If there’s one thing that I have learned about losing weight after 60, it’s that staying in shape is a choice.
My conversations with hundreds of older women have taught me that, while it’s possible to be in the best shape of your life in your 60s or 70s, this won’t happen by accident.
For starters, our metabolisms aren’t what they used to be. In addition, many of us have a few extra aches and pains to work around. Finally, if we are completely honest with ourselves, most of us simply don’t enjoy going to the gym.
The good news is that losing weight after 60 doesn’t require an expensive sports club membership. Instead of going to the gym, there are many other ways to change your daily routine to get the results you want.
Here are 9 simple tips to help you get started.
Reducing your calorie intake is the most obvious way to lose weight. Unfortunately, as many of us have learned the hard way, when it comes to food, being disciplined is almost impossible.
One trick that psychologists often recommend is to hide all of the large plates in your house. This will force you to eat smaller portions. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, perhaps it’s easier to avoid temptation than to engage your willpower.
If you want to lose weight, eating reasonable portions is important. At the same time, it’s not just how much you eat that is important. Getting the right nutrition is also critical to your success.
So, why not pay a visit to your local farmer’s market? Or, if you are feeling adventurous, why not learn how to make a delicious green smoothie?
Not only is eating your greens good for your waistline, but, according to recent research, it may also protect your brain from damage as you get a little older.
You probably know that sitting too much is bad for your health. You may have even heart that “sitting is the new smoking.” Fortunately, the solution to your sitting problem is probably already in your kitchen. I’m talking, of course, about your egg timer.
One of the best ways to force yourself to get up every hour is to set a timer. This could be an alarm clock, egg timer or mobile phone. When you get up, do a few stretching exercises or swing your arms around. You will be amazed by how different you feel in just a few days.
Everyone knows the dangers of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. What people tend to forget is that alcohol is not only bad for you in large doses – it also contains a lot of calories.
By all means, have a glass of wine or beer with dinner. But, if you find yourself drinking more than you know you should, take action. Your body and brain will thank you.
One of the easiest exercises is also most natural – walking. Not only does walking burn calories, but, according to this research, it may also help you to feel less stressed. Since many people eat when they are anxious, walking may help you to keep the weight off in more ways than one.
If you love walking, you’re set! Just pick a time of the day that works for you and stick to it. On the other hand, if walking doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there are plenty of ways to make your daily jaunt around the neighborhood more interesting.
For example, many people love to listen to audiobooks while they walk. Sites like Audible.com offer thousands of titles, but, getting your audiobook fix doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, Librivox offers many audiobooks for free.
Another option is to find a friend to walk with you and keep you motivated. Of course, not everyone has a close friend to walk with. The good news is that sites like Sixty and Me offer plenty of options for meeting people to explore the world with.
Do you eat while you watch TV? Do you snack while standing in the kitchen? Do you keep snacks in your car? If so, your “mindless” calorie consumption may be sabotaging your efforts to get in shape.
Formalizing your eating times is one of the best ways to lose weight after 60. Set a rule that you will only eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at certain times. If possible, ask your partner or a friend to join you. You will be amazed by the progress you can make just by eliminating absent-minded snacking.
Spending time in your garden helps you lose weight in more ways than one. First, the physical work is a great calorie burner. When you’re focused on a task, it’s easy to forget about the fact that you are actually getting a workout at the same time. Second, spending time in your garden lets you grow healthy fruits and vegetables to replace the unhealthy snacks in your house.
As a bonus, consider adding a little yoga to your gardening routine. There is a common misconception that yoga is only for ridiculously flexible 20-somethings. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, people in their 60s and 70s can benefit more from gentle yoga than other age groups.
Moving your body to music is a great way to burn calories and feel energized. This is true whether you’re dancing at home – for fun, try “Happy” by Pharrell Williams – or going out with friends.
In addition to burning calories directly, dancing can help you to build your confidence and social ties, resulting in less mindless eating.
Technology has become so integrated into our lives that we barely notice it any more. Some of the simplest ways to lose weight involve saying no to automation. For example, why not park your car a few blocks from the grocery store instead of in the parking lot? Or, even better, why not ride your bike to the shops?
If you live on the 2nd or 3rd floor of your apartment building, consider using the stairs at least once a day. If it makes it easier, start by walking down the stairs and taking the elevator up. Every little step counts!
No matter how well you plan your meals, you are going to get hungry throughout the day. One of the best ways to minimize the impact of any sneaky calorie consumption is to have handy snacks ready. When I’m hungry, I make myself a protein shake or green smoothie, but, there are plenty of healthy options out there.
Are you currently trying to lose a little weight? What physical activities do you enjoy the most? What advice would you give to someone who is trying to get in shape after 60? Please join the conversation.