Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan

GET UPDATES FROM Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan

Women Over 40: Four New Ways to Approach Weight Loss

Posted: 19/10/2012 18:50

What's the best way for a woman over 40 to lose weight? The most common advice is to go on some kind of diet.

As a weight loss doctor, I spend my working life helping women over 40 lose weight, and what I most frequently hear from them is that diets that used to work when they were in their 20s and 30s stop working as they get older.

If you are over 40 and want to lose weight (and most importantly, keep it off), it's clear that it's time to look at weight loss in a different way.

One thing I have found is that most women who come to see me, especially those who have been through lots of diets, have developed much healthier expectations about weight loss. In most cases, rather than looking for what works the quickest (which is what might have been important to them previously), they are more concerned with what works for the long term.

If you are thinking "I don't want to have to do this again," then you already ahead of the pack. You have the attitude toward losing weight that will enable you to get lasting results.

So let's look at four better ways to approach weight loss:

1. Give up on diets or anything that resembles a diet.

How do you define a diet? I think of a diet as any weight loss program that is unlikely to last. This can actually include a lot of things that you wouldn't normally think of as a diet. And of course, this can vary between people. One person might have no problem eating boiled vegetables for dinner every night, while for others it might be their idea of purgatory. Whichever way you choose to lose weight, you should always feel that it is something that you are willing to do for the rest of your life. Many people start doing things and, if they're being honest with themselves, are unlikely to continue in that manner for longer than a few weeks. This is not the way to lose weight for good.

2. Change your habits.

You don't want to be a person who has to rely on "diets" to lose weight. You want to be someone who is able to maintain their weight naturally. How do you maintain your weight naturally? Well, if your habits have changed to ones that help you maintain your weight, then your job is much easier, isn't it? You change your habits by repeating behaviors over and over again. And the behaviors that you are more likely to repeat are ones that are relatively easy and fit seamlessly into your life.

3. Abandon "overhauls" and "detoxes."

I'll admit it. It often feels like you're being good when you go on a "health kick." Overhauling your entire diet or going on a detox can feel mighty virtuous. But these kinds of drastic changes are not designed to last. A better approach is to make small changes in different areas of your eating that you hardly notice. But over a surprisingly short time, these small changes can add up to large weight loss.

4. The double Ps.

A lack of persistence is one of the biggest causes of disappointment in weight loss. Especially as you get older, your rate of weight loss slows. People often trip themselves up by expecting to lose weight as quickly in their 50s as they did in their 20s.

The point here is that you need to be patient and persistent (the double Ps). As I tell my clients: The only way you can fail is by giving up. And if you're making small changes that you barely notice and are happy doing for the rest of your life, what's the reason to give up?

The Approach Makes All the Difference

Diets don't work, especially for women over 40. It's time to abandon them as a solution for weight loss. Instead change your perspective to doing things that you know will last. This is the true path to long-term weight loss.

For more about a behavioral approach click here.

For more by Dr. Khandee Ahnaimugan, click here.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Kurnia P Purwanto

    #dietTips dont turn to food to feel comfort when you're in stressed. Listening music or call a friend is better

  • Rashida

    #diettips never ever miss breakfast

  • Tom Laurie

    Family exercise is a healthy choice. This might take the form of a day at the beach a hike or maybe just some fun bowling! #DietTip

  • herbalife agent

    Always sleep with an empty tummy since you'll be burning less calories in your sleep. Dont make your body working hard at nite #DietTips

  • Primal Fitness

    If your aim is to drop pounds, switch pasta for vegetables. They contain fewer calories and are higher in essential nutrients! #diettips

  • Live Life

    Include dry fruits in your food as they have a lot of nutrients in them. #diettips http://t.co/yu3nn6BT

  • sassynotsexy.

    Drinking hot water regulary like tea helps slim your tummy. #Diettips

  • P U Y i i :)

    Eat only when you are hungry . #diettips

  • Teresa C

    I'll just finish this bag of peanuts now, that way I can't eat them tomorrow. #diettips

  • Lauren Fisher

    The bigger your Starbucks cup is, the smaller your body looks. #diettip

  • Tom Laurie

    If you eliminate your favorite foods you will start hating your diet. It is much better to eat your favorites in moderation! #DietTip

  • goodtoknowdiets

    #Healthy #breakfast choice: A yogurt (low fat/light versions are best) with some muesli and fruit. #DietTip #gtkDietTip #HealthyEating

  • Rosana Rose Partido

    Don't expect to lose weight quickly. Losing about one to two pounds a week is a healthy rate of weight loss. #weightlosstips


Follow Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/doctorktweets