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Why the Scale Doesn’t Move No Matter How Much You Diet After 40

You’ve reduced your calories but the scale doesn’t move no matter how much you diet! I get this question asked regularly in the Fit Found Me Weight Loss Challenges. What I have learned in my fitness after 40 is to throw the scale out the window!


someone adjusting weight on scale doesn't move


Did you know I was 140 lbs when I wore a size 8-10 pants? Did you also know I am currently 140 lbs and wear a size 2-4 pants?

This is how I know the scale cannot be trusted!

Don’t stop reading now though, let’s go through a few items to make sure you are maximizing your weight loss efforts. Losing weight after 40 is different than it was in our 30s and can be a bit tricky.

I have some great tips for you to implement and stop the frustration of “the scale doesn’t move no matter how much you diet”!

Fighting the Scale Doesn’t Move with Tips that Work

It is possible your target weight isn’t what you will end up with. I would love to be 130 again, but I don’t think that will ever happen. Why? Because I have much more lean muscle on my body than I did when I weighed 130.

Depending on your fitness level and weight, perhaps you should see the scale move as you lose weight. To make sure you are doing things to lose fat and tone your muscles, keep reading. It really is true that it takes exercise and calorie adjustments to make changes after 40.

Macros When the Scale Doesn’t Move

There is a chance you are defeating yourself by not eating enough, or even eating the wrong calories. Eating the wrong calories is easily done if all you are doing is counting calories. Maybe you are eating 80% carbs. I love carbs and if I were only counting calories that could easily be me right now.

Before I got serious about fitness after 40, I didn’t even know what a macro was. If you are also scratching your head right now, no worries, you are about to understand.

Macros are so important, you could be doing everything else right except macros and still not see the scale move. Keep in mind, eating enough of the right calories is just as important as eating too many calories.

Macros are a deeper level of detail in the calories you are eating. All food can be categorized into one of 3 macros – protein, carbs or fats. If you aren’t using a calorie/macro tracker such as MyFitnessPal, it could be very difficult to keep up with daily intake. Not all calories are created equal.

A good ratio of macros is 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fats. Within those macros, you should also think about quality. Lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbs.

It can be a lot of changes, which is why I try to walk you through the changes slowly in my 30 day weight loss challenge. It’s really not something you have to change overnight, but I do encourage you to make the changes within a few weeks.

Still not quite sure about the macro details? I go into more macros, including a calculator here.

Exercise When the Scale Doesn’t Move

Have you been walking every day without seeing the scale move?

It is absolutely awesome that you have been so dedicated and committed to losing weight by walking daily. You were not wasting your time, but there are some things you might want to do a little differently.

Our bodies are much like my teenagers, they look for an easy way out. Our muscles get used to the same movements and are stagnant. To tone muscles, we must break them down with challenging exercises and allow them to rebuild. It is this process that creates strong, toned muscles. No, you won’t start looking like a bodybuilder, I promise.

I had that fear before I began lifting weights. You can read my experience with strength training and the awesome results I got here.

Strength training can be lifting 5 lbs weights, it doesn’t have to be the 25 lbs to make a difference. Here is a great beginner strength training workout to do a couple of times a week.

Full Body Strength Training and Toning 


So, while walking has its place in our program (give this 30-day walking plan a try!), you also should be doing regular strength training.

Try Not to Get Discouraged When the Scale Doesn’t Move

At some point in your fitness after 40 journey, you will get to your ideal weight. When that happens, you may still see some changes in your clothing size and body composition.

I have been at this weight for a few years even though my body has continued to shape with muscle tone.

Sometimes you just have to throw out the scale!

Resources you might benefit from:

Facebook Group for Women Over 40 (private)
Follow me on Instagram

Questions? Comment below!

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