Losing Weight and Building Muscle When You Are Over 50

When you are over age 50, losing weight and building muscle is much more of a challenge than when you were younger. As a person gets older, his muscle mass progressively decreases and the void is replaced by fat. Then, there are those who spread the myth that after age 50, a person can no longer build muscle. However losing weight and building muscle when you’re over 50 isn’t really much different than when you were younger. You still have to burn more calories than you consume and you have to replace fat with lean muscle mass. It’s just that those over 50 have slower metabolism which must be considered. Don’t let your age keep you from getting or staying in shape. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you lose weight and build muscle even over 50.

The basal metabolic rate (BMR) starts to decrease with age. The term BMR is used to refer to the amount of energy released by the body while at rest. This energy is used to maintain function in life-sustaining organs like the heart and lungs. Those with a higher BMR burn more calories. The way to counteract the decrease in BMR with age is to build lean muscle mass which is accomplished by resistance exercise such as lifting weights.

fitness at 50Eating the proper meals helps keep your body from going into survival mode. If you want to lose weight, the worst thing you can do is skip meals. When you do this, your body’s metabolism drops in an attempt to keep its fat stores. In other words, the body tries to “survive” by keeping that fat it thinks it will need since you are not eating. Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day and some recommend that you eat 5 or 6 times throughout it (small portions and healthy foods). Also consider that if you are building muscle by lifting weights, you actually have to eat more. This is because your body needs the extra calories during your lifting. If you don’t eat enough, you will start to lose the muscle mass you are trying to build.

There is no magic exercise to reduce at only a specific location. Many, when they begin exercising, look at their hips or bellies as the first candidates for reduction. However, there is no such thing as exercises that do spot reducing. Exercise has effects on the total body. It is a mistake to focus on only doing sit-ups in an attempt to lose the belly. You need to do cardio exercise in order to burn fat throughout your body instead. Keeping this focus, you will gradually see your belly or hips reduce.

Patience is the major key to getting fit when you are over 50. A common complaint among those in this age group who have been actively exercising and eating right is that they have not been losing weight. They often look and feel better but have not reduced on the scales. They usually weigh the same because muscle tissue has greater density than fat but takes up less space. If you are having problems losing weight yet are consistently exercising, keep in mind that your weight problem didn’t happen overnight and it will not disappear that fast either. Stay patient.