Let’s talk about the difficulty of weight loss for women over 50.
If you’re in that category, you’re probably already nodding your head. It seems much harder to lose weight the older you become, doesn’t it?
Why is that?
First, let’s discuss the basics — then, we’ll talk about the role your hormones play.
Weight Loss for Women Over 50 — The Basics
When it comes to weight loss, for women over 50 especially, one concept that can be difficult to wrap your mind around is this — it’s recommended that we eat about 2000 calories a day because that’s about what our bodies burn in a 24-hour period just by sitting around.
Even without exercise, your body is burning calories, but the amount your body burns each day changes as you age.
When it comes to your diet, studies show that our bodies use fewer calories as we get older, regardless of exercise, which means we have to exercise more to lose weight — add to that the fact that women already need fewer calories than men, and you start to run into a real problem.
The American Council on Exercise tells us that women will burn 150 fewer calories per day for every ten-year increase in age. That means that an active 20-year-old woman may be burning 2000 calories per day, but at 50, you’re only burning 1550 calories, and that’s before you even add in changes in diet or activity.
These are approximations, of course, but the point is clear — your body simply does not naturally burn the calories it used to, and left over calories are generally stored as fat.
So, when we talk about weight loss for women over 50, we have to realize that adjustments must be made in order to maintain or lose weight, adjustments that take this calorie-burning difference into account.
Weight Loss for Women Over 50 — Making Better Choices
When we look at this from a strictly calorie-based perspective, there are only two ways to improve the situation: take in fewer calories, or burn more of what you do take in.
Obviously, the best course is to do both — combine diet and exercise to achieve weight loss. For women over 50 who have never dieted or exercised before, this can seem like an overwhelmingly large change after a lifetime of bad decisions, but it doesn’t have to be so bad.
Taking in less means making better dietary decisions by being mindful of goals and aware of the challenges that are a part of losing weight after 50. From a dietary perspective, it can look something like this:
- Fewer snacks
- Better choices when snacking
- Less sugar
- More fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods
- Simple portion control
These are just a few suggestions to help you take in fewer calories overall. More specific suggestions can be found in this article about food and your hormones.
I’m not suggesting a radical or restrictive diet — it’s all about making more sensible choices.
But, you’re less likely to see results without attacking this problem on two fronts — diet is the first front, and that second front, of course, is exercise.
Weight Loss — For Women Over 50, Increasing Activity Even a Bit Can Help
Weight loss — for women over 50, diet is often the culprit behind serious weight gain, but exercise should still be considered.
Using more calories by becoming more active helps keep us below our individual limit, the point where our body starts storing excess calories as fat.
Some people get nervous at even the mention of exercise, but don’t panic! You won’t likely need to jump into triathlon training, Crossfit, or serious weightlifting in order to see some progress.
Just keep it simple — any one or combination of the following would help you to burn more calories daily and move you closer to weight loss:
- Taking evening walks, slowly increasing the pace or distance
- Swimming or water-walking a couple of times per week
- Walking or biking to work
- Taking bicycle rides around the neighborhood
- Taking a beginners’ yoga class
- Joining the beginners’ group at a local running club
These are just a few of the hundreds of possibilities for working a bit of exercise into your life.
Just be careful that you don’t overdo it — too much exercise can affect your hormone levels.
Instead, keep it light and enjoyable. Find something fun, or at the very least, find an activity during which you can listen to your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook, or even something where you can watch TV or Netflix.
When it comes to weight loss, for women over 50 especially, it’s critical to find something you’ll do consistently. Changes are tough to stick to when they’re extreme or unpleasant, and the older you are, the harder it can become to make any changes at all. Losing weight after 50 is hard enough already! Don’t make it worse than it has to be.
Weight Loss for Women Over 50 — Lack of Results May Be Rooted in Hormone Issues
When it comes to problems with weight loss, for women over 50, hormone issues should almost certainly be considered as a possible culprit behind weight gain and retention.
Some women have hormone issues which require more than just better lifestyle choices in order to achieve weight loss. For women over 50, it’s hard enough to lose weight — add in hormone problems, and even diet and exercise won’t be enough.
While most women are focused on progesterone and estrogen levels, low testosterone is being diagnosed more and more often. Though low testosterone is more frequent in men, women can suffer from it as well — all three of these hormones must remain in balance for women’s bodies to function efficiently.
If you suffer from untreated, clinically diagnosed low testosterone, weight loss can be an even greater challenge than it would be otherwise.
Ask yourself if you have any of the symptoms of low testosterone, and if you do, come in for a free consultation — just click the button below to get started.