You evaded them in your forties, but you fear they are coming, and you won’t be able to escape.
The big butt and the belly fat.
You look in the mirror, and you are embarrassed. It is like a slow decay. Your scale does not like you. You don’t like what you see.
You feel hopeless. How did that happen to you?
Are you condemned to eat broccoli and kale for the rest of your life? Who can do that anyway?
Don’t rush to the farmer’s market yet.
There are simple healthy habits to lose weight after 50, and that are much less restrictive, and much easier to implement.
Healthy lifestyle hack 1- Go cold turkey on snacks
A sugar doughnut.
A small bag of potato chips.
A so-called “energy bar”.
Two pancakes with syrup.
All these foods have roughly the same number of calories, around 150.
Guess which one is the healthiest one?
If you said, “energy bar”, you fell for the marketing propaganda — and you are wrong.
No, it’s the pancakes.
The pancakes are much healthier because they are a meal, they are your breakfast.
It’s not the case for all the other foods. They are snacks.
Snacks are parasite food and can creep into your day, in your routine without you noticing. While you forget about them, but they add up.
Losing weight does not mean you have to give up on tasty food. However, when and why you eat matters, so you better drop the snacks. They are making you fat.
Healthy lifestyle hack 2- Burn Baby Burn!
Exercise burns fat. However, some people will tell you that it burns too little calories to be effective.
This statement is somewhat true, except if you are overweight.
Walking two miles burns around 200 calories for a 180-pound person and 130 for a 120-pound person. Do you see the pattern?
There is a silver lining in having extra pounds: your burn more calories.
How much your exercise also matters, and most people got it wrong.
If you are like them, you cram your exercise time in one session at the gym, and you are done for the week. It is exhausting and challenging to recover from.
And if you skip your weekly session, for some undoubtedly good reason, you just divided your average exercise dose by two.
There is a much better way. You need to exercise daily.
You don’t need to set very ambitious goals (in fact you shouldn’t). Just put the exercise in your routine, morning, lunch, or evening, which suits your lifestyle best.
You see, even 20mn per day gives 2 hours total over six days — more than most gym sessions — while still resting on Sundays. Add 5 minutes daily, and you have now 2 hours 30mn a week. That’s the magic compound effect of a habit.
To stick to this healthy habit, The DueVeo app helps you track and monitor your activity while making it a fun social experience.
Healthy lifestyle hack 3- Get them Zzz
Did you know that there is an even more natural way to burn calories?
Sleep burns around 50 calories an hour if you are 150 pounds and 60 if you are 185 pounds. Here again, your extra weight helps.
But sleep does not only burn fat, but it also burns hunger.
According to the national academy of science, not sleeping enough creates a cascade of hormonal events that generate hunger and incites you to eat more, resulting in a total weight gain.
So, go to bed and get this good night’s sleep.
What is more comfortable than that?
Healthy lifestyle hack 4- What you eat doesn’t matter
“Eat less, exercise more”. That used to be the motto for a healthy living.
Eating less is not dieting
Now some experts criticize this approach, saying that it failed, because dieting is hard and prone to trigger a yo-yo effect. You may have tried dieting yourself, and it did not work.
The point is “eating less” does not mean dieting. It does not involve counting calories. It does not mean focusing on a specific type of food. Or feeding on bland protein shakes. Or eating only cabbage.
It means just that: eat less.
A friend of mine that was obsessed with healthy food and organics asked me once how I kept fit at my age and what I did eat. My answer was simple: “What is important is not what you eat, but what you don’t eat”.
“What is important is not what you eat, but what you don’t eat”.
There are many way of gobbling less
There are numerous ways to eat less, that don’t require exceptional willpower and self-flagellation.
We have seen one already: you should ban snacks.
Another simple one is Intermittent fasting.
It is a straightforward way to reduce your calorie intake: just don’t eat. Not for long — 10 or 20 hours. You can start by skipping a meal. And do it once a week no more.
Other strategies address how you eat.
Again, it is not about counting calories or banning food, but more about behavior and habit.
- Serve smaller portions. Because you will usually eat what is on your plate, so the less you put, the less you eat.
- Eating a variety of food is a trick used in the Japanese Bento box: many different foods give the impression of plenty, even if each is in small quantity.
- Don’t refill. This requires some training and discipline. You should not refill your plate. Never.
- The “Montignac Method” is an interesting alternative to dieting – no calories counting, but focus on food type instead.
Healthy lifestyle hack 5- Eat more of less
Learning to eat less can be difficult, and you may be reluctant and worried that you can do it.
Luckily for you, there is another hack.
Eat food with fewer calories.
Easy enough, no?
But what is food with fewer calories? How to identify it?
In a nutshell, it is food with lots of water, fibers and air. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables and yes, broccoli and kale. But also, oranges, lychees, apricot, avocados, lettuce, red cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, almonds, walnuts. And air popped popcorns without butter or sugar.
The idea is to replace some high calories food by these.
These two pancakes, for instance, make them one and replace the second with an orange. You just saved 20 calories.
This change is small, but this is two grams of body fat. Multiply that by 30 mornings, and you just saved 60 grams or 0.13 pounds a month.
If you do that substitution over the day, you can easily save 0.5 or 1 pound a month of fat that you won’t gain, or that you will lose.
Fat is not Fate
Getting past 50, you fear your fit days are over.
You see the extra pound slowly adding to your body, and you despair.
But big butt and belly fat are not inevitable.
We have seen five healthy habits that can help you. They are simple to implement, without radically changing the food you eat and the way you live.
But you have to try.
What it takes is the willingness to experiment, and enough persistence to wait for the result.
It may take weeks or months to adjust but you will find that with some practice some of these hacks are enjoyable. You will soon be doing them without thinking and why not, find your own hacks.
You’ll worry no more about the 50s body, you’ll be fitter than ever, or at least not worse than before.
It just takes the first step. Start hacking now!