Women like to age like fine wine, which is why they go above and beyond to lose weight even after entering the 50’s club. We all know that weight loss is hard. It is even ten times harder after menopause. That said, experts say it is possible to shed pounds at this age. Here within you will find a weight loss after 50 female guidebook. We will discuss the reasons behind the weight loss challenges and methods to adopt for long-term weight loss. Take a look!
Why Is It More Challenging To Lose Weight After 50?
When combined, several factors make it hard for women over 50 to lose weight quickly. They include:
A Slow Metabolism
Unfortunately, metabolism decreases as we age. Studies show that reduced physical activity, loss of muscle mass, and aging internal components make your metabolism slow down (2).
Loss Of Muscle Mass
You will lose muscle as you age. Age-related muscle loss is known as sarcopenia (5). According to Health Harvard, after clicking 30, you tend to lose 3 to 5% of muscle mass per decade (5). This is normal but can be dangerous as sarcopenia is associated with a higher risk of falls (5).
Weight loss for women is also harder after 50 because of the menopause transition. When going through menopause, your hormones tend to act out. Among other things, you may find that estrogen is produced in lower amounts. This can cause your body to store more fat, particularly in your lower abdomen (3).
Likewise, hormonal changes cause a weight redistribution in your body, meaning that fat deposits might be stored in different places than they used to be. Often, most of these fat deposits tend to settle in your thighs, arms, and abdomen, which so happens to be among the most challenging places to tone.
Reduced Use Of Energy
The rate at which you use up energy at 50 is lower than when you were in your twenties. One reason for this is because you use less energy during your exercises. This means that at 50 you may need to increase your workout intensity and duration to use the same power as in your twenties (4).
These are some of the factors that can make weight loss for any woman above 50 a nightmare. Now this does not mean you cannot lose weight. All you have to do is focus on practical weight-loss strategies for women above 50.
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What Are The Best Ways To Lose Weight After 50?
There are many ways you can shed pounds. However, remember that after 50, not all methods may be practical. Here are some of the most realistic ways for women to shed pounds after clocking 50:
Yes, you read that right. But, unfortunately, there is an assumption that seniors should not hit the gym or try some home workouts. That is a misconception that, sadly, is costing you numerous health benefits associated with exercise. These include reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis (1).
It would help if you remembered that you are not as active as in your twenties. Some moves may not be safe to perform at 50. It would also help if you talked to your doctor and trainer before choosing a fitness program. Below are the recommended exercises for women over 50 years:
These are the most recommended activities for women above 50. They work many large muscles, benefit your cardiovascular system, and help you burn calories for weight loss (1). The activities include walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing (1).
Experts suggest you perform these activities for at least twenty minutes a day (1). You can start by performing them twice a week and then do them for three or four days. Remember that you should not overdo them because you need time to rest to help your muscles recover and grow.
Moderate Or Low-Intensity Strength Training
This is another effective exercise program for women who want to lose weight. Strength training helps you build or maintain muscle mass, which allows you to burn more calories (1). Similarly, lifting weights enables you to fight age-related muscle loss, improve bone strength, and reduce the risk of falls and lower back injury (1).
However, you can easily injure yourself when performing these exercises, primarily if you have never worked with weights before. So, work with a trainer and opt for low-intensity or moderate strength training programs to reduce injury risk.
These are great recommendations for women above 50 because they also help improve flexibility and joint mobility (1). Such moves include Pilates and yoga. But, again, talk to your trainer and doctor for insight on the best stretching workout plan.
There are other things you can do at home that still count as exercise and help you shed some pounds. They include (1):
- Taking the dog for a walk.
- Doing yard work.
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Playing a sport.
These simple activities use large body muscles and may help you torch calories. It would be best if you also incorporated them on top of the chosen exercise program. Here are some additional exercise tips to help you get the most from your activity (1):
- Focusing On the Correct Form. Fitness experts reveal that it is not about completing a routine but doing it correctly to reap its gains and avoid injury.
- Being Consistent. Exercising once in a blue moon will not help you lose weight. Consistency is essential. You can always seek support if you have trouble keeping up with your fitness routine.
- Rewarding Small Wins. The best way to remain motivated and committed to your weight loss exercise program is through rewards. Reward yourself for small milestones like following the routine for a month.
- Warming Up and Cooling Down. Remember to warm up before you exercise and to perform cool-down exercises after you are done. These moves are effective in fighting muscle tightness and stiffness.
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Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent fasting refers to the practice of limiting yourself to eating within a specific time frame (6). These time frames differ, which is why there are numerous variations of IF. Before we look at these variations, let us remind you to talk to your doctor about the method you think best suits you, and whether fasting is safe for you at all.
IF can be a suitable weight loss method for some women over 50 years because it may benefit their metabolic health. According to WebMD, women after 50 have gone through menopause and have undergone various body changes due to menopause.
Some of these changes include increased belly fat, blood glucose, and insulin levels (6). Fasting may improve insulin sensitivity by decreasing blood pressure, belly fat, and cholesterol levels (6).These are the major risk factors of weight gain.
Similarly, fasting may boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories. There are several IF methods, and the most common ones include:
The 16/8 Or 18/6 Method
This is also referred to as the daily method. This method requires you to eat a healthy balanced diet within a six to eight-hour window every day. After that, you have to fast for the next 16 or 18 hours, usually overnight (6).
However, some people make adjustments depending on how strict they want their schedule to be. For example, some have an eating window of 12 hours and fast for the remaining 12 hours (6).
The Alternate-Day Method
As the name implies, this method will have you fasting on some alternating days. During the fasting days, you will be required to consume around 25% of your daily calorie needs (6). So, for example, if your daily calorie limit is 2, 000 calories, you will be restricted to consuming 500 calories on your fasting days. On the other days, you eat normally.
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The 24 Hour Method
This method requires you to fast for a full 24 hours. So, if you start your fast after breakfast, you will break it the following day during breakfast. Therefore, experts suggest you follow this fasting method only once or twice a week (6).
Note that even during these two days, you may experience various side effects. For example, you may experience extreme fatigue, headaches, and irritability (6).
The 5:2 Method
This method involves eating healthy meals for five days of the week and limiting yourself to between 500 and 800 calories for the other two (nonconsecutive) days (6). 500-800 calories is very restrictive, which is why you need to first talk to your doctor.
These intermittent fasting methods can help you lose weight. They might also improve musculoskeletal, tissue, heart, and mental health, memory, and physical performance (6). That said, you should know that intermittent fasting is not for every woman.
Although it is associated with numerous health benefits, some women have to avoid it. These include women with diabetes, blood sugar problems, and eating disorders (6). Always talk to your doctor first to discuss your individual situation and whether any diet or fasting regime is safe for you.
Getting Adequate Rest
Menopause is associated with poor sleeping patterns, which may result in no sleep. Lack of sleep makes your body release cortisol, which may increase your appetite. An increased appetite may make you consume more calories, leading to a calorie surplus that promotes weight gain (4).
You can improve your sleeping patterns by limiting your screen time before bed, making and following a schedule, and creating a serene environment without distractions (4).
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Female weight loss after 50 is also possible if you focus on good nutrition. If you need help with weight loss after 50, you are urged to concentrate on eating right. Many aspects are considered under the concept of eating right. They include (2):
- Eating Healthy and Balanced Meals. You should include plenty of healthy foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and non-starchy carbohydrates.
- Avoiding Sugary Foods. Sugary foods are high in calories and may compromise your weight loss efforts. Some examples of sugary foods to avoid include cookies, cakes, and candy.
- Drinking Enough Water. Water is vital to anyone trying to lose weight as it helps suppress hunger. It also has zero calories and is the best drink to quench thirst.
- Eating Mindfully. You can also follow mindful eating practices like eating food without distractions and chewing food slowly. These behaviors help your body listen to signals of when you are full to prevent overeating.
- Portion Control. You must also watch your food portions to avoid consuming more than the required calories. To help with portion control, you can try measuring your ingredients. If not, you can eat your food from small plates instead of big ones or food packages.
- Eating High Fiber Foods. Foods rich in fiber are crucial in the diet of anyone looking to shed pounds as it helps increase satiety. Additionally, fiber helps improve digestion and prevent constipation.
- Eating All Meals. Most people think that skipping meals will account for lower calories. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When you skip meals, you tend to overeat during the next meal you have. Overeating leads you to a calorie surplus, the opposite of what you need to shed pounds. So, do not skip your meals but instead have them and in the required caloric amounts.
- Eating Regular Meals. Eating more does not make you gain weight. Instead, consuming more calories than what your body burns is what causes weight gain. So, food experts acknowledge that you can have regular meals throughout the day, perhaps five or six small meals instead of three big ones.
The Bottom Line
Can you lose a female stomach after 50 lb weight loss? Is weight loss after 50 possible? The truth is that you can get rid of belly and stomach fat or lose weight in general despite being 50. This weight loss after 50 female guidebook details the best weight-loss approaches for women over 50. They include eating right, exercising, getting enough rest, and intermittent fasting. As always, talk to your doctor before trying any of these recommendations.
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 for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Get-Fit Advice for Women Over 50 (2021, webmd.com)
- How to lose weight after 50 (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to lose Weight After Menopause (2020, webmd.com)
- Menopause, Weight Gain, and Exercise Tips (2021, webmd.com)
- Preserve your muscle mass (2016, health harvard.edu)
- What to Know About Intermittent Fasting for Women After 50 (2020, webmd.com)