Why does it seem so much harder to lose weight once you hit 50? Does the body just turn off its fat furnace? Must you restrict yourself endlessly just to lose one pound?
Most people see aging as an inevitable decline into dysfunction, but age really is just a number. If you do the right things, losing weight is no more difficult in your 50s or 60s than it was when you were younger.
Fat Loss Over 50
Now, I want to be clear, if you are someone who feels like it’s impossible to lose weight, it WILL take longer than it used to.
This is because your body has changed over the years (not because you are older, but because you have not been doing what you need to do to maintain your fat burning abilities).
The good news, however, is that if you do what I am about to tell you for long enough, you will REBUILD your body in a way that will keep the fat off once you lose it. And this is the whole point!
Step 1: Lift weights. This is especially important for women, because it will not only help you rebuild lost muscle mass (LEAN muscles mass, not big bulky muscle), it will also help prevent osteoporosis and will help you to feel strong and confident in your everyday life.
I see so many women spending hours and hours doing more “cardio” and beating themselves up in classes to stay thin. But the truth is, if you just have a consistent routine of strength training, you can actually get away with doing a lot less!
As I said: strength training builds muscle, and muscle burns fat. So if you want to lose fat and keep it off, you have to build up your lean muscle mass.
Step 2: Put down the wine. I know, I know, you LOVE your wine, or beer, or whiskey. What is life if you can’t have a little fun?! But if you want to look or feel a different way, then you need to act differently.
Do you have to cut out alcohol altogether? No! But if you are 1-2 drink/night type of person, you are really shooting yourself in the foot. Calories are NOT just calories, and ethanol calories are the worst.
Combine this with the hormone deregulation that alcohol will cause (as if you need more things messing with your hormones!) and you have a daily barrage against your fat-burning system.
So, please, stop blaming your weight loss struggles on your age and start blaming it (in part) on your consistent alcohol consumption.
This doesn’t mean you need to quit entirely, but please stop using it as daily stress medication and start seeing it more as a treat, something fun for the weekends or a special outing.
Step 3: Regain your motion. Over the years you have dealt with all types of aches and pains, strains and pulls, sprains and breaks. If you are lucky, you have never had surgery, but I can guarantee that you have had a least ONE injury.
The tricky part about injuries is that they lead to compensations in movement, which eventually means LESS movement. Hopefully you did some PT when you hurt yourself, but what happened after? Did you keep doing those drills? For how long? Did you ever feel like you got back to 100%?
All too often people do not fully recover from injuries and surgeries, leaving them limited in their motion. And when you are limited in motion, you dramatically decrease your metabolism.
Think about when you were young and you could move all over the place, sprint, jump, roll, etc. You were moving all the time and in BIG ways.
Now your movement is probably very controlled, small range of motion, and slow. You need to be careful so you don’t hurt yourself! Well, this is really hurting your chances of burning fat and you MUST regain full, confident range of motion if you want to keep yourself lean.
Is there more to it than this? Of course! What you eat, how much you eat, the specific exercises you do, your sleep, water intake, and other factors all play a role in losing and keeping weight off.
But these three are the MOST COMMON reasons that I see in those struggling to lose weight or that feel like age has robbed them of their ability to stay lean.
And this is why I do what I do and why our team is so focused on getting people moving and lifting correctly. The alcohol is something you have to control on your own, but when it comes to strength training and moving better, it can be really great to have a coach.
Movement and strength are the keys to longevity, so call us today at (408) 370-1739 to book a FREE Fitness Consultation and learn more about what we can do to help you turn back the clock on your fitness.