Getting in shape is one thing but staying in shape is a whole different issue for any group. The difficulty in staying in shape is mostly the product of a myriad of issues ranging from lifestyle changes to new body demands. Usually, habits that get people to gain weight are ingrained into their lifestyles, with only a few people willing to change those habits in their bid to lose weight. If you are looking for ways on how to lose weight over 55 years old, then the conversation starts with the lifestyle habits that will need changing.
People aged 55 years and above are more likely to fall victim to weight gain or rapid loss because of body composition changes and generally reduced metabolism. You may decide that you want to lose weight through lifestyle changes and habits, but the action is usually the bigger challenge. You will have to contend with new demands regarding how you eat, live, exercise, and even sleeping patterns. But all is not lost if you can find a way to cut your weight as you can still change some living habits and influence your overall well being.
How To Lose Weight Over 55 Years Old?
You are probably wondering how you will maintain a healthy lifestyle after reaching the age you are at the moment. While most people will try different life hacks to stay fit and be healthier longer, some do not know what to do or possibly do it in a wrong way.
There is no single proven way that works for all, but you can take a fitness journey that suits you and your schedule better for healthier living. However, this should not be taken as an encouragement to sit back and wait for some miracle that will keep you fit and healthy; there must be work and effort involved to realize positive results. Here are some of the life hacks that can help you in the fitness journey (14).
Begin doing cardiovascular activities. You can start getting 20-30 minutes of cardio-based activities like walking around the compound, swimming, dancing, cycling, among other things. Walking at a fast pace while moving your hands and feet exerts energy, creating the necessary groundwork for a healthier lifestyle. People who are already experiencing other body weaknesses due to sickness or recurrent body tensions like back pains recommend that you keep your workout to minimal levels as this ensures you don’t cause more damage to already weakened immunity (1).
Workouts cater to a myriad of activities beyond conventional weightlifting and running. However, the more you lead your body to strength through strength training and cardiovascular exercises, the more you give it the ability to withstand tougher health challenges. If you don’t have a training plan, get a training partner instead. This will help you maintain a regular workout cycle since you will keep each other abreast. If you don’t have a partner, opt for circuit training machines to help you work out your body, including chest, arms, back, abs, hamstrings, and other muscles (6).
Cut On Excess Calories
Work exercises like push-ups and sit-ups into your day to burn excess calories and condition your body to burn fats. You can start doing push-ups in sets of 20 or 10 three to four times a day throughout the week. This will help get you in the best shape and get you in the right mood for other activities. However, avoid overdoing it and risking injury.
Change Your Diet
Start making serious changes to your everyday diet. The first step in shaping your diet involves eliminating fried foods and limiting fatty red meats. Alternatively, start taking white meats from fish and chicken and increase vegetable servings per meal. Include at least a fruit a day in your meals and cut down the number of sugary beverages (9).
Drink Plenty Of Water
You should make it your goal to stay hydrated as much as possible during the day. Drinking plenty of water helps keep you hydrated and lubricates your joints, muscles, and tendons. Water enhances your body recovery rate after a workout and keeps you in a good working shape (12).
The Best Diet For Women Over 50 Years Old
Ageing for women brings with it multiple challenges such as menopause and other side effects. For this reason, women have to take a different approach to maintain good health even as they age. Some of the approaches suggested by professionals and lifestyle coaches are changing diets, adapting new fitness plans, and obtaining good nutrients to keep them stronger and healthier. Here are diets to check out for better health after 50 years.
This is one of the most recommended diets for older women. The diet is considered the best since it does not eliminate everything but encourages taking smaller and reasonable portions of every serving. This dish is a balanced composition of all the nutrients you will need for the body and keep you full for longer.
Paleo is a low carbohydrate high protein meal rich in veggies, eggs, unprocessed meats and nuts. Diets such as paleo which limit processed foods may improve insulin sensitivity and heart health markers in postmenopausal women (10).
Whole Foods Diet
This is one of the preferred diets for older women since it eliminates risks associated with processed foods such as processed meats and grains. This diet could help women manage their hormones since it has no preservatives and antibiotics, which are thought to be sources of hormones disruptors. This diet is made of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, meats, and healthy fats.
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Weight Loss Plan For Women Fit Over 50 Years Old
As just mentioned, women above 50 years are dealing with a myriad of health-related issues and challenges which they have to manage to keep their bodies at optimal performance. This is usually the age where women have hormone fluctuations, affecting their metabolism and weight. Having a weight loss plan will ensure that you remain at your best performance and carry out your everyday activities.
Take Up Strength Training
Although most people would prefer cardio as a way of exercising, you also have to consider strength training when it comes to weight loss.
As sarcopenia (normal age-related muscle loss) sets in, the body’s metabolism declines and weight gain is likely. Hence, doing muscle-related exercises ends up working against weight loss and maintaining the right health status (8). Weight-bearing exercise is also good for your bone density which tends to decline with age as well.
Team Up To Workout
Getting into good shape through healthy eating patterns and regular exercising can be challenging if you try to do it alone. Pairing up with a coworker, friend, member of your family, among others affords you a better chance of ensuring that you remain consistent and attain your desired wellness goals.
Move More And Sit Less
It is critical always to burn more calories than you take in on a day-to-day basis. That is why, as you try to lose weight, you have to be more active than otherwise. Sitting for long hours while working becomes a major impediment to your weight loss journey. Try to work some movement into your daily routine, like parking further away or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Boost Your Protein Consumption
As your body is ageing, it is losing more muscle while increasing your weight. The best way to counter this is by taking high-quality protein. This ensures that the body has the building blocks to develop muscle, which increases the rate of metabolism (5).
Eat More Fresh Produce
Proper dieting is the most effective way to lose weight. All your efforts to lose weight will be in vain if you are not observing the right diet. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits provides your body with vital nutrients and a roadmap to a healthy body.
Hire A Trainer
Are you wondering how to lose weight fast with exercise? Hire a helper. If you cannot keep yourself as healthy as you wish, consider hiring a personal trainer to guide you in your workout routines. Alternatively, you can join a gym and explain to the trainer what you intend to do and guide you to achieve your wellness goals.
Find A Routine Activity You Can Follow
Working out can be difficult and discouraging especially if you don’t love the activities you’re doing. It is a recommended practice to always go for those activities you love doing like swimming, dancing, hiking, biking, walking, and doing them as regularly as possible (5).
Get A Dietician
Before you settle on a diet that best helps you on your journey to weight loss, consider seeing a dietitian to prescribe a diet that will best help you realize your weight goals. Tell your dietitian about your underlying health conditions and symptoms so they can help mediate against severe health conditions as you work out.
Weight Loss Plan For Men Over 55 Years Old
Are you a man and wondering how to lose weight for men over 55 years old? There are answers for this, but not all solutions will yield the best results. The solutions provided above will help you reduce your weight to significant and manageable levels. In addition to those solutions provided for women, also consider the following remedies:
Limit Added Sugars To Your Diet
Limit the amount of sweetened foods and beverages, including cakes, candy, ice cream, sugary cereals, sweetened yoghurts, and other foods as they are critical in managing weight loss. Always read the ingredients of a product before deciding on your purchase decisions. This will help in your journey to cutting weight by a greater margin (2).
Get Quality Sleep
Your weight loss efforts may fall on deaf ears if your body is not getting enough sleep. Many studies have hinted on the possibility of obesity and weight gain when you are not getting enough sleep every day. The studies have also shown that the quality of sleep will boost weight loss efforts (3).
Intermittent fasting is eating within a specified window. This can result in weight loss, especially for men above the age of 55. One of the most adopted methods is the 16/8 method: eating within an 8-hour window and fasting for 16 hours.
Hydrate Using Healthy Drinks
Swap sweetened beverages such as coffee, juices, sodas, pre-made smoothies, and sports drinks as they are loaded with added sugars. Instead, select healthier options such as herbal tea and water as they can greatly boost your weight loss efforts (15).
Eat Fewer Foods At Night
Different studies have shown that taking fewer calories at night may well help cut down on weight, especially for men. Choose a lighter dinner while concentrating any calorie-based foods in breakfast and lunch meals.
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The Bottom Line: How To Lose Weight?
You are probably wondering how many calories a day are needed to lose weight? The answer varies from person to person, but the ideal measure is in how you observe your daily diet, exercise, and amount of sleep you have. Lifestyle has proven the biggest hindrance when it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy living. Some habits that have been ingrained in our day-to-day routines and need to be broken, or else we may never achieve our health goals.
Though weight loss may seem like a heinous task to undertake at 50 years and above, there are many strategies and evidence-based practices that will help you realize a healthy lifestyle by quickly maintaining healthy body weight.
Cut the amount of sugar intake, start incorporating strength training in your workout routines, increase your protein intake while cutting carbs, avoid pre-packed foods and as well as the fried ones in favour of homemade meals, follow whole foods diets, reduce stress, and have enough sleep every day. These methods will give you an upper hand in gaining and sustaining a good body weight (13).
Ageing Vs Nutritional Needs
Does ageing affect your body’s nutritional needs? The answer is yes. Ageing is associated with numerous health changes in the body, including thinner skin, muscle loss and reduced metabolism. Some of these changes lead to nutrition deficiencies while others transcend to weight gain and negative life quality. Sometimes as we age we produce less stomach acid, which in turn affects some nutrients absorption into the body. Another negative change that people experience when they age is the loss of vital senses which help tell when they are thirsty or hungry. This leads to severe dehydration and poor weight loss (11).
Fewer Calories Vs More Nutrients
The daily calorie needs one has depends on their age, gender, muscle mass, body weight, height, and activity level. Older adults need fewer calories to maintain their weight since they tend to have less muscle and exercise less. However, if one continues to consume the same amount of calories per day as they did when they were younger, weight gain is inevitable.
However, while they need fewer calories, older adults need more nutrients than their younger counterparts. This makes it vital for them to eat fruits, fresh vegetables, lean meats, fish, and other quality fats. These healthy foods can contribute to overall body nutrient demands while not affecting your waistline’s overall size (4).
There are many solutions on how to lose weight over 55. However, not all solutions will work equally for everyone. The best way to get there is through a regular practice, good living habits and exercising often.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
Reviewed by: Kristen Fleming
- Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Craving sugar during a pandemic? Here’s how to tame your sweet tooth (2020, edition.cnn.com)
- Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss? How It Works (webmd.com)
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- Everything you need to know about protein (but likely don’t) (2018, nbcnews.com)
- Exercise and Diet Are More Important Than Ever With Virus at Large(2020, medscape.com)
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- How to Lose Weight Safely (2019,theguardian.com)
- Paleolithic Diet (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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- The truth about hydration: should you drink eight glasses of water a day? (2020, theguardian.com)
- Weight Control (2016, theguardian.com)
- Weight loss that works: A true story (2017, health.harvard.edu)
- Which drink is best for hydration? Hint: It isn’t water (2019, edition.cnn.com)