Why Weight Loss Is Important in Your 50s and How to Achieve It Healthily

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It’s normal for your body weight to change over time as your metabolism slows down with age.
However, research shows that a significant portion of middle-aged adults undergo unhealthy
weight changes to the extent that they are at risk of or diagnosed with obesity. A survey involving adults aged 40-80 reveals that 38% of men and 41% of women had a body mass index (BMI) of over 30, a common indicator of obesity. Besides basing the obesity rates on BMI, the study also calculated their body fat percentage using scans and found that 71% of men and 64% of women were obese.

Since obesity can increase the risk of chronic diseases, weight management in midlife is
especially crucial. Below, we take a closer look at why it’s important to lose weight in your 50s
and how you can do this healthily through evidence-based strategies.

Key benefits of weight loss in your 50s

Many adults in their 50s think that it is too late to address age-related weight changes, but research proves that maintaining a healthy weight improves holistic wellness and quality of life in the present and as you get older. For instance, healthy weight loss can help you reduce the risk of common weight-related problems in midlife, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Losing those extra pounds and body fat, especially in critical areas like the abdomen, can have a significant impact on your health outcomes as it helps regulate your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

A healthy weight can also have practical financial advantages, mainly by reducing the costs of health insurance and essential services. As a previous post mentions the need for life insurance in your 50s, note that insurance providers may also assess your health status, which includes your weight. While being overweight or obese may not automatically disqualify you from life insurance coverage, it can affect the rates and exclude you from certain policies. Health complications from overweight or obesity can also increase your healthcare expenses, making the weight loss tips in the next section essential for individuals in their 50s.

Healthy weight loss tips for middle-aged adults

Pay attention to calories

Calorie deficit is key to healthy and sustainable weight loss, so ensure that your diet consists of
nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. This way, you can enjoy
your meals and stay fuller for longer without having to fully restrict or deprive yourself of
nourishing foods. You can also manage your portions and overall nutritional intake by keeping a
food diary, whether by using a physical journal or with the help of a weight management app.

Consider weight loss medications

While a nutritionally balanced diet can contribute to a healthy weight, it cannot solely address the biological aspects of obesity, such as insulin resistance. In this case, individuals in their 50s struggling with weight gain can consider using GLP-1 for weight loss. Also known as GLP-1 agonists, these weight-loss medications work by activating the receptors in the gut and brain, which otherwise regulate insulin, curb appetite, and catalyze your metabolism. However, take note that the only GLP-1s approved by the FDA for weight loss and management are semaglutide (Wegovy), tirzepatide (Mounjaro), and liraglutide (Saxenda). These GLP-1s must also be complemented with healthy lifestyle changes, such as a balanced diet, to result in an average of 15% weight loss.

Stay physically active

Another healthy lifestyle change to incorporate into your weight management plan is exercise. Although most middle-aged adults may struggle with sedentary lifestyles, effective workouts don't necessarily have to be high-intensity at all times. Consider starting with low to moderate-impact yoga and aerobic exercises at least once a week before moving to strength training and interval training. Additionally, research shows that physical activity in midlife not only benefits your weight goals but also improves your quality of life and keeps you healthy well into your 70s.

Overall, you don't have to sit back and let age-related weight changes simply happen. You can
take a proactive approach to healthy weight loss to maximize your experiences now and in later

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