Are you over 50? Are you having trouble losing weight? If so, this article was written especially for you. We will discuss why it is harder to lose weight as we age. Additionally, we will give you some tips on how to lose weight when you are over the age of 50. Let’s begin.
Why Is It Harder to Lose Weight As We Age?
There are several reasons that it becomes more difficult to lose weight as we age. Below we have listed some of these reasons.
- Metabolism Slows Down
- Hormonal Changes
- Muscle Mass Decreases
- More Stress
- Less Sleep
- Less Activity
Metabolism slows down as you age. When you are a teenager, your metabolism is very efficient. Once you make it to your twenties, it starts to slow down. Then, in your thirties, it slows down even more. This pattern continues as we age. However, there are some ways for us to speed our metabolism up. We will discuss that later in the article.
Another change that affects metabolism is that as we age, our hormone levels decrease. Men experience a decrease in testosterone. Women have a decrease in estrogen. Both experience a decrease in the human growth hormone. We will discuss how to boost these hormones later in this article as well.
Losing muscle mass is an issue because it decreases the number of calories you burn daily.
Stress increases as we age as well. This is because there are many life issues experienced as we age. Hormones are changing. Some people are thinking of retiring. Others are concerned with finances.
Sleep issues also increase as we age. This begins in your thirties for most people. Then every ten years, sleep issues get worse. This pattern continues as we age.
Many people become less active as they age as well.
Little Changes That Add Up
There are a few changes that can help you lose weight. They are:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Intermittent Fasting
- Fasted Exercise
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a long history in the health world. In fact, over two thousand years ago, Hippocrates used vinegar to clean wounds. Additionally, it has been used for cleaning, disinfecting, and treating various other conditions. (1) We have listed some benefits of apple cider vinegar below.
- Decreases Blood Sugar
- Increases Weight Loss
- Kills Bad Bacteria and Pathogens(1)
- Decreases Heart Disease
- Increases pH Balance
- Contains Probiotics and Enzymes
Many studies show that vinegar can help you lose weight. You lose weight because apple cider vinegar consumption makes you feel full. When you feel full, it helps you eat fewer calories. This will eventually lead to actual weight loss. For example, if people take vinegar along with a high-carb meal, they get increased feelings of fullness and end up eating fewer calories for the rest of the day (4). One study of 175 obese people showed that daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to weight loss. (4) The amount of weight loss depended on how much apple cider vinegar they consumed. The results are listed below.
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon): Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms
- 30 mL (2 tablespoons): Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms
As you can see, the results show that people lost more weight when they consumed more apple cider vinegar.
The best time to consume apple cider vinegar is first thing in the morning. Another option is to consume it right before a meal. You can either take it as a shot, a supplement, or as a drink.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. It is a fat molecule that contains between six and twelve carbon atoms. They are digested quickly in the body. MCTs are beneficial for weight loss. Here is a list of ways.
- Reduce Daily Calorie Intake
- Weight Loss
- Fewer Hunger Pains
- Reduce Insulin Resistance
Many studies have shown that MCTs reduce your calorie intake. For example, one study found that when people used MCT oil as a replacement for olive oil, they burned about 300 more calories per day! In addition to that, they lost body fat. (2)
It increases fat burning by increasing fat oxidation in the liver. Then, they are broken down into energy in your cells. In 2013, there was an analysis of 11 randomized controlled studies. All 11 studies resulted in reduced body weight and inches. (3)
Additionally, MCTs also make you experience fewer hunger pains. A study in 2014 found that MCTs led to a greater increase in the hormones peptide YY and leptin. These hormones are responsible for reducing your appetite and make you feel full. (5)
MCTs can be added to your lifestyle very easily. You can just add some to your coffee in the morning.
Now you know how MCTs aid in weight loss. We will move onto another way to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting is another way to lose weight. Most people follow the 16-8 method. This method means you will fast for 16 hours. After the 16 hour fasting period, you eat all of your meals within the next 8 hours. Most people do this by skipping breakfast. Then they have their first meal at around noon. You will finish eating at around 8 pm.
During your fasting period, no food should be consumed. After the fasting time period is over, you should break the fast by eating a high-quality meal. I always recommend breaking your fast with a big salad loaded with lots of vegetables and protein. Some examples of high-quality foods you should eat while intermittent fasting are:
- Low carbohydrate foods such as eggs and leafy green vegetables
- Healthy fats such as grass-fed butter, avocados, and whole milk (6)
- Stay away from processed foods
- Moderate protein
When intermittent fasting we need to realize that anything over 20 calories will break our fast. Many people unknowingly break their fast by trying to sneak in creams, low-calorie sweeteners and small amounts of food. Here is a list of acceptable liquids while fasting.
- Black coffee
- Teas such as green tea, chai tea, and black tea
- Sparkling water
- Apple cider vinegar
Intermittent fasting helps us to boost estrogen and testosterone levels. It also increases the human growth hormone levels. Additionally, intermittent fasting helps us to reach ketosis which is when we start burning fat. This helps us to lose weight.
This leads us to the next way to lose weight.
Exercise is a great way to lose weight. Here are some examples of activities:
- Brisk Walks, Yoga, etc
- Weight Lifting
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Fasted Exercise
Brisk walks and yoga are great recreational types of exercise as well. Swimming and biking are also suggested.
Weight lifting is very beneficial for those over age 50. As we age, we lose muscle mass. Therefore, the older we become, the more important it is for us to lift weights.
HIIT is high-intensity interval training. Basically, you will do an exercise at high intensity for a short duration of time. You can do HIIT for 10 minutes, twice daily. Or if you would prefer, you can opt to do HIIT for 20 minutes once per day. Here is a list of some exercises you can choose from.
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- Bicep Curls
- Shoulder Presses
You will choose the exercises that you want to do. Then you will perform one exercise for 30 seconds. After you complete that exercise, you will rest for 3o seconds. Then you will do another exercise for 30 seconds. After you complete that exercise, you will rest again for 30 seconds. You will keep repeating this pattern until you reach your desired time. It is helpful to switch up the exercises. Then you won’t get bored and you work different muscles.
You can also lose weight by exercising while you are fasting. Research shows that exercising while you are fasting raises human growth levels by about 2,000 percent! (7)
In order to lose weight, you will need to change your diet. Here are the basic guidelines.
- Lower Carbs
- Eat Whole Foods
- High Fat
- Moderate Protein
You will need to lower your carbohydrate intake. This means you should only consume 100 grams or less of carbohydrates per day. In addition to that, you should only eat carbohydrates that are good for you. This means that you should avoid white bread, white flour, and pasta. You should try to eat more beans, lentils and sweet potatoes.
Additionally, you will need to eat whole foods. Stay away from processed food. Processed foods have additives such as sugar and sodium. Sodium is used to extend shelf life. Sugar is often added to improve taste and consistency. Unfortunately, the majority of canned foods have added salt and sugar. This is why we need to stick to whole foods.
Furthermore, you will want to eat high-fat foods. Foods like eggs, olive oil, and avocados are great sources. Research shows that people who eat high-fat foods feel more full during the day. This makes them consume fewer calories, therefore, losing weight.
Moderate protein is important as well.
Sleep is important for weight loss as well. People usually start having issues with sleeping during their thirties. After that, every ten years, sleeping issues get worse.
- Track Your Sleep
- Decrease Leptin
- Increase Ghrelin
- Impulsive Eating
If you are constantly sleep-deprived, your body starts to decrease leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells your body you’re full. At the same time, your body increases ghrelin production. This is a problem because ghrelin is the hormone that tells your body you are hungry. As you can see, these two issues will lead to weight gain and impulsive eating as well. This is why it is a good idea to track your sleep.
Hopefully, now you know some reasons that losing weight is more difficult as we age. We hope that you use our tips to help to control your weight. It’s never too late to start.