How You Can Overcome Weight Loss Challenges in Your 50s
You aren’t imagining things. Weight loss after age 50 can indeed be more challenging. This is due to the physiological and lifestyle factors that combined make shedding a few pounds harder than it was at 35. It seems fast weight loss is simply impossible at this age.
Adults in their 50s face everything from a slower metabolism to sleep and stress issues affecting their weight. Whether they notice it or not, adults in this age bracket may also become less active on a daily basis as they age and as kids move out of the house.
But don’t let those challenges deter you from losing weight. Continue reading for some tips on how you can jump through some of the biggest “hoops” associated with losing weight in your 50s:
Muscle Mass Loss
The biggest hurdle you need to overcome to lose weight is the loss of muscle mass. After age 40, your body starts losing muscle mass at a rate of about three to five percent annually. This is attributed to the loss of muscle fibers and the growth of fat tissue. In addition to losing muscle mass, the amount of muscle you have will lessen as you get older.
How to Overcome:
Running and cycling are just two of the best ways to build muscle mass. Doctors recommend lifting weights at least two times a week (preferably on days when you don’t exercise). Another great, low-impact way to build muscle is walking. Two to three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes at a time is optimal. To maximize the benefits of exercise on building muscle and losing weight, you should try strength training or interval training.
Your metabolic rate slows down in your 50s. While this doesn’t mean you will automatically gain weight, it doesn’t make losing weight easy. As you lose muscle mass, you rely more on fat tissue to give your body energy. However, a decreased metabolic rate will make it easier to pack on the pounds, thanks to the loss of muscle mass.
How to Overcome:
There are ways to trick the body into burning more calories. Take a walk around the block, or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Small, simple lifestyle changes like these will add up to a significant increase in calories burned. If you are sedentary or are losing muscle mass, talk to your doctor about ways to counteract the loss. They may prescribe supplements to increase appetite or your metabolism.
The hormonal changes in your 50s can cause weight gain, thanks to a decrease in testosterone and an increase in estrogen. This can reduce muscle mass because testosterone and estrogen play an essential role in muscle building.
How to Overcome:
Eat a balanced diet that has some healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. In addition to eating a healthy diet, exercise is key. Exercise helps to increase testosterone and decrease estrogen in the body.
Age does not determine weight loss. Both men and women in their 50s can get fit and stay fit, boosting their overall health in the process (though it may not be the fast weight loss they were used to in their younger years). The key is to be proactive and work out at least three times a week and maintain a balanced diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Your age doesn’t have to get in the way of your weight loss goals, so get started today and live your best life!
For more tips for weight loss see our other helpful posts from Rhythmic Health. Don’t forget to check out discounted weight loss products and exclusive tips when you sign up for our newsletter!