Can you lose weight after 50? The short answer is YES, you can lose weight. Losing weight at ANY age can be difficult—our bodies fight us on it. But when you work with your body, you can lose weight and still enjoy amazing food!
I wrote this post because after I turned 50, I found myself with the cutest body I have ever had. Period. Can you lose weight after 50? Yes!
In some ways, I look better at 50 than I ever did. I went from a woman that didn’t wear a bathing suit, a dress, or even shorts for 20 years, to someone who is comfortable in her body.
In the time since I’ve turned 50, I’ve lost about 25 pounds and have maintained that loss for two years. In addition, I still continue to enjoy:
- Heavy cream in my coffee (or half and half for something lighter).
- Butter, olive oil, and coconut oil with every meal
- Starchy vegetables or fruit with most meals
- Whatever I want when I eat out once or twice a week
Key for me has been finding ways to
- increase my metabolism,
- reduce or eliminate cravings
- nourish my body in a way so that I rarely feel hungry
I’ve never been a dieter. In fact, the few times I managed to lose weight, I started gaining it back almost as soon as I reached what I thought was a good weight. Not only that but I usually gained a few extra pounds after going back to my original weight!
I’m sharing my story because I had accepted that I was never going to lose weight and had made peace with that fact. I still ate good and exercised but I had no plans to ever diet again.
I had done Weight Watchers about 10 years ago and that was the LAST TIME I ever planned to diet.
However, I did lose weight and I do enjoy my new size. It hasn’t solved all the problems in my life or changed my overall happiness but I certainly feel more comfortable and enjoy my clothes more.
Our bodies and our weight are such huge issues for us women. I wish we could just BE. But unfortunately, because of our current food culture and the American diet, it’s almost impossible for people to have a normal fit body.
Add to that, there is so much information and misinformation that confuses the whole thing.
I’m going to share what’s working for me. If any of it resonates, try it out.
To some extent, I eat and drink what I want. That doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all in the eating department. Despite all the things I do allow myself, I also restrict a few things and I did that long before I ever lost any weight.
I’m careful about what I eat because I want to not just look good; I want to feel good. I feel like I’m in the prime of my life and I want to enjoy every moment!
What I Don’t Eat
I avoid wheat and sugar as much as possible. This means very little bread, pasta, crackers, cake, cookies, candy, bagels, etc. When I discovered how good I felt not eating wheat–I gave it up for good. In addition to being irritating to the body, wheat also acts like sugar in the body. Like sugar, it spikes your insulin, causes inflammation, and feeds cravings.
I NEVER eat or drink artificial sweeteners, diet drinks of any kind, or low-fat products. These things don’t provide nourishment and are damaging to the body. I’m able to avoid them 100% of the time.
What I Do Eat
I truly believe that eating a real food diet is key to staying healthy and functionally fit. I also eat the way I do in the hopes of preventing diabetes or other diseases. And I didn’t want to get any bigger!
A couple of years ago, I was about 30 pounds heavier. I didn’t feel too heavy to date and I thought I dressed in a way that flattered my size. I really believed that my weight was at the lowest it would ever be and the best I could hope for was to not get any bigger. Boy, was I wrong.
It happened in the beginning by accident. Living alone the pounds began to drop off. Since I wasn’t dieting and I wasn’t weighing myself, I didn’t even notice it at first. It wasn’t until I had to buy new pants that I realized I must have lost a significant amount of weight. That was in January 2015. Over the next six months, I lost an additional 10 pounds and another pants size.
The last ten pounds were more deliberate. I was surprised to have lost the initial weight but I didn’t hate the fact that it had happened. I hadn’t thought that I would ever see that size again. So, I began to pay attention to what I was doing in the hopes of keeping the weight off. In addition to not gaining the weight back, I gradually lost another ten pounds and my weight has been stable for almost two years.
You don’t have to be thin to be healthy. Truthfully, I suspect that being too thin is as bad as being too heavy. There is a wide range of healthy weights and sizes for sure. While I am the thinnest I’ve been as an adult, this time I eat plenty of fat and real foods. I am solid. I don’t feel frail. I lost the weight evenly and proportionately.
The basis of my success is working with my body so that it doesn’t get hungry, cravings are reduced or eliminated, and I can have splurges now and then.
Getting Rid of Cravings
I know because I avoid sugar, wheat and other grains, and pretty much all junk food, it might seem that I’m extremely restrictive and disciplined. Not so! What I’ve discovered in not eating those foods is that I don’t get cravings and when I’m eating nutritionally dense foods and plenty of fat, I don’t get hungry.
When I really looked at what I had changed about the way I ate, I discovered three changes I had made. They are each important and when I don’t do these, I can see and feel the difference. Here are my three weight loss “secrets.”
Okay, the first one isn’t really a secret. Everyone knows that you need to exercise. But here’s what you might not have known. It doesn’t have to be unpleasant and you don’t have to run. I love to walk and that is my favorite exercise. In addition to walking, I like to do shorter high-intensity workouts about three times a week to tone up everything else.
I walk three miles a day almost every day. I don’t run or even walk particularly fast. However, I was very faithful and got out there and did it pretty much every day for an hour. In addition, I did some toning and stretching a few days a week. Again nothing heavy duty, just some exercise routines I did that I enjoyed that made me feel good.
Green Smoothies in the Morning
In addition to walking, I was also drinking a big green smoothie every morning. I love my smoothies and I make sure that each one has a couple of cups of super greens and another vegetable. I put some fruit in there as well but except for a little banana, these are fairly low glycemic fruits. In addition, I put a raw egg and some oil in my smoothie. For me, it’s a source of nutrition and fiber that’s easy to make and drink. I think it tastes good too.
Eating Light in the Evening
The third thing was something I hadn’t planned on doing but it happened and now it’s something I realize makes all the difference.
I eat lightly in the evening and it IS the single most significant change that affects my weight.
In fact, when I eat too many dinners out in a week, I quickly gain weight. It’s not that I can’t eat at night. I do eat a meal in the early evening. But it’s usually a light one rather than a big heavy meal. I try to eat just enough to satisfy my hunger and to keep me from being hungry later. Since I eat a heavier lunch, I’m not super hungry at night.
I didn’t realize how important this habit was until my mom visited for five days. We had a great time eating out and eating with my kids. We had huge wonderful dinners every night. After she left, I weighed myself. I had gained 9 pounds during the five days she was in town. Crazy! It took a bit longer than 9 days for the weight to drop back off but it did eventually melt away when I wasn’t eating out every night.
Once or twice a week, I end up having what I call a “real dinner.” I get invited out or I have people over. It doesn’t seem to be a problem. Because I live alone, this is easy to do. I’m sure if you are cooking big meals for others, it would be more difficult. However, this seems to play such an important part in my metabolism and ability to maintain my weight, I have to at least tell you about it.
Real Food is Awesome
Can you lose weight after 50? Definitely. But weight aside, exercise and eating real food just makes sense. I love real food and I’m passionate about cooking and eating it. Yet, I still find it difficult if not impossible to eat perfectly. That’s why I’m also passionate about finding ways to reduce cravings and hunger and increase my metabolism.
Stay beautiful my friends!
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Here are some books that have helped me on my journey.
Three years ago, my digestive system was a mess! I felt miserable all the time and had no idea why. I came across the Wheat Belly website and I decided to give up wheat and see what happened. What happened was that within a couple of days I felt great. I never looked back.
It took me a long time to get up the nerve to do a Whole 30. But I did and this book explains in detail why it’s such a great idea to do one. It’s not easy, but it changed my life. It broke my addiction to sweets and artificial sweeteners for good. I highly recommend reading either of these books. I think It Starts With Food explains Whole 30 the best. And Whole 30 has the most amazing recipes. I have that one in hardback and have loved everything I’ve made!
This book opened my eyes to why people really get fat. It’s NOT because of having no willpower or being lazy. It’s because the food most people eat now is really bad for us and makes us fat.
Products I Love
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.
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