What Are the Facts Related To Losing Weight after 50?

 

As people age, certain changes happen to their body as well. It is thought that people are most effective both physically and psychologically between 20 and 35 years of age. After that, both man and woman can experience, hormone changes, and are more likely to develop some conditions like diabetes 2, or arthritis, of course caused by unhealthy lifestyle. With increase of people suffering from these conditions, older people, over 50 years, tend to change their diet and balance a healthy weight. That is probably the best decision one could make in that age. But what are the actual facts on doing so, and is intended weight loss actually possible?

Unintentional Weight Loss

Most of people think of weight loss, as an intentional process, where one individual, seeks to lower his body weight, by changing diet, and engaging in more physical activity as well. But along with that, there is another type, and that is the unintentional one. This one is much more common among adults, and is connected with increased mortality and disability. It is important though, to be aware, that some weight loss, is simply related to aging process, especially at people over 60. A loss of 0.1/0.2 kg a year, is considered as a part of that process, but a decrease of >5% of usual body weight, in few months or one-year time, is considered to be problematic. As for the causes, mostly it is just a symptom of some underlying illness, with 1 in 4 cases, being undefined.

  • Autoimmune and motility disorders
  • Cancer

Also cause for this might simply be poverty and isolation, or side effects from medication, leading to loss of appetite. Person, losing abnormal amount of weight in short time, goes through few examinations, including lab tests and screenings, and often patient gets instructions on how to cope with this. Mostly including taking high protein and high energy shakes and pills, as well as mineral and vitamin supplements, between the meals, in order that essential nutrients are secured, and daily calorie intake is increased.

Daily Calorie Intake

Intentional Weight Loss

Both man and woman go through serious changes as they age, effecting their lifestyle and their weight as well. Man mostly find that they gain weight much easier after age of 50, and that the loss itself is much harder, and this is due to few causes:

  • Muscle mass decreases at 8 percent rate for a decade, starting from age of 40. This meaning, fat is more likely to form, and replace, what once was muscle mass.
  • Testosterone levels also decline, after the age of 40, leading to more fat, mostly in abdomen area.
  • Also, the daily calorie intake is lowered as well, considering that man at age of 50, burns between 2000 to 2600 calories, depending on activity, while man between 20s and 30s actually burns from 2400 to 3000 calories. This signifies, that with less calories burnt, calorie intake must be lowered as well.

Similar to man, woman to experience problems with weight after age of 50, though, those are even more related to hormonal changes:

  • Woman experience, significant changes in estrogen levels, and also after age of 50, most of them have entered menopause, a period of life, which indicates that you are in most cases, no longer able to have a baby.
  • Same as with man, calories burnt on daily base, are lowered as well. A recommended daily intake for woman is from 1600 to 2000 calories a day.
weight after age

So with this in mind, it is necessary that both man and woman, try to cope with this regular processes, that aging brings, and come out as a winner.

  • In order to lose weight, exercise has to be incorporated in daily routine. Basically both man and woman, should be aiming for at least 4 hours of cardio a week (running, jogging, fast walking, swimming, bicycle riding), and 1-2 hours of aerobics or weight training.
  • There must be a significant change in diet. Along with lowered calorie intake, certain foods should be avoided, mostly refined grains, fried foods or high sugar ones. People over age of 50, should try to eat as much whole wheat products, fruits and vegetables, protein-high food like meat or fish, and healthy fats as well. Most important minerals at that age are calcium, magnesium, in charge for maintaining bones and heart, while as for the vitamins, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C should be highly incorporated of course, along with other essential nutrients.
  • Water intake should be increased as well, as most adults do not actually think about this, mostly focusing on drinking caffeinated drinks, to keep them in focus.
  • Healthy weight loss, should be about 1 lb. per week
  • Few changes in lifestyle of an individual over 50 age, could do a miracle. Along with a better feeling and looks, which are inevitable, there is also a lower risk of developing some medical conditions, like diabetes, Dementia and Alzheimer’s or osteoporosis and a prolonged lifespan.

Conclusion

As people age, they tend to focus less on things like diet and activity, as their minds are occupied, with their daily routine and tasks that they have to finish. Also it is natural, that older people experience some changes, mostly hormonal, leading to an easier weight gain. It is still not impossible, for even people over age of 50 to look and feel good, by making a change in their lifestyle, and doing a great thing both for themselves and for the ones around them.

References

  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/unexplained-weight-loss/basics/definition/sym-20050700
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/412981-why-cant-you-lose-weight-during-menopause/

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.