Tips on Losing Weight for Women Over 50

By on October 18, 2018
Tips on Losing Weight for Women Over 50

Shedding those extra pounds becomes more and more difficult the older you get. The best way to lose weight, whatever your age, is to cut calories. For women over 50, this means scaling back the calories even more than you might have done before. The reason for this is that your metabolism slows down as you age, and you also start to lose muscle mass. It is possible to fight off the middle-age spread, but you will need to eat a low-calorie diet as well as choose to eat nutritious foods, and of course exercise.

Calories, Metabolism, and Body Changes

When you age, the amount of fat in your body increases by as much as 30%. You also lose lean muscle mass, thereby slowing down the rate at which you burn calories. Maintaining weight is more difficult the older you get, which in turn makes losing it even harder. A slower metabolism means you need to eat fewer calories than you did when you were younger.

Very Low-Calorie Diets

A very low-calorie diet (VLCD) contains around 500 to 800 calories a day. Such a small amount of calorific intake means you can potentially lose up to 5 pounds per week. A low-calorie diet usually consists of protein-rich nutrition shakes or bars. These will contain all your daily nutritional needs and are designed for people with a lot of weight to lose.  

A Low-Calorie Diet May Lead to Longer Life

A low-calorie diet can lead to changes in metabolism and body chemistry. These changes have been linked to better health and longer life. Numerous studies have taken place with animals. One study that was reviewed in Molecular Aspects of Medicine showed that animals who were subjected to periods of calorie restriction had longer lives, higher levels of physical activity and lower rates of cancer. There was also less age-related degeneration of the brain and improved reproductive performance.

A study published in IAMA Internal Medicine (June 2016) looked at the effect of a low-calorie diet on a group of more than 200 human participants. The study took place over two years, and 70% of the group were women. A random selection of the group were put on a calorie-restricted diet that contained around 25% fewer calories. Those who consumed fewer calories lost more weight, on average 7.6kg. There was also an impact on their quality of life. Those who were on the restricted calorie diet reported better moods, less tension and they rated their overall health as better during the study period.

Losing weight is a goal many people may have, and is especially important if you’re overweight or obese. It will improve your general health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and premature joint disease. This is only part of the potential benefits of cutting calories. By taking action towards a healthy lifestyle in your diet, you will find it easier to change your fitness habits too and generally improve your lifestyle for the better. The studies show that restricting your calories can be beneficial as long as it’s done carefully.   

 

Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.

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Tips on Losing Weight for Women Over 50