Hello, young at heart! Are you unsure about how to lose weight after 60? Well, the 25-year-olds have not figured that out yet! My point is, you can lose weight no matter what your age is. Yes, at 60, you have medical issues and physical restrictions, but don’t let that stop you from being fit and agile. In fact, Michael Spitzer, personal trainer and author of Fitness at 40, 50, 60 and Beyond said, “The true path to weight control and fitness after age 60 isn’t that much different than it is at any other stage of life. However, there are certain factors that need special consideration.” So, what are these special factors and considerations? Let me break them down and make it simple for you. Read on!
Ways To Lose Weight For Women After 60
1. Right Mindset
Your mindset determines whether you progress or regress. Carol S. Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University wrote in her book, Mindset, “In the fixed mindset when you fail, you are a failure. In the growth mindset, when you fail, you are learning.” So, if you did not lose weight successfully in the past, it doesn’t mean you will not succeed ever. Focus on your problem areas (say you have a sweet tooth or lead a sedentary lifestyle) and invent ways to change your lifestyle slowly. Moreover, after crossing 60, you might feel that you are not going to woo anybody, so why lose weight? Well, lose weight for your well-being. Talk to a doctor and know how much weight you should lose. Plan how many kilos you should lose in two weeks and work on it.
2. Focus On Fat Loss
Talking about weight loss, let me be clear – you should lose fat, not muscle or bone density. Go to a nearby gym and measure your fat percent. Ideally, your fat percentage should be 26-31% (1). Since with age, you lose muscle mass, and the metabolism slows down, most of the food gets stored as fat. So, don’t be alarmed if the body fat percent is high. Talk to a registered dietician and strategize a weight loss plan according to your daily schedule. Starving yourself will not help you lose fat. It will make you weak and put your health in danger.
3. Get A Workout Buddy
Humans are social animals, and we tend to focus more and have the drive to succeed more when we see others doing the same. So why not work out together? Find a workout buddy or ask your gym trainer to help you pair up with someone who is motivated to lose weight. You can also join walking/cycling/hiking groups so that you show up every day and get your daily dose of adrenalin and serotonin.
4. Give Your Kitchen A Makeover
The next most important thing to do is to give your kitchen a makeover. Toss out all frozen foods, processed foods, unhealthy fats, etc. You can also give away these food items. Restock your kitchen and refrigerator with veggies, fruits, fish, chicken, mushroom, legumes, herbs, spices, and healthy fats.
5. Breakfast First
Your mornings should be charged and active. And all that energy should come from a wholesome breakfast. No matter how busy or lazy you are, you must have a good, proteinaceous breakfast before you start your day. Have eggs, oatmeal, granola, berries, banana, milk/almond milk, peanut butter, avocado, etc.
6. Consume Lean Protein
As I mentioned previously, when you are in your 60s, you’d have lost about 20% of your muscle mass. The lower the muscle mass, the slower the metabolism, leading to greater fat accumulation. Therefore, you must load up on lean protein. However, be careful if you have kidney disorders. Talk to your doctor about how to get lean protein without affecting your kidneys. The best lean proteins are chicken breast without skin, mushroom, fish, legumes, seeds, nuts, and beans.
7. Consume Healthy Fats
Not all fats are bad. In fact, your body needs fat to maintain the cells’ integrity, aid proper digestion, metabolism, absorption, and excretion, reduce inflammation, and improve skin and hair health. Most of the foods that you consume don’t contain balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which leads to inflammation. Inflammation can lead to fat accumulation and weight gain. If you consume foods that help balance the omega-3 and omega-6 ratio, you can reduce inflammation and prevent weight gain. Consume avocado, fish, fish oil, nuts, etc., and avoid fried foods, processed foods, oily and overcooked foods.
8. Good Carbs Are Good
Like fats, not all carbs are bad. Did you know that dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate? Dietary fiber helps prevent fat accumulation by encapsulating fat molecules and inhibiting fat absorption. Moreover, it forms a gel-like layer in the stomach, thereby making you feel full for a long duration. Include veggies, leafy greens, fruits with the skin or pulp, whole grains, and red/brown/black rice in your diet. You must avoid high-fiber foods if you have digestion issues.
9. Avoid Unhealthy Food
Habits are tough to break. And if you are in the habit of munching on unhealthy food, you will probably never get over it unless you make a conscious effort. Avoid sugar or sugary foods, high-sodium foods, packaged fruit or vegetable juices, fizzy drinks, energy drinks, ready-to-eat foods, deep fried chicken, fries, frozen foods, etc. Buy your veggies, fruits, and grains from the local farmer and fish or chicken/turkey/ground lean beef from the local butcher or fishmonger.
10. Add Strength Training To Your Exercise Routine
Strength training is a great way to increase muscle mass, stamina, and muscle power. As you strengthen your muscles, your metabolism will improve, and you will lose fat. Join a gym and pick up the dumbbells, use the resistance band, or do HIIT. Make sure you are guided by your trainer and keep him/her informed about your present health condition so that you can gain muscle without putting your health at risk.
11. Drink Water
Water is the best drink in the world. It helps balance the pH of your body, hydrates your cells, flushes out toxins, maintains homeostasis, and helps carry out metabolic reactions. The best thing to do is to drink a glass or two of water the first thing in the morning. You must drink 3-4 liters of water per day. If you have bladder issues, you can talk to your doctor to know what exercises will help strengthen your urethral sphincter.
12. Practice Yoga
Want to heal your body and mind? Practice yoga. Yoga is easy on your heart and joints and is, therefore, a great exercise option for you. The stretching, breath control, flexibility, and mind/self-control exercises will improve your body and cognitive functions and help reduce stress.
13. Get A Post-Retirement Job
Staying active is the key to happiness. So, if you have retired, take a month or two off and then start working on anything you like. It can be opening your own company or a restaurant (your KFC story!), consulting at various MNCs, being an organic farmer or a travel blogger, etc. The point is to be active, fit, and healthy.
14. Talk To Young People
Younger generations are always updated, and they know new things that you don’t. And they don’t have the experience that you have. So, make it a two-way traffic – learn and unlearn and pass on your knowledge. You will feel more active and energetic and see a significant improvement in your physical and mental health.
15. Do Foam Roller Exercises
Pain in the muscles and bones can be tackled in a simple way – by doing foam roller exercises. These are easy-to-do massaging exercises for which you will need a foam roller and 10 minutes of your time. If you are not sure how to do these exercises, click here to watch videos of 15 strain relieving exercises and do it yourself. I am sure you will feel much better after doing these exercises.
16. Sleep Better
Sleep is a factor that determines how much fat you gain, how much stressed you are, and how active you remain throughout the day. Get 7-8 hours of sleep to help your body recharge and rejuvenate your muscles. If you are suffering from insomnia, talk to your doctor about it. And here’s what you can do to induce sleep.
17. Stay Stress-Free
Stress creates a mess inside your head and body. It causes fat accumulation in the tummy, increases harmful free oxygen radicals, slows down metabolism, hinders proper digestion, and causes insomnia. So, keep the stress away by practicing yoga, meditation, working out, and doing things that you like. You can also take a walk or talk to a friend when you feel stressed out.
These are the 17 ways to lose weight when you are in your 60s. Talk to your doctor and start training yourself to live your life to the brim. Hope you liked the article. Please share your views by posting a comment below.
Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.