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weight loss over 50

Losing Weight In Your 50s: Simple Tips That Work

Losing weight can be a challenge at any age, but for some women over the age of 50, it can become even more difficult. Many middle-aged women can find themselves facing a variety of changes, both hormonal and lifestyle-related, that can make shedding pounds effectively a daunting task. That said, it’s important to remember that weight loss over 50 is possible, no matter your age. With the right strategies and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, you can reach your weight loss goals and improve your overall well-being. In this article, we’ll walk you through nutrition, exercise, and sleep tips for safe and effective weight loss, why losing weight in your 50s is different than doing it in earlier stages of life, and more.  Simple Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 50 Successful and safe weight loss is sustainable long-term. To achieve sustainable weight loss, think about overall lifestyle changes versus a quick diet. Below we’ll explore nutrition, exercise, and sleep changes that can help you reach a healthy weight that you can maintain. Nutrition Tips for Middle Age Weight Loss Changing your diet is one of the most effective weight loss strategies. In fact, what we eat is quite arguably the most important factor in our overall health. But what should those changes entail? How intense do they need to be? Healthy eating doesn’t equate to extreme dieting.  “You DO NOT have to go to extremes. This is probably my #1 piece of advice. You don’t need to “go Keto”, or eliminate carbs, or white foods, or go vegan or Paleo,” says Isenberg. “There are 1,000 ways to lose weight, and at the base of each one is a calorie deficit. You must consume fewer calories than you’re expending.” All positive change comes down to lifestyle choices implemented consistently over time. Here are a few of the best ways to lose weight, balance hormone levels, and stimulate fat loss: Eliminate Processed Foods On the path to aiming for a healthy calorie deficit that still leaves you feeling nourished and satiated, you’ll likely want to explore eliminating some processed foods. Processed foods are those with ingredients like hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and flavoring agents, and are usually found in things like candy, fast food, and sugary drinks. They’re sometimes referred to as “empty calories” because they’re often low in important nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  “But you can eat some “fun food”, too, like alcohol. The most important thing is that whatever you choose to do is sustainable over the long-term. And, spoiler alert? Going to extremes is never sustainable,” says Isenberg. That said, Isenberg says learning to “eat strategically” will naturally help you weed out some of the more processed food from your diet. “Emphasizing foods that are full of protein and fiber will help “crowd out” a lot of the less nutritious foods that are super high-cal but don’t fill you up,” she says. Increase Protein Intake Increasing your protein intake is an important aspect of weight loss, and it can also help you stop or reverse age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia. Try to eat a protein-rich diet by incorporating more fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes into your meals. The current recommended dietary allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day, or about 2.3 ounces of protein per day for a 180-pound adult. But it’s a good idea to try to eat even more than that as you get older, as it can help address sarcopenia.  According to the Mayo Clinic, people with sarcopenia may need 1 to 1.2 g/kg of protein a day.  Eat More Whole Foods And in addition to more protein, get some of the other nutrients your body needs by introducing more whole foods into your diet. Whole foods generally refer to less processed foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.  While making changes to your diet, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or nutritionist. These professionals are trained to provide personalized guidance and support based on your specific needs and goals. A dietitian can help you create a well-rounded meal plan that includes a variety of foods you enjoy while ensuring you’re meeting your nutritional requirements. They can also offer practical tips, accountability, and ongoing support throughout your weight loss journey.  Exercise Tips for Weight Loss Over 50 Another important and effective way to lose weight is to thoughtfully up your activity levels. Regular exercise is key for women’s physical and mental health at all ages, but especially as we age. As for an exercise routine designed to help you lose weight, Isenberg again emphasizes the importance of avoiding extremes. “Because of hormonal changes, over-exercising is often a huge issue with midlife women. We were grown up in the world of “eat less,” exercise more—and many women are frantically doing cardio in an attempt to control their weight…only to exhaust themselves and raise their overall stress level,” says Isenberg.  With this, Isenberg recommends limiting your cardio. “Longer-duration, steady-state cardio tends to increase appetite and raise cortisol, your stress hormone. This, in turn, leads to overeating and the cortisol contributes to that midlife belly I like to call the “menopot,” she says. Instead, it’s often effective to focus more of your efforts on strength training. Resistance training is one of the best things to counteract the aging process. How Strength Training Helps Women Over 50 Stay Fit “Strength training is imperative. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass—and muscle is what keeps us independent and capable as we age, and it also helps us look more compact and fit. You can weigh more than ever, but if you have a higher percentage of muscle mass, you will appear more slim,” says Isenberg. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends strength training for most older adults to help lessen the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, back pain, and depression. Luckily, you can easily do strength training at home as long you have some space and a couple