Why can't I lose this weight?
Our 60s are a pivotal decade for weight loss and it's no joke that every year past 60 it gets harder and harder to lose weight.
The decade your metabolism starts to sputter
Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. It stays pretty stable throughout your adult years until your 60s. Then, it starts to decline. This means that your body needs fewer calories to function properly.
There are two reasons for this:
- You lose muscle mass as you age. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so having less muscle means having a slower metabolism.
- Your body doesn't need as many calories to keep it running as it did when you were younger.
So, if you're over 60 and you're not losing weight as easily as you used to, don't be too hard on yourself.
Focus on Your Health, Not Weight Loss
For many of us (women), weight loss goals are more about appearance than health. I'm guilty of this!
Perhaps you have already lost some weight, but you are still trying to lose those last 5,10, 20 pounds.
Or maybe you have always been a bit larger than average, but you have been trying to slim down to a smaller dress size.
You're not alone if you feel like you have tried every diet and weight loss recommendation, yet you still haven't been able to achieve results, despite your best efforts.
If that's the case, it may be best to shift your focus to being as healthy, strong, and vibrant as you can be.
Focus on fitness: When it comes to health, studies have shown that being fit is more important than being thin. What's more, working out regularly can provide many other benefits, such as reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting energy levels.
Develop a better relationship with food: Rather than dieting, work on choosing nourishing foods, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, and learning to eat intuitively. This means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. Notice when you reach for a snacky type food. I notice if I'm stressed about anything (usually something to do with technology!), I'll reach for a snack around 3:00. It's my danger hour. I'm trying to make better choices and have vegetables & hummus, fruits, or a hard boiled egg instead.
Portion control has been the best way for me to lose or maintain my weight. When my portions get bigger..so does my tummy. How about you?
Consider the results of your previous dieting attempts: Remember that losing and regaining weight often leads to increased fat storage and weight gain over time. This is known as the yo-yo diet effect.
Instead of focusing on weight loss, focus on making healthy choices that you can stick with long-term. This will help you achieve your overall health and well-being goals.
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Set realistic goals. Don't try to change everything at once. Start by making small changes that you can stick with, such as adding a walk to your daily routine or eating two more serving of vegetables per day.
- Find activities that you enjoy. Exercise is more likely to stick if you choose activities that you find fun and challenging. I notice I need to change things up once in a while with exercise. I've got my eye on a e-bike.
- Be patient. It takes time to make lasting changes to your health and lifestyle. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Just keep at it and you will eventually reach your goals.
Yes, our bodies change in our 60's and at times we wonder what's happening, but remember you are not alone on this journey and there are many resources available to help you succeed.
Interested in finding out your body mass index? BMI Calculator here.