Learn how to lose weight effectively at any age
It’s easier to stick with healthy diet and activity regimens in certain stages of your life than in others: a busy mum has a totally different schedule from an active, sports-loving student; a retiree has different health priorities to a 40-something career-woman with grown-up kids. Different times in our lives require us to rethink our goals and how we reach them.
Beyond lifestyle factors, some physiological and hormonal factors also affect how you lose weight at different ages.
If a 65-year-old and a 22-year-old followed the same workout routine and followed the same healthy-eating program, they would be unlikely to experience comparable results. That’s just biology.
As we age, our bodies change, internally as well as externally.
An appropriate weight-loss programme for a 22-year-old isn’t necessarily appropriate for someone two or three times that age.
Our metabolisms slow down as we age due to lifestyle and physical factors. It takes more work to burn energy as we get older, we lose muscle mass and bone density, and the nutrients in the food we eat aren’t absorbed as easily.
But, a slow metabolism isn’t inevitable, and there are things you can do to improve it. Getting a tailored eating and activity plan is the first step. A Jenny Craig weight-loss plan can also have other positive side effects like helping to prevent heart disease..
Knowing how to work with the aging process on your weight-loss journey can be much more rewarding than being in denial about it. Here’s what to know about how to lose weight at different ages.
In your 20s and 30s
It’s debatable whether your 20s are really the prime of your life–some say life begins at 40! But whatever your feelings on the matter, it’s true that many people are more energetic, and have more time for themselves in their 20s than at other times in their life.
But it’s also a time when you may not think too much about what you eat or drink because it’s relatively easy for your body to bounce back. Plus, the uni years aren’t known to be the healthiest time!
Make the most of your body’s youth and resilience to get into good diet and activity habits that will serve you well later in life.
The healthier you are now, the better the foundation you’ll have entering your 40s, 50s and beyond.
Many women give birth in their 20s and 30s, and the rigours of pregnancy, childbirth and nursing take their toll on the body. New mums often like to lose baby weight to feel like themselves again after such a big life change. There’s no rush or pressure to lose baby weight, but when you feel ready Jenny Craig welcomes new mums who are at least six weeks post-partum.
Losing baby weight can be done with the right combination of diet and activity, and should be balanced with the physical demands on you. That is, if you continue to nurse for six or twelve months (or longer) after giving birth, it’s essential to develop a weight-loss plan that’s appropriate for your nutritional needs. That’s important for both you and baby.
Not only will following a Jenny Craig meal plan help you lose the baby weight but it can also simplify meal times. One less thing to worry about when you have a new, tiny human demanding your attention!
In your 40s and 50s
Paying attention to your bone density is increasingly important as you get older because your bones weaken and you’re at greater risk of fractures and breaks. Calcium and magnesium-rich foods are important for bone density,
Some women may experience menopause in their mid–late 40s (for others this won’t happen until their 50s), and that can lead to weight gain caused by hormonal and lifestyle factors. It can also change your body shape, as increased oestrogen levels cause excess fat to shift from the thighs and hips to the waist.
The good news is that menopause weight gain isn’t always inevitable, and there are some aspects you can control.
Many women put on weight due to lifestyle changes that occur in middle age: more time for socialising after your kids have left home, more eating out, more drinking… All of which can lead to menopause weight gain and a less healthy lifestyle. This reason for weight gain can be controlled with a healthy lifestyle plan.
If you haven’t already done it, your 40s and 50s are a good time to add some weights and resistance training to your visits to the gym or other physical activity. You lose muscle as you age, so it takes a bit more work to stay strong. Weight training can also counter the effects of a slow metabolism as you age.
Aged 60 and above
Your body becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients as you age, so it’s vital to eat a combination of healthy food to give your body what it needs.
High cholesterol is also a concern for older people, and reducing this is essential to helping prevent heart disease, the leading cause of death among Australians and New Zealanders. So making sure what you each is nutrient dense, high in fibre and low in saturated fats is important.
If you’ve maintained a good activity regimen throughout your younger years, you may not experience a significantly slower metabolism. However, if you’ve found yourself becoming less active as you get older, it’s essential to include some moderate activity into your weight-loss plan. Jenny Craig’s Consultants can help you design the right plan for your age and current fitness levels.
Whatever stage of life you’re in, you’ll find plenty of useful resources on our site for your age group:start your journey now