This is a question not only do I constantly get, but doctors also get quite often. Why is it so hard for women over 50 to lose weight? Why am I gaining weight when I’m not eating any more than usual and still exercise? What can we do about it?
First, let’s talk about what happens as we age that can contribute to weight gain. Many of us as we get older, tend to slow down as far as our exercise and other activities. It’s understandable but this natural tendency to slow down means we’re burning less calories throughout the day.
What causes the weight gain to begin with?
Add in the fact that also as we age, our bodies lose lean muscle mass. That in turns contributes to a slowing of our metabolism. This happens for many of us between the ages of 40 – 50. But it’s gradual so many of us may not notice the weight creeping on. All of this makes it difficult for women over 50 to lose weight.
But men aren’t immune to the issue and also lose muscle mass. However, they don’t experience the same hormonal issues that women do. (Read this next: Are Carbs Making Me Fat? For women, the lack of estrogen leads to belly fat. Belly fat leads to an increase in the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses. A slippery slope when it comes to our health.
In order to lose weight, do I have to eat 50% less?
If you are equally as active in your 50’s as you were at a younger age, you need about 200 less calories per day. After 60? You need about 400 less calories per day. Many nutritionists recommend eating less than 1800 calories per day after the age of 50. For me, adding one supplement made all the difference in the world. You can get more info from an article I wrote here: Are carbs causing me to gain weight?
Do I have to work out twice as hard?
No. People often think if they workout harder, they’ll burn more calories. Fact is even if your exercise routine is an intense one, there are so many other factors that women over 50 deal with.
The best way to success is to work with someone walking the same walk that you are. I get it. I’ll be 60 this year (2021) and understand the challenges for women our age. I’ve had a hysterectomy and been through menopause. Life is different. Your program needs to be different also.
What can I do today to boost my metabolism?
To boost your metabolism over 50, focus on these three things:
- Nutrition. Eat more lean protein such as chicken, turkey, fish and eggs. Vegan? Tofu is a great option.
- Start your day with breakfast. When I’m home, I usually have scrambled eggs with veggies but on the run, it’s a protein shake.
- Strength train. As we age, it’s not all cardio as it was back in the “day.” To increase muscle mass, we must strength train. Strength training helps maintain muscle mass which boosts your metabolism.
Helpful tools I use:
- Eat clean. Choose whole foods over processed foods for every meal. Even better? Contact me for private coaching where I’ll help you get on track.
- Water. I carry a 30 ounces stainless steel bottle of water everywhere I go and refill it at least 3 times a day.
- Food journal. One is included with the 2BMindset program but I also keep a physical journal as well. This is the one I use for everything: Best Journal Ever
Finally, be kind to yourself. It’s going to be okay. Focus on how GOOD you feel and everything else will fall into place.