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:
|HEIGHT||IDEAL BODY WEIGHT|
|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:
|Fish||Whole grains||Other plant-based oils|
|Other seafood||Dried beans||Olives|
|Plain Greek yogurt||Hummus|
|Low-fat cottage cheese|
|Protein-fortified almond milk|
|Protein powder shakes|
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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:
|SNACK IDEA #1|
|Reduced-fat cheese sticks|
|SNACK IDEA #2|
|Non-fat Greek yogurt|
|SNACK IDEA #3|
|SNACK IDEA #4|
|Low-fat cottage cheese|
|SNACK IDEA #5|
|Protein-fortified almond milk|
1/2 small size
Healthy Weight Loss Meal Ideas
Use the food chart below to give you some 300-calorie healthy meal ideas:
|MEAL IDEA #1|
Sliced green peppers
|3 large eggs|
|MEAL IDEA #2|
Non-fat Greek yogurt
|MEAL IDEA #3|
Grilled chicken breast
2 1/2 ounces
1 large egg
|MEAL IDEA #4|
|Cooked turkey burger|
|MEAL IDEA #5|
Cooked wild rice
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!
*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.