Being over 35 has many benefits: It is a great and empowering time in your life. One thing it is not, however, is a time when we can lose weight without effort.
By the time we’re adults, most of us understand that successful, long-term weight loss requires a healthy lifestyle, which means adequate exercise and a diet that keeps your metabolism strong. Being aware that we cannot eat the same way we did in our 20s is key. That means making certain small changes is critical as you enter this next phase of life.

Here are five ways to get started:

1. Check your portions
I tell everyone who asks me for advice, “Buy a scale and use it to measure!” The portion sizes of restaurant and packaged foods have ballooned over the past decade and it’s easy to lose track of what a “healthy” serving is. To get your perspective back, use a scale or other measures to see what a true serving is. Most of us routinely eat two or three times as much pasta, for example, as what the serving size is. That means we’re eating way more calories than we tell ourselves we are.

2. Leave your desk
Most of us sit at a desk all day and we’ve gotten very used to spending the day engaged in very little movement. Join a gym or walk with a friend! At this age, the extra weight isn’t going to burn off without some extra exercise — pick something you like (or at least don’t hate) so you’re willing to stick with it. You are going to have to get up and move to achieve and maintain weight loss. It doesn’t have to be intense, but it needs to be regular and consistent.

3. Know that you’re worth it
Don’t settle for “I’m at that stage where I have to accept my metabolism has slowed down” even though you’ve reached, or passed, a milestone birthday. You spend money on hair color and skin care, now it’s time to invest in your health.
Even though you may think you’ve given up the little food-and-drink treats you give yourself, the weight just isn’t coming off. That’s a sign it’s time to take another honest look at your diet: Substitute the occasional apple or bowl of fruit in place of dessert or that second glass of wine.

4. Give yourself a pep talk
Rather than focus on what you are giving up, remind yourself that you are worth 30 minutes a day of exercise. You are worth taking the time to drink more water and eat organic veggies. You are worth well-planned sit-down meals, not drive-through fast food. You are worth the effort, so stay motivated!

Repeat these mantras to yourself every day until you wake up feeling positive and ready to invest in yourself, because in the long run following them will make you feel better and more energetic. And you’ll be thinner.

5. Keep going!
As a baby, when you were learning to walk, you fell down a lot. How did you ever master the art of moving your legs properly? You kept getting back up until you didn’t fall over anymore.

Take that lesson to heart. Some days you won’t get out and do anything. Or you’ll have that second glass of wine.

That’s OK, as long as it isn’t every day. Keep getting back on track with your diet and exercise plan until you’ve reached your goal weight.

Cut down on portions, increase movement and find a friend to partner with in encouraging each other. Check in via text or email when you need support.

Author's Bio: 

Stephanie King, DC is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition, weight loss, hormones and non-surgical fat reduction. People who have failed other programs seek her out to join her "2 Weeks 2 a New YOU" program.