10 healthy habits to keep the weight off

by Sylvia

how to lose weight

Although I’m over 40 I have not gained a lot of weight as many older women do. In fact, I weigh less than when I was 25. This is despite the fact that I eat whatever I like, I’m never on a diet and do have a sweet tooth.

Many people around me feel that I’m lucky, that I was born with good metabolism and although I think there is some truth in that, I have also noticed that some of my (eating) habits are different from other people.

So here are some of my healthy eating  and drinking habits that I believe contribute to my steady weight.

1. I never consume any soft drinks

Nothing puts the pounds on faster than consuming many soft drinks like Coca Cola, Sprite, Fanta etc and even juices. They contain a LOT of sugars and also many chemicals that are very unhealthy. Diet drinks are not an alternative as they contain artificial sugars like aspartame that can do some serious damage to your health. Instead I drink a lot of water and start with freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning.

2. I start the day with a wholesome healthy breakfast

I eat an unsweetened musli that I have created myself which consists of wholewheat grains, flax seeds, dried apricots and several other ingredients. I combine this with rice milk. As my drink I have a freshly squeezed orange juice. Although I do not eat a lot in the morning, I never feel the need for any additional food until lunch time.

3. I eat a big lunch

I’m usually hungry at lunch time and eat up to 4 sandwiches, with cheese, avocados and tomatoes. I feel that lunch is currently my weakest meal as I don’t vary it much and I probably eat too much blue cheese. It would be better if I would eat a bit more fruits and vegetables during lunch. When I’m out an about my preferred lunch is Japanese sushimi, with raw salmon and tuna my absolute favorites.

4. I only eat Fish and do not eat meat

My husband always reports that whenever he eats meat now, it takes a long time for the body to digest it and he feels ‘heavy’ for days.  I believe that eating fish and a lot of vegetables is a lot healthier in the long run and you can eat as much as you like.

5. I eat raw salad with every diner

Every diner I always eat some salad or raw vegetables. This is very good for your metabolism and your energy levels. I don’t use any dressing.

6. I do not snack after 9.30 pm and eat diner very early (6 pm)

I don’t always stick to that rule, but usually I don’t eat anything at night. I usually snack on a few biscuits or chocolate at about 8 pm. Eating early helps your body to digest your food before going to sleep.

7. I don’t drink any caffeine beverages and a lot of herbal tea

I never drink coffee and hardly ever drink black tea. Instead I drink a lot of herbal tea and green tea throughout the day.

8. I don’t eat the fries that are usually served with your food while dining out

Most of the people I dine out with will eat the fries. Even if they did not order them. Although there is no harm to eat fries every now and then, don’t just eat them because they’re there.

9. I eat less now than when I was younger

Your body needs less food as you get older. Perhaps I’m good at listening at my body and only eat the quantity of food I feel my body needs.

10. I’m a very moderate alcohol drinker

I only consume about 1 or 2 glasses of alcohol each week, if at all. I have never been a big drinker and just don’t enjoy wine as much as many others do. I have also found that alcohol tends to drain my energy and makes me feel generally unhealthier.

Please note, I’m by no means perfect in my eating habits!

Even though I follow the above mentioned habits, I’m far from perfect. I have days when I can’t resist eating crisps (even though they are definitely on my forbidden food list because of all the bad fats and chemicals) and I frequently snack on biscuits, Nutella and chocolate. I also never skip dessert when I’m dining out even though I will have plain yoghurt (without sugar) most days.

If you feel that you are too heavy, you may like to have a look at your eating habits. Can you see which of your habits pack on the pounds? Perhaps you can replace those with some healthier eating and drinking habits, and you may just find that you never have to diet again!

As a last note I just want to mention that this article is for those who have asked me how I keep a steady weight. I’m certainly not suggesting that you need to lose weight or that it is necessary to look good. I feel that you can look fabulous no matter your weight! I do believe though, that it is important to stay healthy as we age and in my opinion, maintaining a healthy weight is part of that.

p.s.: if you wondered if you currently have a healthy weight then check out this page  and try out our handy BMI calculator and find out how much you should weigh for your height and age!

p.p.s.: After reading the book How we get Fat, I now strongly believe that sugars are the main culprit in weight gain. Find out more about this book and my personal review.


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I really like it but could you give me advices on how to loose belly fat. For my son whos 15 5’4 and weighs 139


My advice for people wanting to lose weight and keeping the weight off, is to keep eating the same amount you are eating now (so you will not get hungry) but ONLY eat the right stuff, like vegetables and lean fish. NO bad fats as I feel that is the worst fat maker. If you want to lose weight in one particular area, like the belly, you will need to combine that with going to the gym and really work on that particular area. Or take up a sport you really like: that will make exorcizing easier. Wishing your son good luck!


l need your help because l weigh 95 kg. l enjoyed reading your write up
Thank you


My best tips are already in this article, but the key to getting the weight you want is just to eat healthier. You can also read my husband’s tips here: https://40plusstyle.com/if-you-want-to-lose-weight-dont-diet-here-are-some-simple-rules-that-work/ If you have any specific questions, then just let me know. Good luck!


What if you are having Dinner with family and you mom cooks fatning food, How can you avoid eating it? Please Reply ASAP Thank You Mrs. Sylvia


I never worry too much about one unhealthy meal. If you normally eat healthy, exercize and are basically doing all the right things, an unhealthy meal every now and then will not do you any harm. If you eat with your family on a regular basis, just tell your mum what you are doing and she may like to cook healthy meals for you!


Hi Sylvia,
I’m turning 26 this coming December.I have a 7year old and 3year daughters.
After giving birth to my eldest I used to lose all the weight I gained after a year,
but after giving birth to my youngest I find it difficult to lose weight and it makes me look older than my actual age.
I want to lose weight before my birthday comes and also to prevent regaining it throughtout this coming Holidays!
Any tips from you will be highly appreciated..
I find your writings fun and very interesting.


Hi Darryl, Great to see that you enjoy my website. My best tips are in the articles I linked to at the bottom of the article on losing weight. I would say, try to exercize more and stick to a very healthy diet.


After reading that I rolled my eyes numerous times as that’s a person who is already slim and doesnt need to eat that much. I eat alot and I need to eat otherwise if I were to follow your regime I would be starving myself.

The way a 40 plus person can keep the weight off is to basically go running and get the cardio fascular system moving – no other way FACT. You can eat what you want when you want. You just need to exercise and thats the problem with alot of women over 40 – they just dont bother and wonder why they carnt keep the weight off.

How do I know? – Im now a easy size nz 14 and I need to get my butt in those running shoes and get back into it. That was the ONLY TIME I lost wieght.

you ladies know it – its just like giving up ciggerates – It is as hard as you KNOW IT IS going to be to give up.

Took me 2 years to get the thought of wanting a ciggerate out of my mind – yes TWO YEARS. If you take up exercise? – its going to take 6 months to loose your muffin top – and keep eating what you eat.


Hi Dee. Thanks for your feedback. I used to think that exercise is crucial too, but after reading How we get fat, I no longer think so. More on that here: https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-lose-weight-over-40/ There are actually a few scientific examples in that book which show that exercise cannot make you lose weight in the long term. Of course you burn more calories when you exercise, but you also tend to eat more. This may be the case for you as well. You need to eat more because you exercize so much. If this topic interests you I would encourage you to read that book, and it would be interesting to see if your opinion has changed after that.

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