10 Powerful Tips to Lose Weight After 50
Here are my best 10 Tips to Lose Weight After 50. These are tried and true by me and by my clients.
After 6 years of writing about weight loss for women over 50 and three years of life coaching, I am putting my favorite 10 tips to lose weight after 50 all in one post!
Four years ago, I wrote my most popular post, 7 Powerful Tips to Lose Weight After 50. I update it often to keep it current. However, I decided that it had so much information in it and was maybe a bit confusing.
So, instead of updating, I wrote this list of 10 Tips. Be sure and go read the 7 Tips post later. There is so much good stuff in that post that will help you on your journey.
But these are the tips that have grown from my real work with real women.
- These are the tips that I use every day.
- These are the tips that are research-based.
- These are the tips that put YOU first. Your weight second.
My passion in life is telling women that you don’t have to diet to get to a better happier life. In fact, everything about diet culture helps create more misery in the world.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if every woman didn’t obsess about her diet, her food, or her body?
What if you could just live? Eat food. Live your amazing passionate life.
That’s what I want for you. And if you want to lose weight, I want to help with that too!
I’m a realist too. I know that you also want to take care of your body. For so long, we’ve been fed the LIE that being thin = being healthy.
My friends, those are two different things. Being thin is a label. Being healthy is a state of being.
We can fool ourselves that we are healthy when we are thin, just like we can fool ourselves that we are unhealthy when we weigh more than we want.
My work is primarily with women who fall within normal ranges, who believe they are overweight. I don’t have experience working with obesity or eating disorders.
I do know that the pain is real for women, no matter what their size is. And my mission is to reduce the pain that comes from hating your body and being obsessed with food.
How to Get the Most from 10 Tips to Lose Weight After 50
I’ve put these tips in a specific order, so that you can understand the whole process.
The first three tips create the foundation for everything else. Diets always say do this and don’t do that without taking into account what you are doing.
You probably don’t need to change everything. From experience working with women, most women have the general right idea.
There are usually just a few places that need tweaked and two of them will probably surprise you. (Eat more and eat more fat).
Some are things you might have thought are fads yet are actually backed up by current research. (Limit sugar and processed foods and time-restricted eating).
I also point out the tips that will help you see results faster. In addition, I give you tips to make those changes almost painless.
Ready to go?
Sara’s 10 Tips to Lose Weight After 50
- Set the Intention to Lose Weight
- Spend Two Weeks Writing Down What You Eat
- Stabilize your eating
Create weight loss
- Limit Sugar, Processed Foods, and snacking
- Time Restricted Eating
- How to eat carbs
Tips that make it all easier
- Eat more at meals
- Eat more healthy fat and oils
- How to plan for special occasions
- How to use hunger as a guideline
I know you are eager to get started! But hear me out. You have tried so many things over the past few decades.
This time, I want you to feel great about what you are about to do. I really want you to be intentional about the process and be able to make it work for you.
Set the Intention to Lose Weight
Don’t laugh. I know you want to lose weight. Usually though, it is just that—a want. You want it but you haven’t set the intention. Setting the intention means that this is what you are going to do.
Period. There is no time limit. It doesn’t have to be a certain number of pounds per month.
You are telling your brain, that you not only want to lose weight, you intend to lose weight.
Here’s the catch. Your intention is simply that you are going to lose weight without depriving yourself.
Of course, since this is from me, please understand that I mean that the intention will also include compassion and acceptance of yourself and love for yourself.
Your well-being is the most important thing involved.
What I mean by intention is that you’ll remember your intention even on days that seem less than perfect, when you don’t see the results you want, or you just want to give up for any reason.
No single event is going to derail you. You won’t get off-track because there is no actual track.
Write Down What You Eat
Spend two weeks writing down what you eat
This is not for punishment or even accountability. It is simply to collect some data. No need to change anything for the first week or two. Just write down what you are already doing.
No one ever realizes their eating patterns until they start writing them down. You easily forge3t the little bites and licks here and there. Whole meals or snacks get erased from memory.
Writing down isn’t a weight loss tool per se. It is a way to collect vital data.
This way you can see exactly what you are eating at your meals. What snacks are you eating? What are the times that feel the most problematic?
In the next section, I’ll talk about areas to address but you have to know, really know what you are doing right now.
Not what you think you should do. Not what you want to do. But what are you doing, day in and day out.
It is much easier to do this process if you have honestly done this homework first. If you skip over it, you’ll miss the most important part of this process.
Here’s the thing. No matter how you are eating, there is a foundation in there somewhere. This is, what are you already doing right. In addition, you’ll be looking for all the rest.
- When do you do the most emotional eating of the day?
- What are your foods you can’t resist?
- What foods give you the most comfort?
- When do you snack?
- How much sugar are you eating?
This allows you to have a laser focus on any change that makes sense. You aren’t shooting in the dark trying crazy things.
Stabilize Your Eating
Most diets just jump right to cutting things out. I recommend dealing with problem-eating first.
If you have times of the day where your eating feels out of control, work on that first.
Please don’t skip this! You binge and overeat for a reason. A diet will not help you if you don’t address the reason you can’t control part of your eating.
Stabilizing your eating will usually stabilize your weight. You will stop gaining.
If you have been on a slow consistent journey of gaining weight; not gaining weight is an improvement. Not gaining weight IS progress!
This is incredibly important. Allowing yourself to maintain weight will be very helpful on vacations and over holidays. And of course, when you want to actually maintain your weight.
This is an essential skill. If you don’t learn it during the process, you will not have if when you are happy with your weight.
- If you are out-of-control eating at times, work on that first.
- If you aren’t eating actual meals, start eating meals.
- If you snack often, that’s a great place to start.
Ideally, you will get to the place where you are eating two or three meals that include protein, health fats, and nutritious carbohydrates.
During this time, losing weight is not the goal. Staying the same weight is an awesome goal!
However, it is very possible that you will lose weight as you adopt these changes. But it is more important to make regular meals a priority.
Building a foundation of enough food is something I can’t over emphasize enough.
You want to change your brain before you change your actions.
Limit Sugar and Processed Foods
Of all the foods you eat that are nonessential, sugar and processed foods are the most problematic.
One, they are crazy addictive. They mess with your brain. However, they are incredibly bad for our bodies when we eat too much.
Here’s the bottom line. These foods, even in modest quantities can keep you stuck or gaining weight forever.
After years of consumption, most women have some level of insulin resistance. Your body literally cannot remove enough glucose from your bloodstream and instead stores it as fat.
Concurrent with weight gain; it also is a major contributor to inflammation.
All of my clients report that they feel so much better simply by removing sugar and junk food from their diets.
Most of my clients also allow themselves some types of these foods on occasion. But to change your body inside and out, you have to take a realistic look at sugar and understand that large amounts are detrimental.
This one can feel so hard to do if you feel like you are addicted to a particular treat that is a part of your self-comfort.
Yet, it is entirely possible. Everyone I work with is not only able to quit overeating sugar, they don’t even miss it.
Here’s how this works.
You eat plenty at your meals, especially in the beginning. You want to rule out hunger as a reason to eat sugar.
Eat food you enjoy.
When you feel the craving for the food, check in with yourself. Are you hungry? If the answer is no, then ask yourself, “What am I hungry for?”
If you are hungry, then have a non-sweet snack, like a boiled egg or two.
Sit with the craving for a couple of minutes. Then check in and see if you still want it.
If you are eating sweets 7 days a week, anything less is progress and something to celebrate.
Most people don’t need snacks if they eat enough at their meals. I believe our incessant snacking is because of the marketing of snack foods.
This is great for corporations that want to make money. It is bad for you.
When you eat around the clock, your body is always trying to digest food.
I also believe snacking is a product of our low-fat craze. When you don’t eat fat and you eat lots of processed food; you ARE always hungry. It’s a never-ending cycle.
Advice for not snacking is the same as not eating sugar and processed foods. Eat enough at your meals. Eat food you enjoy at your meals.
If you want to have a snack, check in and see if you are hungry. If you are, eat something. If not, see what it is you want.
Limit Your Eating Window
This goes by a couple of different names: Time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting. You can read my post How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting for more information and cautions.
I believe that this alone has been a contributing factor in maintaining my weight for years.
It’s really not a big deal. If I have my last meal by 7PM, then I don’t eat until 7AM. 12 hours is effortless.
More often I go for 12-15 hours without eating. Instead of breakfast, I have coffee. Sometimes black, but more often with some half and half.
Then I eat a great lunch and dinner. Sometimes I’ll have a small breakfast. Sometimes on the weekends, I’ll have a big breakfast for fun.
For the record, everyone fasts while they sleep! That takes care of most of the fasting. If you are not snacking after dinner, 12 hours is easy to achieve.
Here’s where I may differ from some intermittent fasting proponents. I don’t go by a set time. If I am truly hungry after 12 hours, I eat. If I’m not, I eat later. My usual length of time is about 13 to 14 hours. If I’m just a tiny bit hungry, I might push it out a little longer.
There’s a lot of good research-backed reasons to not eat for a period of time. This can also help regulate your insulin response.
If you like three meals a day, you can do that.
Your hunger can change from day to day and that is why I like to use hunger as my guide, instead of an arbitrary time.
Aim for not eating at night before bed and see how you feel.
How to Eat Carbohydrates
Carbs are an entire nutrient group. Personally, I don’t feel great when I don’t eat enough carbohydrates. I do include some at each meal.
Some people track their carbs. An extremely low carb diet, such as keto might recommend as few as 20 grams of carbohydrates a day.
There may be some medically reasons for that; but in general, that is very restrictive. When I eat that low, I don’t have as much energy, and I don’t sleep as well.
That being said, If I eat too many processed carbs, I can start seeing changes in my shape and in my face. I look and feel puffier.
Figuring out the right amount is unique to you and your body.
Let’s talk about carbs
But first a word about carbohydrates in general.
Many types of foods fall into the carbohydrate family.
- Grains: wheat, corn, rice (these can be whole grains or flour used for many products)
- Grain flour-based products: bread, pasta, tortillas
- Sugars: sugar, honey, maple syrup
You can see that while they are all carbohydrates; they can be very different. Here is what 15 grams of carbohydrates looks like in some common foods.
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons of sugar
- 1 piece of bread
- ¼ cup of granola
- 1 small apple
- 1/3 cup of cooked pasta
- 1/3 cup of cooked beans
- 1/3 cup of cooked rice
- 1 cup raw vegetables (can vary)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 5 vanilla wafers
- ½ bagel
The other day, I was eating a little candy bar and it had 11 grams of carbohydrates!
Carbohydrates are also in foods that have proteins as well such as milk, beans, and nuts.
Among vegetables, there are many that have extremely low amounts of carbohydrates. These are your leafy greens, lettuces, green beans, zucchini, and cucumbers.
These are typically considered foods you can have as much as you want.
Other vegetables have a higher carb count. These include corn, carrots, winter squash, beets, and potatoes. Some people avoid these because they are higher in carbs.
However, they offer so much nutrition. I almost always include a serving of one of these with my meals. Most people are not overweight because they eat too many vegetables!
Fruits are also a great source of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient. As you can see, there is so much variety but not all carbs add nutrition.
Okay, there are people that will argue about this. What is different about eating 30 grams of potato chips versus eating a whole potato?
Well, here’s the big difference. The potato chips were created in a laboratory to taste as delicious as possible, to make it hard to stop eating, and to create more cravings in the future.
I love baked potatoes, but I rarely sit around distracted by craving one.
One of the reasons I suggest everyone eat more real food is because real food doesn’t mess with your brain as much.
Those foods from the snack aisle or from the drive through are literally made to mess up your brain and override your hunger.
One of the things that is important to me, is to eat as many foods that are nutritious as possible. I can eat treats, but I know they aren’t really providing anything essential.
I don’t count my grams of carbs in a day. I eat a mix of high and low carb vegetables and fruits daily.
I occasionally have things that are rice or corn based. I avoid almost all junk food and fast food. Most rarely I will have bread, pizza, or pasta.
My rule of thumb is to avoid as many processed foods as possible and eat as much real food as possible.
I also wrote a post about carbs back in 2016. Apparently at that time, I was only eating fruit and vegetable carbs! I eat more variety now but it’s fun to see how many times I mention the word banana.
Eat More at Meals
Almost every person that I work with needs to eat more real food at their meals.
What I often see is meals that include insufficient protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Here’s my favorite template for a meal. I learned it in Whole30 and adapted for my use. It’s also super simple and offers ENDLESS variety.
- Protein: 4 – 6 ounces or about the size of your palm
- Vegetables: as many low carb ones as you want, a small serving of higher carb vegetable or fruit
- Healthy fats or oils, 1–2 Tablespoons at EACH meal: olive oil, coconut oil, butter/ghee, avocado oil, nuts, olives, avocados. This is in addition to what you use to cook your food.
That might sound really restrictive. Here’s the thing. I can’t eat as much as I did when I was younger, so ideally every bite needs to count.
I’m a real person though, so I eat pretty much all the foods. I just limit how often I eat the ones that are not great for my body or mind.
Eat Healthy Fats and Oils
The fat and oils you eat make a difference. Stick with the basic healthy oils as much as possible, especially at home.
Most restaurants rely heavily on the not-so-great oils, so I try to stick to better oils at home. Calorie-wise they are the same.
Oils to add
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Canned coconut milk
Oils to avoid
- Seed oils such as canola
- Corn oil
- Vegetable oil
I first wrote about eating healthy fats in 2016. I believe that not only has this helped me maintain my weight but has also supported my skin. Read Eat More Fat to Lose Weight here.
How to Use Hunger as Your Guide
I used to be afraid of being hungry and carried snacks around all the time.
Once I learned to eat more fat and enough at meals, that was no longer a problem. However, I was still eating on a timetable rather than based on hunger.
Your hunger is truly a gift. It is how your body was designed. Hunger is there to tell you it is now time to eat.
Modern food though, overrides our natural hunger cues (hormone-based) and gives us cravings instead. Also, modern foods can leave us hungry way too soon.
Using hunger is simple but takes practice.
Don’t eat until you feel hungry. Stop eating when you are full.
The beauty of waiting to eat until you are hungry is that it is much easier to tell when you are satisfied.
This is so good for your body!
Hunger becomes something pleasurable as well. It’s the signal that your body is ready to process more food. It feels great to get that signal.
As you practice, you’ll also want to pay attention to when you feel comfortable. This is usually just a little under being “full.” In the beginning, don’t stress about it. Check in with yourself to see how you feel.
I think it’s better to be a little too full than leave the table wanting more. As you get more comfortable paying attention to hunger and fullness it will be easier.
This skill is will also pay off when you are eating a treat like a piece of cake or pizza. You really can trust yourself if you know you’ll stop when you feel satisfied.
You can always remind yourself that nothing is totally off limits.
Just a little note here about wasting food. Food you eat when you are not hungry is no less wasted than food you throw away. I’d rather have it in the trash than stored in my body as fat.
Plan for Special Occasions and Travel
Holidays, family get-togethers, and vacations do not have to be a problem. Yet, we often think they are going to mess things us.
First of all, think proactively about the occasion coming up.
I always recommend aiming to not gain weight. Plan to have the foods you truly enjoy. I promise if you allow yourself to have the ones you really want AND pay attention to your hunger and fullness, you will do fine.
My clients usually make a loose plan of how they will handle special occasions, conferences, vacations, and holidays.
They plan for what they want to eat. They plan to skip the less satisfying foods. They plan how to connect with other people. Look at the overall picture and come up with a game plan that feels good to you.
These situations do not have to be an excuse to eat everything in sight.
Your enjoyment comes from so many other things than food. Focus on that part. The people, the sights, the learning, the fun can all be enjoyed without worrying about food.
How to Use My Best Tips to Lose Weight After 50
If you are here, you’ve read them through. Keep in mind that putting them into practice can take weeks. Maybe months.
This isn’t a race or even a marathon. This is simply life without being obsessed by food and what you eat.
Creating peace around food takes time and compassion for yourself.
If you bypass the foundation work, you are simply doing another diet. It’s the mindset work that teaches you how to relate to food in a healthy way.
Being a person that just eats, is one of the best feelings in the world. No longer fearing food feels amazing. Eating foods that you enjoy is one of the great joys of life.
Give yourself tons of love, compassion, kindness, and time. Losing weight is great but peace and calm around food is a gift too.
Keep showing up my friends,
Ready to find out more?
Schedule a free consultation today.
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Coach with Sara
Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.
TY for this helpful information! Can’t wait to give it a try! It was great advice for a healthy and happier way to live 🙂 Lisa (over fifty)!!!
It’s definitely a happier way to live! Sara