50 is just a number. And you are young at heart. But is your body telling you otherwise? Scientifically speaking – after 30, with each passing year, you lose 1% percent of your muscle, which leads to slower metabolism (1). So by the time you are 50, your body’s metabolism is much slower, and your vital hormones are almost undetectable. As a result, you gain weight quickly, muscles sag, and you harbor a host of health problems. Want to know how to counteract them? Start here, start now. Read on to find out the 15 different ways of weight loss for women over 50. Just a heads-up, you will love the last point.
It’s easy to do. First, make a 3-day chart and record the foods that you consume for three days. Include one weekend in the chart, we tend to eat more during the weekends. Enter the food quantity and the time you eat. Now, simply google or take help of MyFitnessPal to calculate the amount of calories each serving of an ingredient contains. Now, calculate how many calories you should consume. There are numerous online tools to do this simple test. For example, you can create an account on any fitness apps with a calorie counter. All it will do is ask a few simple questions such as your height, weight, age, sex, and activity level. Log in the details and it will calculate your calorie requirement.
Calorie deficit is the key to shedding the stored fat. How to do that? Suppose you are consuming 2800 calories per day when your body actually needs 2200 calories, then try cutting 200 calories from your diet every two to three days. Start by consuming 2600 calories and then 2400 calories and finally 2200 calories. Go slow to give your body the time to adjust to a new routine and stop yourself from going back to your old habits.
A good diet plan is the one that works for you. Do not follow fad diets or any other diet just because it worked for someone else. Consume broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, carrot, beetroot, leek, celery, sweet potato, bell peppers, herbs, spices, low glycemic index fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, lean protein, green tea, oolong tea etc. Also, consume 5-6 meals per day and eat every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism from slowing down. Talk to a registered dietician to know what is the best diet plan for you.
Your body needs protein to function properly. The enzymes, muscles, hair, nails, saliva – almost everything in your body is made up of protein. At 50, you must have undergone a significant amount of muscle loss and therefore you must include lean protein in your diet to build muscle mass and increase muscle strength. Consume mushroom, tofu, chicken breast, fish, lentils, beans, soybean, nuts, seeds, and cruciferous veggies to get a good amount of protein.
Skipping meals can make you hungry, weak, and hamper brain functions. In fact, skipping a meal can slow down your metabolism and make you eat more. The point is, eat well in the right proportion and at the right time instead of starving yourself.
Workout is a must whether you are 5 or 50. But the problem is, the joints, bones, muscles are not as active as that of a 5-year-old. You must be extra careful when you start working out. So, start with yoga. Because it is easy on your joints, increases flexibility, improves blood circulation, melts fat, boosts immunity, and helps flush out toxins. Join a yoga class to learn the proper technique. Seek professional guidance if available.
Yoga and a balanced diet will start showing results within a few weeks. But what next? Unless you ask this to yourself, you will not move forward. Take out your walking shoes and start going on morning or evening walks for 20-30 minutes. Start slow and then as and when you feel comfortable enough, you can increase the pace. Halt if you need to catch your breath. And talk to your doctor to make sure walking won’t weaken your joints or harm your heart.
This is the real challenge. If you have gained the strength and the confidence to join a gym, nothing like it! We laud you for your commitment and courage. Yes, you need to talk to your doctor before you take this step. If your doctor gives you a thumbs up, join a gym and start low-intensity cardio and strength training to build muscles and stamina.
If you think you have tried your best to lose fat and gain muscle and the problem remains, check your hormone levels. Hormones play a vital role in how we feel or behave. If you have been producing excessive hunger hormone or stress hormone, then you must seek medical intervention.
Your doctor knows your medical history, and he/she will be the best person to tell you if you should eat a particular food or avoid it, do a certain exercise or just do an alternative exercise. Weight loss depends on various factors and your current medication can also sometimes hinder weight loss or make you gain weight. Talk to your doctor to know if there is any other medicine that will not hinder your weight loss goals.
Stress affects everyone. It creates toxic buildup in the body, which affects the body at DNA level. It is also the reason for belly fat, dull skin, hair loss, depression, anxiety etc. Relaxing is easier said than done. But why not start practicing? It’s a great start – if you are over thinking about something, start counting from 1 to 100. You can also make a “logic sheet” where you write down about your stressors. Does being anxious about a certain problem logical? Think about it. Other ways to deal with stress are—travel, spend time with friends and family, join a salsa class, meet new people, paint, sketch, Lego, cook, play a musical instrument, read books, etc.
It is often good to workout together with a buddy or buddies! You will keep each other motivated, understand each other’s problems, and even discuss problems, which will help take the stress out of your system. But make sure to keep away from people who give you negative thoughts or divert you from your main agenda.
How often do we notice that we are breathing? Conscious breathing can help you get more amount of oxygen thereby keeping the cells active and functioning properly. So, learn to breathe when you are working out, eating or just relaxing.
Keeping yourself motivated is the key to continuing to lead a better lifestyle. And for that, you must get inspired every day. Look around you and you will see how ordinary people are making their lives extraordinary. Talk to different people, understand what is driving them to achieve more, and how they deal with setbacks. In the end, you will learn how not to give up on not only losing weight but also on anything that you deeply care about.
Love is a powerful driving force. We have all done silly things for love. Haven’t we? So, unleash that power and take care of your body. I say this not to make you look slim but to help you get healthy and fit in the days to come. Working out and eating healthily can help you improve your blood sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, improve heart health, strengthen bones and muscles, improve cognitive functions, and reduce stress. So, love your body because at the end of the day what matters is how you feel inside, which reflects outside.
There you have—15 steps to shedding flab and gaining muscle mass (and so much more). If you are above 50 and want to lead a better lifestyle, follow this guide to weight loss for women over 50, this is your time. Take up the challenge and see magic happen within a few weeks. Cheers!
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