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How to Lose Weight Over 40: 24 Tips to Try Today

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

Writer at The Fit Father Project

how to lose weight over 40
Kknowing how to lose weight over 40 may be easier than you thought. Add simple healthy lifestyle habits to your everyday routine to melt off excess weight without sweating for hours in the gym.

Learn more about how to lose weight over 40 by implementing the simple tips below.

#1 Improve Your Sleep

Allowing your body to get enough sleep is beneficial for numerous reasons.

Studies show that sleep deprivation is associated with a hormone imbalance that can increase your appetite.

Feeling tired due to insufficient sleep makes it difficult to stay active enough to burn extra calories needed to drop weight.

To improve your sleep quality, go to bed at the same time each night. Allow yourself to get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

Set your thermostat at 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit at bedtime for optimal sleep.

Install blackout curtains to reduce light, and use a white noise machine to block out sounds during the night.

Avoid overeating, late-night workouts, smoking, and drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed.

#2 Track Your Water Intake

Boosting your water intake is a key component of losing weight over 40.

To optimize your chance of effective weight loss, aim to drink 32 ounces, or 4 cups, of water when you wake up each morning.

Men require about 16 cups of total fluids daily, but your personalized needs vary based on your body fat/lean muscle ratio, your size, and how much you sweat.

Drink at least 2 cups of water before each meal, as studies show this is effective for reducing food intake at mealtime.

#3 Prioritize Physical Activity

Staying active is one of the best ways to drop excess weight over 40 and keep it off for life.

Slowly introduce formal physical activity (at least 20 minutes daily) after increasing activities of daily living, such as walking the dog or playing with your kids.

Try our fat-burning workouts to drop unwanted weight without spending hours in the gym.

#4 Use Perfect Plates for Portion Control

If you’re wondering how to lose weight over 40, you don’t have to count calories to be successful. Simply use the perfect plate method to drop weight.

how to lose weight over 40This means:

  • Fill 1/2 of each plate with non-starchy vegetables
  • Fill 1/4 of each plate with protein foods
  • Fill 1/4 of each plate with fiber-rich starches
  • Add healthy fats to each meal
  • Consume about 3 servings of dairy foods or calcium-rich plant alternatives
  • Eat 1-2 cups of fruit daily

Examples of non-starchy vegetables include spinach, kale, other leafy greens, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and zucchini.

Nutritious protein foods include turkey, chicken, lean organic meats, fish, shrimp, scallops, other seafood, eggs, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and protein powders.

Avoid breaded, fried, and processed meats like hot dogs, hamburgers, bacon, sausage, and deli meats.

Examples of fiber-rich starches are oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas, green peas, other legumes, corn, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, other plant oils, nut butter, nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, hummus, and fish oil.

Examples of calcium-rich dairy foods and alternatives are plain Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, plain kefir, low-fat milk, plant milk, plant-based yogurt, and whey or casein protein shakes.

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#5 Focus on Plant Foods

Research shows that eating more plant foods, including plant protein instead of meat, is associated with lower body weights, improved body composition, and less insulin resistance.

Choose plant-based proteins when you can, such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, plant milk, plant yogurts, peas, beans, other legumes, nuts, seeds, and plant-based protein shakes or bars.

#6 Take Weight Loss Supplements for Men

Taking weight loss supplements for men is an excellent way to optimize your overall health, keep energy levels high, control your appetite, and prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Examples of some of the best supplements for men over 40 include vitamin B12, vitamin D3, fish oil, magnesium, turmeric, and creatine monohydrate.

Additional weight loss supplements for men to consider are fiber supplements, protein meal replacement shakes or bars, probiotics, green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, powdered greens, and multivitamin supplements for men.

#7 Lift Weights

Lifting weights regularly is one of the best ways to keep your metabolism high, increase lean body mass, and get the muscular physique you desire during weight loss over 40.

Try some of the best strength training workouts for men available at the Fit Father Project.

Sample fat-burning resistance exercises you can complete from the comfort of your own home include jump squats, deadlifts, skull crushers, standing shoulder press, rear deltoid flys, plank exercises, and numerous others.

#8 Get Your Hormones Checked

One of the simplest ways to enhance weight loss over 40 is to get treated for hormone imbalance, especially low testosterone if you suffer from it.

Your doctor can use a simple blood test to let you know if hormonal imbalance is a reason you struggled with weight loss or muscle building.

Your hormone therapy treatment plan might include medications, injections, sub-dermal pellets, skin patches, creams, or gels.

#9 Eat Smart When Dining Out

Studies show that preparing meals at home gives you the best chance of maintaining lower body weight.

However, you don’t have to skip restaurants altogether to reach your goal weight over 40 – if you eat smart when dining out.

To do so, consider ordering healthy appetizers, soups, or salads in place of entrees.

Choose broth-based soups over cream-based soups, order dressings and sauces on the side, and make sure to eat veggies and protein at each meal.

Skip hot dogs, breaded meats, burgers, onion rings, fries, and other greasy fried foods.

#10 Change Up Workouts Regularly

To achieve optimal fat-burning results and avoid overtraining, change up your workout routines often.

For example, you might do cardio interval training one day, heavy weight-training the next day, and circuit training at the following workout.

Consider joining a recreational soccer or basketball team, swimming, hiking, yoga, tai chi, or cycling outdoors.

You can work your abs just about every day, but don’t do the same ab routine day after day. Try some of the Fit Father Project ab workouts to get started.

#11 Drink Black Coffee or Unsweetened Tea

Unsweetened coffee and green tea contain less than 5 calories per serving but can boost your metabolism and energy levels nonetheless.

In fact, studies show that drinking caffeine found in coffee and tea appears to promote reductions in body fat, body mass index (BMI), and body weight.

Consider having these caffeinated drinks in the morning and even during lunch, but avoid caffeine later in the evening so it doesn’t keep you up late at night.

#12 Nix Sugary Drinks

Consuming sugary drinks makes weight loss after 40 a challenge.


These drinks often provide 150-300 calories per serving, are loaded with sugar, and contain few, if any, beneficial nutrients.

Sugary drinks don’t promote satiety and can increase cravings for other sugary foods.

Knowing how to lose weight over 40 means nixing sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, lemonade, sports drinks, and energy drinks. After doing so, watch the excess weight melt off.

#13 Say No to Diet Drinks

Diet drinks may be calorie-free, but they don’t help you lose weight. In fact, just the opposite appears to be true.

Studies show that non-nutritive sweeteners, such as stevia, sucralose, neotame, aspartame, and saccharin are actually associated with metabolic disease and higher body weight.

These sweeteners appear to induce cravings for sweets and other sugar-rich foods.

#14 Eliminate Refined Carbs

Knowing how to lose weight over 40 means saying NO to refined grains like white bread, white rice, rolls, white hamburger buns, and regular pasta.

how to lose weight over 40These foods provide carbohydrates but little to no fiber, and they don’t fill you up as fiber-rich whole grains do.

Instead, choose brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, beans, lentils, or legumes.

#15 Eat Protein and Non-Starchy Veggies First

Nutritious proteins and non-starchy vegetables are often lower in calories than starches and fats but still promote satiety.

Therefore, when losing weight over 40 is your goal, eat non-starchy veggies and protein foods first during each meal.

#16 Cut Back on Your Total Carb Intake

If you’re used to snacking on chips, pretzels, crackers, cookies, or baked goods, cut back on these high-carb foods to drop weight over 40.

They give you energy but also contribute to unwanted weight gain. Studies show that reducing carbs is an effective weight loss strategy.

Get your carbs from whole, fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Focus on non-starchy veggies, protein, and healthy fats rather than high-carb foods.

The Institute of Medicine suggests adults consume at least 130 grams of carbs daily.

#17 Avoid Eating While Distracted

Eating while distracted can lead to overeating.

Consuming calories while working or watching television might seem like a good idea, but distracted eating may cause you to miss your body’s hunger cues.

During each meal and snack, focus entirely on recognizing hunger cues and stop eating at the first sign of satiety.

#18 Don’t Be Afraid of Fats

It’s true that dietary fat contains more calories than protein or carbs, as fat provides 9 calories vs. 4 calories in carbs and protein.

However, fat induces satiety, or feelings of fullness, which helps you control calories during weight loss over 40.

Make sure to choose heart-healthy fats found in fatty fish, fish oil, olive, oil, avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and nut butter.

#19 Consider Meal Replacement Protein Shakes

Replacing one or two meals with a protein shake is an excellent way to cut calories.

Many homemade protein shake recipes contain just 300 calories, which is a great way to reduce your overall calorie intake to 1,500-1,800 calories daily without feeling hungry.

Try mixing your favorite protein powder with water or milk plus fruit or coffee to create a protein-rich, energy-boosting meal replacement smoothie.

#20 Try Fasted Cardio

Studies show that fasted cardio, or doing cardiovascular exercise before eating breakfast, helps increase fat-burning throughout the entire day.

Consider jogging, cycling, rowing, stair climbing, or using an elliptical machine before eating breakfast to optimize fat burning during weight loss.

If you’re hungry when you first wake up, try drinking water, coffee, tea, or a protein shake but avoid eating a large breakfast prior to your morning workout.

#21 Eat Slowly

Eating quickly increases the chance you'll overeat at mealtime, as you might miss your body’s hunger cues.

It can take a while for your brain to send signals to the rest of your body that you feel full. Eat as slowly as you can and plan ample time for each meal.

Take breaks while you eat if you struggle with this weight loss strategy.

#22 Say No to Alcohol

If you’re a regular drinker, nixing alcohol is one of the best ways to cut calories for weight loss over 40.

Even if you don’t cut out alcohol entirely, limit yourself to one drink or less per day, as alcoholic beverages can contain 100-300 calories or more in just a single serving.

Making a commitment to reducing alcohol means a lower risk of developing certain cancerssuch as mouth, throat, voice box, esophageal, liver, colon, and rectal cancers.

#23 Snack Smart

Don’t skip snacks if you’re hungry, even when you’re trying to shed pounds.

Snacking smart is the key to dropping weight over 40. Doing so keeps you satisfied, and helps you avoid overeating at mealtime.

Snack on nuts, seeds, protein bars or shakes, fresh veggies dipped in hummus, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, or fruit with nut butter.

#24 Join a Weight Loss Program for Men

Studies show that joining a structured online weight loss program is associated with better diet quality and greater weight loss compared with trying to lose weight on your own.

The Fit Father Project 30X (FF30X) is an online weight loss plan designed for men over 40, with proven success.

It’s helped tens of thousands of men lose excess weight and keep it off for life.

To try the program risk-free, sign up for the Fit Father Project’s FREE meal plan and workouts to get started today!

Knowing how to lose weight over 40 has never been easier!

Your new friend & health coach,

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

Writer at The Fit Father 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.

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*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 how to lose weight over 40.


1) International Journal of Endocrinology, 2015

2) CDC

3) National Sleep Foundation

4) Mayo Clinic

5) Obesity, 2015

6) Nutrition and Diabetes, 2018

7) American Journal of Health Promotion, 2018

8) Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2019

9) Obesity, 2019

10) U.S. National Library of Medicine

11) Institute of Medicine

12) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

13) PloS One, 2017

14) CDC

15) Nutrition Journal, 2014


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