As we age, it’s harder to keep the weight off. Restaurants serve bigger portions than they did a generation ago, hormone changes and a slowing metabolism all combine to mean we take in more calories as we’re burning less, causing our weight to go up. And, this has meant that in this country, we have a rising obesity rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). carrying excess weight is associated with many serious health risks, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, the CDC says. So it becomes even more important to loose weight after 50.
Women have it even harder, due to changes in estrogen levels during menopause. These changes can decrease their resting metabolic rate (calories burned at rest), which results in increased fat. This means that women often find both a slight increase in weight, as well as increased difficulty losing weight. This meant that any weight a woman puts on after menopause will be harder to lose than previously.
A hormonal shift also occurs with men thanks to a decrease in production of testosterone, resulting in less muscle mass, and that causes a drop in both resting metabolic rate as well as less muscle means less fuel burned during exercise. Which means less fat burning as you get older for the same amount of exercise.
And, science is showing what women already know – men burn fat faster than women. Men have more lean muscle than women do, so even though they may gain weight after 50 the same as women, they tend to be able to lose it more quickly than women.
Important Strategies to Loose Weight After 50
First, don’t assume that just because it’s harder to loose weight after 50, that it’s impossible. It’s not impossible, just a bit more difficult. Second, remember that the rules don’t change – you need to burn more calories than you take in. Moving to a healthy diet, while eating less calories, and combining this with more effective exercise, can make all the difference.
Additional Weight Loss Tips
- For men, get annual check-ups to ensure your testosterone levels are not abnormally decreased.
- Get tested for insulin resistance, which can occur as you age and results in elevated blood sugar (often called pre-diabetes) and more rapid accumulation of abdominal fat. Medications to balance blood sugar can result in sustained weight loss.
- Avoid eating high-calorie snacks in the evenings. Instead, drink water, herbal tea or calorie-free vitamin water, which keeps you satisfied and also provides additional health benefits, and you’ll also avoid ingesting unneeded calories.