What’s your No. 1 goal for fitness and healthy eating?
If you’re like most people, it might be to lose weight.
Or, more specifically, to lose fat.
It’s possible after 50, for sure. Still, our metabolisms slow down as we get older, even as it becomes more important than ever to keep a healthy weight and minimize the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other health problems.
Follow these expert tips for slimming down at any age.
No. 1: Lift weights or practice some form of resistance training
Humans lose muscle mass with age. It’s a simple fact. But we need muscle to maintain our metabolism, bone health, independence, and protections against falling. Strength training includes weightlifting and working out with resistance bands or your body weight.
No. 2: Focus on fat loss, not weight loss
Too many times we get frustrated by focusing solely on the scale. But there’s more to maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. It’s better to focus on body fat, not just weight, which can be a deceptive indicator.
No. 3: Watch What You Drink
Stop drinking sodas, even “diet” sodas. Consume plenty of water throughout the day. Tea and coffee are OK. But if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation only.
No. 4: Eat enough protein
Protein is the building block of muscle. Mature adults need more of it than younger people, so be sure to get plenty of fish, soy, eggs, lean meat, legumes, proper plants, etc.
No. 5: Move Your Body
It’s no secret: Burn more calories than you consume. That means moving your body – and the World Health Organization recommends at least 250 minutes a week, broken up into as many pieces as you like.
No. 6: Take It Easy
Stress releases cortisol, which contributes to all kinds of trouble, including weight gain. Meditate. Breathe. Read a book instead of staring at an electronic screen.
No. 7: That Includes Sleeping
Research proves that people who consistently get a good night’s sleep are less likely to gain weight. If something’s keeping you up at night, ask yourself and your partner – and maybe your doctor – what might be contributing to it. New medicine, worries, a change in hormones?
No. 8: Pay Attention
Plan meals. Keep healthy snacks, like nuts and fruit, handy so you’re not tempted by candy or other junk. At mealtime, don’t stuff yourself; eat until you’re mostly satisfied.
No. 9: Prepare Your Own Meals
Get plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Be mindful of what you’re preparing, and remember at-home meals are generally healthier than what we find at restaurants.
No. 10: Hire A Personal Trainer
You’ll get better results when you work out at least once a week with a trainer. Virtual is fine. Small groups are fine. You’re looking for that expertise and accountability.
Let’s get you to a healthy lifestyle and the right weight range for you.
Sources: WebMD, AARP, Healthline
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.