Weight Loss in Your 50s and Beyond
Weight loss beyond the age of 50 comes with its own set of challenges, but it’s far from impossible. In this post, I give you surefire ways to drop those extra pounds and feel your best. From the right foods to the right amount of exercise, we’ll cover four ways to lose weight in your 50s and beyond.
Find The Balance
When you picture a balanced diet in your mind, what foods are included? You might be surprised to know you can enjoy most foods when eaten in the right amounts at the right time. For example, you wouldn’t want to eat a dinner of roast beef with mashed potatoes at 8 p.m., but a meal of roast beef, tossed salad, and a small side of mashed potatoes would be fine at 5 p.m. It’s all in the balance.
Here’s a quick list to help you choose the best food and portions:
- Focus on nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, dairy, nuts, and legumes.
- Eat a serving of protein with each meal or snack.
- Increase your vegetable intake and try replacing some starches with an extra veggie.
- Become a small plate advocate and use a dessert plate for meals.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry, and if you do, eat a handful of nuts or seeds before you’re tempted to binge.
- Decrease food and alcohol as you approach the 7 o’clock hour. Eating after this can cause extra pounds to linger.
Ultimately, pay attention to your natural hunger and fullness signals. Drink plenty of water (equal to one-third of your body weight) and stay hydrated. Soon, you’ll find balance in your diet and lose the extra weight.
Get Your Body Moving
We’ve all heard the phrase “eat less move more.” And you know what? There’s a lot of science behind that statement. The problem is, as we age, it’s easy to grow sedentary and eat more while moving less. Exercise in your 50s and beyond is a crucial part of aging well, as both cardio and weight training are vital to maintaining muscle, bone, and heart strength.
Here’s a quick list of exercises to choose from:
- Yoga might seem like a popular fad for younger women, but it’s a fantastic way to keep your body agile and burn those extra calories.
- Swimming is a low-impact exercise that leads to a leaner frame and better heart health.
- Weightlifting not only keeps your bones strong, it helps you burn calories as you sleep. Now, that’s a win-win!
- Walking needs to become your best friend as you age, and the more you walk the better. Set a timer on your phone and take a walk around the neighborhood. On cold days, head to the gym and jump on the treadmill. This is the number one exercise as you age, and it will keep those pesky pounds from accumulating year after year.
While it might sound too simple, there really is something to the mantra “eat less move more.” In your 50s and beyond, focus on gradually decreasing your calories (finding the right balance) and increasing your movement. This will make a big difference in your overall health.
Focus on Fiber
I know it’s not a pleasant subject to talk about, but digestion plays an important role in weight loss. When our system isn’t working properly, we feel bloated and sluggish which can lead to a loss of motivation. Increasing your fiber as you age can help keep things moving along and boost your weight loss efforts.
Here are some quick tips on getting more fiber in your diet:
- Garnish your meals with small sides of whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and sprouted-grain bread.
- Sprinkle your salads with chia seeds.
- Incorporate more beans and legumes by making a large pot of soup once a week.
- Include high-fiber fruits and veggies to most meals and snacks. These include apples, oranges, carrots, spinach, and broccoli.
Upping your fiber content can really help move the needle on the scale. And overall, you’ll feel lighter, happier, and more motivated to live your best life.
Sleep It Off
Getting enough sleep in your 50s and beyond can prove to be quite challenging. After all, your body is dealing with lots of hormonal changes which can disrupt your sleep schedule. You might not associate sleep with weight loss, but there is a proven connection.
Here are some quick tips for better sleep:
- Stop eating and drinking by 7 p.m.
- Avoid looking at your phone and other blue lights an hour before bed.
- Listen to music or a soothing sleep meditation.
- Keep the room temperature cool and remove distractions.
- Get regular sunshine, fresh air, and exercise each day to keep your circadian rhythm on track.
While it might seem counterintuitive to weight loss, getting enough sleep gives you the energy you need to enjoy all the things you love to do. And it will prevent you from eating to stay awake!
Losing weight after 50 can be more difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. With better balance in your diet, more movement in your day, plenty of fiber and solid rest, those extra pounds will come off in no time. Best of luck on your weight loss journey!