Losing Weight Over 50
The Answer is an Emphatic YES – Those older than 50 need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight
You might wonder if it is even worth your while to attempt to achieve a healthy weight for yourself once you have passed 50.
I can certainly understand the reluctance to make it a priority in life.
Frankly, you might be feeling tired or burnt out by any number of circumstances and would sure just appreciate being able to have a snickers bar and feel better, or any type of food that you find relaxing and enjoyable.
However, the most current research shows that losing weight does not help people who are 75 or over, but hey, you are just 40, 45, 50 or 55.
That is another twenty years away.
And a lot can happen in twenty years as you well know.
All of the problems that are frustrating you now, they can all disappear.
You might find yourself relishing the moments when you are over 75 if you can stay healthy till then.
In the article below, you can see that getting to a healthier weight can still improve your quality of life, regardless of your age.
In my opinion, when the author cites whole grains, I think those whole grains should be the least processed possible, such as old fashioned oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta.
That has been my experience.
If you can handle bread, by all means, go for it, but I have seen first hand the benefits of going processed grain free.
I know that you want the feeling of satiety, sustenance, and I recommend to use beans to convey that feeling.
Beans have both protein and carbs, will leave you feeling satisfied and are hearty.
As a man over 50, fine, I admit that I am now 56, who has struggled with weight issues my entire life, I agree that it can still be done, and when you do lose the weight, it can really help with the quality of your life.
I am a case in point. A year in a half ago, I was close to 275 pounds, very lethargic, had no energy or capacity to do much and was really stagnating.
That is a shame and a waste of potential.
Fortunately, one evening after having my second blueberry muffin at midnight at a corner deli, I saw the light.
Mainly, I acknowledged that I felt very fat in my 50 inch waist pants, so uncomfortable.
I have tried all of the diets since I was 10 or 11.
Anything you can think of, macrobiotics, vegan, vegetarian, fruit juicing, fasting, you name it, I bought the book and tried it.
That evening, June 21, 2012, I was 55, sitting in a deli bingeing.
Believe me, I was not hungry, I had already had my typical pizza, pasta, snickers fixes throughout the day.
My stomach looked like I had a bowling ball inside of it.
Not pretty and a real shame.
At that moment I said to myself that I should just try having ‘real food’…with as little processing as possible…fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts are the base….some additional proteins added on …the good news is that as of today, I am 195lbs…which at 6’2″ is not that bad…I have gone down over 75 pounds…just eating real food….how did that affect my quality of life?
Lets say this, people who used to think that I looked my age, now say that it is unfair that I do not.
At 56, people see me as a younger person, and more importantly, I feel better and can be more activ
e. And for those of you who are still single or divorced, I can attest that having gotten in better shape, was a great boon for my love life. I had no love life prior, but once I got slimmer, I started to receive more interest and it has been confirmed to me that if I looked the way I used to, there would have been none.
I write about this adventure of losing weight, getting fitter, for all ages, even after 50.
Starting a stringent diet to lose weight or manage a health condition may not provide much benefit for people 75 or older.
But with those recent research findings from The Pennsylvania State University, people shouldn’t think it’s OK to indulge as they age.
BLTs for lunch and nightly hot fudge sundaes aren’t the answer either. In fact, research findings make clear the importance of maintaining a healthy weight once you turn 50, and beyond.
A poor diet and/or obesity could limit a person’s ability to shop, go out with friends or even live independently, according to Shannon Lennon-Edwards, Ph.D., registered dietitian.
Seniors 75 and older “may not be as stringent on recommendations, but don’t want to throw them out the window, either,” says Lennon-Edwards, assistant professor, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.
By eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, improving your diet and getting to a healthier weight, you may also improve your quality of life regardless of your age, health experts say.
“If you lose a little weight, you can get out of the chair, go for a walk; it’s good for you; good for your heart, “ says Joan Salge Blake, registered dietitian, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.
However, losing weight and eating better as a senior requires different strategies from those you may have used when you were younger.
Your caloric needs are reduced, so you have to choose foods that are nutrient-rich, and you may have to take extra care to get enough of certain vitamins. You may also be taking medications that are affected by what you eat.
You don’t have to diet to achieve an ideal weight. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can be beneficial, according to health experts. You can find inspiration at www.choosemyplate.gov.
“I encourage everyone to go there,” Lennon-Edwards says.
The site, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recommends filling half your plate with vegetables and fruit; one-fourth with grains (half of those should be whole grains) and one-fourth with lean protein.
“Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, with different colors and nutrients,” Lennon-Edwards says.
She recommends paying special attention to the B vitamins: folate, found in lentils, beans and dark green vegetables; B6 from fish, poultry, non-citrus fruit or starchy vegetables and B12, also in fish, poultry, eggs, fortified cereal and low-fat dairy products.
In addition, Lennon-Edwards advises not over-supplementing with vitamin A (in pill form). Mature adults store vitamin A “very well,” which could lead to toxicity.
As you add more vegetables and cut back on empty-calorie foods, you’ll want to take your overall health into account if you’re on medications, according to Salge Blake, clinical associate professor, Boston University.
“You don’t want to embrace a diet without knowing the interaction with medications,” she says.
For example, you may be on Coumadin (warfarin) to reduce your risk of blood clots. It’s important to keep your vitamin K intake consistent for the medication to work, according to Salge Blake.
But if, as part of a weight loss diet, you increase your intake of vegetables that are high in vitamin K, you could alter the effect of the drug.
Your physician and a dietitian can help you keep nutritious foods and medications in balance.
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