- Women's Health
Best Way To Lose Body Fat For Women Over 50
How Many Times Have You Tried To Lose Weight and Get "Fit"?
Okay, so you're a woman over 50 who's tired of dieting and exercise programs to lose weight. In the past, these programs worked for a couple of months or maybe even longer. But you always gained back the weight and lost whatever muscle tone you may have achieved. Fitness has always been a secondary goal so you could fit into your "skinny" clothes and look great in a swimsuit.
And now that you're into your middle or later years, losing weight seems a slow, almost impossible process.
You may have noticed that you cannot handle the physical activities you enjoyed in the past. Even shopping feels like a chore - you tire more easily and get discouraged looking in a dressing room mirror when you try on new clothes.
You may have other health issues that also make it difficult to do the activities you used to enjoy.
A Way Out Of This Health Disaster
If the above scenario even remotely describes your current state, you need to know a way exists to begin regaining your health, lose body fat, look and feel better. You may pick up your golf or tennis game again and shop until you drop.
This method does not involve fat pills, prescription drugs, or off-the-wall supplements and doesn't cost a ton of money for fitness equipment.
There are two prerequisites as follows:
1. Checking with your doctor to see if you have health conditions that may limit the physical activity necessary to lose body fat, and
2. A real commitment from you. "Trying" is not a word used when engaging in this fat loss program. "Getting it done" is the mantra. If you cannot commit, don't read any further, go back to complaining about all your ailments, groan every time you get up from the couch, and simply succumb to getting older and weaker.
And if the last sentence sounds like a Jillian Michaels' Biggest Loser rant - you're right - it does. And it's intended to sound harsh. Because when the finger pointing starts as your health worsens, remember that three fingers point back to the person who's at fault.
The Best Way To Lose Body Fat . . .
is probably NOT what you think.
It is based on solid scientific fact. The fact is - beginning at about age 40, everyone loses about 10% of their muscle mass every decade. That's why physical activity gets harder. Factor in the additional body weight most people carry around and bingo - you have created a recipe for inactivity. Which breeds more inactivity.
Basically, your body engine loses power, burns less efficiently, and may require a major tuneup to reverse the process described above.
If you build and strengthen muscle (and eat to encourage the muscle building), a wonderful thing happens - your body engine gains power and burns more fat with each additional pound of muscle. By the way, you will not look like a bodybuilder - woman are unlikely to gain bulk because of our hormonal composition. You will never look like Arnold (unless you take steroids).
Once this construction project gets underway, you will automatically lose weight - but it becomes the secondary goal and getting fit and healthy the primary goal.
The Solution - Strength Training
Yup, the solution just described - building muscle - is generally accomplished by weight or strength training plus.
Here's the recipe (strength training + interval training + eating to grow muscle + getting thin into your head):
Strength (resistance) training - 2 to 3 workouts a week with the workouts changing periodically,
Aerobic Interval Training (1 or 2 workouts per week)
Eating To Support Strength Training (there are rules to grow muscle)
A Psychological Boost for getting thin. See the books below.
I cannot possibly describe an entire program of strength training customized for your specific health needs (including the limitations based on health issues). But you can get ideas from the books listed below:
New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler
"New Rules" includes all 3 ingredients in the recipe described above. This article - How To Be Your Own Personal Fitness Trainer - describes strength training programs from the "New Rules" series and shows you how to get started.
Use your body to improve balance and flexibility as well as strengthening muscles.
This little book contains the keys to program your mind for weight loss. The "mind" component of weight loss might just be the FIRST area to address. And the author includes ways to make exercise a part of your life.
Where To Get Extra Help
Like myself, you may need additional help to get workout exercise form correct. Since form is so important to achieving your goals, I consulted a personal trainer for a few sessions to walkthrough the exercise set up and execution. Any mistakes I made were corrected immediately. The trainer also compensated for knee issues that were causing problems during squats by using a swiss ball against a wall.
Another excellent resorce is Youtube. Want to find out how to do an exercise correctly? Plug in the common exercise name in the YouTube search engine and several demonstrations will come up. You may need to run through a few before you find the best demo for you.
New Rules of Lifting for Life
Customize this strength training program for your specific needs - aging issues, knee problems, back injuries, etc.
Can't Deal With Weights? Try This Strength Training Alternative
Many women, for whatever reason, refuse to lift weights to gain strength.
Not a problem. There are alternatives as follows:
- Exercise DVD systems. The one I recommend that is doable for women over 50 is Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution (can you tell Jillian is my favorite personal trainer?). Body Revolution covers both interval AND strength training.
- Body weight exercising. You use your body to create the resistance to develop strength. Buy the Age Defying Fitness book described previously to perform body weight exercises as well as improving posture, balance, endurance, and flexibility.