Are you in your 50s and trying to lose weight? Are you worried that you can no longer get back in shape? Fret not, because when it comes to weight loss, age doesn’t matter! If you do the right routine and eat the right food, you can finally kiss your excess weight away. There ways to achieve weight loss for women over 50 and we will discuss some of it here.
Gaining weight as we age is usually normal. After we got past the menopausal stage, the dwindling supply of progesterone and estrogen make the pounds creep in. But as part of keeping a healthy life, there are steps you can take to be in shape even at 50 and beyond.
Why we gain weight at 50+
Let me tell you that you are not alone. My mom used to gain weight as well, something that’s unusual for her typically skinny build during her younger years. Although it’s a subject of laughter of the household, it’s undeniable that I’m also headed in the same direction.
So why do we gain weight after 50? Well, science has an explanation for this.
The major culprit here is our slowing metabolism. Unlike on our 20s when we can gain and lose pounds in a matter of months, what we gain at this age seems to stick. At the age of 30, our body will start to lose muscle mass. And with a lower amount of fat burning muscles, fats can sit and pack into our bodies.
Also, the age of 50 and up isn’t as active as what we seem to be in our 40s. This decrease in energy expenditure aggravates the weight gain aspect. If we don’t adjust our lifestyle, expect that more weight will set in.
As much as weight gain after 50 can be deemed ‘normal’, watch out for sudden weight gain. This should be a major concern and it’s imperative that you seek the opinion of a physician. The same goes for sudden weight loss.
What to eat to lose weight at 50
Let’s start the weight loss discussion by taking a look at what you eat. Are you a dessert-loving folk? Do you still gulp soda one glass after the other? These guilty habits are a major contributor to fat storage. Sugar, as a basic form of energy, gets used first by the body instead of utilizing what is stored in the cells. Worst, some of these sugars get stored as well. This leads us to the following diet recommendations to losing weight in your 50s:
➕Quit sugary drinks
At this age, there’s no room for a sugar rush. Time and again, regardless of age, sweetened drinks are the leading cause of weight gain. Sodas, juices, and other commercially available drinks contain nothing but empty calories. Most fizzy drinks will have around 11-35 grams of sugar per can. Worse, it doesn’t satiate you that much. Once you pee the fluids, you’ll just crave to drink more.
There’s no nutritional value in these drinks. It’s best to sip water or tea as these hydrates your body better. Green tea, by the way, is rich in various antioxidants.
➕Eat more veggies and fruits
At this point, weight loss for women over 50 is only one of the health problems you’ll possibly face. Weakening bones is also a big dilemma. This is why eating more veggies and fruits are necessary. You need to get the much-needed minerals and vitamins to strengthen your skeletal frame.
Like what they say, eat the rainbow! This means you’re going to eat colorful veggies, ranging from greens, cruciferous veggies, and other options like carrots, celery, tomato, and so on. Feel free to make a salad out of it but be careful in the dressing.
As for the fruits, chose those that are low in sugar. Blueberries, watermelon, cranberries, strawberry, and the likes are the best.
➕Never skip breakfast
It might be tempting to start the day and get busy with your chores, but always find time to eat a hearty breakfast. Take note that if you skip breakfast out of the blue, you are giving your metabolism a big disservice.
Eating breakfast will stop you from craving or snacking multiple times a day. Although you’ll feel fine during the day, intense hunger and lethargy will kick in during nighttime. If you think preparing breakfast early in the morning is tedious, you can prepare it at night then reheat it as necessary.
➕Watch your portions
I know that it’s easy to get lost in the serving, especially if you’re dining out with friends. But at this age, we need to control the amount we take. As we get older, our metabolism gets slower by 8% every decade. It may sound unfortunate, but we can no longer eat like how we used to do in our 20s.
Although you’ll be eating healthy options, portioning is still necessary. Make sure that you get all bases covered in terms of your nutritional requirement. If this proves to be tiring, you can hire a nutritionist to advise you.
Usually, when losing weight in your 50s, we’re looking at 1,600 calories per day for women living an active lifestyle. But if you’re a bit laidback, going down at 1,200 calories is the safest bet.
➕Drink lots of water
Unlike the youngsters, we tend to miss thirst signals. This is why many people over the age of 50 are prone to heat stroke and dehydration. Make it a habit to drink cold water to refresh your body, besides, eight glasses per day never grow old. If you are sweating profusely, you have to drink more to replace the lost fluids. For weight loss for women over 50, hydration is the number one priority.
Since we can’t eat a lot and our bodies need more nutrients than ever, nutrition could be a little limited if we are to rely on solid food alone. If you want, you can consult your doctor for a possible supplement recommendation. This product will augment nutrient and mineral deficiencies that you may have.
Make sure that you seek the opinion of a medical professional before buying and ingesting a supplement. These products aren’t made equal so are our bodies.
Staying active to lose weight to 50
Aside from eating right, you should also stay active since exercise is very important at this point. However, you should practice caution to prevent injuries related to your bones. Here are some tips that can increase your weight loss progress:
Due to a ton of reasons, we tend to become less active as we go beyond the age of 50. Poor knees, easily tired, or lack of motivation – these are just some of the common scenarios. But if you let yourself get tied to the couch, you’ll experience more aches in the long run. Not to brag, but my mom likes walking from the market to our house for exercise. So far, she’s the most agile and strong person within the neighborhood of the same age.
You don’t have to walk every day if you don’t want to. There are other options that you can explore like an aerobics class, yoga, and other low-impact routines.
➕Aim to build more muscles
Like what I said earlier, our muscle mass gets lower as we age. So to fight this, strength exercises are the key. Target your midsections since this is where most of the fat gets stored. You can use a pair of dumbbells and perform a few drills as part of losing weight in your 50s.
Personally, I love the strength training drill that Betsy Ogden teaches on this video. It is fit for individuals in their 50s and you don’t have to use any equipment except for a yoga mat. Feel free to check it out HERE.
Strength training is important so we keep our muscles in check. It also improves our mobility since our joints are stretched and exercised properly.
Pair this with short cardio like running in place or brisk walking. Take note, though, that cardio drills alone aren’t excellent in fat burning. Still, it keeps your lungs and heart healthy. Don’t forget to stretch before anything else, okay?
➕Stand when you can
It’s understandable that engaging in strenuous exercise might not be for all of us. The least we can do is to stand at least two hours per day. Why? It’s because experts say that prolonged sitting is the new smoking. The lack of physical activity will make fats get stored continuously, imposing harm on your internal organs, especially your heart.
You can take a stroll around your yard or house as part of weight loss for women over 50. Fitness experts recommend that you record at least 10,000 steps per day, but something below that still counts. Just watch over your knees, okay?
➕Hit the gym when you can
If home exercise proved to be impossible, you can hit the gym for your dose of exercise. Through this, you can also hire a personal trainer who can tailor the workout on your age and physical capabilities. This is best for women over 50 that are suffering from physical issues.
Around 20 minutes of strength training should be enough with an equally short cardio routine. Unlike the youngsters who push the intensity, you should be careful this time. Our age bracket is prone to fractures and injuries related to mobility.
A lot of people in their 50s consider yoga for good reasons. First, it’s very low in impact and unlikely to cause fractures if done right. Yoga also increases your flexibility, immunity, and blood circulation, not to mention the fact that it also nourishes your mind.
The good thing about attending yoga classes is you also get a support group to back you up. Meeting new friends at this age is one of the best things that can happen. It expands your social presence aside from keeping those extra pounds at bay.
Now that you’re all set with a diet plan and an exercise routine, I have some added points to emphasize. Take note that what’s mentioned here are just little pieces of advice based on my own experience. I recognize that our bodies are unique and some tips may not work the same with you.
Before you head to your fitness journey, keep these points in mind:
➕Have your hormones checked
Some women in their 50s still don’t lose weight even after exercising and revamping their diet. The common cause of this condition is hormonal problems. If you observe that you’re not progressing despite all the efforts, seek the opinion of a doctor and have yourself checked. There’s a chance that you have excessive stress or hunger hormones.
➕Always talk to your doctor
Losing weight in your 50s can no longer be a hit-and-miss process. We can no longer experiment the way we used to be back in the days. This is why you should always consult your doctor for every supplement or routine you’re going to take. If you have hormonal problems, the doctor can also prescribe medication to ease the symptoms.
➕Don’t stress out
Stressed about your grandkids? Your retirement? If possible, don’t let stress consume your entire life. Remember that stress hormones increase hunger which, in turn, pushes you to crave for carb-rich food items. That spells trouble if you’re trying to shed weight. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Have good times with friends and your family or travel over the weekend.
➕Look for motivation
No matter how rich we are in resources, it’s hard to attain weight loss if motivation is lacking. You can join a community group for women over 50 who are trying to lose weight. You can also meet up with friends and tell them about your new goal. Talking to other people will give lots of reasons to keep going. Still, be careful whose advice you heed.
Achieving weight loss for women over 50 is possible! With the right diet and exercise, it’s never too late to stay in shape.