Friday, October 17, 2008

Can Women In Their 50's Find A Way To Lose Weight?

Why is it harder for women to lose weight in their 50’s?
Is it really a fact that it’s harder to get the weight off or does it just seem like it? Think back to when you did find it easy to lose weight. What was different?

Besides your hormones, menopause, your muscle mass, and other biological issues, there are also lifestyle factors to consider:

1. As we age it is very likely we have more disposable income than we did when we were younger. This, along with the types of social activities we enjoy later in life, often leads to dining out for dinner more. In turn we have less control over the ingredients in our meals, as well as the portion sizes. Eating out more often means larger meals, preceded by rolls or chips or appetizers, in combination with alcoholic beverages, and/or followed by desserts! Consider that you may actually be eating more now than you did 20 or 30 years ago.

2. Comparing your lighter days to now, how often do you eat fast food? It is much easier to pick up a quick meal nowadays than to make one at home, and sometimes even less expensive. It is so convenient to order Chinese food, or a pizza, when you may have prepared virtually every meal at home when you were a young mother with small children. Maybe you even skipped a meal now and then because you were so busy! Could you be getting an extra few hundred calories several days a week from burgers, fries, and other meals that are so convenient, but not so low-calorie?

3. How closely do you watch what you eat today compared with how you may have watched your figure when you were younger? Did you have days where you barely ate because there was a dress you wanted to wear to a party that was coming up? Did you avoid cookies and chips and other snacks and desserts because “fat free” or “guilt free” or “low-cal” treats did not exist? We may eat many ‘diet’ foods these days, telling ourselves “it’s okay; it’s low fat”. Well, it’s not calorie-free food, so maybe we are getting more calories than we need on a daily basis.

4. Finally, exercise naturally comes in to the energy balance equation. How much exercise do you get now compared to the activity in your daily life a few decades ago? Do you find yourself spending a lot of your day in sedentary activities due to your work, or even your hobbies? Did you do more walking back then for reasons like getting the kids to school or visiting a neighbor? Today it is quite easy to go through a twenty-four hour period hardly moving a muscle! We drive everywhere. We email people at work instead of walking down the hall to answer a question. We can order clothes online and gifts from catalogs so we don’t even have to go to a mall for shopping. We can get our dry cleaning delivered to our home, and even get a sack of burgers and fries without leaving our car—just drive up to the window and it’s handed to you! What can you do today to increase your activity level? Consider that as little as 20 minutes of walking each day can help you lose more than 10 pounds a year!

Take some time to think about what your life was like when you were at a weight you would like to be again: What was your breakfast like? Your lunch? Your dinner? What did you do for exercise or how active were you just to get the daily list of errands accomplished? What did you do for fun with your friends besides going out to eat?
Perhaps you will find the key to getting back to a healthy weight when you remember how you ate and how you exercised. One thing is for sure: sitting in your easy chair and blaming your weight on your age isn’t going to change a thing!

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