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MARYLIZ54120 Posts: 370
3/5/14 11:09 A

It is possible. I'm 56. Tried forever and finally it started coming off. Keep trying different things and see what works for you.

LDHAWKE98 Posts: 69
3/4/14 3:55 P

You need to eat between 1200 and 1550 calories per day. Track your food using Spark People’s nutrition tracker. I track calories, carbs, fat, sugar, protein, cholesterol and sodium. Spark People lists reasonable levels for each, which I adhere to.

You need to eat at least 6 times a day to trigger your metabolism. Eat breakfast as soon as you get up to activate your metabolism. Also eat lunch and dinner, adding lots of veggie to your meal. Keep the portions reasonable. Then add 3 more proteins and 2 carbs to your daily intake. The protein can be ½ cup of 2% cottage cheese, 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 ounces of low sodium deli meat on 1 slice of rye or pumpernickel bread, 80-calorie yogurt. The carbs can be the 1 slice of bread (no white) or a piece of fruit. Also, be sure to eat something before you go to bed to keep that metabolism burning while you sleep. Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day.

I hope this helps you out.

MARTHA324 SparkPoints: (171,955)
Fitness Minutes: (140,663)
Posts: 5,160
3/4/14 3:40 P

Online Now  • ))
Everything used to be smaller! Years ago I would get a bran muffin every once in a while and it was so small it fit in the palm of my hand. now they are huge.
for me portion control is key - I still weigh and measure most things and am typically surprised to find that a "regular" portion is just fine and I'm full.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/4/14 3:15 P

The 'less of it' part resonates with me. It's hard to remember what portion sizes used to be. When I remember skipping church with my little brother to go to the drug store soda fountain, I remember the hamburger and coke - they were awesome. If I could go back in time, I'd look at them and think the portions are too small, compared to what is served today. Yes, I was young, but the times were different, also. A glass of milk was also smaller, by the way.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 3/4/2014 (15:16)
3/4/14 3:08 P

I liked this: "As the weight came off I gradually changed my eating and now focus on eating real foods, lots of plants, and less of it." I do the same. Once in awhile someone asks me what my diet "philosophy" is, and I don't really have one except "Eat more plants." I already liked lots of protein-rich foods; I had to learn to like eating plants.

3/4/14 2:57 P

Thanks again for your replies!

Martha, I liked your idea about having wine only on the weekend - I have to admit, this is a weakness of mine! I also do have to "track" everything that I eat. I have that dieter's mentality that I have to get over when you eat something that you really shouldn't be eating, that it ruins the rest of your day and then you eat everything in the house so that is why I haven't been that accurate with the tracking (or even sharing my nutrition tracking since it doesn't paint an accurate picture).

I do feel more satisfied though (with less cravings) when I eat a higher protein diet so the suggestion about Paleo was good too since I have considered that before.

I am starting exercising slowly since I just had a hip replacement in December so the bicycling right now feels great and I do sweat a lot while doing this since I am peddling about 14.5 - 15 miles an hour so I believe the intensity is good.

I really do enjoy strength training and I am planning on incorporating that in soon but certain moves still feel a little strange with my hip (I used to love doing Leslie Sansone's walking DVD's but the move where you lift your knees up while walkikng feels a little stiff right now).

I just started exercising too on February 19th when I got my Spark Tracker. I was riding the bike a little before that and adding in mileage daily, but I seriously started tracking exercising on February 19th.

LOLA_LALA Posts: 659
3/4/14 2:48 P

I think MISSRUTH has some wise, realistic advice (speaking as someone who lost 80 lbs. at 59 here). If you haven't done so already, see your primary care doctor and discuss this with them. They should check your thyroid function, as those of us who are older are more subject to hypothyroidism.

My own experience was that even though I am unable to do much in the way of aerobic exercise, I lost my weight (from a starting weight of close to 200) when I was 59, eating about 1300 calories a day and allowing myself one cheat meal a month. I weighed, measured, and tracked all food carefully, and I ate a diet very heavy in fresh produce.

Good luck to you. I'm sure you'll ultimately be very successful in losing the weight you wish to lose.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/4/14 2:24 P

I think that this is what that person is trying to say to you:

This one paragraph in the article sums it up:
After months of walking in your neighborhood or going to aerobics class, your body gets used to that level and type of activity. Muscles aren't as challenged and don't have to work as hard. The result is you burn fewer calories per minute than you did early on when the exercise was new and difficult.

So, what you need to do is either - do it for longer, set a higher intensity, or change up your routine. Maybe 1/2 hour cycling, 1/2 hour Zumba, or 1/2 hour Vinyasa yoga (hot or fat burning yoga), or something else (again, youtube).

I agree..exercise should only be what you enjoy - but if you have stalled (and diet alone is not doing it) you should try to change things up a bit - work new muscle groups.

Try looking at the free videos online - there is a lot for free that does not involve leaving the house on a cold winters day.

MARTHA324 SparkPoints: (171,955)
Fitness Minutes: (140,663)
Posts: 5,160
3/4/14 2:10 P

Online Now  • ))
I started on this journey when I was 61 1/2 and it took time, but I'm now down about 75 pounds. I did a few things differently this time (like many my weight was up and down over the years).
First - I decided that this wasn't going to be a "diet" that I went on and would invariably go off. I was going to start choosing healthy foods more often than not, track what I ate, and pay attention to the calorie limit for each day. No food is "bad" or "good" and my worth is not tied up in whether I had a good or bad eating day. It's just food.
Second - I would not drink during the week and would limit the wine on the weekend.
third - I invested in several sessions with a hypnotist who helped me with numbers 1 and two. She said she couldn't make me do something I didn't want to do. Her suggestions really helped.

After about 6 months and 30 pounds down I went back to her to get some help with exercise. And what I wanted to do was move every day.
I bought a pedometer and started walking and now get my 10,000 steps and/or 30 mins of moderate activity every day.

As the weight came off I gradually changed my eating and now focus on eating real foods, lots of plants, and less of it. I still track what I eat and while not a vegetarian, eat little red meat. I can truly say that I can eat what I want because what I want tends to be healthier.

You can do this and slow and steady is just fine.

3/4/14 2:05 P

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions on the diet suggestions - I really appreciate it.

However, the comment that my exercise routine of riding my recumbent bike an hour a day is a problem - I TOTALLY disagree with this. You have to do an exercise that you enjoy so that you are consistent with your workouts, at the time of the day that works for you (and I exercise at 4am on my quiet bike). While I understand that mixing cardio may help, it just does not work for me until I can walk outside. I also understand that strength exercises are really good for you, but right now - cardio is the only thing I am doing.

"I ride my recumbent bike for an hour a day - 14 miles so exercise is not a problem." Hate to tell you, but, yes, it is a problem. A bike is cardio, even if you set the resistance higher. Since you are sitting, it is not bone strengthening either. Since you are doing the same pace, time, intensity every day, your body has adapted so you aren't even burning as many calories as you previously did"

3/4/14 2:04 P

Thanks for the info abt the free TV, I am 57 and have multiple heath issues and no matter how bad I feel I try to just move for 10 minutes. Whether that is walking in place slowly or just standing in front of my favorite show and just move my arms. Little bits add up.

Edited by: HOLLYSNOWWOMAN at: 3/4/2014 (14:04)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/4/14 1:43 P

Amazon Instant Video streams movies and TV episodes to your computer for rent or to buy. There is 'free' viewing of any movie or TV series marked 'Prime' for Prime members. If you're a Prime member (which gets you free shipping on some items), there's a good selection of free exercise videos and a LOT of martial arts, yoga and Taoist stuff, some of which have hilarious titles and could have subtitles. I think Netflix must have the same kind of thing.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 3/4/2014 (13:45)
MIYAM1 Posts: 21
3/4/14 1:06 P

I've just discovered strength training videos on Spark! I needed this!

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/4/14 1:06 P

49Adams - Try stocking up on things when they are on sale - like bags of frozen veggies. When you create your dinner plate, dinner could be a piece of chicken, a side of brown rice - and the rest of the plate full of veggies.

Go for walks without your husband! A brisk 20 minute walk every day will do so much for you!

Youtube has a ton (a ton!!) of free videos. You name it - Leslie Sansome walking (yes you can walk in your living room) Denise Austin aerobics, Zumba, dance, pilates, cardio, strength training, even yoga.

You can do the Leslie Sansome walking in front of your husband - it can't possibly be done "wrong" by anyone ;)

Try doing beginners yoga in front of your husband! If he criticizes your form, tell him to get down on the floor with you and show you how it's done ;)

Edited by: EELPIE at: 3/4/2014 (13:09)
MIYAM1 Posts: 21
3/4/14 1:04 P

Just keep going! Your health is very important and exercise is great for someone our age! I was just diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and I'm focusing on eating right and exercising! I hope to turn this thing around. Keep up the good work!

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
3/4/14 1:03 P

Age doesn't make it incapable for you to lose weight, but it does make it different. A slower metabolism often accompanies the natural decline in muscle mass that accompanies age. Muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest. Unless we do muscle-building activities as we age, we lose mass and our metabolism slows.

However, all is not lost. If you begin strength training, you can halt muscle loss and even build some. That will help speed your metabolism all day as well as help with bone loss and keep you strong to keep up with daily activities.

"I ride my recumbent bike for an hour a day - 14 miles so exercise is not a problem." Hate to tell you, but, yes, it is a problem. A bike is cardio, even if you set the resistance higher. Since you are sitting, it is not bone strengthening either. Since you are doing the same pace, time, intensity every day, your body has adapted so you aren't even burning as many calories as you previously did.

You may want to consider shaking up your cardio routine with different types and/or adding intervals to you cycling. Strength training should be part of your routine as well. Body weight will work fine just to start. There's lots of great resources to get you started here.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/4/14 12:59 P

49Adams, it sounds like you are doing the right thing: you don't do the exercises when you don't want to hear the commentary about how you're doing the exercises. You go to the spare room and use your own equipment. There are some good exercise DVDs to borrow from the library if you ever get bored with a routine, too!

49ADAMS Posts: 409
3/4/14 12:51 P

I am trying to lose the weight myself, myhusband don;t really care if I do or not he says go ahead we are on a limited finacial budget he is a retired air force we can't afford all the helathy things that I would like to get I am 52 years old I haven't been feelign all that great I know it is the weight I have on me but i don't do my escersices when he is around cause he tell me I am doing them wrong or some kind of reply about it. so I just don't do them when he is at home. I went out this morning and shovels snow so that was my time to excersoces this morning. we don't have money to spend at the gym I have alot of equimpment at home that i use i try to go in to the one spare room to do some thanks for lettingme vent.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/4/14 12:45 P

Age plays a part but if you are over 50, you probably (likely) have dieted before. Dieting will always work - for the short term. However you slice it, a diet is fewer calories. I think as you get older, you have already started to internalize a lot of strategies that will help or hinder you with your weight loss efforts. Those are harder to deal with than any recommended choice of foods (or prohibition of foods).

There's no right diet except a balanced nutritious diet that keeps you healthy.

GAL2202 SparkPoints: (121,166)
Fitness Minutes: (148,620)
Posts: 179
3/4/14 12:12 P

I am 56 years old. I went to a nutritionalist and she really helped me. She told me about sparkpeople on how great it was. I have lost over 60 pounds. I also thank my Lord and Savior he had a lot to do with me loosing weight. He is my mighty fortress. Sally

Edited by: GAL2202 at: 3/4/2014 (12:13)
EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
3/4/14 9:54 A

Ditto RUSSELL !, and the comment about Primal/Paleo.

I'm 56, and I've lost a *lot* of weight on our endocrinologist's prescribed diet (restricted carb and "real food"). I've been at it a while now, so the loss is going more slowly... but it's still going, and my health is improved, too.

You're already considering that carbs may be a problem for you. I think that may be a good thought! I feel that especially after a certain age (which differs for each of us) that our bodies don't tolerate those high-density / high-energy foods we used to eat with impunity in our younger years.

Why don't you visit some of the low-carb forums here on SP and see what insight you might gather there?


EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/4/14 9:52 A

"Eating too many calories as suggested on SparkPeople just doesn't work for me."

You are eating more calories than is suggested, or sparkpeople has you eating too many calories?

What sources do you get carbs from? Processed foods, white flour? Or veggies and fruit?

MISSSVJS SparkPoints: (39,602)
Fitness Minutes: (49,998)
Posts: 1,388
3/4/14 9:45 A

I'm 56 as well and have been struggling for a while to drop 10-15 pounds I had let sneak back on. I knew I didn't tolerate grains or dairy well, so what has worked for me has been adopting a Paleo lifestyle - I've only been following Paleo for a few weeks now but I've already dropped 5 pounds. The great thing is my cravings are gone and I'm not hungry, also my food is tasting so much better - who knew I would be eating brussels sprouts! I purchased a couple of really great Paleo cookbooks - Well Fed and Well Fed 2; there are some incredibly delicious recipes in both cookbooks. Whether this will work for you, obviously I can't say, but it's what has worked for me. I also work out 5-6 times a week fairly rigorously and change up my workouts frequently.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,196
3/4/14 9:01 A

Sort of a p.s. here-- If you have not recently had a complete physical, it would be a very good idea to go get one. Sometimes things like an underactive thyroid show up in our 50's.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,196
3/4/14 8:50 A

One of the fabulous things about Spark, is that it'll give you the calorie range you need-- just feed in your information (height, weight, goal weight etc) and tell it how much you exercise, and it'll calculate it for you. Keep in mind that an aggressive goal like 2 pounds a week may not be realistic. From my own experience and that of my friends (my age) who've lost the weight.... 2 lbs/week is not so realistic unless you were a lot heavier to begin with.

My range and yours very well may be different; I peeked at your Tracker and you're burning more calories than I was, when I first started out. My range when I started was 1200-1550. At any rate, do NOT go under 1200 calories a day. The lowest calorie range Spark has, has 1200 as a minimum number. This is the bare minimum for a slight woman who is totally sedentary. If you're active... you're going to need more. When I first started on Spark, like I said, I wasn't hardly exercising at all. Once I got going with the exercise, I really did need to eat more, to keep losing.

This is just my opinion-- but I think it's important to hit at least the bottom of your calorie range every day, with good, solid, healthy choices. Not 800 calories of good stuff, and then 400 calories of junk and sweets. It's important to hit the bottom of your range with solid nutrition, to fuel your body properly. The Nutrition Tracker was probably the absolute number one most helpful tool, with my weight loss. Track it ALL, everything you eat, every last potato chip and breath mint.

And I also think that those of us who have spent years and years of yo-yo dieting and doing God only knows what to our metabolisms.... need to be patient and trust the process. Our bodies DO know what they're supposed to do. It can just take a little time for things to straighten out after years of doing screwy things.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
3/4/14 8:44 A

Initially when reading the title I thought " I refuse to lose weight for women over 50 ! ", but soon realized you need to actually lose it yourself. emoticon

I did click on it, probably because I have too much time on my hands, and read your post. I am guessing that you didn't mean SP is suggesting you eat too many calories, but that you don't think watching calories works for you, and are considering cutting carbs.

The problem with your thinking, is that when you cut carbs, you up fat. Protein isn't used if eaten in excess, and the liver can turn some excess protein to glucose, which is why you would do lower carb. To lower glucose, and prevent huge Insulin releases. So you cut carbs to control blood sugar, and excess protein gets converted, and the rest gets passed in the urine.

Your body can only use so much protein, and that does not change with diet. Low carb ends up being high fat. If you cut carbs to 30 %, and keep protein at 20-25%, then you end up with fat at 45-50%. Fear of fat has upped our carbs since the 1970's, with disastrous results. Fat went down, carbs went up, and the types of carbs we eat are worse because they took the fat out of them, so they could slap the label LOW FAT on them, and replaced with salt, and sugar. Healthy carb were turned into junk food.

So if you cut carbs, make sure the carbs you do eat are better carbs, and don't eat extra protein that will spike blood glucose the same as eating carbs. That means higher fat.

Since I have no idea how to eat for a 50 year old woman, I will leave it at that, and wish you luck finding something that works.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 3/4/2014 (08:49)
KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
3/4/14 8:41 A

I'm 59 and you are right it is a little harder to lose weight as you age. It can be done though, you just have to be more diligent. I was on a plateau for months until I took a hard look at my diet, not how much I was eating but what. I stayed within my calorie range usually but would sometime skip meals and go for a sugary thing instead. I gave up sugar entirely and lost 16 lbs. Then sugar wormed it's way back into my diet and I have regained 4 lbs. I need to become more diligent again.

3/4/14 8:30 A

I got desperate about my weight in January of 2012 when I was 51 years old. I peaked at 285 pounds and was looking at diabetes and heart disease if I didn't change. My doctor told me to eat a high fiber diet, avoid refined sugar and flour, and exercise an hour a day. It has been a pretty successful prescription for me.

Consistently tracking, exercising and eating around 1600 calories a day got me to around 195 pounds. I recently cut out alcohol and went down to around 1400 calories a day and added a little more exercise to break through a plateau and it's been working.

3/4/14 8:16 A

Can you let me know what calorie range you were at to lose the weight? 1000 calories, 1300 calories, etc.?

I ride my recumbent bike for an hour a day - 14 miles so exercise is not a problem.

I think my metabolism may be shot since I have done Medifast in the past.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,196
3/4/14 8:10 A

I'm 58; I lost the weight & have kept it off around 2 years now. It is absolutely not the same as it used to be-- when I was younger, I could drop 5 lbs. in no time. But this time, it came off very slowly. But it did indeed come off.

I went to take a peek at your Nutrition Tracker, to try to get an idea of your calorie range and what/ how much you're eating.... but your page is set to private. You also did not mention whether you're exercising. Personally, I think at our age, exercise is crucial. It helps keep the metabolism going. Strength training is important, too. When we lose weight, our bodies burn not just the fat, but muscle tissue as well. So we really do need to be actively working at keeping those muscles.

You might want to consider (at least for a while; you can always change it back later) making your page public, and sharing your food and fitness trackers. You'd get some more specific suggestions that way.

3/4/14 8:00 A

There was a time I could diet and lose weight easily. For about 6 years now (I am 56), I cannot lose weight at all. Eating too many calories as suggested on SparkPeople just doesn't work for me. I really need to lose about 40 pounds but wonder if I cannot tolerate carbs and need to do more of a protein diet, cut my calories drastically, etc.

Any suggestions as to what may have worked for those over 50 would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


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