Summer Is Coming: How To Lose Weight After Turning 50?
The first question that you would probably ask before you continue reading this is: "Is it possible to lose weight after turning 50?" And the answer is a resounding "yes".
In order to inspire you and prevent from standing there thinking this is just gibberish, we are going to give an example, and we are picking a celebrity to show you that it is, indeed, possible! It is very likely that you know the actress we are talking about:th
Solange Couto has had her name in the minds of the vast majority of Brazilians thanks to having taken on comedic roles in the country’s second most beloved form of entertainment: soap-operas. Even her 2002 character’s punch line is still remembered and used on a daily basis.
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The actress has always struggled with her weight and decided to lose some of it permanently in 2013. You may be asking, "But she underwent bariatric surgery, didn’t she?” Yes, she did. But only because she was at the time in that stage referred to as “morbid obesity” and, in less than one year, she lost a little over 100 pounds. The problem is that the actress ended up gaining weight again between 2015 and 2016, 66 pounds to be precise.
Already over 50 (she was 56 then, nearly 57), after having undergone surgery and gaining weight again, she decided to return to physical training and devote herself to strictly healthy eating habits and, nowadays, she is very fit. She even opened a CrossFit gym in Pernambuco, along with her husband, and does not hesitate anymore when she needs to step onto the scale because Solange knows she does not have anything to worry about.
The actress could have given up, after all, she did (diet, exercises and even surgery) and the problem persisted. But at the age of 60, Solange Couto lives as if she were half as old when it comes to disposition, health, energy and in a marriage still full of romance. And you do not have to go as far as this celebrity to achieve the same results, particularly when it comes to surgery, which should be undergone exclusively under medical recommendation.
Let's find out how to burn those extra pounds in middle age! First, though, we need to have another question answered:
Why is it so difficult to lose weight after 50?
First of all, it is important to know that it is possible to lose weight voluntarily at any age. Why is it complicated to lose weight after a certain age, though? As we get older, our body composition changes. We end up having more fat proportionately compared to muscle mass.
This happens due to our body’s defense mechanism: unused muscles use more energy than unused fat. That is the most critical reason our metabolism slows down. Our body is conserving energy, and the older we get, the less energy the brain thinks we need to expend with our muscles, so the more fat we tend to accumulate (fat is energy).
And it becomes a vicious cycle, because the more fat we have, the more the metabolism slows down since there is no need to burn this energy. So, in short, as we get older we eat more and exercise less. Consequently, the result is an accumulation of fat and the more fat we have, the less energy is expended and, therefore, the slower the metabolism.
This body process of accumulating more fat is a normal part of aging and that is why we need specific exercises and special attention to lose weight after 50.
So, how can we lose weight in a healthy way after 50?
As mentioned above, body metabolism changes over the years. So, the first thing is not to let yourself be overwhelmed with anxiety because you want to lose over 10 pounds in a month. Do not trust miracle diets and wild exercise routines: the internet may offer remedies and physical activities that might burn fat in a short time, but those are nothing but fraudulent claims at best, since they can be fatal in the worst-case scenario.
Losing weight after 50 requires a change in lifestyle. The weight loss has to be gradual. Strengthening the muscles is imperative as we know that the body will lose muscle mass over the years. And paying careful attention to your dietary routine makes all the difference.
1. Do not give up
If you regularly go to the gym and you are losing about 2 pounds a month, but you think it is not enough, stop right there. Your body is gradually adapting to having more muscle mass and less fat. And if weight stagnates, and exercise and food re-education are not neglected, make sure you see your doctor about a more specific activity and a readjustment to your menu. An expert can help you make a few changes in order to make your exercise routine more effective. Remember that Solange Couto, even after bariatric surgery, gained weight and, yet, she did not give up.
In addition, you can consult both a personal trainer and a nutritionist to discuss the matter and they will sing the same song: muscle also has weight. Do not give up on exercises just because the scale shows you virtually no weight loss. You have worked on your muscle development and your weight might have stabilized.
As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, lean mass (muscle) consumes more energy than fat mass, and the simple fact of developing your muscles is already helping in the weight loss process. An expert in the field may assess your muscle to fat ratio so that you know how much fat you have burnt and replaced with larger muscles.
2. Do not stop eating
After 50, our appetite may be less ravenous, too, and this can be frustrating for one reason, at least: We no longer eat as much as before, but we still weigh more than recommended according to the Body Mass Index (BMI). The explanation is also scientific: When we eat less, our brain understands that we need to store fat.
Maintaining a healthy eating routine (usually eating every 3 hours) is very important to lose weight. Also important is having a diet rich in protein, minerals and vitamins, among other substances, which directly influence the burning of fat.
Even in lesser amounts, eating foods with a high concentration of salt, sugar and fat still hampers weight loss - as well as being detrimental to our health in hundreds of other ways.
And just as your fingerprint is unique, your body is also unique and the process of changing your eating habits must be best suited to your lifestyle, therefore, you need to see an expert before making any changes to your eating habits. So, do not even think about starting one of those diets that basically tells you to stop eating this or that: Have a professional check-up so that your health is not compromised in any way, and so that you know the state of your body and what you need to change to lose weight.
3. The best activities to help you lose weight after 50
When summer is just around the corner, and we all know that this is a wonderful time to work on weight loss, it is important to know which activities may help burn fat and can easily be incorporated into your daily life.
Aerobic activities like walking and jogging are always great. Subsequently, group recreational sports, such as volleyball, or even individual sports, such as swimming, are great options. And if you think you are too old to play ball sports, you should know that a 1-hour volleyball game can burn up to 800 calories. If it is played on the beach, then that number can reach 1000.
Martial arts are great too. They define muscles and burn body fat quickly, in addition to having the benefit of an ever-present professional who will assist you in the rehabilitation process and physical conditioning of your body. A one-hour Muai Thay workout can burn from 800 to 1500 calories.
Lastly, if you enjoy dancing, you should know how beneficial and intense the activity is. Enroll in a dance class, of any rhythm you like, and you will soon realize that it is not just beneficial to your physical health but also your mental health. Dancing is great for the mind and body and helps to lose weight quickly if combined with healthy eating habits.
It is also interesting to do weight training at least 2 to 3 times a week. It is one of the secrets to accelerating weight loss after turning 50, actually. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is necessary to fight against the natural process our body goes through: Remember that the body increasingly invests less in muscles and more in fat over the years. Strengthening your muscles is a way to tell your brain you are in charge and to keep your metabolism at its optimum speed!
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This article is solely for informational purposes. Before using any of the information provided above, consult a certified specialist. Use of the information outlined above can be harmful to health. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm or other consequences that may result from the use of the information provided above.