So, your best years are behind you, there's no doubt about that!
However you haven't given up, you still want to look great, feel great and get the most out of life. Perhaps you have grandchildren that you want to enjoy playing with more or perhaps you are just feeling unhappy with the way in which your body is declining with age.
Now don't get angry about that last statement, it happens to us all and there's no shame in it. The point to focus on here is really what can we do about it?
How can you wind back the clock and get back into those jeans you bought in the 80’s?
Here are the Train Learn Go top 5 tips to lose weight into your 50's, 60's and beyond.
1) Get your Nutrition right.
This should go with saying really, it applies to everybody young, old, man or woman. Without your nutrition being in check the results you actually see just won't be what you want them to be.
Now nutrition may not be something you ever think about, or it might be something you think you already know all about.
For just a moment put to one side anything that you have been told by tv, magazines, friends or any other source that has another agenda, nutrition for weight loss is going to be a little different to whatever you may have heard.
I'm sure you will have heard people tell you that you just need to diet but in truth, the concept of a diet is flawed. What you really you need to think about it is a 'lifestyle change', we need to tweak your existing nutritional plan so that you don't find yourself unable to stick to it.
The key to success here really is consistency; true weight loss (not losing weight and the piling it back on after) comes from a very mild, slow reduction OVER TIME.
We don't want to starve ourselves, cut out carbohydrates or make any drastic changes. Instead we just need to manipulate the variables.
Hang on, variables, not cutting out carbohydrates, what on earth are you talking about?
Really weight loss and weight gain is a very simple equation and in order to begin losing weight you must ensure that the calories you intake do not exceed the calories that you burn throughout the day.
The only thing in the world that can make you fatter or thinner is a calorie.
2) Move more.
Yes, exercise, you knew it would feature somewhere here, you shouldn't be surprised. However before you hit the back button, here us out.
Many of you may be thinking, I can’t exercise, I haven't run in 30 years, and I'm certainly not dropping and giving you 20.
We hear you, but understand that exercise is relative to your current activity level.
What we mean by this is quite simple, whilst trying to lose weight the primary purpose of exercising is to burn more calories, the secondary focus is for cardiovascular health.
In order for you to be 'exercising' you simply need to be burning more calories than you would if you weren't exercising.
Perhaps instead of sitting in front of the TV, you could take the dog for a walk.
Hey look at that, you're exercising and just burnt a bunch of calories too.
You may now be thinking 'look I’m really overweight, I can't walk miles and miles, my knees hurt, my back hurts etc' again don't worry!
Perhaps today you can only walk half a mile, that's fine.
Maybe each week you try and walk a little further, if you keep up this steady progression, in a relatively short space of time (a few months) you could work up to walking several miles a day.
Sure it's not the most exciting thing in the world to do but we're sure the dog would thank you for it and you will reap the benefits.
Exactly how will all this walking help weight loss? Well, let's say you walk for
30 minutes a day, each time you burn let's say 80 calories.
That doesn't sound much right? Well if you multiply it by 7 to see what you would burn in a week you get 560 calories. A pound of fat is said to contain 3800 calories approximately, so in just over a month and a half, you will have burnt enough calories to lose 1lb of fat. Considering this isn't factoring in your nutritional changes it's not a bad result for very little effort.
The take away from this is really that exercise shouldn't really be thought of as blood, sweat and tears in the gym but rather something just a little more than would do normally and most importantly consistently over time.
3) Get your 8 hours.
Now that we have already talked about the two points that nobody likes to think about when it comes to weight loss, it's now time to talk about one that you might actually enjoy.
We’ve never met a person who didn't like sleeping more. You may not realise this but if you were to not sleep and not eat at all, scientists believe you would die of sleep deprivation long before starving to death.
Sleep is incredibly important to overall health, well-being, recovery and repair.
If you’re not getting enough sleep your body simply won't operate at an optimal level and when it's something you can effect so easily there really is no reason not to address it.
8 hours is a minimum, slightly more is great, however you can have too much of a good thing, at a certain point sleeping more will give diminishing returns.
We have a great article written on sleep by our CEO Andrew Dowen called 'How to fuel sleep' if you want to delve deeper into the getting the most out of your down time.
4) Drink more water.
Everybody knows that you are supposed to drink a fair old bit of water each day to maintain a healthy balance. It won't have escaped your attention that not many people are drinking anywhere near that amount, yet they aren't dropping dead all over the place, however these people can be quite dehydrated a lot of the time without really knowing it.
Simply put your body won't function correctly when it's dehydrated; it needs water for nearly every process that goes on.
So how much should you drink?
2 Litres, is what we hear touted all the time by the medical community, however really it should be closer to 3 to really cover all the bases.
3 Litres a day! I can't drink that much!
Hold your horses, think back to the way we looked at walking and exercise earlier.
Nobody is suggesting that you go from drinking a couple a glasses maximum per day to 3 litres straight away, there's no way you would be able to keep that up. Remember the golden rule is consistency, so if you're drinking 2 glasses a day, then maybe try and up it a glass a day extra every week, every two weeks, however slowly you feel comfortable with until you reach a good quantity over time.
Your body will adapt with the increase so you won't be running to the toilet all the time and you won't have to be forcing it down either.
Ultimately 3 litres is a ceiling, and any increase no matter how small will be a benefit to you.
Also bear in mind, nobody is suggesting you should be drinking pure H2O either, you can add cordial, you could get some of it from tea, coffee and other drinks also (beer and wine doesn't count, nice try!). You should try to reduce the amount of fizzy drink you consume as well. Let's say you're downing 2 litres of coke a day.
Hopefully you realise this isn't great, perhaps you feel like you couldn't do without it. Well the same goes for the coke as for the water but in reverse, reduce the amount gradually over time.
Slow controlled changes over times always yield the best results.
5) Don't do it alone.
We've all been there, around the dinner table and dessert comes out. It's your favorite type of cake and you're feeling the cravings build up already.
As you are offered a piece, your mind is engaged in a conflict, do you take it or do you 'be good'...
Nobody wants to be the only person not joining in, it makes things really difficult and anybody who has tried losing weight before will know that other people can't help themselves but make clever comments and tease you about not having that slice of cake.
This whole situation is easily diffused if you are not alone, when a partner, family member or friend is joining you on your journey, you keep each other motivated and on track.
It's even better if you can do it in a group as well!
However you do still need to keep yourself in check also, nobody, and we mean nobody has infinite will-power. Professional athletes are about as close as you can get and even they have times that they take a step back, let themselves go a little.
There will be times when you get a little off track, this is completely normal.
Let's say it's your birthday and you go out with the family for a big meal and a few drinks, then they bring you a cake out and you end up have 2 or 3 slices of that too. A really common issue for people who 'diet' is that they adopt the mindset of 'oh well, I've ruined my diet now, I might as well carry on and enjoy it'.
There is nothing wrong with overindulging now and again, but you need to understand that you can and should get back into your routine the next day. The consistency is key here once again and one night of over-doing it will not affect your weight loss negatively in the long run.
Everything is more fun when you can do it with someone else and any problems you face you can always share. A problem shared is a problem halved as the saying goes.
There is nothing groundbreaking in this article, there was secret recipe, magical exercise or miracle pill you can take to make the weight drop off overnight. There's a reason for that, it just doesn't exist.
Hopefully the way in which we looked at some of these simple concepts has given you a new way to think about them and perhaps has even removed some of the roadblocks that were stopping you before.
Losing weight is not hard, despite what you might have been told. As you begin to improve in each of the areas we talked about, you will begin to see improvements.
It is very important to note that incredible results come only with time.
You need to approach all of this as a long term change. If you are doing something you can't see yourself doing in years to come, then chances are that you won't.
If you can lose only 1lb a month consistently which is a very modest weight loss, then in two years you would have lost 24lbs, which is 2 stone. This is an enormous amount of weight to lose and the physical change would be very apparent to others. Most people don't have two stone of weight to lose and can lose more than 1lb a month.