As we get older, it can become a little more challenging to take care of our health. One of the more noticeable things is the ability to shed pounds as easily as we used to. What used to work in your younger years is no longer doing the job of keeping the weight off. It can be a little distressing when you find yourself putting on more pounds than you’re not used to having, but it’s important to remember that your body is much different than what it used to be, so the same exercises are not going to work.
When you get over the age of 50, there are different steps you have to take to maintain your health. However, seniors tend to make the same common mistakes when it comes to losing weight. Instead of jeopardizing your health, you should be making these crucial changes in your life so that you can keep those unnecessary pounds off. Staying at a healthy weight is essential for the rest of your health, such as your bones and joints. According to Eat This and other sources, here are 25 of the most common mistakes that people over fifty make when they’re trying to lose weight. We se the record straight of how you can actually go about losing weight as a woman over 50.
25. It Can be Difficult To Lose Weight Because You Don’t Move Enough
As we get older, arthritis or stuff joints can start to set in. Alternatively, you’ve had surgery so that it’s difficult to move. Furthermore, because it hurts to move, you choose not to. That’s one of the biggest weight loss mistakes you can make because you will start to put on weight quickly. With your doctor’s advice, you should be engaging in low-impact exercises to keep your body moving and keep your joints active. That will help keep the weight off so that less stress is put on your bones and joints.
It should not only be to lose weight. It would be best to keep moving and engaging in some exercise to help your joints recover. Physical therapists will teach you how to work through the pain because if you don’t move the joint, it will only get stiffer over time and be even more painful. Maintaining flexibility especially will keep your joints and muscles from seizing up the next time you’re active. Add some anti-inflammatory foods to your diet as well to reduce swelling and pain.
24. Counting Calories Does Not Mean You’re Healthy
Scientists believed that weight loss was directly related to mathematical equations: if you ate fewer calories, you would lose weight. However, this is not the case. What is really in control of weight gain or loss is your hormones. Also, because you’re much older, your hormones are at different levels than they used to be. It means that you can probably no longer eat the foods you used to and stay at a healthy weight. That can be highly distressing for those who are used to eating whatever meals they want.
Instead of starting a crash diet or eating fewer calories, you should focus on the quality of calories you’re getting instead. When you deprive the body of calories, the body enters a stress stage, forcing the body to create cortisol. Cortisol makes the body store more fat to deal with this stress. When you eat fewer calories, the body burns fewer calories because your metabolism is much slower. The focus should be on eating healthy, high-quality caloric foods instead of getting as few calories as possible.
23. Using A Scale to Measure Weight Loss is Not Effective
Although you may think that losing a few pounds is great, you’re not only losing fat. You could be losing muscle as well, which can be detrimental for someone who is over 50. That is because they need all the toned muscles to reduce the strain on their joints and bones. Instead, it’s more important to focus on your body composition so that you know where exactly you’re losing weight. So how do you go about measuring this?
It may seem like a lot of work, but once you get into the habit of measuring your body composition, it becomes much easier to do. Body composition is essentially breaking down your body weight into its components: body eater, fat, protein, and minerals. Knowing how much your body is compromised of each, you know exactly which area you’re losing weight in without detrimentally affecting your health. There are many different ways to measure your body composition, so you should discuss your doctor’s options as soon as possible.
22. Snacking Is Better for Your Health Than Going Hungry Until the Next Meal
It may seem counterintuitive to snack between meals, as people think it helps them put on more weight. In fact, the case is the exact opposite. People who snack between meals will put on less weight before eating less food overall throughout the day; they’ll be less likely to over-stuff their plates at dinnertime and end up overeating. Having a small snack means you’ll put less food on your plate when it’s time for a real meal.
Doctors recommend that you shouldn’t go more than three or four hours without food, as eating this often will keep your blood sugar stable and minimize your cravings throughout the day. However, this isn’t to say you should snack on a whole bag of candy. Choose healthy snacks like a handful of almonds, a bowl of Greek yogurt with some fruit, or deli meat wrapped in lettuce. You’ll be surprised at how much more fulfilled you feel when you’re not gorging on a massive dinner at the end of the day.
21. Going Overboard on Cardio Won’t Help You Lose Weight
Many people think that cardio exercises are the best way to get you to lose weight when that’s not the case. Cardio is excellent for your heart health, but that’s about it. You may feel exhausted by the time you’re done, but that doesn’t mean you’ve done anything to lose weight. Burning calories isn’t the same as burning fat. Doing too many cardio exercises can cause more damage to your body. That is because cardio puts stress on the body.
And in turn, more stress means more cortisol is being created, which makes the body store more fat. It is isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be doing any exercise at all. You should exercise regularly, but you should focus on what time of day you’re doing it, how intense your workout is, and how long you’re doing it. You will have to adjust your activities over time, too, as your hormone levels begin to change. Keep reading to discover another mistake a women over 50 might make when she is trying to lose weight.
20. Doing Strength Training Requires a Lot of Planning and Engaging Your Muscles
Strength training is one of the more essential exercises you can do since having stronger muscles means less fatigue on your bones and joints. Doing strength training also boosts your metabolism to burn more fat from the body. However, it’s doing the right amount of strength training that’s important. If you’re using weights that are too light, then you’re not engaging your muscles in any work. Furthermore, that means you’re also not putting your metabolism to work.
Not having a plan in your strength training routine is also a big mistake most people over 50 make. They stick with the same weights without going to heavier ones, or they engage in random exercises in a random order that doesn’t provide any benefits to the body. Your strength training exercises should focus on the large muscle groups first so that your metabolism can be engaged to burn fat. Squats, lunges, and pulling exercises are great for your legs, which are some of the largest muscles in your body.
19. Removing Foods From Your Diet Without Adding Back In Can Lead to Malnutrition
The human body requires certain nutrients and minerals to function properly. When you eliminate certain foods from your diet, you could remove those essential nutrients without replacing them. That can cause the body to go haphazard, which can detrimentally affect your health. Some nutrients are required to help with the absorption of other nutrients, which affects your health even more. You may even notice that you’re getting sick more often than you’re used to.
If you decide to start removing certain foods from your diet, it’s essential that you replace the nutrition you’re also removing. A multivitamin or adding other healthy foods to make up for these gaps can help you to stay healthy while losing weight if that’s your goal. It may be a good idea to speak to a doctor or a professional nutritionist to help you with this so that you’re not putting your health in jeopardy. It would be contradictory to change your diet to get more healthy when you’re only making your body worse.
Exercise and eating healthy will only do so much if you’re not sleeping correctly. Getting fewer than the recommended hours of sleep will make your body retain fat. In fact, studies have shown that sleep-deprived adults who lost weight were losing muscle weight instead of fat weight. That is the exact opposite of what someone over 50 needs. If you get enough sleep, you’ll show improved results in the amount of fat you lose regularly.
What’s also a bad idea is not going to sleep at the same time every night. If you’re constantly changing up your sleep schedule, then your body isn’t learning what its rhythm is supposed to be. That means that it doesn’t know when it should be resting from when it should be working, and that can make it retain more weight than it should. Choose a time to go to bed every night, regardless of how you feel or what you need to get done, and set the alarm to wake up at the same time every day. You’ll be surprised to see just how much better your weight loss journey starts to become.
17. When You Eat Which Foods Can Make It Difficult to Lose Weight
We’ve all seen the food pyramid, but what it doesn’t demonstrate is the best times to eat certain foods. Many people cut carbs out of their diets, even though they’re pretty essential to the functioning of your body. Instead, it would help if you focused on when you eat carbs in your day to balance your hormones. For example, if you regularly have stressful days, then it would be better to eat carbs later in the day so that your body will burn them off more quickly.
The amount of protein you’re supposed to have in a given day should be in specific amounts for different meals. That way, you’re still having the recommended amount while increasing your chances of losing body fat. It may take a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best for you, but once you find the right food balance for your hormones, then you’ll no longer struggle to lose any weight. It will probably become a lot easier.
16. It’s A Mistake To Think That If You’re Not Exercising, You Won’t Lose Weight
The most important part of losing weight, especially when you’re over 50, is taking care of nutrition. It is responsible for 80% of the success when losing body fat. Those over 50 can still be just as slender as much younger athletes if they’re watching their eating habits. That isn’t to say to give up on exercise altogether, but only to remind you that working out for an hour every day isn’t going to help you if you’re not eating correctly.
If you’re restricted in some way from doing exercise, whether it’s a joint pain or lack of strength in a body part, then you can still engage in low-impact activities. Just take more breaks when you start to experience discomfort. It’s about how much exercise you’re getting, not how quickly it takes for you to finish the job. Swimming is a great way to get the workout you need without risking pain or injury to your body.
15. Choosing Foods that are Low-Fat or Have No Fat May Make You Gain Weight
Are these weight tips helping? Here is another one women over 50 who struggle to shed the pounds should take note of. In the same light that people think having fewer calories will help you lose weight, reducing your fat intake doesn’t mean that you’ll have less fat on your body. It doesn’t mean that you’re healthier either. Fat is pretty essential for your diet, as it minimizes inflammation within the body. It also leaves you feeling satisfied after a meal. It means that you’re less likely to snack less during the day.
Besides, foods stamped as low- or no-fat have added chemicals that make the body retain more fat. That can even be more fat than normal foods containing fat have. It’s best not to fall for these brands and consider focusing on the quality of food you eat instead of how much fat or calories they have. Your health will be more thankful for it. Keep reading for more mistakes that women over 50 make when it comes to losing weight.
14. Not Having Enough Fiber In Your Diet Can Jeopardize Your Weight Loss
When you’re over 50, you should already be adding more fiber to your diet to keep you regular. However, did you know that having more soluble fiber in your diet will also help you lose weight? Viscous fiber can reduce your appetite, making you feel more full for much longer so that you’re managing your portions much more easily. You’re also less likely to snack on unhealthy foods throughout the day.
Viscous fiber has also been shown to reduce the number of calories that your body is absorbing. Doubling your intake of this kind of fiber can result in as much as 130 fewer calories in a given day. It is beneficial since those are unnecessary calories that your body didn’t need anyway, such as processed sugar or fried foods. Add a bit of viscous fiber to every meal if you can, but ensure you’re also getting your other nutrients.
13. Sticking To The Same Diet From 20 Years Ago Won’t Help You Lose Weight
As was stated earlier, hormones change over time as we age. It means that your metabolism changes too, so your body doesn’t process the same foods as it used to. You’ll have to adapt your diet to account for these changes in your metabolism so that you can stay at a healthy weight. That isn’t to say that you should go on a sudden crash diet, expecting it to work. There are still some essential nutrients that you don’t want to miss out on as you grow.
It would help if you spoke to a nutritional expert or a doctor to learn more ways to change your eating habits without negatively affecting your health. It will mean making different meals for the day and adapting your exercise routine so that you don’t risk injuring yourself. Your body is changing, and you should change with it to take care of your health and body as best you can. If you are over 50 years old, and trying to lose weight, please remember this helpful hint now and in the future!
12. Taking Certain Supplements in Incorrect Doses Can Do More Harm For Your Body
There’s a reason that there are multivitamins for people over 50. That’s because their bodies are much different and require more vitamins than they used to. One good example is vitamin A; vitamin A is good for eyesight, so having increased doses when your older will promote better eye health at a time when people’s eyesight start to fail. These increased percentages of vitamins and minerals also boost the body’s ability to absorb other vitamins. For example, magnesium helps the body absorb calcium, which is very important for people over 50.
Seniors start to lose bone mass very rapidly during their 50s, leading to more injuries and bone breaks. By increasing magnesium in one’s diet, these risks are minimized. That’s why it’s essential to adapt your supplemental intake to account for these drawbacks in your health and help support your body’s ability to absorb what it needs to. It’s imperative that you discuss your needs with your doctor before you start a new supplement so that they know what’s suitable for your health.
11. Keeping Your Expectations Too High When Trying To Lose Weight Will Only Cause More Stress
It’s a good thing to have a goal to work towards when you’re trying to lose weight, but it’s crucial that you maintain realistic expectations. Setting them too high will set you back when you don’t meet them, leading to compounded stress. Stress leads to cortisol production, which makes the body retain fat. Then you’ll end up in a position much worse than when you started. Set realistic goals that are easier for you to obtain.
Not only will this reduce stress, but you’ll be motivated to keep going rather than quitting and putting back on the pounds you’ve lost. With each new step and goal met, you’ll want to reach the next goal and the one after that until you’ve achieved more than you ever thought possible. Moreover, along the way, you’ll form new eating and exercising habits that become easier for you to stick to. Keep reading to discover more mistakes women over 50 make when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and weight.
10. Trying To Lose Too Much Weight Too Quickly Can Make You Sick
Crash dieting has never been a successful way to lose weight and keep it off. It puts the body through much stress, more than it can handle. Furthermore, when you’re over fifty, you don’t want to risk your heart health either. Crash diets put much strain on all of your organs to keep functioning without providing any nutrition for them to work with. That’s why crash diets for those over 50 aren’t very successful.
Focus on losing a pound or two in a single week as an easy way to wean yourself into a new diet and exercise regimen. That gives your body time to adjust to this new habit and will slowly ease your metabolism into resetting itself. This gradual loss of weight will train the body into this new way of operating so that it gradually becomes easier and easier for you to lose weight. Cutting out entire meals altogether or a sudden change in your daily nutrition will tell the body that it’s starving, resulting in it holding onto every ounce of energy it has.
9. Neglecting To Drink Enough Water In A Day Can Affect How Much Weight You Lose
It may feel natural to resort to a sugary drink with your meal since that what you’ve always done. When it hits 50, the human body processes sugar much differently, leading to you gaining more weight than you used to. By replacing that drink with plain water, you’re cutting out any unnecessary calories in a given day. You may be thirsty and not even know it; it’s easy to mistake hunger and thirst pants for just being hungry, leading to more snacking instead of ingesting more water.
Hydration is essential too when you’re older since your skin tends to become drier when you’re older as well. Aim for having about 64 ounces of water in a day, if you can. You can choose to infuse your water with fruit and vegetables. Even the water you use to make your tea – as long as you aren’t adding milk and sugar – can be counted as part of your water intake for the day to ensure that you’re remaining hydrated.
8. Not Screening For Diabetes Could Be The Reason You’re Having Difficulty Losing Weight
People in their 50s were raised in a different environment, ingesting sugar from the moment they’re born to now. It can be challenging to break that trend after living that way for so long, but you’ll have to. Sugar has an intense effect on the pancreas, forcing it to go work every time it’s ingested. Eating lots of sugar over many decades can cause the pancreas to stop working properly, either producing too much or too little insulin. When things aren’t kept in check, this can easily lead to diabetes.
If you’re not sure if you have diabetes or not, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor and endure the proper tests to see what your blood sugar levels are like. The most common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, frequent urination, dizziness, fatigue, and weight loss. So don’t mistake a lower weight for actually being healthier; it could be a sign that you need to take action. Limiting the amount of sugar you ingest and getting into exercise regularly will help maintain your blood sugar levels.
7. Drinking Too Much Alcohol When You’re Over 50 Also Adds Unnecessary Calories To Your Day, Making It More Difficult To Lose Weight
There have been many news stories about protecting your heart and health by having a moderate alcohol amount. However, because the body is changing as it gets older, what is considered a “moderate” amount also needs to change. Excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to liver failure, cancer, some forms of dementia, premature aging, and early death. Not being aware of how much alcohol is detrimental to your health can lead to any or all of these symptoms, and you don’t need more health burdens on your plate than you’re already dealing with.
Take account of how much alcohol you’re having in a day or a week. Then, cut back as much as you can. Having alcoholic beverages can interfere with your sleep cycles, which can interfere with your weight loss journey. If you can, cut out alcohol altogether since it can be rich in calories that you don’t process properly. Keep reading to discover more mistakes that women over 50 continue to make as they struggle to shed the pounds.
6. Eating Out Too Often Will Not Help You Lose Weight Because You Don’t Know What’s In Your Food
Without children in the home, people over 50 tend to eat out more often. They no longer want to cook just for themselves. So, people get takeout or eat out at a restaurant, giving themselves a break they believe they need from the kitchen. Nevertheless, eating out too often is how you put on those unnecessary pounds. You don’t know the ingredients going into making your meal, so you have no idea exactly how many calories you’re getting or what the nutritional value is.
Many foods are packed with processed ingredients and high-fat foods that aren’t good for the body. Instead, it would help if you relied on meal planning as a tool to help you maintain your weight. Plan out your meals for each day of the week as a way to keep track of how healthy you’re eating. Not only will it save you money on driving out and paying for meals, but it also gives you a better insight as to where you could make improvements in your daily nutrition.
5. Adhering to the Same Workout Every Single Day Makes It Difficult to Lose Weight
Exercise is designed to challenge you so that you’re forcing your body to adapt. If you’re going through the same workout every single day, then your body will hit a plateau and no longer try to lose weight. That’s why most people give up on their exercise routines because they no longer see any progress. Instead, once you become comfortable with your way, you need to add a bit more difficulty to it so that your body knows to start burning extra calories.
If you find that you can easily walk one mile on a treadmill, start increasing the distance to give your body a challenge. Add another pound or two to your strength training to increase the strength of your muscles. You can’t make progress by staying at the same level of exercise; you have to keep upping the ante so that your body gets used to constantly burning calories. Walking in general, at any age, is healthy, especially if you are trying to manage your weight.
4. Using Someone Else’s Diet As Your Own and Expecting It To Work Will Not Lead to Weight Loss
Please remember this mistake women over 50 make when trying to lose weight. In fact, it’s a lousy idea any time someone compares themselves to someone else. There is no “one size fits all” for a nutritional diet and losing weight. Everyone’s body is built differently, so your approach to weight loss should be the same. What works for someone else won’t necessarily work out for you too. That’s why many people don’t see results when they put the weight loss ads on television or social media to use; they don’t work for everybody.
What you should do instead is to make a list of goals you want to achieve when it comes to your health and then follow a lifestyle that will help you to accomplish those goals. You can even bring up these goals with your doctor to recommend the best way to achieve them that doesn’t damage your health. People’s bodies and metabolism levels are built differently, so everyone has to use different methods and practices to achieve their goals.
3. People Use Exercising As An Excuse To Eat Anything That They Want
Just because you spent 30 minutes on the treadmill doesn’t mean that you should resort to eating two or three cookies after dinner. That’s the quickest way to sabotage your weight loss journey. A study asked people how many calories they thought they burned after a workout. They would estimate it four times more than what they lost. Moreover, in turn, consumed more calories with their “reward foods” than they lost, resulting in a net loss.
Instead, get a calorie counter to know how many you’re burning after your workouts, and don’t reward yourself with snacks. It would be best if you only were eating when you’re hungry. You shouldn’t be using food as a motivator for exercise anyway. You can find plenty of motivation by setting realistic goals, buying new workout clothes, and having someone you can workout with who won’t let you fall back into these bad habits.
Also, be aware of where you’re getting your protein from. That isn’t an incentive to go out and add a hamburger to every meal. Instead, try leaner protein sources, such as eggs, milk, nuts, and fish. Focus on getting most of your protein in your breakfast and lunch. Also, reduce the amount of protein in your dinner since your body will be winding down for the day. Keep reading to learn the final mistake women over 50 make when trying to get rid of extra weight.
1. Many People Compensate Their Meals By Drinking Healthy Smoothies Instead, But They Don’t Work
It’s easy to think that just because you’re having liquid smoothies, it means that you have fewer calories, but that is not the case at all. Pre-made smoothies have much sugar added to them and other filler ingredients that make them much less healthy than you think. Furthermore, all of this sugar won’t leave you feeling full throughout the day, so you’ll resort to snacking on other unhealthy foods instead.
If you have to have smoothies, it’s best to make them yourself. You’ll know exactly what’s going into them so that you can monitor what vitamins and minerals you’re getting, as well as how many calories are in each one. Add in a bit of protein powder, too, as it can help you stay feeling full for much longer throughout the day. Liquids still have calories; it’s what’s in them that can determine whether you’re losing weight and being healthy or not. If you need more help, check out evidence-based weight loss tips.