Losing weight is certainly a challenge at any age. Whether you are young or in menopause, plenty of obstacles get in the way to make it that much harder. Below are the unique challenges for those aged 50 and over:
1 - HORMONAL IMBALANCE
Many physical and mental symptoms appear during menopause:
- Hot flashes
- Joint pain
- Loss of memory and concentration
Some of these factors, such as insomnia, can lead to weight gain. More information on this topic can be found in 7 weight-loss tips.
Other factors can make weight loss difficult. Joint pain and fatigue, for example, contribute to decreased physical activity. Irritability can also lead to overeating to compensate for a bad mood. It is important to work hard to fight these symptoms and maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet. It is also important to work with your doctor to find solutions to improve sleep and reduce fatigue.
2- BASAL METABOLIC RATE SLOWS DOWN
At rest, the body of a 50 year old burns fewer calories than that of a younger person, which is perfectly normal! As energy requirements decrease, it becomes necessary to reduce our daily caloric intake. As mentioned in Cardio or strength training for weight loss?
, high-intensity interval training combining cardio and strength training exercises is the key to maintaining or speeding up the basal metabolic rate. It is important to remember that high intensity is relative, based on your health and abilities. Don't be intimidated by the term, and be sure to try this type of training with alternatives. Read 5 activities to lose weight at the gym
to find the method that works best for you.
3 - MUSCLE MASS DECREASES
After the age of 25, our bodies begin to deteriorate if we don't work to maintain them. Yes, it's true, with every passing year, we lose a bit of muscle and bone density, or bone strength. Without any strength training whatsoever as prevention, it is possible to lose up to one third of our muscle mass in 25 years. It has also been proven that starting an exercise regimen at any age has enormous benefits to your health, and in 10 years, you will experience the same health benefits as if you had been physically active your entire life. So it's never too late to start, both for weight loss and for your health.
4 - PROTEIN NEEDS INCREASE
As we age, our bodies require a greater portion of protein at each meal. The body needs protein to give the feeling of fullness, control body temperature, burn calories, maintain healthy muscles and joints, and more. While these needs are the same as for a younger person, the difference is in the ratio of the overall caloric intake. As previously mentioned, our bodies require fewer calories as we age, which means that our overall caloric intake must decrease. Yet the ratio of protein on our plate must increase, since we require just as much as before. Therefore, one portion of meat that took one quarter of a plate before becomes one third of a plate as we age.
5 - CERTAIN MEDICATIONS
Certain medications prescribed for age-related diseases can cause weight gain. In such cases, regular visits with your doctor can be very beneficial to help you in your weight-loss goals.
Now that you know the challenges, it’s clear that the solutions are quite similar at any age. A healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and awareness of your actual needs are all crucial to success. Read 7 weight-loss tips
and Lose Weight - Sure, but at What Cost?
for a wide range of suggestions to help you on your weight-loss journey.