It is a known fact that women’s metabolism slows down as they age, especially after reaching 50, therefore losing weight for them is hard. Several factors affect middle-aged women’s metabolism such as unstable estrogen level, decreased caloric requirement, and menopause. Weightloss seems impossible for a lot of women over 50 and they have accepted that fact. The good news is that is not the absolute truth, women over 50 can still achieve successful weight loss and some of them even managed to lose weight after menopause. We have gathered success stories of women losing weight after the age of 50 so you can apply their tips and most of all inspire you to lose weight and have a healthy life as well.
Stacey Welton, 50 – Lost 80 Pounds
Stacy knew she’d never been a gym aficionado, especially not with six kids and a full-time job as a teacher, at least. But once her excess weight began to give her health problems, she knew something had to give.
“I saw a picture of myself and wasn’t happy,” Welton said. “I knew that, as I was getting older, that the weight would continue to increase if I did nothing, so I made up my mind to change my life once and for all.”
She went on to try the Atkins diet, which had her eating fewer carbohydrates and in just eight months, she shed 80 pounds.
“I learned to eat to live, not live to eat,” Welton said. “I would say that weight loss is one of the very few areas where it’s OK to be selfish. It is about you. Whatever it costs, it’s worth the personal investment in you. This is the sacrifice that a mom has to make not only for herself but her family.”
Sherry Greenwald, 57 – Lost 42 Pounds
What spurred Sherry Greenwald to lose weight is her health. Greenwald had always been physically active and healthy, but as she got older and put on weight, she developed high cholesterol levels and diagnosed with prediabetes. But what really galvanized her efforts was seeing her photo “I went to a wedding in the south of France, and when I looked at the picture of myself, I was mortified,” Greenwald recalls. “I’d never thought of myself as being overweight, but I looked heavy and aged.”
Greenwald worked with a New York City dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, author of The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet. One of Greenwald’s problems was that she was on the road the whole day every day as a saleswoman, so she often wouldn’t eat until about 4 p.m. and she would continue eating nonstop throughout the evening. Now she only eats three meals a day with two snacks, which could be simply a protein bar or a handful of high-fiber crackers. “I found that having these small, frequent meals, each of which had protein and fiber, was really key in keeping hunger in check,” she says. “I especially noticed that days when I skipped my midafternoon snack, I was starving in the evening and much more likely to overeat.”
Getting 35 to 40 grams of fiber every day is one of her weight-loss strategies. “That was a big challenge at first, but now I just add vegetables whenever I can, I throw mushrooms and onion and spinach into an egg-white omelet in the morning, have a huge salad topped with chicken for lunch, and have a grilled lean meat with plenty of steamed veggies for dinner,” she says.
To maintain her weight Greenwald went from doing five hours of cardio a week to simply doing a mix of cardio and weight training 2 times a week with a fitness trainer. “All that cardio ended up stimulating my appetite, so I ate more and basically negated any calories I burned off,” says Greenwald. She also tries to walk as much as possible for additional exercise.
Her motivational tip for others is “Keep living your life”. Due to Greenwald’s nature of work, she’s dining out most nights, something she thankfully hasn’t had to scale back on. “I’m very specific when ordering at restaurants, a piece of grilled salmon or steak with no butter or oil on it, steamed veggies on the side, and a house salad with balsamic vinaigrette,” she says. Greenwald’s weakness is alcohol, which she indulges in with either a glass or two of red or white wine, sometimes she also indulges in club soda and vodka. “I find that if I treat myself to a couple of drinks, I’m much less likely to slip up and order dessert,” she observes, laughing.
Arlene Howard, 70s – Lost 15 Pounds
What urged Arlene Howard to lose weight is her job. “Professionally, I have to look the best I can,” says Howard, who has been running her namesake public relations firm since 2002. “I have to be alert, on my toes and very fashionable and I didn’t feel that way when I was carrying around extra weight.” The real turning point, however, was when she saw photos of herself taken last year, on her vacation in Hawaii or with clients in L.A, California. “I just looked so aged and so tired,” she observes. “It was a real wake-up call that I needed to start a healthy eating regimen … not a diet but definitely a lifestyle.”
She did it by giving up sugar. “I just decided to give up sugar,” Howard reveals. “I gave up my beloved cakes, candies, and chocolate and replaced them with very sweet fruits, like pineapple or berries,” she says. The first two weeks were hard, and Howard found herself constantly craving ice cream and sugar-sweetened yogurts. But after a few weeks, “the desire to eat these types of foods just disappeared, and I was fine.” Other than that, Howard did not restrict her calories at all. She ate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein such as chicken and fish. Her breakfast is typically oatmeal sprinkled with raisins and walnuts, paired with either an egg or chicken sausage. Her lunch is last night’s leftovers, which are often chicken, vegetables, a piece of fruit, and cheese. Her dinner is lean protein-like turkey meatballs, accompanied by vegetables and half a glass of wine. “I mix it with mineral water and it gives me a sense of sweetness to enjoy with my meal, as well as a feeling of sophistication and elegance,” she says. When she feels the urge to snack, she munches on fruit and nuts, such as almonds. “A couple of months ago, I decided to give up wheat, too, since it made me feel bloated, and although I haven’t lost any more weight, I feel like I have much more energy,” she adds. She also makes sure she will be asleep by 9:30 most evenings. “If I’m asleep, I don’t have the chance to indulge in late-night snacking,” she says with a laugh.
She also added her tip to squeeze exercise in, however you can. Howard’s busy schedule doesn’t leave her much time to work out, other than on weekends. Still, she makes sure that she’s up at 6:30 every morning to fit in some leg squats and gentle stretches before she goes to the office, and if she and her husband can sneak in a walk on the beach before or after dinner, they will. “He takes such long strides, it’s a workout for me to keep up,” she notes. On Saturdays and Sundays, she works out in the gym for an hour. “I’m proud of that because I don’t like the gym and it’s always such a struggle to get there,” she says. “But I go there, do 35 to 45 minutes on the elliptical, some weights and 15 tummy crunches, and that’s it. I’m done, and I can go home and start my day.”
Her motivational tip is to seek out social support. Howard credits her husband of 15 years for providing the emotional support and stability that help her succeed in losing weight and staying in shape. “A lot of people eat because it’s soothing to them, but I find that being in a wonderful relationship provides that same level of comfort,” she says. “When you’re really happy,” she adds, you’re less likely to eat as a way to “boost your mood.”
Mary Thoma, 50 – Lost Over 100 Pounds
After Mary’s father passed away, her weight climbed up to 290 pounds. She was no longer able to tend to her garden, walk through the sand on the beach, clean her house, or even make it from her car to the door of her workplace without getting out of breath. “I used to lie awake at night wondering what I was going to do. Was I going to see retirement age at this rate?” she says. She decided to join an Anytime Fitness gym near her place and started meeting with a personal trainer three times a week.
At first, “I could not jump with both feet off the ground. I could not do the crab or bear crawl because my belly was so big. I could not do a full sit-up or push-up,” she says. She stuck with it and eventually lost over 100 pounds. After seeing her weight loss progress, several of Mary’s friends and family members joined the same gym, and they now enjoy working out together on Sunday mornings. They call themselves the Golden Girls and have since started participating in marathons to raise money to support their local community programs and charities.
Cindy Breen, 53 – Lost 25 Pounds
“I knew I was getting heavier and wasn’t sure how to change,” says Cindy. So when her husband decided to try the Paleo diet to combat his high cholesterol, she decided to do that as well. She was 53 at the time and going through menopause, so she also stopped taking the low-dose birth control pill she had been using for years to regulate her periods. Meanwhile, Cindy started walking every morning, dancing Zumba, and occasionally taking yoga classes at the YMCA.
After losing 25 pounds, Cindy believes that healthy living goes beyond diet and exercise. “I practice meditation and prayer to keep me in balance, do daily journaling, and read positive prose,” she says. “It’s not just about weight loss. It’s about healthy living and mind, body, and soul are a part of that!”
Sally Ericksen, 67 – Lost 40 Pounds
When Sally Ericksen’s late husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she took action to help him. She had heard somewhere that exercise might slow the progression of the disease, so they headed to the gym together. While his husband was working with a personal trainer, Sally, who was nearly 200 pounds started exercising on her own. Her workouts, combined with making healthier diet choices, led to a 40-pound weight loss over the next few years.
Around that same time, Sally’s 3-year-old grandchild died because of cancer. Rather than let herself slide into depression and unhealthy habits, she decided to raise money for childhood cancer by training for the 25-mile Cure Search Ultimate Hike. Sally continues to stay healthy by attending fitness classes and makes keeping a positive outlook a priority in her life. “I enjoy moving to popular music and seeing smiling faces,” she says. “No complaints or gossip during my daily routine. I feel stronger now than I ever have been, and I have a zest for life that enlivens each day.”
Patricia Smith, 64 – Lost 68 Pounds
When she reached 313 pounds, Patricia’s doctor recommended she have bariatric surgery. Instead, she decided to try The Lyn-Genet Plan, which is designed to help pinpoint which foods are causing inflammation in the body along with weight gain and health problems.
“It took me 3 months to determine the best proteins, vegetables, grains, and fruits for me,” and then the pounds started coming off, she said. Aside from the dietary changes she made, she also signed up for water walking at the YMCA and spends 15 minutes in the sauna each time she visits. Now at age 64, Patricia is currently down to 245 pounds, she hopes to reach her goal weight of 160 pounds by the end of the year.
“My health has improved tremendously,” she says. Losing weight also improved her chronic postnasal drip and her leg edema.
Marcie Webb, 55 – Lost 30 Pounds
At the age of 55, Marcie Webb managed to lose 30 pounds and 24 inches with 10 of those inches coming off her midsection. “That was remarkable to me because, as we all know, weight collects around your middle during menopause/postmenopause,” she says. Marcie achieved her goals by exercising to Beachbody videos, eating nutritious food, and drinking Shakeology shakes. “My Beachbody coach told me repeatedly, ‘You cannot out-exercise bad nutrition.’ ”
Marcie admits that she has to work hard to maintain her current weight, but she feels that it is worth it. “That certainly doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my life, but I have to be on-point with my nutrition and exercise 90% of the time.”
Patricia Patterson, 58 – Lost 129 Pounds
“I had come to believe that gaining weight was just part of the aging process and something I had to live with,” says Patricia, who lost 129 pounds in just 13 months following a Weight Watchers plan. “Now I know better,” Patricia says she always struggled with her weight even before hitting 50, but after having brain surgery in 2008, she had gained an additional 100 pounds. “I was not eating properly nor getting any exercise. In retrospect, I think it was, in part, because I continued to eat like I was 20 years old.”
Patricia began eating five small meals a day, increasing her water consumption, controlling her food portions, wearing a Fitbit, and doing strength training at Planet Fitness. Attending Weight Watchers meetings provided the motivational support that she needed, and she encourages others to get similar help to stay motivated. Her advice to other women struggling to lose weight is “Take it one day/meal at a time. If you go overboard and feel you ‘blew it,’ don’t give up; get right back on track the very next meal. Make small changes. Make it personal and something you cannot only live with but enjoy. That’s how you will stick with it.”
The best way to be motivated to lose weight for women over 50 is by reading success stories of women who are going through the same stuff as them. The before and after pictures above were amazing and the stories behind them are inspirational. We hope that these women inspired you to take charge of your health and lose weight. If this article helped you in any way please share this with women over 50 who are also looking for weight loss success stories that they can relate to. Thank you and we hope you stay inspired and motivated to lose the extra weight, live a healthier and happier!