Best Way To Lose Weight After 50
Apart from the hair turning grey, a growing belly is often associated with turning old. As people age, their body proportions go out of the window. Most elderly people have thin limbs, big tummies, and slouching shoulders.
Some people consider these ‘elderly’ characteristics normal and unavoidable. While it’s true that losing weight can get harder as you age, its largely due to the wrong approaches rather than the law of nature.
In this article, we’ll not only tell you the best way to lose weight after 50 but also shed light on the reasons why an individual usually gains weight after hitting the half-century mark. Knowing why people in their 50s put on weight, and avoiding the reasons can help in keeping off the excess fat. As they say – precaution is better than cure.
Reasons Why People Put On Weight As They Grow Old
Many older people suffer from obesity. According to a CDC study, 43% of American men between 40-59 years old are suffering from obesity. Americans aged 60 and older aren’t far behind with 41% obese body mass index (BMI) falling into the obese category.
On the other hand, only 36% of 18 to 30-year-olds are diagnosed with obesity. These numbers might not look significant in comparison but are alarming when the population density is considered. Let’s dig deeper into why people over 40s are more prone to obesity as compared to their younger counterparts.
Best Way To Lose Weight After 50
Less Physical Activity
Its a fact that there is a gradual decrease in the daily physical activities of people as they age. Not only do most people stop working out (if they were hitting the gym in the first place), they also switch to other easier physical tasks like taking the elevator instead of the stairs.
Your overall health can fall like a house of cards as your activity levels decrease. Along with obesity, people with low physical activities report having lower energy levels, muscular and joint aches, and pains.
Our bodies were designed to help us with hunting and gathering. If this article was written 1.8 million years ago and we were still Homo Erectus, hunting and gathering would have been listed as the best way to lose weight after 50.
As more and more people take to the couch in their later years after spending most of their lives being hunched over a computer, the majority of the damage has been done.
A decline in physical activity along with other factors like irregular meals and higher stress levels cause a significant drop in metabolism rates. A slower metabolism causes your body to retain a higher body fat percentage as it creates an artificial famine-like situation for your muscles.
As you grow older, there are natural hormonal changes in your body. Although these changes have no negative effect on your overall health, they can hurt your muscle mass. The hormonal changes that affect both the sexes are –
Menopause occurs when a woman hasn’t menstruated in 12 consecutive months and can no longer bear children naturally. It usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55 but can vary for some individuals.
During menopause, the testosterone levels in a woman see a sudden fall which can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes and weight gain. Although no medical treatments are required for fighting the menopause symptoms, you might need to make some adjustments to improve the test production.
Andropause is the male version of menopause. As absurd as it might sound, male menopause is a thing. It involves a drop in testosterone production in men who are age 50 or older. There is one main difference between menopause and andropause.
While every woman goes through menopause at some point after turning 45, not all men are troubled by andropause. Apart from facilitating weight gain, male menopause can cause physical, sexual, and psychological problems.
A Drop in Muscle Mass
You naturally lose muscle as you age. According to a study, lean muscle mass decreases at an average rate of about 3-8% per decade after you turn 30. The natural phenomenon can set you back on your weight loss goals as muscle burns more calories than fat, so losing muscle negatively affects resting metabolic rate.
People with higher muscle mass are more likely to burn fat as compared to individuals with greater body fat percentages. So basically, older people will be more likely to gain weight even if they eat the same amount of calories as they did when they were younger.
With age, some people tend to make a lot of adjustments to their routines which can end up hurting their fat loss progress. Taking on too much stress is one of the reasons why older people grow a belly. Stress is known to spike the cortisol levels which can add to your body fat reserves.
Losing sleep and being overly active can also take a toll on your fat loss process. Some medications might bump-up your fat stores and can result in other side effects like insomnia, drop in test levels and irritability.
How To Lose Weight After 50
We’ll let you in on a secret – losing weight after 50 isn’t as hard as some people say it is. If you get the basics right, you will not only shed the extra kilos but will never have to worry about gaining them back.
While it’s not impossible to lose weight after you hit the half-century mark, it can be a little harder in comparison to your 20-25-year-old counterparts. Why is that you ask? Well, all those years of playing sports, running after your kids, and walking up and down stairs take their toll. You may notice that your joints are a little stiffer and your muscles are a little sorer than they were a few decades ago.
According to research by the American Council on Exercise, your resting metabolic rate decreases by about 1-2% every decade due to muscle mass loss and increased fat mass. You need to change your diet almost every year to counter this metabolic effect. These are the best ways to lose weight after 50 –
When we say set goals, we mean realistic goals. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’ll lose 10 pounds in a week. Deep down you know that this isn’t going to happen and so you’ll never start your transformation program with a positive mindset.
The trick is to break big goals into smaller and more achievable ones. Achieving a small milestone can motivate you for going after the bigger goals. Starting with big goals and the inability to achieve them can make you quit the transformation program altogether.
While designing your diet program remember that it’s estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound bodyweight. So, if you cut about 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your typical diet, you’ll lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week.
Start Regular Weigh-Ins
One of the biggest problems with growing old is that people turn a blind eye to the budging weight scale needle. You should incorporate regular weigh-ins into your routine to stay on top of your body mass index (BMI).
It’s important to know when you’re gaining, losing or maintaining weight. The direction of the scale can tell you if you’re on the right track or need to make some adjustments. We recommend that you weigh yourself every Monday morning on an empty stomach.
Talk To A Doctor
When you hit the half-century milestone, the days of healthy by trial and error are past you. You should consult a doctor or a physician about losing weight before making major adjustments to your diet and routine – especially if you’re on medications.
A professional can assess your current state of health, address any health problems that may be affecting your weight (like pre-diabetes or sleep apnea), and design a customized fitness plan for you.
You could also talk to your doctor about prescription weight loss medications if you would like to go down that road. We would recommend that you stay clear of the bro-scientists and only depend on certified professionals with a history of successful transformations.
Eat Out Less
Many people over the age of 50 eat out more frequently because there’s less of a need to cook due to children being grown and out of the house. While ordering food might feel more convenient – especially with the new-age food-tech start-ups coming out with faster deliveries and fatter discounts, the harm to your health outweighs the benefits to your wallet.
The problem with eating out is that you’re more likely to feast on junk than on healthy food. If you’re starving and you happen to be eating out, there is a high probability that you’ll end up ordering food with high-fat content or sugary beverages that can set you back on your fat loss journey.
You should choose to cook at home instead of going out, ordering take out or home deliveries. Home-cooked food is healthier (lower in sugar, sodium, and fat) and cheaper. If you’re too busy to cook food every day, assign one day of the week as your meal-prep day.
Losing weight is as much a psychological task as its physiological. Most people drop out of a weight loss program because they don’t have anyone to report to. Being accountable to someone and sharing your progress with them turns the weight loss journey into a healthy competition with yourself.
If you can’t find anyone to share your fat-loss journey with, start posting your goals and progress on social media. Knowing the fact that people are tracking your progress and judging you by it will ignite a fire inside you.
Add Whole Foods, Fiber, and Protein To Your Diet
We can’t talk about the best ways to lose weight after 50 and leave out a balanced diet program. According to Health and Wellness Coach Mike Ferreri, food is about 85 percent of the battle when it comes to weight loss—so getting your intake just right matters quite a bit.
Shedding body fat requires you to be on the top of your diet. If the words macro and micronutrients don’t ring a bell, you have some serious catching up to do.
Eating whole foods (like high fiber vegetables and fruit), and limiting processed foods will help your body slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. A lower sugar percentage in the blood decreases the risk of accumulating extra fat.
Most people make the mistake of cutting out fats from their diet in the hope to lose weight. Getting rid of healthy fats can be a blunder as it can hamper your bone and joint health. Follow a high protein, moderate carb, and low-fat diet to optimize your fat loss process.
Get Physically Active
You didn’t think that you can lose weight while sitting on your ass all day long or did you? You should get comfortable with incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine. At least 30-minute of activity every day is a must for losing excess body fat.
A decrease in lean muscle mass is one of the main reasons older adults struggle to lose weight. You can combat the natural decline in muscle mass by learning to lift weights. Resistance training helps with building and maintaining muscle mass, as well as building bone strength and density, and decreases your risk for osteoporosis.
Yoga, pilates, hiking or climbing stairs are a few other effective fat loss activities. Make sure that whenever you’re in the gym, you’re not half-assing your way through the workouts. Don’t let exhaustion or aching joints hold you back from going all out.
This might sound counter-intuitive but you won’t see the unnecessary fat shed off without a well-planned recovery program. No matter how hard you work, you won’t see the desired results until your body is properly rested.
The two hormones that regulate appetite (leptin and ghrelin) go into overdrive without regular sleep. A lack of sleep disrupts the leptin and ghrelin production and causes metabolic dysfunction in which the body confuses fatigue with hunger.
Remember – your muscles break down while you’re physically active and get in shape while you’re in deep sleep. Doing your best to get 7-8 hours of snooze time every night is key to helping lose weight.