How to Lose Weight After 40


Nagina Abdullah


April 22, 2022

weight loss after 40

Updated for 2022

Today, learn the step-by-step strategy to boost your metabolism and how to lose weight after 40.

Want to learn more? Read on!

Want to boost your metabolism in your 40s?

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you get off of sugar. (You also get my late-night sweet & slimming tea recipe!)

My strategies have helped busy women lose 40 pounds and beyond and melt off their belly fat.

Why it’s so hard to lose weight after 40

Let me guess:

You’d love to look and feel great in your 40s and beyond. You want to be able to wear a bikini and feel good about yourself, instead of obsessing over what people will think if you take your cover off. 

At work, you still want to perform at your best. You want to wear clothes that fit and not have to worry about what a wobbly stomach or love handles look like in your fitted dress when you’re giving a presentation or leading a meeting.

The good news is:

Losing weight after 40 CAN be done.

Just look at people like Brooke Burke, 49, and Jada Pinkett Smith, 49. They look fabulous, right? 

brooke burke

Source: (CC) Brian Solis

And even better — you can achieve your dream body, even if you’re not a celebrity. I’m not and yet, I managed to lose 40 pounds in a stress-free and non-restrictive way. I’ve kept it off, too, in my 40s with two kids and while running a business!

Nagina Sethi Abdullah by the pool
Today, I feel at my best. But it wasn’t always so… I used to struggle with my weight loss without understanding why my body was acting the way it was. Here’s what you need to know about how your body changes when you’re in your 40s. 

The reasons you gain weight in your 40s without losing it 

When it comes to losing weight after 40, what used to work for you before doesn’t work anymore.

Your metabolism seems to be slowing down. And your body doesn’t have as much forgiveness and it just becomes harder for you to lose weight. 

Your lifestyle plays a part

Part of this is that after 40 you have a busier lifestyle than you had in your 20s. You might be working full-time, have kids and you have to consider other things besides only yourself. 

You don’t have as much time as you used to have and it’s easy to put yourself last because you’re taking care of so many other people and/or your career. 

If you weren’t perfect before, NOW it’s even harder to keep the weight off. You’ll find that you can gain 1-2 pounds and keep those on every time you don’t eat right for a week or go on a trip.

Your body is less forgiving when you don’t eat extremely healthy. Your weight gain might be gradual and every year you might find yourself a few pounds heavier, which adds up to 10-20 pounds in several years. 

Not to mention… kids. But while you initially did put on weight when you were pregnant, that baby weight is now your lifestyle. 

Your body doesn’t have the same metabolism it used to after 40 

While it’s just harder to make weight-loss a priority in your life, another part is that it becomes naturally harder to lose weight. 

As studies show, age has a big impact on how effectively your body loses weight. 

First, your muscle mass decreases and instead, it’s replaced by fat. Less muscle impacts your metabolism because muscle uses more calories than fat. 

And the rate at which fat is removed and stored decreases the older you get. This makes it easier to gain weight. 

Studies have also shown that perimenopausal women lose lean body mass and more than double their fat mass. You can enter your menopause at some point in your 40s. And that affects your hormones. Things aren’t working the same and a lot of women gain weight and feel stuck once they reach this point. 

Want to boost your metabolism?

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you get off of sugar. (You also get my late-night sweet & slimming tea recipe!)

My strategies have helped busy women lose 40 pounds and beyond, shed their belly fat, and finally feel good in a bikini.

Losing weight after 40 – Why it’s important to lose weight now


Losing weight isn’t just something that will make you feel much better. It’s also critical for your overall health and life expectancy. (Yes, it sounds dramatic, but if you lose weight in your 40s, you will likely live longer and get to enjoy life more.)

Long-term health problems

Too much weight comes with long-term health problems like cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, gallstones, asthma, cataracts, infertility, snoring, and sleep apnea. 

weight related long term health problems

Studies show that middle-aged women who gained 11-22 pounds after the age of 20 were 3x more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and gallstones than those who gained five pounds or fewer. 

Adult weight gain can also increase the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. 

In your 40s, you might experience more pain in joints and the body that results in knee pain, back pain, and swollen ankles. Weight loss can help in preventing pain for example in your knees

More energy

That’s not all, though. By losing weight and adopting the healthy habits that come with it, you get more energy and stop feeling so sluggish and tired all the time. Instead of dreading hikes and family beach outings, you now have more energy to spend time with your kids. 

You perform at your best at work and you get to wear the clothes you WANT to wear. You feel confident and sexy around your partner. 

I should know:

Before I went through my own weight-loss journey, I wasn’t active at all. I detested going to the beach and I probably wouldn’t have been a very active parent to my kids (because I felt so exhausted all the time). 

Now? My family loves to go hiking, skiing, swimming, parasailing, jetskiing, and playing together. 



watersports with family


hiking with family

The best part? If you get started NOW, you build up habits that will help you be active and healthy in the upcoming decades of your life. You will be MORE in shape in your 50s than you are now and life will feel so free. 

How to lose weight after 40 and get your dream body

Now you might be asking: 

“Can I actually lose weight in my 40s?”

Yes, you can! You CAN look fantastic in a bikini, you CAN have your dream body, and you CAN feel really comfortable in your clothing. 

For example, here’s a picture of me and my friends hanging out at the spa. We’re all in our 40s with kids and busy jobs (I run my own business and my friends are top executives.)

fit over 40

The strategy that will help you get there

You get through this if you just learn how to boost your metabolism, strength train your body and keep burning fat faster. 

And that’s NOT through restrictive diets. 

When I was (unsuccessfully) losing weight, I used to be a serial dieter. I’d jump from one trendy diet to the next. 

The result? I did lose weight… Only to gain it again. 

Diets don’t work because they’re restrictive and hard to keep up. Plus, they are often unhealthy because they focus on cutting food out of your diet. And often, they require you to use supplements, which are pumped with artificials. 

It was only when I completely changed my approach and strategy that I started seeing real results. 

Instead of depriving myself of food (which always led me to eat even more unhealthy foods, like pizza, cupcakes, and other sugary and fat food), I started eating foods that improve metabolism.

But here’s the crux:

I didn’t restrict myself. I ate more than I used to with all those diets.

And my weight started dropping!

But not only that. I was easily able to keep my new habits because they worked seamlessly with my lifestyle. 

I didn’t have to cook multiple times for my family or think about what I ate and when. And I didn’t have to go into a meeting feeling hungry and tired.

Instead, my fat started melting off while I was enjoying tasty food like I normally would.

Today, I’ve helped hundreds of women in their 40s and in their pre-menopause and menopause get to their dream bodies because I know how to boost their metabolism stress-free. 

I help them reclaim their energy, happiness, and an active lifestyle with a structure, a plan, metabolism-boosting foods, and accountability to put themselves first.

Here’s what it takes when you’re losing weight after 40. 

Want to boost your metabolism?

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you get off of sugar. (You also get my late-night sweet & slimming tea recipe!)

My strategies have helped busy women lose 40 pounds and beyond, shed their belly fat, and finally feel good in a bikini.

What to eat to lose weight after 40

Here’s the thing:

With the right food, you can boost your metabolism. 

It’s true — food has SUCH a big impact on your weight loss. And science backs this up. For example, some foods that have been shown to have weight loss benefits include chickpeas, salmon, chili, blueberries, turmeric, garlic, and more.    

salmon for weight loss

In my program, we help women in their 40s lose 20-50 pounds and much of it is because we know what foods to eat and how to make it all work in your life. 

Right now, you have so many more responsibilities than 10-15 years ago. Back then, you were probably able to prioritize your meal planning and food. Now, you have to plan your children’s meals as well as your own.

In my program, we provide customized menu plans that are family-friendly. That’s what makes it so simple to implement. We also teach you easy meals to put together in 15 minutes or less and simple grab-and-go items. 

It’s all designed to help you lose weight effectively and keep that weight off for good. 

But while food is the biggest part of your weight-loss, exercise is so important for keeping up healthy habits. That’s what we’ll look at next.

How to exercise for weight loss after 40

As you get older, your body gets weaker. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can make yourself stronger, and support your own weight loss, with exercise. A Wake Forest University study shows that overweight adults who cut 300 calories from their diet lost 12 pounds, some of them which were muscle. Those who cut 300 calories and did strength training lost almost 20 pounds in that same time and more of it was pure fat. 

Now, not all my clients want to exercise. And that’s fine. But to get ALL the health benefits of your weight loss, I highly recommend that you integrate exercise into your routine.

It doesn’t even have to be that time-consuming if you do it in the right way. 

The routine I recommend is to strength train two times/week for 30 minutes per session. This will build your body to be fat-burning. I also recommend 2-3 days x 15 minutes of cardio, such as walking, jogging, or biking. 

When you eat well, you don’t have to work out for hours and when you strength train, you’re strategically increasing your metabolism so you burn fat much faster even if you’re in your 40s. 

How to maintain your weight after losing weight after 40

Now you know how to eat and exercise to lose weight. But how do you keep it off?

It comes down to getting the right support and accountability.

Getting accountability and support for sustainable weight-loss

Studies show that accountability makes it easier to lose weight and keep it off. And people who work with professional weight loss coaches seem to lose weight more easily. 

For example, in my own weight-loss program, Slim Down Transformation, we work with you personally for 12 months through accountability advisors who you’re matched with. You get that motivation you need to lose weight — but even more than that, you get the tools to independently ensure that your weight keeps off after the program. 

That’s how my clients are able to lose 20-50 pounds and more. 

Losing weight after 40 – success stories 

Some of my client success stories? These women are all in their 40s and successfully lost and kept their weight off. 

Tree – Lost 20 pounds

Tree is one of my students who used to feel that she didn’t want to take pictures of herself because she didn’t feel comfortable in her body. 

Because Tree didn’t like how she looked, she started a cycle of seeking comfort or release with food and feeding more self-destructive feelings.

“Because I already hated my body, I didn’t make healthy choices when stressed, I made choices that caused even more self-loathing.”

During the course of my program, her mindset changed.

“My mindset shifted from wanting to find control and comfort in a bag of chips to actually knowing that I was already in control by maintaining my feel-good, light and energized state.”

And now?

“I bought a cute new bikini (I haven’t worn a bikini in public in 5 years!) and can’t wait for summer. I no longer wear baby doll or maternity shirts! I feel light and strong and have tons more energy.”

Tree lost 8 inches off her waist and she went from 35” at her belly button to 27″. She lost a total of 20 pounds, even though she works 12-hour days at a Fortune 500 company. Oh, and she did all this while enjoying dessert like chocolate cake and she didn’t exercise at all.

weight loss client tree

Louise – Lost 13 pounds

When we started working together, Louise, a 45-year old UX expert, was stuck in a spiral of eating too much. 

“I didn’t have a stop button when it came to food,” she says.

And because she traveled up to 5 days a week for work, she used to be tempted to quickly make up for feeling rushed and hungry at airports by indulging in cakes, coffee, and alcohol.

She had lost her shape since having her daughters almost 13 years ago and never been able to get the extra weight off. At the same time, she wanted to wear cute skirts and tops again, not just cover up in frumpier dresses.

With my program, Louise lost 13 pounds in 10 weeks. With these changes, she stopped feeling self-conscious about her tummy. She says:

“The benefits still are manyfold: Cleared up my skin, brain fog, energy levels and stomach upsets. It still is the best thing I did for myself!”

weight loss client louise

Kelly – Lost 17 pounds

Kelly had been on diets for most of her adult life. She never felt full and satisfied and always felt bloated.

“No matter what I did, I couldn’t drop weight. I would lose 4 pounds and then put 3 back on, I would lose 2 pounds and put 4 back on. I was in a really bad pattern,” Kelly says. 

Kelly lost 17 pounds in 8 weeks. During the course of my program, she didn’t exercise more than a few yoga sessions. 

“I feel so much better! I felt lighter already in the first week.”

One of the main reasons was that she enjoyed the food that I recommended and it made her feel satisfied throughout the day. She stopped wanting to snack on cakes and cookies. 

Now, her clothes are getting too big and she’s looking forward to moving to smaller sizes.

“My legs and arms are thinned out.” 

weight loss client kelly

Want to know more? Here’s a chat I had with Kelly: 

Want to boost your metabolism?

Get your own downloadable Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet PDF with the sweet spice that helps you get off of sugar. (You also get my late-night sweet & slimming tea recipe!)

My strategies have helped busy women in their 40s lose 40 pounds and beyond, shed their belly fat, and finally feel good in a bikini.

Over to you!

There you have it. Now you know how to lose weight after 40. 

Focus on the right foods, support, and taking consistent action — and results will follow. Ultimately, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. 

Now, I’d love to hear from you. 

What have you tried so far to lose weight? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

Trying to lose weight after 40? Check out my 8 week slimdown personal weight loss coaching or book a call today.

Avatar photo

Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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