Fat loss after 50 seems hard for most people.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep a healthy weight through exercise and eating right.
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight, statistics show. And numbers are similar in other English-speaking countries.
Our metabolisms slow down as we get older. But obesity isn’t caused by reaching a certain age, and it’s not inevitable. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for preventing a range of health problems later in life, from high blood pressure to Type 2 diabetes and more.
Whether you’re already active or just wondering why you can’t drop the pounds, I’m here to help you create the right exercise program for you and to offer resources on eating right. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
No. 1: You need strength training
We lose muscle mass with age. It’s a simple fact. But we need muscle to maintain our metabolism, bone health, independence, and protection against falling. Strength training includes weightlifting and working out with resistance bands or your own body weight. It is NOT about becoming The Incredible Hulk. It is an essential part of staying healthy and keeping your body fat down.
No. 2: Focus on fat loss, not weight loss
Even among young people, being healthy doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a size 2 or keeping in a certain weight range. Forget the scale and focus on body fat, not just pounds, which can be a deceptive measure. That’s why I have my clients do girth measurements in addition to weight, since weight loss on the scale can be because of muscle loss too.
No. 3: Ditch the sodas
Stop drinking sodas, even “diet” sodas. They contribute to overeating, needless weight gain, and other health problems. Consume half your weight in ounces of water each day. (If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces.) Try soaking fruit and vegetables in water as a replacement for soft drinks. (Grapefruit and rosemary make a nice mix. So do cucumber and watermelon.) Also, consume alcohol in moderation, if at all.
No. 4: Get enough protein
You already know this: Avoid unhealthy snacks like potato chips and candy. Instead, nibble on nuts, whole grains, and fruit between meals. Don’t wait till you’re “hangry” to eat – it will just make you overeat at mealtime. Dine with family or friends when possible, because we’re more likely to eat proper portions when we’re not alone. And make sure you’re getting enough protein. Some studies indicate we eat less of it when we’re older, and that’s the time we need it most to avoid growing frail.
Consider doing the Plan Balanced Meals quick start if you’d like to learn more about getting proper portions of macronutrients in your diet.
No. 5: Fat Loss after 50 Isn’t So Different
It’s no secret. Fat loss after 50 isn’t all that different from keeping a healthy weight at any age. You can do it, even with changing hormones and metabolisms. And there is no fad diet or miracle cure. Eat healthy, move often, sleep well, stress less, and be patient. Period.
By maintaining the right weight, you will perform better, feel better, and live better. I’m here to help, whether you’re a seasoned athlete comfortable with exercise, or new to the whole idea.
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