How to Shed Weight in Your Old Age
Posted on: 10 July 2018 by Dawn Richard
The older you get, the more difficult you may find it to shed those extra kilos around your waistline. But just because you’re older than 50 doesn’t mean all hope is lost for your figure!
You can still lose weight safely and effectively in your old age. Here are some of the best proven ways to shed fat and build muscle, even as a senior citizen.
Continue strength training
Believe it or not, the golden rules of diet and exercise still apply in your 50s and 60s - which means you shouldn’t stop training just because you’re over the hill! In fact, it’s even more important to train as an elder because you lose additional muscle mass as you age. So, don’t be afraid to use light weights or train with your bodyweight in activities like yoga or Pilates - and remember, age is only a number!
Have a medical checkup
However, there is one important difference between our health in our 60s versus our health in our 30s - and that’s our increased risk for disease. Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in particular disproportionately affect adults of old age. So, before you begin a new diet or exercise plan, you’ll want to check in with your doctor to make sure there’s no underlying medical cause for your weight gain. After all, if what you truly need is medicine, then no amount of celery or sit-ups will ever make you shed that weight.
Plan on slow, but steady weight loss
Disappointing as the news may be, there’s unfortunately no fast-track to losing weight. While this applies at any age, it’s especially important to remember this as we get older, since cutting too many calories is even more dangerous in our old age. Admittedly, a woman of 60 burns much fewer calories than a woman of 25 - but she still needs at least 1,200 calories per day to keep her systems up and running. This means the average woman will only lose about ½ to 2 pounds per week - which, depending on your goal weight, might sound discouraging. Weight loss in your elderly years is a slow, frustrating process, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done! Livestrong recommends using an online calculator or consulting with a dietician to find out exactly how many calories you need to hit this target and stay on track.
Adjust Portion Sizes
A quick trick to lose weight without really trying? Cut your portion sizes down. Chances are, most of us are eating way more than the recommended serving sizes of most of our favorite foods - like when “12 chips” suddenly turns into the whole bag. Not to mention, as we age, we need about 100 fewer calories for every decade, yet most of us don’t change our eating habits at all. Counter this by using smaller plates and bowls to encourage you to serve yourself smaller portions of your favorite foods. Another helpful tip is to fill half your plate with vegetables, a quarter of your plate with protein and a quarter of your plate with carbohydrates to ensure you’re hitting the right portion sizes for every food group.
Consider Medical Solutions
Unfortunately, as we get older, weight loss may become increasingly frustrating - and if you’re someone who tended to carry excess weight before your senior years, you may find it nearly impossible. While there are no quick solutions for weight loss, if your weight is significantly affecting your health or confidence, you might consider certain surgical solutions to your problems to boost your well-being. For example, if you often find yourself wishing for smaller breasts or a tighter tummy, a breast reduction (from a professional like Dr. Choy) or gastric bypass surgery can help. Simply make sure to consult with a doctor to find out if these surgeries are safe and suitable for you before booking an appointment!
Weight loss in your 50s, 60s and beyond may become increasingly complicated with age, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done! Using these simple tips and tricks, you’ll find yourself shedding unwanted weight in no time - and maybe even getting the body you always wished you had in your younger years.