You never thought it would happen to you. Despite watching what you eat and staying active, you’ve hit 50 and everything went in reverse. Your tummy may be experiencing a little bulge, and where has all of your muscle tone gone?
Why is This Happening to You?
Unless you’re a professional athlete – or you just train like one – there are physical changes that are inevitable for women as we age. We’re dealing with major hormone shifts and usually the onset of menopause. We also begin to notice the effects of 20 years or so of progressive muscle loss for the first time. Women lose an average of 3/4 pounds of muscle per year beginning at around 30 years old; for some reason, it really accelerates after 50. If you’ve waited until now to start worrying about muscle tone, you’re in for a long haul getting some of it back.
The news isn’t all depressing, and it’s certainly not all downhill from here. All it takes to maintain a healthy weight after 50 is a few adjustments to your lifestyle and eating habits. Once you reach your fitness goal, you just need to be more diligent about maintenance.
Changing the Way You Approach Food
Muscle mass isn’t the only thing that decreases as we age. A woman’s caloric needs drop by about 150 calories per year beginning at age 20. Your metabolism also slows, so any extra calories are going to be harder to burn. An average, healthy woman in her 50s should consume about 1,500 – 2,000 calories a day to maintain her current weight.
In order for weight loss to be sustainable over the long-term, you should set realistic goals and try to reach them in stages. If you want to lose five pounds in a month, reduce your caloric intake by about 500 calories per day. You want to make sure that you’re not losing additional muscle mass while you’re trying to lose fat, so exercise is important, too.
Stick to a diet that contains healthy fats, is low in carbs, and higher in protein. You can supplement your protein intake by adding a scoop of whey-free protein powder to a breakfast or snack smoothie. Cut any processed foods or anything that contains excess sugar. Go with whole foods and unrefined grains in limited amounts.
Healthy food substitutions are another way to eat healthier without feeling deprived. If you’re craving fires, substitute white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Nor only are they lower in starch and fat if you oven-bake them, they contain vitamins A and C that you need for glowing skin and vision support.
Hydration is also important, but try to limit your caffeine intake because it can wreak havoc on your skin by drying it out. Water is always your best bet, but if you must have something to help you perk up in the morning, try green tea. The antioxidants and other health properties will help you ward off disease and signs of aging.
What About Exercise?
Staying active is always important. It helps you feel young and keeps your joints from becoming too stiff and creaky. However, the way you work out needs adjustment after 50. Cardio is still good for a healthy heart, but it should be limited to less intense workouts of about 20 minutes, That’s because too much high-intensity cardio raises the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, which leads to belly fat. Weight-bearing exercises with free weights will help you reduce muscle loss and strengthen your bones. If that’s too much for you, brisk walking for about an hour a day is an alternative. Adding a little yoga to the mix will help you retain flexibility
Sometimes we need a little help reaching our weight loss and maintenance goals. If what you’re doing isn’t getting the results you expected, visit Thinco for the best diet pills to give you a little boost. Seeing results will provide more incentive to keep moving forward toward a healthier weight.