While weight loss may feel challenging, it doesn’t have to be, with these weight loss tips for women, and the right diet and exercise program in place, such as our research-backed FM30X Program.
Watch the weight melt off by making a few simple changes to your day to day routine, including:
- Set a regular sleep schedule
- Divide your plate into sections
- Track your body weight
- Set water intake goals
- Record what you eat
- Lift weights regularly
- Maintain a healthy mind
- Reward yourself
- Eat small meals often
- Cook at home vs. eating out
It’s time to dive into the specifics of how to shed excess weight and keep it off long term. Make lifestyle changes you can stick with for life — regardless of how old you are.
Tip #1: Set a Regular Sleep Schedule
Believe it or not, sleep might be the single most important strategy when it comes to weight loss for older women.
Studies show that sleep deprivation (getting less than 7 hours of sleep nightly) alters hormones that regular appetite, causing you to feel hungrier and eat more when you’re sleepy. This increases your risk for weight gain.
The ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)' recommend women get 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night to stay healthy. To ensure you’re meeting this requirement, try this:
- Set a regular sleep schedule and go to bed at the same time each night.
- Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room.
- Use a white noise machine to block out outside noise.
- Keep stress levels low.
- Avoid going to bed hungry.
- Avoid going to bed very full.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol before bed.
- Avoid caffeine before bed.
If you’re following all of these sleep recommendations and you’re still not sleeping well, ask your doctor about additional suggestions to improve your sleep quality.
If you have sleep apnea, he or she may recommend a sleeping aid.
Tip #2: Divide Your Plate into Sections
You may not have time to count calories, and that’s okay! Simply divide your plate into sections of different food groups to ensure you’re getting necessary nutrients in recommended amounts. For example:
- Fill half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, spinach, other leafy greens, celery, onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
- Fill one-fourth of each plate with healthy protein foods, such as grilled or baked poultry, fish, seafood, very lean meats, eggs, protein powder, and tofu. Avoid fried, breaded, and processed meats.
- Fill one-fourth of each plate with fiber-rich starches, such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, peas, dried beans, and other legumes.
- Add a small amount of healthy fat to each meal — such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, avocados, fish oil, olives, plant-based oils, and oil-based dressings.
Tip #3: Track Your Body Weight
Weighing yourself regularly helps keep you accountable, and gives you something measurable to track during your weight loss journey.
Weigh yourself each and every day, and record body weight to boost your chance at success. Look for a trend in these numbers.
Keep in mind your body holds more water on certain days, and drastic daily weight changes are likely because of water weight, not fat.
However, if you begin seeing an upward trend in weight change over time, it’s time to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Tip #4: Set Water Intake Goals
Drink plenty of water to keep energy levels high and avoid dehydration. Water also helps fill you up without calories, so is a crucial part of weight loss for older women.
Aim to drink at least 2 – 4 cups of water when you first wake up in the morning, and about 2 cups of water before meals to fill you up.
While this recommended is for total fluids, water should make up the majority of the fluids you consume during weight loss. Avoid sodas and other sugary drinks.
Tip #5: Record What You Eat
Recording what you eat daily is an effective weight loss strategy, say researchers who conducted a study published in 2012 in the Journal of the ‘Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics'.
The researchers found that keeping food diaries and recording regular weigh-ins enhances weight loss in post-menopausal women.
You can keep a food journal using various methods, such as:
- Use free online food databases, such as MyFitnessPal, to track foods and calories.
- Use the USDA food composition database, and record food intake and calories in a food journal.
- Use a calorie tracking app, such as Noom, MyNetDiary, ControlMyWeight, or MyFitnessPal.
Tip #6: Lift Weights
It may sound counterintuitive to hear that lifting weights aids in weight loss for older women, but it can do just that!
Building lean muscle helps your body to burn extra calories all day long, even during rest. Try the following muscle building exercises to get rid of excess weight and body fat:
Wide-stance squat to press
During squat to press weight lifting exercises, hold dumbbell weights near or touching your shoulders.
Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor.
Stand back up while lifting dumbbells above your head (shoulder press), and repeat at least 15 times.
Narrow-stance squat to biceps curls (or triceps kickbacks)
Another strength training exercise that works your entire body is a squat to biceps curls or triceps kickbacks.
Stand with your feet close together for narrow stance squats, squat down, and complete biceps curls (or triceps kickbacks) when you stand back up.
Repeat the exercise at least 15 times.
Burpees really get your blood pumping, as this exercise builds strength and endurance.
From a standing position, jump down into a push-up position, do a push-up, place your feet near your hands, and quickly jump up into the air.
Repeat continuously for about a minute or so.
Push-ups or chest presses
To work your chest muscles, core, and really your entire body, consider adding push-ups or dumbbell presses (or bench press if you have a barbell) to your regular fitness routine.
Try for at least 15 reps during each set, and aim for three or more sets.
Complete a wide variety of plank exercises from the comfort of home to shed excess fat.
Get into a plank position (a push-up position) and hold it for 30 to 60 seconds or longer if you can.
If you’re more advanced, try shoulder touches, sway your hips from side to side, or bring your knees to your chest one at a time (mountain climbers) during plank holds.
Bent-over rows and reverse fly's
From a standing position, bend over at the waist (holding dumbbell weights) until your back is about parallel with the floor.
Your arms should be fully extended down toward the ground.
Slowly lift your dumbbells toward your chest (do a bent over row), and back down.
Keep your arms straight to complete a bent-over reverse fly.
Alternate between bent-over rows and bent-over reverse fly's continuously (at least 15 times for each set).
Walking dumbbell lunges
Complete walking dumbbell lunges with or without weights in an open area of your house, at the gym, or outdoors.
Slowly begin walking lunges, with your opposite knee nearly touching the floor. Lunge at least 10 – 15 times with each leg during each set.
Deadlifts work your hamstrings, back, and core, making it the perfect total-body exercise for weight loss in older women. Begin in a standing position and hold a barbell or dumbbells.
Bend at the waist (keep your back straight) until your back is about parallel with the floor or your weights almost touch the floor.
Lift your body back up into a standing position, and repeat the exercise at least 15 times per set.
If you don’t have a gym membership, don’t worry! You can perform all of these strength training exercises from the comfort of your home.
Simply purchase dumbbell or barbell weights, or use your own body weight as resistance.
Tip #7: Maintain a Healthy Mind
Keeping your mind healthy is just as important as maintaining a healthy body. To keep your mind sharp and enhance weight loss for older women, try:
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
- Take omega-3 fatty acid supplements if you don’t eat fatty fish regularly.
- Exercise your mind by reading, studying, doing puzzles, or completing brain teaser exercises.
- Seek treatment for depression and anxiety.
Feeling anxious or depressed increases your risk for overeating, and can hinder weight loss success.
If you’re in this situation, ask your doctor for help. He or she may refer you to individual or group counseling, or recommend certain medications.
Tip #8: Reward Yourself
Don’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to eating healthy for weight loss in older women.
Stick with a long-term healthy eating strategy you can follow long term, not just a quick fix.
If that means allowing yourself a cheat day every now and then, it’s okay!
Cheat days don’t have to be your reward, however. For example, when you meet weight loss milestones, choose a:
- Spa day
- Relaxing massage
- Manicure or pedicure
- Shopping day
Don’t forget to set measurable goals (such as scale weight or waist circumference), and track progress along the way.
Tip #9: Eat Small Meals Often
When weight loss is your goal, eat small meals often throughout the day. Doing so keeps your metabolism high, prevents hunger and overeating associated with fasting, and boosts energy levels.
Make sure the meals you eat during weight loss are small.
Studies show eating six small meals (containing the same number of calories each) throughout the day enhances weight loss and helps reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in overweight adults.
Eating six equal meals for weight loss in older women might mean consuming:
- Six 200-calorie meals when following 1,200-calorie weight loss plans
- Six 250-calorie meals when eating 1,500 calories daily
- Six 300-calorie when following 1,800-calories plans
You can also eat three 300-calorie meals plus two 200-calorie snacks for a total of 1,300 calories a day, for example. Just be sure you’re eating a small meal or snack every few hours or so.
Tip #10: Cook at Home vs. Eating Out
Eating out can be fun from time to time, or a social event in many cases. However, it’s often more difficult to track calories and know exactly what’s in the foods you’re eating when dining out.
Because of this, research reviews show that eating out is associated with higher body weights.
Cooking at home makes it easier to eat foods (in recommended amounts) necessary to shed pounds and keep lost weight off for good. Home cooking makes calorie counting more feasible as well.
If you do eat out regularly, try the following strategies to avoid unwanted weight gain:
- Order all sauces, dressings, and gravies on the side.
- Choose salads (with grilled chicken, tofu, shrimp, eggs, or another protein) as your main course.
- Avoid ordering greasy or fried foods.
- Skip the appetizers and dessert.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks, sodas, lemonade, and other sugary drinks.
- Ensure half of your plate gets filled with vegetables.
- Order grilled chicken, turkey, tofu, fish, shrimp, eggs, or very lean meats as your protein.
- Avoid breaded menu items.
- Avoid processed meats (such as ham, hot dogs, bacon, cold cut meats, etc.).
- Avoid cream-based soups.
- Drink a glass of water before eating.
Many of the same tips and tricks useful at home apply to eating at restaurants, so weight loss is still within reach when occasionally dining out!
Begin a New Weight Loss Routine
With age, metabolism tends to slow down. This means older women require fewer calories to lose or maintain weight compared with younger women. But that doesn’t mean weight loss is impossible.
Setting goals, monitoring progress, choosing the right foods, and getting regular exercise (especially resistance training) boosts your body’s metabolism and your chance at long-term weight loss success.
Choose the Fit Mother Projects FM30X Program to get the excess weight off for good. This program offers free meal plans and workouts for weight loss in older women and provides the motivational support necessary to stay on track and achieve your goal weight.
Give it a try and watch the weight melt off!