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Yes, 60 is the new 40 and 50 may be the new 30, but your scale has yet to receive the memo.

Many middle-aged and older adults complain of expanding waistlines, along with the fact that weight loss becomes increasingly difficult as the years go by. But there’s good reason to stop only complaining about not fitting into your dress and start doing something about it: New research shows avoiding weight gain with age is one of the best way to help you live a longer and healthier life.

The recent study of more than 100,000 people, which was recently published in JAMA, reported that gaining as little as 11 pounds from early adulthood to age 55 was linked to a 30 percent increased risk of Diabetes, which is also associated with a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, cataracts and osteoarthritis. And suffering from any of these conditions can ultimately lead to an early death.

While losing weight in your 40s, 50s and beyond may be somewhat challenging due to age-related changes, hormones and muscle-building growth factors, it’s certainly not impossible – or even as hard as you might think. In fact, many weight-loss experts say there’s no reason why the majority of people can’t reach a healthy weight.

losing weight

Start with a can-do mindset, and then follow these research-backed tips for losing weight at any age:

1. Eat most of your calories earlier in the day.

Mounting research suggests that eating the majority of your daily calories earlier in the day makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight and keeps a check on blood sugar and inflammation. “To help with weight loss, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a beggar,” recommends Courtney Peterson, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama’s Nutrition Obesity Research Center. One study reported that dieters who ate a 700-calorie breakfast, 500-calorie lunch and 200-calorie dinner lost nearly 18 pounds in 12 weeks, compared to seven pounds lost among subjects who ate a 200-calorie breakfast, 500-calorie lunch and 700-calorie dinner.

2. Eat a protein-rich first meal.

A high-protein breakfast – think one with eggs – is proving to be a winning weight-loss strategy. Studies show that dieters, who eat high-quality protein as part of their first meal help ward off hunger pangs, reduce cravings and help them lose fat while maintaining lean muscle mass. In one study, with overweight adults found that those who had an egg-based breakfast significantly reduced their calorie intake throughout the day and snacking between meals.

3. Don’t skimp on strength training or cardio.

You probably know that strength training is important to help you retain your muscles and keep your metabolism up, but cardiovascular exercise – think walking, jogging, cycling or swimming – is important, too. Politi says. “Cardio helps you burn lots of calories, so you create a negative calorie balance that results in weight loss.” She recommends adults strive to get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week.

4. Stay on track.

Unlike cheat days (or weeks!) that took place in your 20s, there’s little room for parties, holidays and vacations to slip when you’re in your 40s and beyond. “The body’s metabolism is less resistant to overeating as you age,” Peterson says. If you know you’re attending a party or will be eating out, it’s critical to account for those extra calories by either eating less or exercising more before and after to avoid weight gain.

5. Get more sleep.

No, you aren’t dreaming. According to Peterson, many adults are so busy with work and family that they skimp their essential sleep, which actually makes it harder to lose weight. “Lack of sleep causes your appetite to surge and increases the desire for higher-calorie foods,” Peterson says. Several studies now show that adults who routinely get less than six hours of sleep are more likely to have significant weight gain over time than those who sleep seven or more hours on most nights. While optimal hours of sleep are highly individualized, most adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours a night.

By following these simple steps stated above, one can achieve a good shape and personality. But, if there is any medical history, find and consult with the best dietetics/ nutritionist in Lahore, Karachi & other main cities of Pakistan.

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Dr. Sadaf Saleem
She is a graduate of Hamdard University first batch. After doing MBBS, she did her PGD in Nutrition and now she is enrolled in Masters in Medical Education. She has been teaching undergraduate medical students for the past 6-7 years. Currently, she is working in Army Medical College.