How can I prevent weight gain after turning 40?

Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics
Many people start gaining weight at 40. Prepare and plan. Know that your metabolism will slow down unless you maintain your physical activity. This may be a good time to change your habits. If you aren't active, join a gym, start hiking, or find something to keep yourself active. A healthy lifestyle involves eating healthy foods in moderation and staying active.
Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics

If you don't have an exercise plan, start one if approved by your doctor. Move around any chance that you get. For example, park farther away than you have to or take the stairs at work. Also, make sure that you are eating healthy. Start by having a good breakfast that contains protein. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid high fat items such as fried food and cream sauces. Drink 1% or skim milk. Include lean meats or meat alternatives such as beans and lentils in your daily eating plan. If you have sweets, limit your portions and choose lighter options. If you notice that your weight is creeping up, re-evaluate what you are doing and make adjustments as needed.

As Dr. Oz mentioned above, "the structures within cells that convert food into energy slow down or die off after age 40."  This causes us to not be able to burn as many calories each day.  However, if you include resistance training at least 2 to 3 times per week, you will increase your lean muscle mass (LMM).  For every additional pound of LMM you create, you burn 100 calories more per day. Increasing your metabolic rate, and reducing your caloric intake by 100 calories per day should help you maintain your weight after turning 40.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Mitochondria - the structures within cells that convert food into energy - slow down or die off after age 40. Subsequently, you can’t burn calories like you did before and can start gaining weight.

To combat the loss of mitochondria, cut 100 calories from your daily intake. Easy ways to trim 100 calories include removing skin from chicken breasts, using skim instead of whole milk in coffee, swapping mustard for mayo on sandwiches, and eating plain hamburgers rather than cheeseburgers. Studies show that eliminating 100 calories a day helps to keep weight off long term.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.