Losing weight after 50 can be daunting, but it’s achievable with knowledge, a positive mindset, and sensible diet and exercise habits. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
Give strength training a try.
By age 50, many adults have lost a significant amount (about 10%) of their muscle mass. This decrease in muscle mass, known as sarcopenia, leads to a slower metabolism and decreased mobility, making it harder to lose weight. The good news? Including strength training in your workout routine can counter this decline and help maintain and build stronger muscles as you get older.
While strength training may seem intimidating, many exercises are easy to learn and perform at home. Some examples of strength training exercises include squats, yoga, push-ups, and weightlifting.
Eat more protein.
Building muscle mass requires adequate protein intake. Protein helps your body build and repair muscle—it also regulates blood sugar levels, balances your appetite, and promotes healthy brain function.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight daily or 54 grams for a 150-pound person. That said, older adults may need as much as double this amount to meet their needs.
Healthy protein sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and legumes.
Consider joining a group exercise class.
Trying to embark on a solo health journey can be challenging. If you have trouble sticking to a regular exercise routine, consider joining a group exercise class or pairing up with a friend or family member. Working with a trainer can also help you stay on track by providing accountability and encouragement.
Make more excuses to move.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you’ll need to take extra steps to stay active throughout the day. This could be as simple as getting up from your desk and taking a five-minute walk or stretch break every hour.
You could also take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from the front door, or walk during your lunch break. Getting your heart pumping helps you maintain a healthy weight and reduces your risk of heart disease and other health issues.
Pro tip: Investing in a fitness tracker or pedometer can help you keep track of your physical activity levels and encourage you to achieve your fitness goals.
Drink more water.
Soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks may taste good, but these sugary beverages can seriously impact your health. These drinks can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease.
According to the American Heart Association, the amount of water a person should drink can vary. Your urine can usually tell you whether you’re drinking enough water. If it’s dark and cloudy, you may be dehydrated.
The National Council on Aging recommends drinking one-third of your body weight in ounces of water each day. In other words, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would equate to 50 ounces of water.
Although weight loss may not be easy, you can take plenty of steps to improve your health and well-being. Making small changes to your diet and lifestyle can lead to long-term weight loss success. These tips can give you the tools you need to reach your goals and get moving!
The Active Aging Series is brought to you by our partner, Cambrian Homecare. Cambrian Homecare has been assisting individuals to stay independent in their homes for 27 years. Flexible experience you can trust, when the best place is still at home.