For many people, particularly women over 50, maintaining a healthy weight or losing excess body fat can become harder as the years go by. Unhealthy habits, a mostly sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices, and metabolic changes can all contribute to weight gain after the age of 50.
However, with a few simple adjustments, you can lose weight at any age regardless of your physical capabilities or medical diagnoses. We have listed down the best tips on how to lose weight for women over 50, for you to enjoy a healthier and happier life.
Above is the summarized infographic of ways a woman over 50 can do to lose weight, for deeper understanding kindly read the whole article. Here is a more detailed explanation of ways how a woman over 50 can lose weight.
1. Have Your Hormones Checked By A Physician
As women age estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones can fluctuate and unbalanced hormones may prevent weight loss. Have your doctor monitor your hormones regularly to boost your chance of successful weight loss and detect hormonal imbalance early.
2. Talk To a Dietitian
Finding an eating pattern that both promotes weight loss and nourishes your body can be hard. Consulting a registered dietitian can help you find out the best way to lose excess body fat without having to follow an overly restrictive diet that is almost impossible to maintain in the long run. A dietitian can support and guide you throughout your weight loss journey. Research shows that working with a dietitian to lose weight can lead to better results than going at it alone, and it may help you maintain the weight you lost over time.
3. Increase Your Protein Intake
Incorporating enough high-quality protein in your diet is not only important for weight loss but also crucial for stopping or reversing age-related muscle loss. How many calories you burn at rest, or your resting metabolic rate (RMR), decreases by 1 to 2% each decade after you turn 20. This is associated with age-related muscle loss.
However, consuming a protein-rich diet can help prevent or even reverse muscle loss. Several studies have also shown that increasing dietary protein can help you lose weight and keep it off in the long term. Research shows that older adults have higher protein needs than younger adults, making it all the more important to add protein-rich foods to your meals and snacks.
4. Eat More Produce
Vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients that are vital to your health, and adding them to your diet is a simple, evidence-based way to lose excess weight. A review of 10 studies found that every daily serving increase of vegetables was associated with a 0.14 inch or 0.36-cm waist circumference reduction in women.
Another study in 26,340 men and women aged 35 to 65 associated eating fruits and vegetables with lower body weight, less body fat, and reduced waist circumference.
5. Rely Less On Convenience Foods
Regularly eating convenience foods, such as fast food, candy, and processed snacks are associated with weight gain and may prevent your weight loss efforts. Convenience foods are usually high in calories and tend to be low in important nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That is why fast food and other processed foods are commonly referred to as “empty calories.”
Reducing intake of convenience foods and replacing them with nutritious meals and snacks that revolve around nutrient-dense whole foods is an awesome way to lose weight.
6. Eat A Whole-Foods-Based Diet
One of the simplest ways to make sure that you give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly is by following a diet rich in whole foods.
Whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, poultry, fish, grains, and legumes are filled with nutrients essential for maintaining healthy body weight, such as fiber, protein, and healthy fats. In several studies, whole-food-based diets, both plant-based diets and those that include animal products, have been associated with effective weight loss.
7. Hydrate The Healthy Way
Drinks like sweetened coffee beverages, sports drinks, soda, juices, and pre-made smoothies are often filled with calories and added sugars. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, especially those sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, is strongly linked to weight gain and conditions like obesity, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and diabetes.
Avoiding sugary beverages and choosing healthy drinks like water and herbal tea can help you lose weight and may significantly decrease your risk of developing the chronic conditions mentioned above.
8. Choose The Right Supplements
If you often feel fatigued and unmotivated, taking the right supplements may help give you the energy you need to reach your goals. As you grow older, your ability to absorb certain nutrients decreases, increasing your risk of nutrient deficiencies. For example, research shows that adults over 50 are commonly deficient in folate and vitamin B12, two nutrients that are needed for energy production. Deficiencies in B vitamins like B12 can negatively impact your mood, cause fatigue, and prevent weight loss.
For this reason, it’s a good idea for those over 50 to take a high-quality B-complex vitamin to help decrease the risk of vitamin deficiency.
9. Try Out Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a type of eating pattern in which you only eat during a specified period, it involves “fasting time” and “eating window or feasting time”. The most popular type of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 method, where you eat within an 8-hour window followed by a 16-hour fast.
Several studies have shown that intermittent fasting promotes weight loss. Additionally, some test-tube and animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may benefit older adults by increasing longevity, slowing cell decline, and preventing age-related changes to mitochondria, the energy-producing parts of your cells.
10. Track Your Food Intake
Tracking calories and food consumption is an excellent way to eat less. Studies show that keeping a daily food journal is associated with greater weight loss, especially long term, compared with non-consistent food tracking. Write down what you eat or use a fitness tracker or health app that you can download for free.
11. Learn To Enjoy Strength Training
Although cardio gets tons of attention when it comes to weight loss, strength training is also important, especially for older adults. As you age, your muscle mass declines in a process called “sarcopenia”. This loss of muscle mass begins around the age of 50 and can slow down your metabolism, which may lead to weight gain.
After the age of 50, your muscle mass decreases by about 1 to 2% per year, while your muscle strength declines at a rate of 1.5 to 5% per year. Thus, adding muscle-building exercises to your exercise routine is important for reducing age-related muscle loss and promoting a healthy body weight. Strength training, such as body weight exercises and weightlifting, can significantly improve muscle strength and increase muscle size and function. Additionally, strength training can help you lose weight by reducing body fat and boosting your metabolism, which can increase how many calories you can burn throughout the day.
12. Pairing Up With Other People
Introducing a healthy eating pattern or exercise routine on your own can be challenging. Pairing up with a friend, co-worker, or family member may give you a greater chance at sticking to your plan and achieving your wellness goals.
Research shows that those who attend weight loss programs with friends are significantly more likely to maintain their weight loss over time. Working out with friends can strengthen your commitment to a fitness program and make exercising more enjoyable and more fun.
13. Get Enough Sleep
Chronic sleep deprivation can boost your appetite, making weight loss almost impossible. Make sure you’re sleeping between seven and nine hours each night. Take a natural sleeping supplement, such as melatonin, or use a white noise machine if you’re a light sleeper. You should also avoid going to bed hungry or very full.
14. Cut Out Alcohol and Smoking
Removing alcohol or cutting back on it is a simple way to nix calories for weight loss over 50, as you might be consuming up to 500 calories or more from alcoholic drinks.
Smoking is another habit to avoid, as it can prevent your ability to get a good night’s sleep and drastically increase your risk of cancer.
15. Control Your Stress
Reduce chronic stress in your life to control your cortisol level. Cortisol is a hormone that increases appetite and the desire for high-fat, sugary comfort foods. To help yourself relax, avoid overbooking your schedule, take vacations, and try yoga, regular massages, tai chi, or meditation.
16. Set Goals
Make the commitment to lose weight and improve your health before you even begin a weight loss program. Prioritize looking and feeling great overeating sweets, fried food, and other junk foods.
Set food, exercise, and water intake goals. Make sure to drink at least 12 cups of water daily and be physically active for at least 30 minutes each day. Set and achieve even small goals to give you a feeling of accomplishment, pride, and motivation when times get tough.
17. Weigh Yourself Daily
Regularly weighing yourself keeps you accountable for what you’re eating and how active you are daily. Studies show that daily weigh-ins are more effective than weighing yourself weekly or less often.
Weekly weight loss goals should be 1 to 2 pounds per week to boost your chance of long-term success.
Though weight loss may seem to get more difficult with age, several evidence-based strategies can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight after turning 50. Avoiding too much sugar, incorporating strength training into your workouts, eating more protein, cooking meals at home, and following a whole-foods-based diet are just some of the methods you can use to improve your overall health and lose excess body fat.
Try out the tips we mentioned above and before you know it, weight loss after 50 will seem like a breeze. If you liked this article please share it with other women over 50 who are also aiming to lose weight. Thank you and good luck with your weight loss journey!