When you go over the age of 40 building muscle and losing fat becomes more difficult if it hasn't already become a lifestyle for you. Testosterone levels are down and cortisol levels are up. These things conspire against you to keep the fat on your body. The fact that it is difficult to gain muscle at this age also contributes to the fat loss quandry.
Following an 5 step process will get you there.
- Use the IIFYM approach to eating. IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is a very popular method of eating. It allows you to choose how many meals a day you will eat and the macronutrient ratios you want to hit and then you are able to eat things you normally wouldn't eat while trying to lose fat “if it fits your macros.” Make sure to aim for high protein intake. It is an amazing approach to eating that I have just begun to explore. I have an article planned soon regarding this eating program.
- Weight train daily. You need to do some pretty intense weight training when you are over the age of 40. You need to follow strict form to avoid injuries, but you should lift heavy and lift often. The intensity will spur on muscle growth by increasing the levels of testosterone and growth hormone in your system. Muscle helps to burn fat and that is why it is so essential to build and maintain muscle.
- Do cardio 4 times a week. To help keep fat loss moving forward do a cardio session 4 times a week. Do not over do the cardio. Keep the sessions under 30 minutes if possible. Use the HIIT method whenever possible as it continues to burn fat well into the future beyond the training session itself.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is an essential element of your program. As we get older we tend to need less sleep. Please be sure to get lots of rest regardless of what you think you need. Not getting enough sleep has been tied to increase in fat.
- Drink lots of water. I recommend drinking at least 1 gallon of water a day. I personally aim for 2 gallons. It is a big commitment but it is extremely useful. Be careful to spread your water intake out over the course of a day. The water will help you burn fat and will keep your muscles full and powerful.
If you stick religiously to the five steps above and are consistent you will see changes in your body. It is hard work after the age of 40, but do not give up. Push yourself and the results you get will make you very happy.