Weight Loss for Women Over 50
Experts agree: one of the absolute best things you can do for your health is lose weight.
Even if you just lose about five or ten pounds, you can prevent high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, osteoarthritis, certain cancers, and strokes.
However, as you age, it becomes a bit more difficult to lose weight–particularly for women.
Why is weight loss for women over 50 different for other demographics? And what are the best dieting tips for women over 50?
Why is it Harder for Women Over 50 to Lose Weight?
One reason why women have a tougher time maintaining a healthy weight in general is because they don’t have high testosterone levels.
Kathleen M Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, says the male body’s high T counts naturally gives them “a higher percentage of muscle and less fat,” meaning they are able to eat more calories and still stay in shape because their bodies automatically use more of those calories as energy.
The female body, on the other hand, stores most of those calories because it doesn’t have as much natural muscle mass.
Additionally, Densie Webb, PhD, RD, explains that your body’s “muscle mass decreases from about 45% of your total body weight in your youth to about 27% by the time you reach age 70,” and the hormone change occurring during menopause also reduces your muscle mass.
Dr. Webb also says, “You burn fewer calories in your 50s, 60s, or 70s doing the same activities, and the same number of them that you did in your 20s, 30s, or 40s,” thus making it more difficult to burn away more calories than you are eating.
So what are the best techniques to achieve weight loss for women over 50?
Tip 1: Eat More Fiber
One of the most important changes you can make to your usual routine if you are over 50 years old and want to lose weight is to increase your fiber intake.
This is because fiber will help you feel fuller throughout the day, even after eating fewer calories.
Researchers proved this in a 2009 study in which participants who each ate an apple before eating lunch ate 15% fewer calories overall than participants who didn’t eat apples prior to lunch.
Try adding whole grains, apples, mangoes, black beans, raspberries, apricots, corn, and kiwis to your diet to up your fiber intake!
Tip 2: Get Aerobic Exercise, but Go Easy on Your Joints
If you want to see real weight loss results, you definitely need to make sure you are getting regular exercise, and aerobic exercise in particular.
However, if you are over 50 years old, some workouts can actually do more damage than good since your joints are more sensitive and prone to things like arthritis and osteoporosis.
To keep your both your body and your joints in good shape, look for low-impact aerobic exercises.
Water aerobics is a great one for women over 50 because it provides resistance training without putting a lot of pressure and stress on your joints.
Simply taking regular walks is another great tip for weight loss for women over 50 because it gets your body moving but is not overly strenuous.
Experts say the best walking pace “for women over the age of 50 would be a pace where it is still easy to carry on a conversation.”
Tip 3: Make Sure to Do Strength Training
It is also very important for women over 50 to do strength training workouts because it builds muscle, helps prevent bone mass loss, burns more calories, and increases and improves balance.
As was previously mentioned, water aerobics is a good strength workout because the water provides resistance against your muscles, which makes them grow stronger.
You can also get great strength training from using free weights or resistance bands, but be aware of your joints as you do so.
You Can Lose Weight, No Matter Your Age!
Weight loss for women over 50 is no longer a myth: if you follow these tips, you can get back into good shape and look and feel amazing!
How have you managed to maintain a healthy weight if you are over 50 years old? Share your advice in the comment section below!