A Life-Changing Guide to Getting Back In Shape At 40
Fad diets, rigorous routines, and expensive supplements. What do all they have in common?
Apart from all being unnecessary to help you get your life back on track, none of them are going to be talked about in this article on getting back in shape at 40.
If you follow this article and fully commit to changing your lifestyle, you’ll finally breakthrough the limiting beliefs holding you back and transform your life for the better. In as little as 4 easy-to-follow steps.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- Why you need to take your health seriously (but not too much)
- Finding your reason to change – are you doing this for you, your partner, your kids?
- The 4 simple steps to fitness that anyone can follow
- How to make habits last a lifetime
Best of all, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never set foot in the gym or you hate salads. Anyone can follow this guide and see the results. You can even keep drinking beer if you want to!
Dads, you’re no longer 21. It’s time to take your health seriously…
Before I became an Ironman all world athlete, I thought I could get away with eating burgers, drinking beer, walking a few times a week and still stay in shape. You know, like when you’re a young man?
Unfortunately, once you hit 40 and beyond that’s no longer the case.
Our bodies don’t recover as quickly, our metabolism slows down, and the time pressures of work and family start taking their toll.
I finally realized I had to do something about it when I found myself getting tired while playing with my sons.
Do I really want them to look back at the time we spent together and remember an out of shape, exhausted, and lazy dad? Or, do I want them to see someone inspirational, disciplined, and dedicated to improving themselves?
Kids, especially sons, will naturally want to do whatever their dad does. And, more often than not, what you don’t do is more important than what you do.
If you’re not taking your health seriously, striving to be a better version of yourself, and taking the steps needed to become a fitter, healthier, version of yourself, why should they?
Over time the effects are going to compound to their children, too. Think about the last time you tried to play with your kids. Was it after a couple of minutes kicking a ball around in the park? Their first game of golf? Walking the dog?
Now imagine them doing the same thing with their kids in the future. Or rather, trying to. Think about the shame, guilt, and embarrassment that comes with not being able to play with them and you’ll soon start to realize that you need to do something now.
This is the foundation upon which I built Fitter Healthier Dad in the first place. The amount of genuine, proven advice out there tailor-made for dads is almost non-existent.
Remember – It’s pointless unless you’re having fun
Every guide, diet, product, class and whatever else seems to be made for women. Or, on the rare occasion you find something for dads over 40 it’s always something ridiculous like “Get shredded in 10 minutes”, or is a fitness guru preaching about supplements that they definitely don’t take.
None of these guides care about the fact you have no free time or that you have 2 jobs and live paycheck to paycheck.
Getting in shape should be fun, easy, and meaningful. Any routine or diet you try out should require the minimal amount of effort and be unobtrusive to the important parts of your life – family, work, and happiness.
So, if you’re ready to start your transformation and finally get back in shape then keep reading.
Why do you really want to change?
Have you ever wondered why your new year resolutions never last more than a month or two? Or, why are you so full of inspiration when you start something new but fall flat after a week?
It’s simple. You don’t have a strong enough ‘why’.
People with a strong vision of why they’re doing something and where they want to be in the future are much more likely to succeed than those that make a change for the sake of it.
It’s one of the biggest mindset shifts you can make, and can genuinely change your life if you can implement it correctly.
Finding your reason
The first step is to figure out the main reason why you want to get in shape. Which is easier said than done.
You want to find something that creates an intense, burning passion to change when you think about it.
Some good places to start are your kids, your partner, a health scare, money or something else which affects a huge part of your life. Maybe you’re just tired of the way you look in the mirror.
Whatever it is, write it down in as much detail as possible and commit it to memory. Do it in a way that gets you fired up when you read it.
If you’re struggling, here are a few examples you can get inspiration from:
“If I don’t get in shape, sort out my health, and start exercising I’m not going to live long enough to see my daughter’s 18th birthday”.
“I’m embarrassed when other dads see me at the park unable to play with my kids. I want to create amazing memories with them and I can’t face it any longer”.
They might sound over the top, but changing your internal mechanisms and mindset takes a lot of energy. It’s like breaking atomic bonds in Chemistry. You’re forcing something apart that has been conditioned to act in a certain way for its entire life. It’s not supposed to be easy.
But that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile.
Mindset hack – turning a negative into a positive
The next step is to switch to negativity. I know what you might be thinking, if we want to make a positive change then why would I purposely do the opposite?
Imagine yourself 10 years from now. Only, instead of making this transformation you carried on life as you are now.
No lifestyle changes. No exercise. The same soul-sucking routines day-in, day-out. Maybe this future you is still overweight, and still struggling to play with your kids.
Except, now they’re too old to have a kickabout with you. The moment has passed and you’re never going to get the time back.
How does this make you feel if you look at your children right now?
If you still don’t want to get in shape after doing all of this, maybe you don’t really want to change at all.
Now, I never said this article would be an easy read. But for a lot of you, it is a necessary read. And deep down I think you know that, otherwise you wouldn’t have come here in the first place.
For some of you it’ll be a much-needed wake up call, and for others it’ll just be another article.
Still not convinced? The rest of this article is committed to helping you make small, incremental changes to your life that – if you follow them – will get you back on track before you know it.
4 simple steps to getting back in shape
Health and fitness has been made way more complicated than it needs to in recent years. If you’re not hating yourself doing HIIT at 5am then you’re pounding back fat loss supplements and diet pills.
Oh, and you also need a top-of-the-line watch to track everything coupled with custom-made wireless earbuds to take your workouts to the next level.
Well, I’m here to tell you that I accomplished the transformation I’ve been talking about with a single one of these.
You don’t even need a gym or a diet to shape up at 40. Just a desire to change, some discipline to stay on track, and the 4-step process listed out below.
Adding before subtracting
This might sound coutnerintuitive at first, but bear with me.
If you want to lose weight by eating better what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Cutting out fatty meat, beer, and dairy? Eat 2 salads a day? Replace lunch with a smoothie?
So many articles are out there shouting “AVOID THESE FOODS IF YOU WANT ABS”, but this is straight up bad advice.
In reality, the best thing to remove from your diet is nothing. You should add things instead.
“but if I’m eating more calories won’t I gain more weight?”
If you eat more pizza, crisps, and ice cream, then yes. But, if you add more fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and better quality products into your life then you’re going to see results in no time.
Next time you have dinner, keep everything the same but add some more vegetables or a side salad.
As Neva, a licensed dietician, states in this article on dieting: “By focusing on good-tasting, nutrient-rich foods you will have less room for higher calorie, lower nutrient choices.”
Over time, you’ll start finding yourself automatically reaching for the healthier options. You’ll be less likely to pick up unhealthy food in the store, and you’ll find your desire to have snacks throughout the day basically disappear.
It sounds like a ridiculous fad, but try it out for yourself and see what happens.
Starting off slow
If you haven’t exercised in years the worst thing you can do is to jump back into your old routine or lift heavy weights right from the get-go.
It’s easy to get carried away by the newly gained motivation and excitement, but that won’t be there forever.
In the long-term motivation doesn’t work, and you have to rely on discipline.
The problem is, if you start training 5 times a week you’ll quickly exhaust yourself, start skipping days, weeks, and eventually you’ll be back to your old couch potato self. Wondering why you bothered to do this in the first place.
Instead, it’s a much better approach to slowly build up the frequency to a level you’re comfortable with in long term.
Start by walking for 30 minutes with your family after dinner, on your lunch break, or in the morning.
Do a few pushups the next time you’re waiting for the shower to warm up.
It takes 67 days to form a habit, and starting off slow might be boring but in order to make real, long-lasting change in your life it’s necessary to go at a snails pace.
Then, as you get more comfortable you can start incorporating new exercises and more rigorous routines.
Learn to love fat
I don’t know if you remember, but fat was pretty much the most evil thing in existence for the last 30 years.
Low-fat diets exploded in popularity, and every single item in the supermarket sat next to a fat-free version.
Fortunately, people are starting to wake up and realize that healthy fat is actually one of the best weapons you have in the fight against weight loss.
I don’t recommend it for everyone, as over the long-term a healthy balanced diet will always reign supreme, but the ketogenic diet has shown incredible fat loss results for people trying it – and all you eat is fat and protein! Read more about it in our guide to keto for men.
You see, the great thing about healthy fat is that it keeps you fuller for longer, and unlike simple carbs like bread and sugar doesn’t get converted to fat if you don’t do any exercise.
It wasn’t until high-carb, grain-heavy diets became popular that the world started suffering from an obesity epidemic.
The reason why is that carbohydrates, the body’s main fuel source, can’t be used if someone isn’t using energy. Simple, right? Well, apparently not as 30% of adults in the UK are obese.
When you exercise and consume sugar, or carbs, your body will burn that fuel efficiently by sending energy to your muscles and vital functions. However, take this exercise away and your body has nowhere to put the excess calories.
What happens instead? It gets converted into fat to be used later.
This is where the problems start arising.
If you don’t exercise again in the future and burn this fuel, your body is going to keep repeating this cycle over and over again until your stomach is hanging out and you can barely see your feet anymore.
Fat + protein are your friends, so eat as much chicken, eggs, olive oil, avocado, and beef as you want to.
Get your loved ones involved
Remember what we talked about right at the start? Without a good reason any change you make is going to crumble after a few weeks.
What better way to remind yourself of your why than by getting your family involved in your activities?
Whether it’s cycling, swimming, walking, running, or football. Almost every single activity can be changed to become a social, inclusive, and fun way to spend more time with your family and get healthy together.
For example, instead of dragging yourself to the pool to do laps for an hour why not spend Sunday afternoon at the pool with your wife and kids?
There might be some resistance to start with, and the kids might think it’s boring. But, if you show them how much it’s impacting your life, your happiness, your health, and your energy then they’re much more likely to get involved with you.
Remember, though, you can never force someone to do something or to make a change. You have to lead by example.
Making habits stick without motivation
All of this advice is great in principle, but if you don’t follow-through and take action you’re never going to move the needle.
However, just doing a daily workout for a couple of weeks and then quitting isn’t going to help. You need to build lifelong habits that effortlessly fit into your daily life.
The secret to getting rid of the need for motivation is something called discipline.
Why discipline is superior to willpower
Most of us know that discipline is an important part of being a functional human being, and if you’re going to work every morning, doing laundry, brushing your teeth, and looking after your kids you probably already have a good amount of discipline in your lives.
So why is it so hard to be disciplined when we start a new routine? It’s because you’ve never doine it before.
Think about it. You’ve been brushing your teeth twice a day pretty much since you were born. It doesn’t take any extra effort on your part to do it as it’s already burned into your routine. It’s necessary.
What if you put that same thinking into exercising?
If you’re 40 years old then 2 weeks is less than 0.1% of your life so far.
Exercise for 20 weeks then suddenly you’ve been doing it for 1% of your life. That’s a huge difference.
But, in order to get to that point you need to make getting back in shape a priority. It has to become a necessary part of your day.
Like going to sleep and waking up for work are constants in your daily routine so to should these habits be as well.
You have to consider your day a failure if you don’t at least do something active like going for a walk (preferably with your family).
Holding yourself accountable to your habits
One thing I did when I first started out in my fitness journey was to keep myself accountable to my friends and family.
For example, I told myself that I would ride my bike 3 times a week and walk every day. If I failed to do this even once I had to pay my mate £100.
No way in hell was I doing that. I couldn’t face the shame.
Lo and behold, 2 months later I had built some incredible habits and undertook a transformation I could be proud of.
This works so well because humans respond better to failure than they do to positivity.
Which of these statements sounds more powerful?
“I’m going to work out 3 times this week and give myself the day off and some cake as a reward.”
“If I don’t work out this week I’m going to lose £100 to my best mate and he’s going to remind me of my failure every time I see him. On top of this, I’ll have to admit my failure to my wife and kids.”
Don’t know about you but the second one wins every single time.
Say no to willpower. Say yes to discipline and losing money.
So, to summarize everything we’ve learned so far about getting in shape at 40:
- You have to take your health seriously
- Transformation should be fun
- Success won’t come to you until you figure out a strong enough reason why you want to change
- Turn negativity into positivity
- Add food into your diet before taking it away
- Start off slow until it’s a habit and build up over time
- Eat more fat and protein and less simple carbs
- Get your family involved in your activities
- Build discipline instead of relying on willpower
The last step in this transformation process is to follow a proven, step-by-step guide that’ll give you all the shortcuts, secrets, and solutions you need to get back in shape and feel like you’re 25 again.
Well, this guide is currently 50% OFF for a limited time and can give you life-changing results in as little as 90 days.