Weight Loss After 50 | by Jennifer L.W. Fink

Weight Loss After 50

Posted on Sun, Nov 11, 2012

Struggling to lose a few pounds? Dropping weight in mid-life can be tough, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept the cushion forming around your waist. Tweaking your diet and exercise routine can help nudge the numbers on the scale back in the right direction.

The Challenge

As you mature, your body metabolism and composition change. Common physical limitations (such as arthritis), also make it difficult to remain active after age 50.

“When you get older, your lean body mass decreases. Because of that, you’re not burning as many calories as when you were 20,” says Jessica Crandall, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association who works at Sodexo Wellness and Nutrition in Centennial.

If you simultaneously decrease your physical activity because your joints hurt, it’s easy to pack on pounds.

The Solution

Get moving! The quickest and easiest way to jump-start weight loss after age 50 is to begin some kind of exercise program, even If your “exercise program” is as simple as walking around the block. Any kind of physical activity will rev up your metabolism, which will help you burn calories more efficiently.

Other tips:

• Eat adequate amounts of protein. Divide your weight by two. That’s approximately how many grams of protein you need per day. Good sources include eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, beans, fish and low-fat meats.

• Start small. Ten minutes of exercise is better than no exercise. Gradually up the duration or add additional short exercise periods to your day.

• Squeeze in 10-15 minutes of weight-training per day. Keep simple hand weights next to your desk or near your TV. Do a few reps at lunch or during commercials. Lifting weights – even relatively light ones – helps you prevent further loss of muscle mass.

• Set realistic expectations. “You may not reach your high school weight,” Crandall says, “but you can be healthier.”

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