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Losing weight after 50

Getting older does not have to be synonymous with weight gain.
Getting older does not have to be synonymous with weight gain.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Weight loss after turning 50 is the same as it is when you turn 25; it boils down to burning more calories than you consume on a consistent basis. Many people feel like this isn’t true because they perform the same workouts they did 10 or even 20 years ago, and eat similar foods, but have begun putting on weight and cant seem to lose the weight regardless of what they do. This weight gain occurs because according to the Mayo Clinic, as you age, your metabolism slows. Meaning you burn fewer calories at rest, which is usually what accounts for the difference in the number of calories burned each day.

Calculate your daily caloric needs. Weight loss can be very difficult, especially if you aren’t paying attention to your daily caloric needs. By calculating the amount of calories your body needs to maintain your current weight, you can then plan you meals accordingly so that you are getting the amount you need to remain wealthy, while simultaneously losing weight. A typical weight loss plan aims for a daily deficit of 500 to 1000 calories per day, which results in one to two pounds lost per week.

Lift weights regularly. According to, after turning 50 you lose roughly 8 to 16 percent of your lean body mass (LBM) per decade. This is important because LBM is what drives your metabolism. Losing LBM, means losing calories burned on a daily basis. Weight training can help to prevent this weight loss, and can even lead to an increase in LBM, which in turn helps to increase calories burned per day. This maintenance of LBM, or even potential increase in LBM can make or break your weight loss success.

Perform high intensity intervals during cardio training days. Interval training is when you alternate short (30 to 60 seconds) high intensity (80 to 90 percent of perceived maximum) cardio, with longer (2 to 4 minutes), less intense (50 to 60 percent of perceived maximum) cardio. Keep in mind that these intensity levels are set to the users pace, not at a generic level with the expectation that anyone can do it. According to, interval training can increase energy expenditure by nearly 700 percent. 

Consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise or diet program.


  • Linda Hepperle 5 years ago

    I just started as a Denver Moms Fitness examiner and I was just browsing the fitness page. This is a great article. I had been thinking about writing similar points that you made (BMR vs. calorie intake) great job. People need to know these things.

  • Chris 4 years ago

    Linda-Thank you so much for the compliment! This is something that I hear from clients, and members of my gym all the time. Im constantly trying to clarify myths about health and fitness. Im glad that you find this informative! Hopefully other readers do as well!

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