New strategies to lose weight and keep it off are popping up just about every day. Many of these suggestions turn out to be fads or just useless. Whether you’ve battled weight gains for what seems like forever — it’s true that age can have a lot to do with the number on the scale. The fact is, your risk to gain weight increases when you hit age fifty. At that point, it becomes real hard to lose the weight.
The reason this happens — according to medical experts — are loss of muscle mass and decreased activity.
Indeed, people at age 50 can experience a 5 to 10 percent loss of muscle mass each decade after age 50, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. As a result, your resting metabolic rate declines by an average of 2 to 3 percent every 10 years.
What this means to you is that you can eat the exact same amount that you did at 40 — not a bite more — and still gain weight. Just amazing!
Lack of exercise in your older years also contributes to weight gain. And, even more, the combination of muscle mass loss and not enough exercise will add unnecessary pounds to your body.
And the key question is, can you lose the weight as you get older. The answer is yes and the strategies to follow are not as difficult as you think.
New Strategies: Put More Protein In Your Diet
Adding protein to your diet can help build up muscle mass, which increases your metabolism. Nutritionists recommend that 30 to 40 percent of your daily calories should come from protein, depending on your body weight. In contrast, the average American gets only about 16 percent of their food intake from protein, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Also you will build more muscle if you spread your protein intake out evenly throughout the day. A 2017 study found that consuming an equal amount of protein at all three meals is linked to more muscle strength in people over age 67. You can accomplish this by adding an egg or yogurt to your breakfast, and a glass of milk or handful of nuts to your lunch.
New Strategies: Exercise The Smart Way
It’s very important that you lift weights at least twice a week to build muscle mass, which will help you lose weight. In one study, 60+ years old seniors who pumped iron lost more weight and lost less muscle mass over 18 months compared to walkers or runners. .
Any sort of opportunity to build muscle — even if it’s just light resistance bands or swimming — will raise your metabolism and help you burn calories.
Another exercise method is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This involves short spurts of high-intensity exercise. This exercise helps you lose weight and build new muscle.
Get Enough Sleep
Research shows that people who are obese get less sleep than those of normal weight. Sleep deprivation increases production of hormones that increase hunger. For example, hormones like cortisol and the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin.
Older men, age 67+ who sleep about five hours a night, gain more weight than seniors who sleep 7-8 hours.
Keep your sleep schedule consistent — get up and go to bed at about the same time every day. Haphazard sleep-wake times will also increase your weight.