Can You Lose Weight After 50?
Can you lose weight after 50? The short answer is YES, you can lose weight after 50 and even during menopause.
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 after 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 and I lost weight, I have maintained that weight loss for almost four years. In addition, my face is smooth, my hair is luxurious, and I have much more energy and zest for life.
Losing weight after 50 was not just about being thinner; it literally helped me create a life I love!
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
Losing Weight After 50
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.
While I did get thin with WW, by the time I was at my goal weight, I never had enough points to eat REAL food!
I was living on fake, no-fat foods and I was always hungry.
I quickly put all my weight back on! And there I stayed for 10 years or so.
Eventually, I did lose weight when I was about 53. It was almost by accident. I quit eating heavy dinners and I didn’t snack at night and the weight started to come off naturally.
While 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.
Why Weight Loss is Difficult
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.
The fact that people order “diet” drinks or low-fat food in an effort to be healthy is just sad.
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!
Losing Weight in My Fifties
Several years ago, I was heavier. I was heavier through most of my forties and the first couple of years after turning 50.
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.
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.
Thin Doesn’t Mean 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.
To learn to eat that way, I began with a Whole 30 a few years ago. Read here about How Whole30 changed my life.
How to Get 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.
What I’ve discovered is that by 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 other 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 additional weight loss “secrets.”
Foods that Help with Weight Loss
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!
Foods I eat for weight loss
- Proteins: grass-fed beef, chicken, eggs, some pork and turkey
- Vegetables: all non-starchy kinds, as much as I want
- Vegetables: starchy kinds, a little with my lunch or dinner
- Fruits: one or two small portions a day
- Healthy fats: coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, avocado, nuts, at least 1 TB per meal plus what I use for cooking
Foods I Avoid to Lose Weight
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, wheat spikes your insulin, causes inflammation, and feeds cravings. I avoid most other grains as well.
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.
Exercise to Help with Weight Loss
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.
Yes, I gave up breakfast. It seemed weird at first but now I love how alert and focused I feel in the mornings.
At my weight, I can have some half and half with my coffee in the mornings.
I try to keep my window of eating down to eight hours a day and fast, except for coffee and bone broth during the rest of the time.
While intermittent fasting may seem like the newest diet fad, it has some solid research behind it.
It is a way to help your body repair and get healthier, while at the same time, helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Eat 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.
Even though my brain still wants to eat more; I’m not actually ever hungry. The trick is eating enough of the right things but not too much.
Can You Lose Weight After 50?
Can you lose weight after 50? Definitely.
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.
Working with your body and not against it is definitely key to a healthy body weight.
To make changes like this, it is helpful to get help and support. I love helping women change how they eat and create lives they love!
You don’t have to change everything overnight either. Gradual changes over time will add up to habits that will last a lifetime.
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 coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.