initial body weight over a six month period to ward off Type 2 diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, aim to drop 20 pounds within six months by losing about 1 to 2 pounds each week.

Once you’ve maintained a 20-pound loss, drop additional weight as needed.

To track your body weight over time use a diary or journal, and weigh yourself one time each week.

If you’ve just started a new workout program and the weight isn’t coming right off, you might be gaining lean body mass — so give it some time before switching weight-loss strategies.

Don’t give up!

Know Your Calorie Goals

You don’t have to count calories to lose weight.

However, tracking calorie intake initially helps you know how much you’re currently eating.

That way you’ll have a better idea about how many calories you’ll require to achieve weight loss.

To drop 1 to 2 pounds per week, lower your usual energy intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day.

For effective weight loss for older women, aim for about 1,200 to 1,500 calories each day.

Use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Composition Database to track the calorie content of some of your favorite meals and snacks.


Choose Non-Food Rewards

When you meet weight loss goals, reward yourself!

Choose something besides junk food (though you might decide on one cheat day each week as your reward).

Other healthy non-food weight loss reward ideas include:

  • Getting a massage
  • New clothes or shopping
  • Getting a manicure or pedicure
  • Movie night
  • A vacation
  • Going out with friends
  • A spa day

Choose rewards you look forward to, to stay motivated during your weight loss journey.

If you do pick foods as rewards, opt for healthier alternatives to traditional sweet treats, such as:

  • Dark chocolate covered cherries
  • Dark chocolate covered nuts
  • An avocado ice cream recipe
  • Dark chocolate covered bananas
  • A cashew butter ice cream recipe
  • Oatmeal peanut butter protein balls

These sweet-tasting treats aren’t necessarily free from added sugar, but are packed with nutrients and better alternatives when dropping weight and feeling energized is your goal.


Curb Cravings with Healthy Meals and Snacks

One of the biggest roadblocks to weight loss for older women is cravings for sweets and other junk food.

To help curb these cravings, try the following tips and tricks.

Choose Protein, Fiber, and Healthy Fat at Each Meal and Snack

When you focus on foods that fill you up for longer time periods, you’ll likely notice fewer cravings for unhealthy foods that hinder weight loss for older women.

Use the following chart to mix and match weight loss foods, and aim to eat five to six small meals or snacks daily:

ChickenFruitsOlive oil
TurkeyVegetablesCoconut oil
FishWhole grainsOther plant-based oils
Other seafoodDried beansOlives
SeitanNut butters
Plain Greek yogurtHummus
Low-fat cottage cheese
Low-fat milk
Soy milk
Protein-fortified almond milk
Protein powder shakes
Dried beans
Other legumes
Nut butters

A good rule of thumb is to divide your plate into sections.

Fill half your plate with vegetables (plus some healthy fats sprinkled in), and the other half of your plate with proteins and fiber-rich starches (sweet potatoes, fruits, or whole grains, for example).

Consider Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement shakes work well for weight loss for older women, especially when you’re on the go, don’t feel like cooking, or seeking a refreshing way to curb hunger.

To create deliciously nutritious protein shakes to use as meal replacements, consider mixing the following protein powders with low-fat milk, almond milk, soy milk, or non-fat Greek yogurt — plus fruits, nuts, seeds, or nut butter:

  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein
  • Egg protein powder
  • Hemp protein powder
  • Pea protein powder
  • Rice protein powder

Add ice cubes and blend together all ingredients to complete your protein-rich meal replacement shake.

Aim for a calorie count of about 300 calories when using shakes to replace meals for weight loss for older women.

Use Sample Weight Loss Menus

When weight loss is your goal and you need some healthy menus, consider the following meal ideas to get you headed in the right direction:

Day 1


  • An egg white omelet with avocado, peppers, and mushrooms
  • A side of grapes or another favorite fruit


  • Non-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese
  • Sliced strawberries and almonds as toppings


  • Leafy greens (such as Romaine lettuce, spinach, or kale)
  • Grilled chicken strips, tofu, or hard-boiled eggs
  • Sliced cucumbers and tomatoes (or other raw veggies of your choice)
  • Italian salad dressing


Protein powder blended with milk, fruit, and nut butter


  • Baked fish or shrimp
  • Cooked brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa
  • Grilled veggies
  • Olive oil


  • Sliced veggies
  • Hummus


Let us show you how you can start losing weight this week! We'll email you our free meal plan & workout + email coaching.



Day 2


  • A protein shake with protein powder, milk, oatmeal, and nuts
  • A side of fruit


Three bean salad or your favorite fruit


  • A turkey burger lettuce wrap
  • Tomatoes, pickles, and avocado as toppings


  • Hummus
  • Olives
  • Sliced veggies (carrots, broccoli, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, or peppers)


  • Grilled tofu
  • Steamed veggies (asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Whole-grain cooked pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs for seasonings

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Day 3


  • Scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu
  • Turkey bacon
  • A side of your favorite fruit


  • Reduced-fat cheese sticks
  • Your favorite sliced raw veggies


Sliced turkey (or canned tuna) with mustard on Ezekiel bread


A nutrition shake with protein powder, low-fat milk, almond butter, and fruit


  • Veggie burger on a lettuce wrap
  • Reduced-fat cheese or avocado plus tomatoes and pickles as toppings


Utilize Sample 200 to 300-Calorie Meal and Snack Ideas

If you need a reference for what a 200- to 300-calorie meal looks like, use the following sample menu ideas to steer you in the right direction.

Eating five to six small meals and snacks helps you stick within a 1,200- to 1,500-calorie daily allotment for weight loss for older women (Source: USDA Food Composition Database).

Nutritious Weight Loss Snack Ideas

Try the following protein and fiber-rich snack ideas (containing about 200 calories each) to curb your appetite between meals:

Reduced-fat cheese sticks
2 sticks
1 large
80 calories
116 calories
Non-fat Greek yogurt
1 container
1/2 cup
8 almonds
100 calories
42 calories
56 calories
Sliced cucumbers
Sliced carrots
Celery sticks
1 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
16 calories
25 calories
7 calories
146 calories
Low-fat cottage cheese
Sliced strawberries
Sunflower seeds
1 cup
1/2 cup
1 teaspoon
163 calories
27 calories
17 calories
Protein-fortified almond milk
Protein powder
Cashew butter
1 cup
1/2 scoop
1 teaspoon
1/2 small size
80 calories
51 calories
32 calories
45 calories

Healthy Weight Loss Meal Ideas

Use the food chart below to give you some 300-calorie healthy meal ideas:

Egg omelette
Sliced green peppers
Sliced avocado
3 large eggs
1/2 cup
1/3 cup
216 calories
9 calories
79 calories
Cooked oatmeal
Non-fat Greek yogurt
Raw cherries
1/2 cup
1 container
1/2 cup
10 almonds
83 calories
100 calories
49 calories
70 calories
Leafy greens
Cherry tomatoes
Grilled chicken breast
Hard-boiled egg
Sunflower seeds
Italian dressing
3 cups
1 cup
2 1/2 ounces
1 large egg
2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon
24 calories
32 calories
107 calories
72 calories
34 calories
40 calories
Cooked turkey burger
Cooked quinoa
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced pickles
Sliced avocado
Medium patty
1/3 cup
1/4 cup
1/4 cup
1/3 cup
120 calories
75 calories
8 calories
5 calories
79 calories
Baked salmon
Cooked wild rice
Cooked asparagus
Olive oil
3 ounces
1/2 cup
1 cup
1 teaspoon
130 calories
83 calories
40 calories
40 calories

Use a Healthy Lifestyle Checklist for Weight Loss

In addition to eating a nutritious, reduced-calorie diet for weight loss for older women, try a few other healthy lifestyle tips and tricks when you want to shed pounds and keep lost weight off:

  • Sleep at least 7 hours each night as recommended by the CDC
  • Reduce stress in your life whenever possible
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (aerobic plus resistance exercise)
  • Drink water before meals and when you first wake up
  • Be active all throughout the day
  • Spend time outdoors
  • See a doctor if you’re feeling depressed
  • Find social support for weight loss
  • Get hormone levels checked by a doctor
  • Track weight loss goals and progress in a diary or journal

Hormone fluctuations that happen in women (especially women going through menopause) can cause hormone levels to jump outside of a normal range.

This can make weight loss for older women more difficult.

Hormone imbalances are often corrected using certain medications — including synthetic hormones.

For example, thyroid hormone underproduction (which is common among women) decreases metabolism, leading to weight gain.

Fortunately, the treatment for hypothyroidism is simply taking a pill, often just one time a day.


Enlist Social Support

You don’t have to make it through weight loss alone.

In fact, enlisting the support of friends and family (or a structured weight loss program coach) greatly increases your chance for success when it comes to shedding pounds and keeping lost weight off for good.

A 2017 study published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth found that health coaching interventions enhance weight loss and improve blood pressure in overweight and obese adults.

Weight loss coaches keep you accountable and answer questions you may have along the way.

The Fit Mother Project is a program specifically designed for busy women and moms seeking a weight loss plan with proven results.

You’ll receive customized meal plans and workouts, and get the moral support you need to stay strong long-term.

Weight loss for women over 40 is possible when using the Fit Mother Project weight management program. You can do it!

If you’re interested in a proven and completely laid out “done-for-you” weight loss meal plan & workout routine — designed for you as a busy woman, I’d recommend you read the program overview letter for our Fit Mother 30-Day Program (FM30X).

Inside FM30X, you'll receive:

  • The simple and delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week)
  • VIP email accountability where I'll personally walk you through the program

Want to get a taste of how everything works? Start with the FREE Fit Mom 3-Day Weight Loss Jumpstart!

Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on weight loss for women over 40.

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The World’s First Weight Loss Program for Men 40+

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Fit Mother Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Mother Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Mother Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Mother Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
  5. We openly take feedback here on our contact page. We welcome your content suggestions… and even feedback on grammar (we’d like to thing that we’re pretty OK at spelling and “stuff”).
  6. Above all, we are a community of likeminded men and women committed to living healthier. We do not advocate any health advice that we wouldn’t personally implement with our families. Because as far as we’re concerned, you’re our family too.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality.

– The Fit Mother Project Team


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