How To Lose And Keep Weight Off After Age 35
It's no secret that as we age, our bodies change. Often these changes are blamed on a "slowing metabolism"…like there's some unbeatable force working against you. That's just not true. Learn how to lose and keep weight off after the age of 35.
Step 1: Look At Your Life
The average man gains a pound of fat every year past age 35; many women often gain even more. It's easy to just blame it all on your metabolism. But the real culprit is often lifestyle changes. As we build careers and families we often become more sedentary and lose muscle mass, which not only changes how we look but how our bodies burn calories.
So take an honest inventory. Are you taking the elevator instead of the stairs? Sitting at a desk more since you got that promotion. Rushing through cardio and foregoing the weights?
Step 2: Set Your Goal
Set a realistic, healthy weight loss goal. Talk to your doctor, see a fitness professional, or check out the web for tools like height and weight charts or body-mass calculators to find a weight range that's right for you. The U.S. Center for disease control can be a valuable resource. If you're more than twenty pounds overweight, set several smaller goals for yourself.
Step 3: ID Your Enemy
Understand what's keeping you from your weight loss goal. Are you a junk food junkie? Are you controlled by your sweet tooth? You must know your foe. Now, unless you have the will power of steel, it's unlikely you'll be able to avoid these foods altogether. Instead stock up on healthier substitutions, like frozen yogurt for ice cream or crunchy carrots in place of chips.
Step 4: Count Your Calories
Calories are key. Eat too many you'll gain weight. Eat too few, you'll gain weight. If you cut calories too drastically, your body thinks it's starving and actually slows down your metabolism. Choose low calorie, nutrient-rich foods, and eat smaller portions throughout the day. In general, it's a good idea to cut 100 calories from your daily intake for every decade past your thirties. That means a fifty-year-old must eat 200 less calories a day to maintain the weight of their thirties.
Step 5: Chew Your Food
Chew your food slowly. The older we get, the busier we get. Stop eating on the run. It takes your brain twenty minutes to register if you have eaten enough. Slow down, savor each bite. You'll be more likely to enjoy your meal and less likely to overeat.
Step 6: Move Your Body
Get your body moving and your heart rate up! Diet alone cannot save you...especially if you're older than 35. You must exercise. Find an activity that works for you. Walking and aerobics burn calories and help prevent osteoporosis. Try a brisk stroll on your lunch hour. Swimming and biking keep your heart fit while going easy on aging joints. Just get moving!
Step 7: Build Your Muscles
As we age, our muscles mass decreases and that's what leads to a slowing metabolism. Fight back with strength training. It is the only way to build muscle and the absolute best way to rev up your metabolism. Weight training is ideal, but resistance training, and yoga can bring variety to your workout.
Step 8: Drink Your Water
Drink water. Staying hydrated keeps organs functioning optimally and helps your skin look better, too. Let's face it, after 35, who doesn't want a little help with the wrinkles?
Step 9: Believe In Yourself
If you're 35 and you've been steadily gaining since "the freshman fifteen," change is not going to happen overnight. But it can happen! Now you've got some things going for you now that you didn't have in your younger years - a better sense of self, more focus, determination, and, when all else fails, more cash to hire that personal trainer.