You are truly the master of your own metabolism! Between arthritis, health conditions, stamina, mobility and balance issues we all know that trying to lose weight after 50 can be more challenging than it was when we were in our 20’s and 30’s, but there is hope! A mix of lifestyle and physiological factors contribute to our issues with losing weight, but weight gain doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of the aging process. So, this guide is here to help you learn how to be successful at weight loss no matter what your age is. We’ll cover the major hurdles to weight loss, and different ways to overcome them.
Hurdle #1 – Muscle Mass
By the time you get to enjoy your 50th birthday, you’ve lost about 10 percent of your muscle mass, which can impact the way you burn calories. This is because muscle is more metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories than fat. If you have more muscle than fat, you’ll burn more energy, even if you’re just watching TV; but to build muscle, you need to exercise, which means that you’ll burn calories too.
Overcoming Hurdle #1
Any exercise is better than no exercise, but after 50 years old, strength training is best. The idea is to use activities like lifting weights to build muscle and burn more fat.
Hurdle #2 – Metabolism
You may have heard that your metabolism slows as you get older, but recent research shows that this just isn’t true. Your metabolism holds steady all the way until your 60th birthday party, what changes is your muscle mass. The number of calories your body burns when you aren’t doing anything at all decreases with your muscle mass.
Overcoming Hurdle #2
As we mentioned in hurdle #1, strength training is key. To top this off, we should increase the amount of protein in our diet. This means adding high-quality protein sources in low-fat meats, to boost muscle strength. Another helpful tip is to stay completely hydrated. Fluids are important to converting protein and carbs into usable energy.
Hurdle #3 – Hormones
As we age, our levels of estrogen and testosterone decline. These reduced hormones encourage your body to store fat in all of the areas that we don’t want it. Just like a cascade, storing fat in these areas leads to insulin resistance, which only causes more weight gain, and makes losing it more difficult. Something else that happens as we age is a decrease in hormones that regulate appetite and satiety. This means that as we get older, we feel hungrier and less full.
Overcoming Hurdle #3
The goal of this article is not to sound like a broken record, but a good diet and exercise is the key to overcoming our loss of hormones as we age. This means reducing the amount of refined sugars and starches we eat, as well as increasing our veggies and protein. Something else that may help is ensuring that you’re sticking to the recommended “serving size” and keeping a food journal so you can see where you’re overeating.
Other hurdles might include a less-active lifestyle, which can be remedied with daily walks, and a change in sleeping habits which can be remedied by sticking to a strict bedtime and wakeup time. If you’re interested in learning more about different resources that are available in your community to help you and your loved one lose weight, don’t be afraid to contact us here at Homewatch CareGivers of Sterling. Our goal is always to be here to ensure that your caregiving journey goes as smoothly as possible. Reach out to us today to learn more.