Maintaining a moderate weight is important for people of all ages, but it is even more vital as people get older.
For a number of reasons, many people may find it more difficult to lose weight after they turn 50 years old. However, it is still important for older adults to maintain a moderate weight.
This article looks at 20 ways a person can lose weight safely and maintain a moderate weight after they reach the age of 50 years.
Why is it harder to lose weight after 50?
Many factors contribute to why a person may find it more difficult to lose weight once they enter their 50s.
These factors range from health conditions that are more likely to occur as people get older to the effect of certain medications.
Additionally, one of the effects of aging may be a slower metabolismTrusted Source, which can also contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
Ways to lose weight after 50
The following sections will describe some ways a person can lose weight and maintain the weight loss after the age of 50 years.
- Move more
The underlying principle of losing weight is burning more calories than one consumes.
One significant factor in many people’s sedentary lives is having a job that involves a lot of sitting, such as an office worker, driver, or cashier.
However, studies suggest that by taking short breaks every half an hour, people can reduce the amount of time they spend sitting and potentially increase their overall health.
- Get enough sleep
Many studiesTrusted Source have suggested a link between a lack of good quality sleep and obesity.
Specifically, they suggest that there is a correlation between short sleep duration and poor quality sleep and an increased risk of developing obesity.
Making sure that one gets enough high quality sleep is important to ensure that they are not at risk of having obesity.
- Do not skip meals
It may seem like a good idea to skip meals to lower caloric intake, but this can actually prove detrimental to weight loss.
Some studiesTrusted Source suggest a link between skipping breakfast and obesity, meaning that there is a high risk of this habit leading to a person gaining weight rather than losing it.
- Hack the commute
While commuting, try parking farther away from work or getting off public transport one stop ahead of one’s regular stop. This can all help someone move more and get in more exercise without too much effort.
The extra calories the person burns can help them maintain a moderate weight.
- Enjoy exercise
Finding an exercise they enjoy may be the key to a person continuing to participate in it over the long term, according to some researchTrusted Source.
Whether that be yoga, weight training, or tennis, enjoying exercise can help keep a person engaged and make it feel less like work and more like leisure.
- Buddy up
Consider enlisting a friend who shares the same goals.
- Switch up snacks
Instead of reaching for sugary foods when a person is hungry, they could try reaching for healthier snacks, such as nuts.
- Set realistic goals
It is important that a person does not try to lose too much weight too quickly or push themselves too hard to hit unrealistic fitness goals.
Not reaching ambitious goals could lead to a person feeling discouraged. They may be less likely to stick to their diet and exercise routine if they do not see the results they were hoping for straight away.
Instead, people should work up to these ideal goals by setting smaller, more realistic goalsTrusted Source along the way.
- Lift weights
Some studiesTrusted Source suggest that the aging process leads to a loss of muscle mass and strength. This means that weight lifting and strength training can be beneficial for older adults to help maintain a moderate body weight.
Weight lifting also promotes bone strength, which can help prevent injuries, making it easier for a person to stick to their exercise routine.
- Use fitness technology
Using a pedometerTrusted Source or smartwatch, a person can track their daily stepsTrusted Source. Tracking their steps may help a person feel more motivated as they watch their daily steps increase over time.
Step tracking can also help people calculate how many calories per day they are burning, so that they can accurately calculate their caloric needs for weight loss.
- Pack in the protein
Some studiesTrusted Source show that eating more protein when trying to lose weight can help older adults lose more fat and keep more muscle mass than if they eat a lower protein diet.
- Lower stress
Researchers have linked high stress to food cravings and excessive food intake.
People experiencing high levels of stress may eat as a form of comfortTrusted Source, and this can make it difficult to lose weight.
Stress also causes the body to produce the hormone cortisol. Researchers have associated high cortisol levels with weight gain, particularly around the abdomen and face.
Reducing stress levels can help a person maintain a moderate weight.
- Fill up on fruits and vegetables
Observational studiesTrusted Source suggest that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is linked to better muscle function.
Not only are fruits and vegetables mostly low in calories, but they also contain many essential nutrients to help the body function better, and they may help reduce the riskTrusted Source of many conditions.
- Opt for whole grains
One way to lose more weight is to cook using healthy ingredients. For example, rather than opting for processed foods, a person should choose whole grains.
Some studiesTrusted Source suggest that eating whole grains can significantly reduce overall energy intake and body weight in adults with overweight.
- Hire a personal trainer
A lack of motivation may prevent a person from losing weight after the age of 50 years, but hiring a personal trainer may help.
Personal trainers can keep people accountable and also advise on the best methods to lose weight.
However, hiring a personal trainer can also be expensive. If this is not an option, try to find a coach who posts videos on YouTube and follow those instead. This is usually free.
- Take up yoga
Some researchTrusted Source suggests that gentle forms of exercise can help a person lose weight.
Low impact exercises — such as tai chi, yoga, and Pilates — may benefit those who want to lose weight but who are unable to participate in other forms of exercise.
- Eat mindfully
Often, people eat while doing other things.
Whether eating while working at one’s desk or watching television at mealtimes, concentrating on something else while eating can cause a person to overeat. This is because they are less likely to concentrate on how they are feeling and may continue to eat after they feel full.
Eating mindfullyTrusted Source can be an impactful method for weight loss.
- Cut out sugary drinks
Consuming carbonated sugary drinks such as soda, or even “healthy” drinks such as store-bought smoothies, can mean that a person is drinking a lot more sugar than they may be aware of. This can make it difficult to lose weight.
People can opt for water or herbal teas to stay hydrated while also losing weight.
- Eat out less
It may be difficult to know what goes into a meal if people are eating out. This is because restaurant dishes may contain hidden ingredients and extra fats and sugars that people do not account for.
Staying in and cooking more food at home means that a person can be sure of what goes into their meals and, therefore, their body.
- Get tested
If a person is still finding it difficult to lose weight after the age of 50 years, it may be worth consulting a healthcare professional for a checkup.