My husband is actually a fan of my blog even though he does not care so much about fashion. And every now and then he gives me me some ideas on what to write about.
He likes the usefulness of my page that lets you calculate if you have a healthy weight and thought my article on Madonna and keeping in shape was very interesting and as my husband is always ‘working’ to keep his weight in check, he thought he could contribute his 2 cents to the conversation.
And I agree! So here it is, a 40+ male’s take on keeping the weight off after 40!
How to lose weight without dieting
Here are my simple tips for losing weight and keeping it off. They are all very simple tips. They all work for me, but everyone is different. I would honestly love to know what works for you!
Part of losing weight is to realise what are your natural advantages and disadvantages when it comes to weight management.
These are mine:
- I like exercise
- I do not have big craving for sugar or alcohol
- I like water and I sleep well
- I love cookies, and find it hard to stop eating them once I start
- I get strong cravings for snack in late evening
- I can put on weight very quickly (1 kg per week is easy)
Before you set goals for yourself, it is worth to stop and think what natural advantages you have to work with, and what are your weaknesses. You cannot eliminate your weaknesses, but it is certainly worth reflecting on how to manage them. (For example – to manage my snack cravings in late evenings, I simply started going to bed earlier….)
Finally, I strongly prefer simple tips, so that is what I have included below. All of them are easy to implement.
Disclaimer: I have never read a weight loss book. I have no scientific knowledge.
1. Weigh yourself every day
I keep an eye on my weight every day, by having the scales next to my shower. It may seem obsessive, but it helps me not to lose focus.
2. Set a maximum weight limit
My target weight is 78kg. But I only make small adjustments until I get over 80kg.
If I get over 80kg, I am very hard on myself until I get back under 78kg. The good news is that it usually only requires a 3-4 weeks of strong discipline to get my weight back below 78kg, because I am quick to recognize my weight has gone too high. These days it rarely happens….
In my mind, losing weight is 60% about food, 25% about exercise and moving, and 15% about giving your body & mind what it needs to function (rest, water, less stress, fun, etc).
4. Avoid carbohydrates, starch and sugar
This is the golden rule and we all know it these days. Carbohydrates are the killer. Carbohydrates are making you fat.
It is amazing how quickly you get used to living without sugar once you starting cutting back. So be more conscious of what you are eating, and eat less of the bad stuff… those muffins and doughnuts especially, although we love them…
5. Appetite is not your friend
Someone explained to me that “appetite is not your friend”. It took me a while to get it, but they were right. My body signals that I need to eat, when often I don’t need to. Strangely enough, the more I eat, the more I want to eat. I get addicted to eating. These days it is rare to feel hungry, but it is a nice feeling… I recommend it…..
6. Avoid processed foods
The basic rule – all packaged, processed food is unhealthy. I avoid it, where possible. Not easy, but worth the effort. The interest of food companies is their profit and NOT your health.
7. Salad is important
I am not really fond of the taste of salad. But my body seems to like it. I am convinced that it is plays a part in losing weight, but I can’t explain why. It is a large part of every meal I eat.
8. Eat fish, vegetables and fruit where possible
You hear this regularly. And I believe it is true. Fish, vegetables and fruit make me feel healthier and more energetic. I am told there is more nutrition and less calories.
9. Don’t shop when you are hungry
This is a very old rule, but it works. I only buy what I need, rather than what I crave.
10. Avoid diets
I will never diet again. I have tried dieting, but I just got obsessed by food all day long and eventually I gave in. In my mind, it is better to eat healthy, than not to eat at all.
11. Try to avoid unhealthy food in the house
I am not a person with great discipline, so I protect myself against myself. The less chips and biscuits I have in the house, the easier it is to avoid these foods.
On the flip side, it helps to have some raw carrots, apples or other healthy snacks ready to munch when you feel the need.
12. Enjoy 1 alcoholic beverage per night, at most…
This is a hard one. I switched from beer to wine, and gradually cut back to 1 glass per night, even in a social setting. Like reducing sugar intake, you quickly get used to new limits. Of course I reduced it slowly, and I was stuck on 2 glasses for a long time….
13. Make many small adjustments
When I started my weight loss program, I took many small steps over many years.
I used to drink coffee with full cream milk, and then I switched to skimmed milk. I cut cheese out of breakfast and so on….
Making small changes that reduce my calorie intake, but that do not sacrifice life pleasure, are a no-brainer. You can probably reduce calorie intake 10% without any sacrifice or effort.
14. Take time for dinner
Part of getting healthy is to change your relationship to eating. Take the time to talk to the family and ask about their day. Each meal is a precious moment…..
15. Water is important
I don’t know why, but drinking water really helps me. The more water I drink, the better my body functions.
16. Get at least 7 hours of quality sleep, every night
Staying healthy is about basics. Water and sleep are my basics. I make sure I get enough sleep. I aim for 7 hours minimum and 8 hours at the weekend. (I also have a quality bed, to make sure I get quality sleep.)
And if you work too hard, or stress too much, try to find a better balance….
17. Exercise regularly
I am lucky; I love exercise. I prefer social sports, tennis, soccer, etc but I also don’t mind jogging. This part of managing my weight comes naturally to me. But for those who don’t, even getting out on a walk in the mornings or evenings is good exercise and part of any weight management program. You could look into social sports, yoga, climbing, golf, dancing etc?
Although I am not a huge fan of the gym, I still go on regular basis, and try to give each set of muscles a short work out. This keeps them all stretched and active.
I tend to follow a rule that I have to exercise my age in minutes. So now that I am 47, I try to exercise 47 minutes at least 5 days per week.
18. Move more
I try to do some exercise almost every day, but sometimes it is just about moving more each day. Just walking to and from a lunch café a bit further from the office is a good example. Once I started thinking about it, I found many small opportunities to get my body moving more. Don’t take that escalator but walk the stairs. My colleague got himself an office desk where he works standing up. I want one of those….
19. Don’t do guilt
No matter what I eat, I don’t feel guilty. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to do better, and I try to avoid the same situation. But I don’t do guilt. Ever…..
These simple rules work for me. But everyone is different. I would love to hear yours!!
20. Get your clothes refitted
As you lose weight, your clothes need to be adjusted. Get it done! Not only will it look much better, but there is another good reason. Just as the marketing teams at P&G talk about “moments of truth” (the smell and feel of shampoo when you apply it defines the shampoo, the smell of the freshly washed shirt when you put it on defines the fabric conditioner), the moment of truth of being overweight is when you have to close the top button of your trousers.
It is not a nice feeling if they barely fit. If you get your trousers adjusted when you lose weight, you reset the warning signal that you are putting on weight again because the trousers are tighter fitting sooner.
These simple rules work for me. But everyone is different. I would love to hear yours!!
Note from Sylvia: are you wondering if you need to lose weight at all, check out your BMI and find out an answer to the question how much should I weigh for my height and age
I now believe that sugars and carbohydrates are the worst culprit in gaining weight. For more info read my article on how to lose weight and stay healthy
What are your best tips for losing weight?
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