You cut back on portion size; you say, “No, thank you,” to desserts; you sign up for an exercise program — and yet your jeans size goes up.
What is going on?
As always, I find inspiration from the Be Healthy Enough Online Exercise Platform Members. The question that popped up most last month was “Why is it so hard to lose weight after 50?” It’s a very common question and YES, it’s a real issue.
By age 40 and even as early as 30, our metabolism, hormones and other body changes start to occur. Your metabolism or metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns carrying out normal functions. If you’re doing exactly what you did in your 30’s or less you’ll gain weight.
Your body composition also changes as you age. You lose muscle mass at an average rate of 3-5% every 10 years after age 35. With less muscle mass you burn less calories and the scale can start to creep up.
Hormonal imbalances can also affect the calories in vs. calories out equation causing your body to hold onto fat and of course in all the wrong places.
What’s more, all those years of playing sports, running after your kids, and walking up and down stairs take their toll. You may notice that your joints are a little stiffer and your muscles are a little sorer than they were a few decades ago. This may make the exercise that you need, more painful to do.
Once you understand all this, finally release the notion that what worked in your 30’s will not work when you are over 50 and then develop a clear plan…YES, you can lose weight over 50.
Did you hear me say, “develop a plan”? This is the KEY to success when it comes to weight loss. Let me share what the 4 key steps to a successful weight loss plan over 50. (in my opinion!)
Step 1: Get the Data, Talk to Your Doctor
First stop after you celebrate the big 5-0—your doctor’s office. She can assess your current state of health, address any health problems that may be affecting your weight (like pre-diabetes, hormonal imbalances, or sleep apnea). Then make sure to ask her to check not only your thyroid but your hormones. Thyroid imbalances can make it impossible to lose weight. As we age, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones decline, which sets the body up for storing fat instead of losing weight. Work with this data and your doctor to develop a plan to get your body healthy and in hormonal balance.
If you’d like more information on what I’ve learned are the recommended blood tests you should ask for, check out my blog >> Recommended Blood Tests to understand Your Weight Loss Challenges
Step 2: Once and for all…diets don’t work!
You would think that with our years of diet experience we would get this one! Yes, you will lose weight on a diet but most of the time it comes right back unless along the way you have been successful at changing your eating habits. Our eating habits are ingrained and it can take months to form new ones.
You need a plan!
First, use a food diary to learn about your eating habits. Writing down what you eat and why you are eating can be very eye opening. After doing this for a week or two, decide what 3 small changes you can make to “nudge” your eating habits in the right direction.
My next recommendation is to make Meal Planning and Preparation part of your new weekly habit. This has been key for me. Planning your weekly meals, taking the time to prepare and sticking to your plans, can help keep you from hitting the drive through because you don’t have anything healthy on hand.
YOU CAN’T EXERCISE AWAY A BAD DIET!
You need a plan! Need some help? If you’re over 50 and finally realize that diets don’t work, then download my simple way to shed pounds. The IDEAL PLATE guide is a simple process to create a long term healthy eating plan you can stick to.
Step 3: Create a Balanced Exercise Plan!
Gone are the days of cardio, cardio, cardio. In order to lose weight over 50 you MUST balance your exercise with strength training, core work, flexibility training and low impact cardio.
Strength training by far is the over 50 weight loss secret. When you build more muscle mass you increase your metabolism and create a stronger body that will be more resilient and capable. Aim for 2 to 3 times a week, work with someone who can teach you good form so you don’t hurt yourself and build up slowly. Need help? Try my STRONG…Enough Basic Strength Program
Intermix other types of exercise modalities like Pilates and yoga to build a strong core and keep the body flexible.
As for cardio, choose activities that are easy on the joints. Pool exercise, walking, low impact cardio routines, cycling, dance…
Schedule your workouts like they’re doctor’s appointments. Sticking to a consistent routine can not only help ease stress, it can also help you stay on track with your diet. After all, who wants to ruin the benefits of a tough sweat session by eating a donut?
Need to make exercise a habit again? The Be Healthy Enough’s Fit Over 50 beginner 7 Day Challenge has it all; low impact cardio, strength, Pilates and videos to relax and restore. Hurry because it’s FREE for now! FREE Fit Over 50 Beginning Challenge
Step 4: Get an accountability buddy!
Have a friend or family member who also wants to stick to a healthy plan? Make them your accountability buddy and motivate each other by exchanging healthy recipes, sending motivational quotes, and checking in to see how the other is feeling or keeping up with their plans.
Let me and the Be Healthy Enough Community be your accountability buddies. With hundreds of workouts for just what we need AND a community of like minded women to help cheer you along, it might be just what you need. Check out these membership options JOIN NOW
Yes, I know you can lose weight after 50!
Start with understanding any underlying health issues, focus on your nutrition then revamp your exercise strategy and if you need help, set up an accountability system.
Be consistent and patient and I know you will see the pounds melt away.
If you’d like more I created an 8 part series on my YouTube Channel Click HERE to start watching