It seems that the older you get, the more you struggle ways to stay active, with fat loss and keeping lean. As you age, your metabolism drops a little. This decline tends to start at around 20 years old but drops most rapidly at 40 years old for men and 50 years old in women. Despite this, staying active and losing fat is still possible, you just need to be smart and strict about what you eat and introduce more exercise into your routine.
Statistics Canada reported in 2017 that :
- Those over the age of 65 outnumber children under the age of 14. There are more seniors (5.9 million) than children (5.8 million) in Canada.
- In 2021, 1 in 5 people will be over the age of 65, and 1 in 3 over the age of 55
- By 2061, it is projected that there will be 12 million seniors to 8 million children.
- In 2017, there are 8,230 Canadians over the age of 100, and there are five times more women in this group.
Fight Fat Fast
Slow and steady is often given as the best way to start your fitness journey, but a quick start could be even better, losing weight quickly gives you an important psychological boost and could help you keep it off more successfully in the long run. And weight loss of up to 3 to 5 pounds per week, especially if you’re overweight or obese, is perfectly safe, though it will most likely drop to 1 to 2 pounds per week after the first month of dieting.
The Power of Protein
Eating more protein can also help your quest. We lose a small amount of muscle mass each year, which causes your metabolic rate to drop, meaning you burn fat more slowly. Protein is muscle-sparing, though, so by increasing your intake, you can hold on to more muscle. Look to base each meal around a lean protein source like lean beef, turkey, chicken, fish or Greek yogurt.
Cutting the Calories
Due to the metabolic slowdown, you need a lower calorie intake. For example, the average 50-year-old woman should eat between 1,600 and 2,200 calories each day depending on activity levels, whereas a woman in her 30s would need between 1,800 and 2,400, according to nutrition guidelines. A man would need slightly more than this.
Get the Details Right
Cutting your calories and increasing protein are the main two factors in nutrition and fitness over 50, but there are other measures you can take to speed up progress. As you age, your body may become less efficient at processing carbohydrates — a condition known as insulin resistance. To counter this, get the majority of your carbs from unrefined sources such as vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Adding in Exercise
Diet alone can bring about physical change, but you can speed up your progress by adding exercise into your routine. If you’ve not exercised in a while, start by increasing your daily activity levels with regular walks, or join an exercise class. If you’re more accustomed to harder training, look to perform a mix of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. Three total-body weight-training sessions along with around 30 – 60 minutes of cardio 3 times per week provide a good target.
We can change the way we age by staying active, to the fullest extent possible, within all areas of life: physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, professional, environmental and social. Aging within these dimensions of wellness keeps us involved, alert and enjoying a productive life.