Are weight loss goals achievable after age 40? When you’ve passed your thirties and forties, weight loss can seem unrealistic – and impossible. But the truth is that you can lose weight successfully at any age. Just ask 45-year-old Ben Jackson of Warrington, UK, who lost over 16 pounds in just 12 weeks (1)!

“Many 45 plus men might think that when they’ve hit middle age, it’s too late to embark on a fitness journey because their body is out of shape or they don’t have the same stamina as they did in their 20s,” Ben admits, in a recent article from The Independent (2). But he also adds: “… they can still reinvent themselves physically and mentally regardless of their age.”

Here is the incredible story of how Ben came to lose so much weight over 12 weeks, with nothing but a solid weight loss plan and some healthy lifestyle changes!

Ben’s Story: Overweight 45-Year-Old Father Loses 16 Pounds in 12 Weeks

An ordinary, 45-year-old father of three in Warrington, UK, Ben Jackson worked much of his adult life in construction (2). As a result, Ben resorted to a day-to-day diet of fast food, beer, and energy bars – anything to keep his constantly tired body going (2).

The result? He felt sluggish and became overweight, well into his 40s (3).

Ben’s life only changed when Myprotein, a protein product company, challenged him to lose excessive body fat in 12 weeks by changing his diet and adding on some regular exercise (1). Ben took on the challenge for the chance to change his tired, sluggish life for the better – and maybe lose just a few pounds.

In Ben’s own words: “My main goal was to lose weight… I also wanted to get back to a good level of fitness.” (2)

He did not know at the time that his simple decision would lead to jaw-dropping results:

So Ben’s rigorous three-month weight loss plan began. Over 12 weeks, Ben ditched the high-carb fast foods and alcohol, and instead ate six smaller meals on a diet high in proteins and low in carbs. Ben also began a daily workout routine, consisting largely of heart-pumping aerobic exercises and muscle-fostering weightlifting. (3)

As a result, Ben was able to transform his “skinny fat” dad bod of 190 pounds (86.5kg) to a slender, muscular body weighing 174 pounds (79kg) in just 12 weeks (3). Now weighing a healthy 174 pounds (79kg) at the age of 45, Ben feels physically, mentally, and emotionally better than ever before.

“Overall, mentally I have been a different person.” Ben confesses to The Daily Mail (3). “I’ve been more bright and alert. I’ve been sleeping a lot better, I have more patience with my children, problems at work don’t seem to get on top of me as much and I am a happier person.”

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Ben’s personal fitness trainer, Tom Pitfield of Hale Country Club, is happy for Ben’s progress – and even argues that middle-aged people are at an ideal time, even more so than young people, to try becoming fitter and healthier (3).

“Ben is a great example of how age should not be a limitation when it comes to setting new fitness goals,” he has claimed (3). “Middle-aged people generally have a more stable lifestyle in comparison to their 20 year old counterparts, so they have the time, disposable income to invest in themselves. It really just comes down to the mindset and the misconception that when we hit middle-age our bodies cease up.”

Indeed, Ben’s story testifies to the fact that anyone, of any age, whether male or female, can lose excess body fat and live healthier, simply by following a few healthy living rules.

Weight Loss Plan for Age 40 and After: Losing Weight and Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

healthy food, healthy eating, weight loss plan, healthy living

It’s perhaps a no-brainer that a clean, nutritious diet and regular exercise can make anyone healthier and lighter. But getting in shape doesn’t have to require a new, strict diet or intense, hour-long workouts.

If you’re interested in losing excessive body fat and start living healthier, consider starting with just 3 easy but incredible steps to which Ben credits his success:

  1. Eating more protein and less carbs. A high-protein, low-carb diet can help you lose body fat (8), feel full (5) and help moderate how many calories you eat every day (4). A low-carb diet may also help lower cholesterol and blood fat levels (6).
  2. Getting regular exercise. High-intensity, heart-pumping exercises, like jogging, biking, swimming, and aerobics, can help use up energy stores from your body (9, 10, 12) – and thus, help you burn up excessive body fat. Even lighter exercises, like walking instead of taking the bus or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, will help you lose weight more effectively than starving yourself or eating less to lose weight (11).
  3. Cutting down on alcohol. Heavy alcohol intake can lead to weight gain and obesity (13, 14), as it can make you inactive (15) and because it could have lots of calories!

Not sure how you can start doing the same? Here are some easy tips for following Ben’s weight loss plan yourself – no harsh workouts or unappetizing dietary changes required:

  • Eat more lower-carb fruits and vegetables. Try eating more low-carb fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, bitter greens, and celery. At the same time, try moderating your intake of higher-carb fruits and vegetables, like oranges, bananas, dates, mangoes, figs, carrots, and squash.
  • Get more protein. Make sure to get plenty of lean proteins and healthy fats in your daily diet, like chicken breast,  avocado, and wild salmon. However, make sure to give your kidneys and liver plenty of support for breaking down proteins and fats (6, 7) by eating liver-supporting vegetables, like spinach and beets.
  • Have smaller, more frequent meals. By eating more frequently in controlled doses, you’ll be able to stop yourself from getting hungry – and overeating – more often (11). The key for this to work is eating a balance of protein, fat and fibre, and straying away from high carb snacks.
  • Aim to get about 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Try higher-intensity exercises, like jogging or biking if you can. Alternatively, try walking to and from work – or get some light exercise at work or before bed.
  • Try reducing your alcohol intake to one moderate glass of wine or less every couple days (16) to keep alcohol-induced weight gain at bay.

So if you’re skeptical about losing weight and living healthier after age 40, keep in mind that even simple efforts to eat fresh, whole foods and get light, regular exercise can go a long way. As for the pain and discomfort of changing your lifestyle, you should consider it a small price to pay for leading a long and happy life.

“My advice for anyone else would be to go for it – it’s three months out of your life,” Ben insists (3). “At the end of the day, it’s worth it. The benefits speak for themselves – physically and mentally. (Just) be ready for the pain!”

body transformation, weight loss plan, lose weight after 40

 

YouTube: Myprotein. (2017). Ben Jackson’s Amazing 12 Week Transformation – Myprotein Vitality. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLpqIP9TFL8 [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

Young, S. (2017). Overweight 45-year-old father reveals his secrets for transforming his ‘dad bod’ in just 12 weeks. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/overweight-father-three-dad-bod-ripped-ben-jackson-protein-diet-health-lifestyle-low-carb-a7738056.html [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

London, B. (2017). Proof you CAN totally transform your body in your forties. [online] Mail Online – Daily Mail. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4507164/Proof-totally-transform-body-forties.html [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

Sacks, F. M., Bray, G. A., Carey, V. J., Smith, S. R., Ryan, D. H., Anton, S. D., … Williamson, D. A. (2009). Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates. The New England Journal of Medicine, 360(9), 859–873. http://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa0804748

Paoli, A. (2014). Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(2), 2092–2107. http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110202092

Hu, T., Mills, K. T., Yao, L., Demanelis, K., Eloustaz, M., Yancy, W. S., … Bazzano, L. A. (2012). Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diets Versus Low-Fat Diets on Metabolic Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials. American Journal of Epidemiology, 176(Suppl 7), S44–S54. http://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kws264

Pesta, D. H., & Samuel, V. T. (2014). A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutrition & Metabolism, 11, 53. http://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-11-53

Antonio, J., Ellerbroek, A., Silver, T., Vargas, L., Tamayo, A., Buehn, R., & Peacock, C. A. (2016). A High Protein Diet Has No Harmful Effects: A One-Year Crossover Study in Resistance-Trained Males. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2016, 9104792. http://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9104792

Swift, D. L., Johannsen, N. M., Lavie, C. J., Earnest, C. P., & Church, T. S. (2014). The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 56(4), 441–447. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2013.09.012

Donnelly, J. E., Honas, J. J., Smith, B. K., Mayo, M. S., Gibson, C. A., Sullivan, D. K., … Washburn, R. A. (2013). Aerobic exercise alone results in clinically significant weight loss for men and women: Midwest Exercise Trial-2. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 21(3), E219–E228. http://doi.org/10.1002/oby.20145

Hill, J. O., Wyatt, H. R., & Peters, J. C. (2012). Energy Balance and Obesity. Circulation, 126(1), 126–132. http://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.087213

Irving, B. A., Davis, C. K., Brock, D. W., Weltman, J. Y., Swift, D., Barrett, E. J., … Weltman, A. (2008). Effect of exercise training intensity on abdominal visceral fat and body composition. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(11), 1863–1872. http://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181801d40

Traversy, G., & Chaput, J.-P. (2015). Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update. Current Obesity Reports, 4(1), 122–130. http://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-014-0129-4

FRENCH, M. T., NORTON, E. C., FANG, H., & MACLEAN, J. C. (2010). ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND BODY WEIGHT. Health Economics, 19(7), 814–832. http://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1521

Liangpunsakul, S., Crabb, D. W., & Qi, R. (2010). The relationship between alcohol intake, body fat, and physical activity – a population-based study. Annals of Epidemiology, 20(9), 670–675. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.05.014

Flechtner-Mors, M., Biesalski, H., Jenkinson, C., Adler, G. and Ditschuneit, H. (2004). Effects of moderate consumption of white wine on weight loss in overweight and obese subjects. International Journal of Obesity, 28(11), pp.1420-1426.

Image and video sources:

YouTube: Myprotein. (2017). Ben Jackson’s Amazing 12 Week Transformation – Myprotein Vitality. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLpqIP9TFL8 [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

London, B. (2017). Proof you CAN totally transform your body in your forties. [online] Mail Online – Daily Mail. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4507164/Proof-totally-transform-body-forties.html [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

Reid, F. (2017). Ben Jackson’s Vitality Journey. [online] Myprotein.com. Available at: https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/training/ben-jacksons-vitality-journey/ [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017].

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