Staying in shape is always something we should aspire to, regardless of age. No matter our age, many people consistently go on different diet and exercise programs to achieve our desired figure or meet our goal weight throughout life.
Unfortunately, as we age, shedding those extra pounds becomes so much more challenging due to the changes we undergo as we grow older.
According to a study published in Public Health Nutrition,
“Aging is associated with progressive declines in resting and total energy expenditure (TEE), which have implications for defining dietary energy requirements at different stages of adult life.”
5 Tips for Weight Loss Over 50
If you are over 50 years old, you are probably going to need to even more precise with your diet and exercise routine to reach your weight loss goals. Keep reading below to learn how to lose weight after 50!
Eat Healthy Food
When we think about losing weight, we immediately think about restrictive diet plans. These often involve not eating specific food groups or eating only a specific number of times a day.
While restrictive diet plans may be effective for younger people, they may not always be a good idea to implement for older people. Older adults have certain nutritional requirements, which can be offset if they avoid certain food types due to dieting.
Consider having a balanced diet instead of removing important things like carbs and fats from your diet.
Eat More Protein
While a lot of people will avoid eating meat when trying to lose weight, the exact opposite should be observed if you are in your golden years and trying to lose weight.
Muscle loss is a common occurrence among older adults due to a process called sarcopenia.
As stated by a study published in Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism,
“Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is strictly correlated with physical disability, poor quality of life and death. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender and level of physical activity.”
The loss of muscle mass has an unintended side effect of slowing down your metabolism, which results in quicker weight gain. That’s why incorporating more high-quality protein into your diet will help you maintain your muscle mass and keep off the extra pounds.
Some sources of high-quality protein are chicken breast, grass-fed beef, eggs, and salmon. For older adults who may not always have access to these or may have dietary restrictions, alternative sources such as organic whey protein powder is always an option.
Move Your Body
As we grow older, our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) decreases. This means that burning more calories becomes more of an active task than it was when we were younger.
Adults aged 50 and above have to incorporate more exercise and movement to increase the amount of calories they burn. Recommended exercises to help burn more calories are walking, swimming, and stretching.
Build Your Strength
Additionally, building or maintaining muscle mass is key to bringing one’s weight down. As mentioned earlier, having less muscle mass slows down the body’s metabolic rates. Older adults also need to incorporate strength training as part of their exercise routines. Strength training–especially resistance training–helps maintain muscle mass, but it also keeps older adults’ bones and muscles strong and healthy.
According to a study published in Geriatrics,
“Many consequences of sarcopenia are preventable or even reversible. Progressive resistance exercises can produce substantial increases in strength and muscle size, even in the oldest old. For many older patients, exercise represents the safest, least expensive means to lose body fat, decrease blood pressure, improving glucose tolerance, and maintain long-term independence.”
Strength training for aging individuals doesn’t have to be a hassle, too. Many exercises allow the use of body weight as a form of resistance like pushups, squats, and planks.
It may also be worth noting that before undergoing any type of exercise, a consultation with a physician should be done.
This will help avoid any untoward accidents, which may be costly unless Medicare or some other form of medical insurance is involved. Even then, some charges may not be covered, which is why getting a supplemental policy such as a Medicare Supplement plan from Mutual of Omaha might also be worth considering.
Always Stay Hydrated
Adults who grow older may find themselves reaching for a glass of water less and less, even though our body is dying of thirst. As we age, we undergo many physiological and mental changes that all contribute to consistently getting dehydrated.
This has many consequences for older adults who need to shed a few pounds. Because thirst often gets mistaken for hunger pangs, we often tend to reach for the nearest food source available. In effect, we end up putting more calories in our bodies, even though our bodies just needed water.
This can make the already hard task of burning off calories more difficult.
Water is an understated contributor to healthy weight loss. Drinking enough water helps your digestive system flush out fats and toxins more efficiently.
It can also reduce any fluid retention and keep the appetite at a regulated level. To check if you’ve drunk enough water, check the color of your urine–it should be pale yellow.
Don’t overdo it on the water, though, or you could end up with overhydration, which can be very dangerous too.
Concluding Thoughts – Losing Weight After 50
Staying fit and keeping the pounds at bay can become more challenging the older we get. But while physiological changes might be making it challenging, there are still things we can do to stay fit and trim and manage your body weight.
This way, we get to enjoy our golden years and live a quality life.
Read Next: Staying Active As You Age