5 Tips for Women Losing Weight in Their 30s

losing weight after 30

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Losing weight at any age is a challenge. But losing weight in your 30s is especially hard. A smart weight loss plan for women over 30 can take a lot of time and energy. And it's extra difficult to find extra time during a stage of life when career and family are top priorities.

So is it impossible for a woman in her 30s to lose weight? Absolutely not! It just takes planning and organization. Use these tips specifically tailored to address the unique challenges you face when you try to lose weight at 30 and beyond. 

Identify and Eliminate Barriers

Everyone faces a few roadblocks during the weight loss process, but when you’re in your 30s the challenges are likely to be time-related. Lack of time due to work and family obligations are likely to get in the way of your best weight loss efforts.

To win the weight loss battle, you need to know what you’re up against. Almost any barrier—including lack of time—is manageable. But you have to know what it is before you can develop a plan of action.

The solution: At the start of your weight loss process, take at least 20 minutes to identify your weight loss barriers. This simple step will save you time and energy from setbacks later.

Once you identify barriers, it becomes easier to overcome them. If lack of time is a problem, ask for help managing childcare or chores so you have time for healthy meal preparation and a regular home exercise program.

Understand Muscle and Metabolism

If you want to keep a healthy metabolism to lose weight in your 30s, you need to maintain muscle. Ariane Hundt trains 30-something women as part of her Slim & Strong 4 Week Fat Loss Program in New York City. She says that women in their 30s need to be especially careful about building and keeping muscle mass to support a healthy metabolism. 

“Women start losing muscle in their 30s," Hundt says. "Unless that muscle is challenged and maintained with regular workouts, muscle loss will slow the metabolism.”

The solution: Include resistance training in your workouts. If you can't get to the gym, there are simple strength workouts you can do at home. Short, intense exercise sessions will also help you burn more fat.

Stop Falling for Fad Diets

Hundt explains why diet fads can cause harm. “If you’ve dieted on and off until your 30s, chances are your metabolism is confused. With every new diet attempt, you may put your body into starvation mode and make weight loss harder and harder,” she says.

The solution: Your first step to healthy eating is to evaluate your daily caloric intake. You should also keep a pre-diet food journal. Then make sure you eat enough protein to maintain a healthy metabolism, limit your sugar intake, and monitor your carbohydrate intake to stay energized and satiated throughout the day.

Get Organized

It might seem like life will settle down when the kids are older or when your career is more established, but it won’t. Now is the time to set up healthy lifestyle habits that will help you lose weight and keep it off for life.

The solution: Meal planning for weight loss is one of those routines that you need to establish when you are losing weight after 30. Set aside one day each week to shop for healthy food, prepare meals for the whole week, and set up your refrigerator with healthy snacks. You can even schedule your workout sessions. Ask family members to help make this habit a priority.

Manage Stress

Your 30s may be the most stressful time in your life. Parenting, career, and relationship issues can keep you awake at night. Even the simple act of dieting can cause stress. Those challenges can cause problems if they are not addressed. “Life stress can challenge your metabolism by activating the stress response and in turn fat storage,” says Hundt, “so balance in lifestyle is key.”

The solution: Get support from friends and family. Reach out to a certified professional if you think that stress is preventing you from losing weight.

A Word From Verywell

If you are a busy woman trying to lose weight after 30, you might be tempted to back-burner your health and weight. Or you might go on the first diet you see in a magazine for a special occasion like a wedding or a class reunion. 

But your decisions now have real long-term consequences. Make the best choices for lifelong health and well-being. Weight loss for women after 30 is possible with organization, support, and a healthy dose of common sense.

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3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kalyani RR, Corriere M, Ferrucci L. Age-related and disease-related muscle loss: the effect of diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2014;2(10):819-29. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70034-8

  2. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations.

  3. Xenaki N, Bacopoulou F, Kokkinos A, Nicolaides NC, Chrousos GP, Darviri C. Impact of a stress management program on weight loss, mental health and lifestyle in adults with obesity: a randomized controlled trial. J Mol Biochem. 2018;7(2):78-84.