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Losing weight at 50 can be difficult, but it is possible — here's how

6 approaches you can take to tackle weight loss.

Losing weight at 50 can be difficult, but it is possible — here's how
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It can be difficult to accept that weight gain when we're older is harder to shift. But there are reasons why, and ways to adapt to it. While your muscle mass decreases and your food intake may stay the same, you are generally more prone to weight gain as you age.

Unfortunately, this is a part of the ageing process, but it's not all hopeless — there are things we can do to take back control of weight gain.

If you've been trying to lose weight with little success and think it might be related to your age, we are here to help you work with your age, rather than against it when it comes to weight loss.

Why is losing weight in your 50s hard?

The main reason why weight loss is more challenging in your 50s is due to losing muscle mass. If you don't maintain muscle throughout your life, you tend to see a greater depletion as you age.

Muscle mass loss also slows down your metabolism (your ability to convert food into energy) and naturally, your activity levels tend to decrease, which means you burn fewer calories [1].

Losing weight becomes gradually harder in your 40s and is noticeably difficult to shift in your 50s. That seems to be the age where if you gain weight, it's significantly harder to lose weight.

What role does menopause play in weight gain?

It's not just the fact that age makes weight loss difficult. Menopause can have a major impact on your ability to lose weight as well as how much weight you might gain around this time.

Your body goes through a number of changes during menopause, including decreasing the number of hormones it produces like progesterone and oestrogen.

Common symptoms associated with menopause, including disrupted sleep, decreased mood, bloating and hot flushes, can also make it harder to feel motivated and energetic to exercise, which in turn, can impact your weight loss efforts [2].

These changes can also increase your weight gain potential (particularly around the stomach), making it harder to lose weight after 50 [3].

6 ways to approach weight loss at 50

Weight loss is never linear and losing weight at 50 can feel like a task but we're here to help.

Between cutting out unhealthy habits, following a balanced diet, moving more and asking for professional help, you can start your weight loss journey [4]. Check out our 6 tips below.

Set realistic goals

Looking at how to lose weight fast at 50 might be the wrong approach. If you're seeking fast results, you're probably looking at short-term solutions which aren't sustainable [5].

While your goal might be to lose a significant amount of weight, it's best to start small and create realistic goals that won't feel as overwhelming. When you're feeling motivated, working towards a big goal can feel empowering but when motivation wanes, it can feel like you'll never hit the number you're after.

Try to start small and set a few goals and healthy habits around your health and fitness. This might be going for a walk each morning or swapping your nightly soft drink for water — whatever it is, start small and work up from there.

Focus on your food

The science of losing weight means we need to look at how many calories we're eating in regard to our energy output. If you're consuming more calories than you're burning in a day, weight loss will be more difficult.

Try to focus on incorporating whole foods into your daily diet and strip out anything that isn't serving you day-to-day (and save these for every now and then!).

One of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to monitor your calorie intake and increase your protein is with Juniper's Nourish Shakes. These meal replacement shakes contain the nutritional benefits of a balanced meal but is only 205 calories per shake.

Plus, each drink includes 20 vitamins and minerals, 29.4g of high-quality protein, fibre and pre and probiotics. Available in 5 different flavours, Juniper's Nourish Shakes not only taste delicious but also offer weight loss benefits.

On the Rapid weight loss plan, which involves consuming 2 shakes a day, it's normal to lose up to 2kgs a week for the first 4-6 weeks, then 0.8kgs each week beyond that [10].

The Steady weight loss plan, which involves one shake per day combined with a low-calorie diet, can help you lose 4% of your body weight in 12 weeks [11].

Make the most of every workout

One of the hardest things about trying to lose weight is working on your exercise routine. You don't need to run 10k every morning if you're not a runner and you don't need to go to an intense gym class every day to start your weight loss journey.

It's about finding a workout that's effective and, more importantly, one that you enjoy! Choosing activities that are low impact is especially important. You don't need to damage your knees just to get a good sweat on.

Yoga is a great option as it allows you to strengthen muscle groups and in turn, helps burn calories. Strength training and resistance training are also great for increasing muscle mass. They can target large muscle groups and you can continue burning calories throughout the day — even long after a weight training session [6].

Strength training tends to be slower, too. If HIIT (high-intensity interval training) isn't for you, weight training can be a nice alternative that still burns calories but just at a slower pace.

Get your hormones checked

If you're eating whole foods and have a varied exercise regime but you're not noticing any changes, a trip to the doctor might help gain more clarity.

As we know with menopause, hormonal changes can affect your body fat percentage. There are certain conditions involving hormone production that will affect your weight loss efforts [7].

Things like hypothyroidism (when your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of the thyroid hormone) or polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS (when you have too much of the androgen hormone) can make weight loss more difficult so be sure to have a conversation with your healthcare provider if you suspect you may be experiencing either of these conditions.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Alcohol is high in empty calories and when consumed in large quantities, can lead to weight gain.

As getting older already slows down your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight, it's helpful to be aware of your energy output and energy input [8]. So, if you're on a weight loss journey, try to reduce your alcohol consumption where possible.

With anything though, enjoying in moderation will not be harmful to your progress.

Try a holistic program

A holistic approach to healthy eating and working out is always preferable. Fad diets aren't sustainable; you might see fast results at the beginning but it's unlikely you'll be able to continue incorporating them into your life.

It's important to look for a holistic approach and a medical weight management program like Juniper's Weight Reset Program encompasses every aspect of your well-being to reach a happier you.

Our Weight Reset Program helps you achieve long-term weight loss with a mixture of breakthrough weight loss medication, which regulates digestion and reduces your appetite, and behavioural changes guided by our team of allied health practitioners.

The program teaches you how to change your relationship with food and exercise and gives you the tools to make long-term changes for lasting weight loss. This means once you've lost weight, you'll also have the knowledge of how to continue to make healthy choices in the future.

When you're ready, our team of experts are here to support you on your weight loss journey.

It’s more than just weight loss

Thousands of Australian women have found new confidence with Juniper.

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