Maintaining a healthy weight or losing excess body fat can become somewhat of a challenge as we age. There are many factors that affect our weight loss goals. Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy habits, poor dietary choices and metabolic changes can contribute to weight gain at any point of our lives, especially when our metabolism declines in our 50s. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to ensure that you meet your weight and health goals.
Best Ways To Lose Weight
You might have heard that cardio is great for weight loss, however, it is important to note that strength training can also work effectively to reduce weight. This is exceptionally good news for older adults as it builds muscles and increases the density of their bones. As we age, our muscles will start to decline. This loss of muscle can be attributed to a process called sarcopenia, which typically starts around the age of 50. Besides slowing down metabolism, sarcopenia can lead to weight gain. To give you an idea of how much muscle mass is lost, after the age of 50, muscle mass declines by about one to two percent per year, while muscle strength decreases at a rate of 1.5-5 percent annually. This is one of the main reasons why adding muscle-building exercises to your exercise routine is crucial for reducing age-related muscle loss, help you achieve your weight and health goals and promote a healthy body weight. Some of the strength training that you can consider are bodyweight exercises and weightlifting. These types of exercises will improve your muscle strength significantly and increase the function and size of your muscles. And that’s not all, strength training can aid in weight reduction by lowering overall body fat. It can also boost your metabolic rate, which, in turn can increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day.
Combine Healthy Eating With An Active Lifestyle
The combination of a healthy eating pattern with a consistent exercise routine will go a long way in reducing excess weight. One of the best ways to stick to a healthy routine would be to pair up with someone with the same weight loss and health goals. This could be your co-worker, friend or family member. This will not only give you a better chance at keeping with the overall exercise regime, but it will also greatly improve your chances of achieving your wellness goals. For instance, research has found that people who attended weight loss programs with their friends, were significantly more likely to maintain their weight loss over time as opposed to people who didn’t attend such programs. Moreover, its believed that working out with friends can strengthen bonds, in addition to your commitment to a fitness program.
Losing excess weight can simply be attributed to burning more calories than you consume. Essentially, your calorie input should be lower than your output. This is one of the main reasons why staying active throughout the day is crucial for losing weight. For instance, if you have a desk-bound job, it might be much harder for you to lose weight. But don’t lose hope! Consider staying more active by leaving your desk and taking a five-minute walk every hour or so. This will not only keep you refreshed and alert, but it will also boost blood circulation. Research has found that tracking your steps with a Fitbit or a pedometer can increase weight loss by motivating you to increase your calorie expenditure and activity levels. If you own a pedometer or a Fitbit, it is important that you start with a realistic step goal based on your current activity levels. After which, you can gradually increase the number of steps you take in a day, 7,000 – 10,000. However, do take your current health and fitness level into consideration before you commit to a regime.
Consider Increasing Your Protein Intake
Including more high-quality protein in your diet is not only crucial for weight loss, but it is also important for inhibiting or reversing age-related muscle loss. It is important to note that the amount of calories that you burn at rest or your resting metabolic rate (RMR) declines with age. More specifically, it decreases one to two percent each decade after you turn 20. This decline is linked to age-related muscle loss. Fortunately, adopting a more protein-rich diet can aid in the prevention or even reverse muscle loss. Studies found that increasing dietary protein can help you lose weight and help you keep it off in the long term. Additionally, research found that older adults have higher protein needs compared to younger adults. This makes it vital for people past their 20s to include more protein-rich foods in their meals and snacks. Do ensure that your diet is comprised of well-balanced meals and lean protein sources. Including protein that is processed or containing excessive fat will impede your weight loss goals and will compromise your health.