Turning 50 brings an era of contemplation and change. Your focus shifts from things that once occupied your mind to yourself and your loved ones. Along with your mindset, your body also changes; your skin becomes wrinkly, your body shape changes, and you feel like your physical strength isn’t the same as it was in your 20s.
The most evident and bothersome change is the weight gain when you become half a century old. This sudden and persistent weight gain can be due to numerous reasons. An inactive lifestyle, changes in hormones, or slow metabolism are some causes. As you turn fifty, your body metabolism slows down by 4-5%, which increases the chances of weight gain. Similarly, physical activity and mass reduction, but diet intake remains the same, leading to the body’s shift towards retaining fat. Specifically for women, the changes in estrogen levels owing to menopause can lead to a gain of 1-2 pounds.
Staying fit and healthy even in your 50s isn’t impossible. A little bit of self-control, exercise, and willpower can help you maintain weight. You can follow these nine tips to reduce the infuriating pounds off your body.
- Choose the right plan:
Before you begin your fitness journey, have a plan in mind. Recognize the reason for your weight gain and plan accordingly. If designing a workout plan yourself seems confusing, start with available weight loss programs such as the getting in shape over 50 program and see if it benefits you. Similarly, try different food plans and notice which one suits you best. Accordingly, set up a structured plan to fit your needs and follow it with determination.
- Change your eating habits:
Now that you are in your 50s, your body doesn’t require the same amount of food as it did previously. With lower physical activity and increased fat deposits, your body requires a diet rich in nutrients missing in processed foods. Therefore, you need to be mindful of what you eat. Start by calculating your calorie intake. Make changes in how much and at what time you eat. Try to eat slower and refrain from pairing eating with other activities. Lower your sugar intake, boost your protein intake, and hold back on alcohol.
- Sleep is crucial:
Whether you are in your 20s or 50s, getting enough sleep at night is the key to staying healthy. Sleep is crucial as it improves brain performance and plays a vital role in preventing weight gain. Those who stay up late or suffer from sleeplessness or disrupted sleep at night snack more. Overeating due to lack of sleep occurs due to excessive production of ghrelin and leptin, hormones that increase appetite. Therefore, to keep your cravings and late-night snacking in check, try to get 7-9 hours of good quality sleep.
- Get an exercise partner:
On your fitness journey, you may feel ambitious and determined to begin with, but as the days pass, your enthusiasm to lose weight may start to wane. Therefore, to keep yourself motivated, try teaming up with others. Find a friend, family member, or your significant other who can work out with you. In addition, try to connect with people of your age trying to lose weight. Notice how they practice self-control, which activities they perform, and their goals. Seeing others your age exercise and lose weight to achieve their goals will aid you in sticking to your plans and fulfilling your weight loss dreams.
- Be mindful of your exercise:
Exercising to lose weight is necessary, but you have to be conscious of how you approach exercise. At 50, due to low muscle mass and physical strength, you cannot jump into whatever physical activity you like. Therefore, it is feasible to start easily. Begin with yoga, dancing, or walking for 10-15 minutes each day. Afterward, slowly increase the duration till you reach at least 30 minutes per day.
Moreover, lifting weights is crucial as it helps build muscle mass and increases stamina, both of which aid in weight loss. However, whatever exercise plan you follow, be cautious of the intensity and duration. This cautiousness is necessary because the intensity and duration determine your consistency with that plan and the chances of joint or bone injury.
- Focus on hydration:
Keeping track of what you drink is just as significant as keeping track of your food. Try to drink as much water as possible, around 64 ounces per day, as water can help flush out extra water and toxins from your system, reduce the feeling of hunger and provide refreshment. In addition, avoid drinking sugary drinks or smoothies with added sugars. Such drinks will harm more than benefit, and your weight loss can fail. Therefore, try taking healthy and plain liquids that can boost your metabolism. For example, opt for green tea, lemon water, or homemade fresh fruit juices and smoothies.
- Get your lab tests
Your weight loss journey must include a professional. Checking in with a professional is crucial because as you age, your health changes, you become prone to chronic diseases, and you begin to take numerous drugs. If you are not losing weight even after limiting your calories and exercising, this can be due to an underlying disease. An underlying disease or a particular drug can also contribute to weight gain. Therefore, discuss your condition with your physician. Moreover, keep your hormone levels in check and be cautious of hypothyroidism and PCOS, especially if you have a family history of being susceptible to such problems.
- Don’t stress out:
Another critical factor of weight gain is stress. Stress activates our sympathetic system, which results in excessive amounts of cortisol in the body. Cortisol has a direct effect on appetite and fat retention in the body. As the person feels stressed, they will turn toward food for comfort, which results in weight gain. Therefore, keeping your stress in check is significant. You can reduce stress by trying meditation, self-care activities, or engaging in short but intense workouts.
- Don’t lose hope:
If the figures on the scale don’t change as you hope they would, don’t lose heart. Try changing a few things here and there and try to stay patient. If you still fail to lose weight, try opting for other ways of weight loss, such as surgery or medications.
In your 50s, maintaining a healthy weight is equal to living a healthy life. Losing weight can be tiresome, confusing, and frustrating at times. However, it is all worth the effort in the end. A few changes in diet, physical activity, and a few every day habits can help you achieve your ideal body weight even at 50.