What is so different about weight loss when you're a woman over 40? As I described in the first article of this series, there are two main differences: (1) Crash diets the might have worked for you in your 20s and 30s don't work any more; and (2) exercise just isn't enough. In this article (like the second of this series), I'm going to focus on practical advice for weight loss.
So here are 8 more weight loss tips for women over 40.
1. Stop turning desired foods into the enemy.
One thing I notice with many clients is that when they eat foods that they perceive as "bad" (but that they love), they eat them in the worst possible way. Have you ever eaten a chocolate bar as if you were committing a crime and wanted to finish it before you got caught? This is a terrible way to eat a food that you love! Not only do you not take the time to enjoy it, but the entire experience is suffused with guilt and regret.
Remember, food is not the enemy, it’s your thoughts about the food. Give yourself permission to eat foods that you enjoy. Second, instead of rushing, take your time. Put the food on a plate. Savor it. When you allow yourself to enjoy food that you love, it loses some of its power over you.
2. If you know you're likely to overeat certain foods, make them harder to access.
Eating something you love should be a deliberate decision. The problem is, if you like chocolate and it’s lying around on your desk, your decision is no longer driven by desire, but by convenience.
You want to make snacks and other foods like that as inconvenient as possible. This ensures that you're making decisions based on what you really want and not just because it’s in front of you.
You create inconvenience by not keeping snacks readily available. It puts a barrier between you and impulsive food decisions. Do you always get an afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine at work? Make a rule that you can still have a chocolate bar, but you have to walk to a shop a few blocks away to get it.
3. What foods do you really really love?
You probably think you know what foods you love. But there is more to it than that. Part of developing a healthier relationship with food is gaining more self-knowledge about what you really want.
Some questions to ask are: