Whether this be for your health or to stay fit, you’ve decided to lose weight. That’s a brave decision! Warning: dieting after 50 is not exactly like when you were in your 20s or 30s. If you’re over 50, the following healthy tips will help you to lose weight.
Let’s get active
Obviously, if you want to lose weight after 50, you need to get moving! If you are returning to sports after a long period of abstinence, start slowly in order to avoid hurting yourself. Find an activity that you like and stick to it, whether this is yoga, brisk walking, swimming or other water activities that are easy on the joints.
Try to do at least 30 minutes of activity every day, even if this is just wandering in the streets or walking to work. Being generally active in everyday life, for instance, by vacuuming, walking the dog, going grocery shopping or climbing the stairs, are also good ways to stay fit.
Don’t eat like you’re 25
Physical activity isn’t the be all and end all – you need to follow a healthy diet too. It’s best to mourn and move on from the time you could eat pizza, chips and ice cream without gaining weight. You’re not 20 anymore and you can’t eat like you did back then! This is because when you’re over 50, the body stores more the fat and it’s harder to eliminate it.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow a strict diet (which could cause a nutritional or vitamin deficiency). Instead, what you need is a balanced and varied diet that provides you with all the nutrients and vitamins that you need to be in good health, all while losing weight at the same time.
Fiber, fiber, fiber
Fiber is well known for improving digestive health and preventing constipation. Unfortunately, most senior Americans don’t get enough fiber. However, many studies show that eating more fiber is a great way to boost weight loss! How does it work? Simple: fiber fills you up easily, without the risk of consuming too many calories. Go for beans, whole grains, brown rice, nuts, oatmeal, berries, nuts and vegetables.
Eat proteins everyday
Proteins play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight and building bones and muscles. You should therefore make sure to include proteins in your daily diet. For instance, start your day well by incorporating high sources of protein such as eggs, milk, chicken and turkey, soya, yogurt, beans, pulses, nuts and fish, into your breakfast.
Consume fruits and vegetables
You’ve probably heard it before but it’s worth repeating: you need to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day to stay healthy, whether that be in soups, smoothies, tarts or other recipes. Get creative!
Calcium and Vitamin D
A healthy diet includes dairy products which ensure stronger bones and prevent osteoporosis. Having enough Vitamin D is also vital, as it helps to boost calcium absorption. Although you can get Vitamin D from sun exposure, you can also find it in fortified foods like milk and breakfast cereals, as well as in supplements.
Aim for antioxidants
Antioxidants play a vital role in preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals. They are important to include in your diet every single day! The antioxidant beta-carotene can be found in carrots and colorful vegetables and fruits such as pumpkins, apricots, sweet potatoes, grape fruits, as well as in kale, spinach and broccoli.
Drink enough water
Don’t forget to drink lots of water, teas or infusions, but make sure to go easy on the sugar, as well as avoiding too much soda. Soups, fruits and vegetables are a good source of water too.
Good fat vs. bad fat
Not all fat is bad. You don’t need to eliminate everything that is fat to lose weight. In fact, fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. The important thing is to choose the right type, namely unsaturated fat, which includes polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fat. These healthier fats play an important role in lowering cholesterol levels and reducing your risk of heart disease.
To stay in good health, opt for polyunsaturated fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids which are found in oily fish, seeds and nuts), and monosaturated fats (egg yolks, olive or coconut oil, fish oil, avocados, nuts and almonds).
Control the portions
It’s not because you’re eating healthy foods and opting for the good kinds of fat that you can allow yourself to eat more. Don’t skip meals, but instead learn to listen to your body and your needs. During your meals, it’s important to eat slowly and not to fill your plate completely. Eat according to your appetite!
Check your hormones
Your hormones can play a role in gaining or losing weight too. When you’re a senior over 50, your levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone tend to decrease (thank you, menopause). Consequently, your body stores more than it eliminates. A good idea is to have your thyroid and adrenal glands (amongst others) checked in order to help you balance your hormone levels and therefore lose weight.
Have sex to lose weight
Good news: having an active sex life after 50 can help you to stay in good shape. As this is a physical activity, you’re burning calories. A pleasant way to lose weight, don’t you think? If you don’t have a fifty+ partner yet, why not look for an interesting match online?