7 Powerful Tips to Lose Weight After 50
What you’ve been taught about weight loss is mostly wrong. Here are seven powerful tips to lose weight after 50. These will help you not only lose weight but look and feel better too.
These weight loss tips are based on science and research. Losing weight after 50 can be a challenge and it is not because you are lazy, unmotivated, or even that you eat too much.
Most women I know, really want to eat healthy and look good. The problem is that the traditional methods and advice do not work. In addition, we’ve been taught that it is almost impossible to lose weight after 50.
It is NOT impossible to lose weight after 50 and it really is up to you to understand why what you’ve been doing doesn’t work and what you can do instead.
I’m in my fifties and I’m in the best shape of my life and I want to debunk the myth that you can’t lose weight after 50.
I have heard all through my life that it was hard to lose weight after 30, 40, and really impossible after 50!
But 7 years into my fifties and I think that’s all a bunch of crap. (Pictures of me at the end.)
Here’s what I think happens. Depending on our bodies, some of us can get away with a lot of things until a certain age. We eat and drink and can more or less not gain too much weight and if we do, we can get it off.
Then there comes a time when it is not so easy to bounce back and get the weight off. There is no one magical age when this happens.
It’s my opinion that it has to do with how much we gain and how long we keep it on.
Is it Harder to Lose Weight After 50?
If you think of your body like a computer, and it’s metabolic processes are very computer-like, then think of foods that make you gain weight, as malware you are constantly putting in your system.
Over time, your body adapts to some extent to having too much energy put into it by storing it in your fat. Most people think that is all that is happening.
The effects are much worse and they can be difficult to reverse. That’s why it can seem more difficult to lose weight after 50.
What happens is that the hormones that deal with your hunger, how you store and use fat, and how your body handles blood sugar all go haywire.
They quit working the way they were designed to work.
Weight Loss for Women Over 50
What we’ve all been taught is right, is oh, so wrong, and we try to make work, what never worked in the first place.
Low-fat diets, I’m looking at you!
The good news is that being a healthy weight, looking great and feeling good is not impossible and I’ve got 7 tips to lose weight after 50 to get your started.
Is it too late to lose weight?
These tips aren’t that difficult, but they may challenge your thinking.
If you have given up, thinking you have seen your best days in the past, that will not help you a bit. At 57, I really feel my best and I definitely look my best. I don’t look back at me at any age and think I looked better.
Okay, that might not be true for all of you. But still—I love that I can be over 50 and think it’s my best time ever.
The key to that sentence is that I think it’s my best time ever—I feel I look my best right now at this age.
I don’t have any assessment to tell me that. However, because how I feel about myself is reflected in my energy, in my eyes, in my attitude—other people seem to think so too!
And the other good news is that you don’t have to try and match any artificial expectations. You don’t have to be skinny.
You just need to be a weight and size that you feel good at. I don’t feel comfortable in a bikini, or really ANY bathing suit. But I can find lots of other clothing that makes me feel great.
If you feel overweight, even losing a size or two can boost your confidence.
Tips to Lose Weight After 50
So here the ways to lose weight after 50 that I have used myself.
Sometimes people will say life isn’t worth living if you have to give up this or that.
That’s silly talk. Life is worth living when you love the body you have, it feels great, and you can do all the things you love to do.
Remember, you can’t do the same things you’ve always been doing and expect results you like better.
You have to change things up!
Set the intention to lose weight
Right on the heels of believing it is possible to lose weight, you have to set the intent. You can’t do the same thing you’ve been doing and expect to lose weight. Trust me, I try this all the time.
I hate diets and dieting, so I am a huge fan of “not dieting” but making changes that help me manage my weight.
I’m not skinny and I wasn’t built for skinny. But I do like being active and feeling comfortable in how my body looks.
Not many people can eat anything they want, anytime they want and keep their weight in a healthy-for-them range.
A few months ago, my weight began creeping up because, I wasn’t doing anything conscious to keep it where I like it.
Part of the reason was that my life is really busy right now with work, family, and travel. I haven’t been cooking much or preparing food ahead of time.
In addition, I was nibbling on candy and snacks at work. I was eating the bread at restaurants. I was drinking coffee in the morning that was the nutritional equivalent of a milkshake.
I was eating late at night. I was only exercising sporadically and not doing the things I know work.
You name it. I was breaking every rule I had!
However, from the moment I set the intent to lose this extra weight, I began making better decisions and within a few days, I felt better, and my body felt better.
My decisions to help lose weight were:
- To not eat bread, candy, or other insulin-raising foods and snacks.
- To do my short high-intensity workouts three times a week.
- To do easier exercise routines the rest of the week.
- To fast after dinner and not eat until my first meal of the next day.
- To add more variety to my meals in terms of vegetables and protein.
Even though I have had a nice weight and body for years, it’s still possible to get off-track. When I really took a look, it was obvious why I was gaining weight.
And it wasn’t because of my age! It was my not having any conscious intention to manage my weight.
Be mindful, conscious, and definitely set the intention.
Move your body
My second tip is to move. And by move, I mean just move. You don’t have to run a marathon, join Cross Fit, or do anything hardcore.
Walk a couple of miles a day. Do a little yoga or Pilates. Dance to your own tune. But move every day. Get your breathing going.
I have found walking to be really effective if I do 3 miles almost daily. In addition to that, I add some strength exercises—nothing major but specific exercises for my legs, arms, and chest that walking doesn’t get.
In addition, I’ve found that higher intensity workouts a couple of times a week really help too.
To be honest, I go for things that make me feel good. I don’t like pain or too much intensity. But moving on a regular basis feels great. And I truly look better and maintain my weight when I’m exercising on a regular basis.
Even with my moderate exercise, I can hike up mountains for hours and ride a bicycle for 30+ miles. Even better, I can walk pretty much anywhere, and I can play and do fun things with my grandchildren.
Moving doesn’t just help with your weight, it helps with your life!
Here is an excellent resource for FREE exercise videos for women to help you lose weight. I put this together based on how I work out. How to Workout for Weight Loss.
Interested in hiking? Check out Hiking for Beginners!
Limit sugar and foods that act like sugar
This is probably the bad news of this whole post.
But I have no idea how you can be a healthy weight if you are still eating lots of sugar and foods that act like sugar.
There are women that get away with eating this stuff when they are young but that doesn’t work for all of us. I am so grateful that I gave up most sugary stuff 20 years ago. My skin and body thanks me every day!
For most of our lives, we treat these foods as treats, but they are hard on our bodies.
They affect our fat-storing and fat-burning hormones. This is really important to understand.
Sugar and foods that act like sugar tell our bodies to do the opposite of what we want them to do.
Instead of burning fat—we store fat.
It seems counter-intuitive to our fat-phobic culture, but fat is not making you fat. What is making you fat is the effect that sugar and foods that act like sugar have on your hormones.
This list of foods is way too long to list. Of course, you know that cake, cookies, candy, and other sweet treat foods are sugar-based foods. But there are a lot of other common foods that act just like sugar in your body.
This includes instant oatmeal, pasta, all breads, fat-free yogurt or milk, energy bars, fruity smoothies, breakfast cereal, and pretty much all other commercial snack foods.
These kinds of foods can make you gain weight and they keep you hungering for more.
Not only that but they cause overall inflammation that damages your skin and other systems in your body.
They affect the quality of our skin.
That temporary hit of sugar or processed foods is just not worth the long-term damage it causes.
Most of us have been told for years to snack or to eat every couple of hours.
There may be certain medical conditions that require this but for most of us—we don’t need to eat every two hours.
In fact, if you eat enough of the right kinds of foods at your meals, you won’t need to snack at all. You won’t even get hungry between meals.
You know what makes you hungry between meals? Snacking on foods that raise your insulin and create additional craving.
You know what used to leave me hungry? Eating cereal or oatmeal for breakfast.
Now that I eat eggs and vegetables, I don’t get hungry for hours! We’ve been conditioned that we need to eat “breakfast” foods in the morning.
You can eat whatever you want in the morning. Have some ground turkey seasoned like sausage if you want that breakfast taste. Or just eat leftovers from dinner the night before.
You can even just skip breakfast and have a longer fast.
The key is to eat real food in sufficient quantities with sufficient fat that you won’t get hungry.
Eat more fat
It’s becoming fairly mainstream that eating fat is not what makes you fat.
Yet, people are still loathe to give up the idea that butter, olive oil, and even animal fat is not what is making them fat.
It’s not. And the fact is that by eating more of the right kinds of fat with the right kinds of food, you may even lose weight.
I do want to note that things like cake or your typical fast foods will make you fat. Bad fat combined with sugar or foods that act like sugar will not just make you fat, they are wrecking your body.
The fat in your body is not your enemy. It actually is an amazing organ that is essential to your survival. But modern diets have it perplexed at times. Yet, for most of us, our body fat is doing its best to keep us alive.
But good fats are good for your body and actually help your body do what it’s supposed to do. In case you aren’t sure of what good fats are, here are some examples:
- Olive oil (I know you all know that one!)
- Butter or ghee
- Fats from animals that are grass-fed or pastured
- Coconut oil
Here’s how to eat enough food at a meal to not need to snack. Fix yourself your favorite protein and all the vegetables, especially non-starchy ones that you want.
Have a little bit of starch, say half a small sweet potato or some winter squash. Then add plenty of butter, olive or coconut oil as well as some avocado. Add enough fat that it all tastes delicious.
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen women eating a big salad with their little bit of dressing on the side, dipping their lettuce gingerly into the dressing. Those women are hungry about a minute after they finish eating.
But add some chicken or eggs to your salad, along with a tablespoon or so of good oil, and it will not only taste good it will keep you satiated until you are ready to eat again.
Cook at home
I recently heard that this one change is better for your health than any other change you can make.
From my own experience, I know that the more of the food I eat, that I prepare myself, the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight.
When I prepare my own meals, I know exactly what I am eating.
I know my ingredients. I control what goes into my meals. I know that I am eating the best protein I can find and afford as well as eating good-for-me fats.
Use intermittent fasting or time restricted eating
Depending on your job and lifestyle this can be super easy, or it can be challenging. I first discovered the power of this several years ago and wrote about it in Can You Lose Weight After 50?
I discovered on my own, through my own experience that when I was living alone, I tended to eat an early dinner and not eat until mid-morning. The weight seemed to just melt away.
Now that I am working at job 50 miles from where I live and living with someone, it’s not so easy to avoid eating in the evening. But it is well worth the effort.
Yet, it’s more than just my opinion. I’m seeing lots of articles and research about intermittent fasting these days.
Most things I’ve read recommend 12 to 18 hours between your dinner of one day and your breakfast the next day.
It’s easier than it sounds. Let’s say you eat at six tonight, then tomorrow you wait to have breakfast at eight. That is very doable!
Some articles I’ve read say that doing just this one thing can help you lose a few pounds without even changing your diet at all.
Most things I’ve read said it’s fine to have plain coffee or tea in the morning and that it won’t break your fast.
Easy Tips to Lose Weight After 50
Being a healthy weight really should not be hard. But in today’s world of fast food, convenience foods, and such, it really can be a challenge.
I encourage you to explore these ideas, experiment with them, and experience how you feel while doing them.
Pick one or two to do consistently for a few weeks. Then add another. Learn to really take care of your body for the rest of your life!
These tips are easy but weight can be hard to budge sometimes. Read here, Why it is so Hard to Lose Weight.
Have Fun After 50!
Being over 50 doesn’t mean you can’t look great and have a fun life. This summer, I became a grandmother for the second time!
Not only that but I biked 143 miles through Vermont, hiked beautiful mountains, visited state parks, and roamed through NY wine region.
I’m including some of my favorite resources. Some are related posts that might be helpful if you want more information. Some have affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.
Whole 30 is what turned eating around for me! This book explains how it works and is full of delicious recipes.
I feel like these have kept my skin looking nice but I feel stronger than ever. I don’t know if is this but I am surprised at how good I feel when I am working out or hiking.
How to Get Fit Without a Gym Here are the exact workouts I use to stay in shape enough to keep up with grandkids, hike, and cycle.
Why You Should do a Whole 30 I give Whole 30 credit for helping me learn to eat.
Stay on Track!
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Hi, I'm Sara 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.