Are you looking to lose weight over 50? Well, losing weight is tough no matter what age you are when you try to do it. However, if you’re a woman over 50, you may find that losing weight is a little more challenging.
Weight gain can result from hormonal changes, metabolism slow down, and health issues associated with aging. Scientific research shows that women over 50 usually experience a natural increase in belly fat and a decrease in skeletal muscle mass between the ages of 42 and 52. That makes it hard to lose belly fat no matter what you do.
As you age, your energy needs and calorie intake decrease. If you eat like you did in your 30s or 40s, you will gain weight. Hormonal changes during menopause can also increase abdominal fat, making weight loss for women over 50 a little bit challenging. This is not just a cosmetic issue; it increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
With less muscle tone after age 50, your metabolism naturally slows down, so you burn fewer calories than you used to. Despite the metabolism change, most of the reasons it is hard to lose weight as we get older are due to your behavior, which you can control.
So, if you are looking for ways to lose weight over 50 or you need some weight loss tips for women over 50, you are in the right place.
Here are some of my effective weight loss tips for women over 50. As you maintain a healthy lifestyle and lose weight, you may find that you can live a fun, free, and confident life without depriving yourself.
Remember, the goal is to lose weight over 50 in a healthy, sustainable way that improves your overall health.
Common Challenges of Losing Weight After 50
Losing weight after 50 comes with its own set of challenges. The first big problem is that your metabolism slows as you age, making weight loss harder.
Several things, like changes in hormones, loss of muscle mass, and overall changes in body composition, can cause the metabolic rate to slow down.
The loss of muscle tissue is one of the main reasons why the metabolism slows down. Muscle tissue has a higher metabolic rate than fat tissue, which means it burns more calories even when it is not being used. Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass that can happen as we age. This can cause a drop in the number of calories burned at rest.
Changes in hormones, like the decrease in estrogen that happens during menopause, can also change metabolism. These hormonal changes can lead to an increase in abdominal fat storage and a decrease in total energy expenditure.
There are also lifestyle factors that play a role. Stress, not getting enough sleep, and some medicines can all make you gain weight. A sedentary lifestyle is another big cause. As you get older, you may become less active, which can cause you to gain weight.
When your activity levels decrease, it lowers your calorie burn. Weight gain or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight can occur when calorie expenditure decreases without a corresponding change in diet. The body’s energy balance is disrupted when more calories are consumed than burned.
Even though it may be harder to lose weight after 50, it is not impossible. Lifestyle changes like regular exercise, strength training to maintain muscle mass, and a balanced diet can help manage weight.
Tips To Lose Weight Over 50
For weight loss tips for women over 50, it is important to focus on changes that will last. Rapid weight loss is not as effective or healthy as losing weight slowly and steadily.
Rather than relying on quick fixes, focus on making sustainable changes to your lifestyle. Start by setting goals that are attainable.
Here are some effective weight loss tips for women over 50 looking to shed some pounds, stay fit and healthy.
Eat Healthy foods
Diet is very important for women over 50 who want to lose weight. Your body needs fewer calories as your metabolism slows down.
So, it is important to make every calorie count by choosing foods that are high in nutrients. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods are high in fiber and protein, making them filling.
Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks. Most of the time, these foods are high in calories but not very good for you. Also, watch how much you eat. Even healthy foods can make you gain weight if you eat a lot of them.
Drink water to stay hydrated. We can sometimes confuse thirst for hunger. Drinking a lot of water can keep you from eating too much and help your body work at its best.
Remember, a healthy diet is not just a restriction. It is about eating well and enjoying yourself.
Eat your protein first!
Make sure you are getting enough high-quality protein because diets high in protein cause people to naturally eat less and lose weight. Now, here’s the good part… Protein makes you feel full, which is a weight loss magic trick that really works.
**Try this out: Make it a goal for the next 7 days to finish the protein portion of your meal before eating anything else. Then keep track of how hungry you were and how much you ate during that time. For example, eat all the chicken on your plate without mixing it with bread, vegetables, pasta, etc. Then stop eating, take a break for a few minutes, and then start eating again.
You might not feel very hungry, and you might be fine with eating less than what is on your plate.
I promise it is worth a try!
Eat the same foods often and consistently
When people over 50 are trying to lose weight, they sometimes only think about cutting calories.
However, when a body senses a lack of calories, it will often slow down the metabolism and hold onto all the body fat it can rather than burn it off quickly. Instead of counting calories, know what you are eating.
The more energy dense the food, the more dopamine it releases and the more reinforcing it is, so you can eat many peanut butter cups without feeling full but not a medium-sized apple.
Why do we eat peanut butter cups & sodas over fruit and vegetables?
- Our brains value foods that signal energy density
- Calorie shortage is a threat to our ancestral survival
- Some food properties that signal energy density:
- Fat (texture)
- Sweetness (carbohydrate)
- Meaty flavor (protein)
These qualities are so valuable, we are motivated to access more. Dopamine-reinforced sensory cues override our willpower and this contributes to weight gain.
Fact: The “buffet effect” causes people to eat more calories when there is a wide variety of foods in a meal, and interestingly, fullness only applies to foods with similar properties to those we just ate (Guyenet, The Hungry Brain, 2017).
If you are serious about losing weight, try eating 2 or 3 similar foods per sitting for 7 days and tracking your results.
Think bland, whole foods for 7 days, and you will be surprised at the results! Ultimately, people who eat the same things often lose weight faster and keep it off.
The best exercises for weight loss after 50 include cardio and strength training. Walking, cycling, and swimming burn calories and improve heart health. Moderate-intensity cardio should be 150 minutes per week.
On the other hand, you need strength training to keep your muscle mass. As you get older, you lose muscle, which can make your metabolism slow down.
Lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises that build strength can help with this. Try to do strength training at least twice a week.
Exercises that improve your flexibility and balance are also important, especially as you get older. They can help you move around better, keep you from falling, and improve your quality of life overall.
Do High-Intensity Interval Training
It is natural to increase cardio when trying to lose weight and burn fat. However, endless cardio does not help lose weight.
Cardio improves heart and respiratory health but does not help you lose weight. Instead, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
In a recent study, HIIT participants lost more body fat than steady-state endurance trainers. So swap out some of your cardio days for days where you do interval training.
A HIIT workout involves short bursts of intense exercise lasting 20 to 60 seconds, followed by active recovery (moving your body gently without stopping to rest) for the same length or longer.
You can work harder and burn more fat by taking breaks between intense workouts.
Don’t Workout Too Much or Too Hard
Even if you want to do a lot of workouts to burn more calories and lose more fat, too many or too hard workouts stress your body. Stress raises cortisol levels, which cause inflammation and hormonal imbalance.
As we age, we should always listen to our bodies. Take a rest day between strenuous workouts, avoid training the same body part on consecutive days to allow for muscle recovery, and mix it up with cardio, walking, and dancing to make workouts fun and manageable.
Proper recovery lowers cortisol levels and prevents injury (which can prevent you from working out).
Switch Up Your Workouts Regularly
Every woman over 50 trying to lose weight should follow SAID. SAID, which stands for “Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands,” means that your body will adapt to something challenging and no longer change.
Thus, every 8–12 weeks, switch up your workouts and schedule.
Do not let your body get used to your weight loss efforts so it does not burn fewer calories. Keep your calorie burn as high as you can!
The most perfect solution is to start with a fabulous50s 14 day challenge. They are fun, doable and give instant results!
Sleep Enough and Don’t Overschedule
If you want to lose weight after 50, you need to get enough sleep and simplify your life.
Researchers have found that when you do not get enough sleep, your body goes into a state of stress. When you are stressed, your body makes too many chemicals that cause inflammation. These chemicals do a lot of damage to your body and make it nearly impossible to lose weight.
Getting enough sleep is important for keeping hormones, like those that control appetite and metabolism, in balance. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone levels, causing hunger, cravings for unhealthy foods, and a slower metabolism, making weight loss harder.
Chronic stress can result from overscheduling and lack of downtime. High levels of stress can make your body make more cortisol, which can make you gain weight, especially around your stomach. Putting relaxation and self-care first can help you feel less stressed and eat better.
If you get enough sleep, you will have enough energy to do physical activities and exercise. Regular exercise helps manage weight by burning calories, building muscle, and raising metabolism.
Sleep can improve emotional health. Stress and fatigue can cause emotional eating, which can derail weight loss. Keep in mind that enough rest and balance can help prevent emotional eating.
READ ALSO: Natural Ways To Relieve Stress Over 50
How To Maintain Your Weight After Losing it
Only half the battle is won when you lose weight. The real challenge is keeping the weight off once you have lost it. This means you have to keep living a healthy life, even after you reach your weight loss goal.
It is important to work out regularly. It helps you burn calories and keep your muscle mass, which are both important if you want to stay the same weight. Similarly, a healthy diet is still important. Continue to eat a wide range of foods that are high in nutrients and watch how much you eat.
Keeping an eye on yourself regularly can also help. This can include things like weighing yourself regularly, keeping track of what you eat and how much you move, and paying attention to your signs of hunger and fullness. These tips can help you keep track of your habits and change them when you need to.
Remember that maintaining your weight is not about being perfect. There will be good times and bad times, and that is fine. The key is to stay on track and get back on when you get off track.
Weight loss for women over 50 may be harder than for younger women, but it is still possible.
Since everyone’s body is different, weight loss is both science and art. You can find the best weight loss methods by doing research and getting to know your body.
You can lose weight and improve your health by understanding your body’s changes, overcoming obstacles, and using proven methods.
Weight loss is not the goal—improving your quality of life is.
So enjoy the journey and celebrate every small win.
♡ Love ♡,
Not sure where to get started when it comes to losing weight over 50? Here are some exercise ideas, check out our 30 Minute Weight Loss Walking Workout for Women Over 50 or an even quicker 10 Minute Chair Workout for Weight Loss.
For more information on how to lose belly fat specifically, read our guide to losing belly fat once you’re over 50.
Want some concrete motivation? Check out my FREE 14-Day Workout Challenge that can help you both build muscle and lose weight simultaneously.
Have you had results incorporating lifestyle, diet, ad exercise changes into your life in a way that you’ve been able to lose weight after turning 50? I’d love to hear about your experience!
Post Updated: July 10, 2023