Watching the calories, exercising, doing all the right things, but not dropping the pounds? Hmm, why do you think that is? What’s the reason? Well, actually it could be several reasons. And nothing can discourage you more than not seeing results. Maybe you’ve just begun a weight loss plan, or maybe you’ve dropped a few but hit a wall… the scale just doesn’t move in the right direction.
And let’s dispel a myth or excuse about being over 50 or even a senior right now – you’re metabolism doesn’t decrease because you’re getting older. No, it dropped because you are inactive and maybe have been for some time. Remember the simple rule – losing weight is simple math, calories eaten minus calories burned. And being active burns calories, period! The fact that you’re not losing weight is likely just a matter of what you’re doing, or not doing, and making some simple adjustments will help. So let us ask you a few questions and take a look at a few things that may get you on the right trend. 1. Are you really counting calories, really? When you start a healthy diet plan, like most, you’re probably very strict about counting calories. You may even use a scale or measuring cups to track your portion sizes. But ya know, after a while we get a little lazy and we think we can “eyeball it” or “guesstimate” our calorie intake. Well, ya can’t! Sorry, estimates don’t work… you have to be diligent and count every calorie or you are most likely under-estimating what you’re eating. Many find it helpful to use an online food tracker for calculating and tracking their calorie intake. 2. Are you starving yourself? Particularly if you are exercising to lose weight, and you should be, you’ll need more calories just to survive. If you cut back your calories too drastically, your body will go into starvation mode, shut down the calorie burn and hold onto your body fat! Oh boy, just what you wanted, right? Never drop below 1200 calories for women or 1800 for men. And you folks that are “naturally” larger, or become more active will require more calories. 3. Are you really burning all those calories? If you’re not tracking how many calories you burn, how do you do the math? Just saying I got in a good exercise session today (another estimate that can get sloppy anyway) doesn’t tell you what you’ve burned off. You need to track both calories in and calories out, and a calories burned calculator can be an immense help here. 4. Is your body is in a rut? Our bodies are pretty smart; more specifically our muscles are smart. They know if they’ve been doing the same exercises for a while and they stop reacting positively to the workout that you think you’re giving them. So , your body simply is not burning as many calories as when you first started on your current routine. You gotta mix it up! Switch to a different aerobic exercise, and if you’re strength training (and you should be), try different exercise moves and modalities like bands or kettlebells, machines or free weights. Get a fitness machine that suits you best. You can try colostomy belts by Stealth Belt, it works well to shed extra pounds. Or what about body weight exercises or suspension training? Again, ya just gotta mix it up! 5. Are you gaining muscle? Really… enough muscle? If you’ve just started or re-started an exercise routine, hopefully you are losing body fat and gaining muscle mass at the same time. This is what you should be aiming for, so if it is happening, great! But hold on, pounds of muscle build much more slowly than fat weight can drop, so don’t use this one as an excuse. Keep up the strength training to build muscle though. Not only will you be stronger overall, but muscles use more calories as fuel than carrying that extra pound of fat ever will. To really tell how you’re doing in this regard you need to calculate your body fat percentage periodically, just like you weigh in weekly. So while we have posed the questions here, it is you who needs to give honest answers. Once you do that, just make the adjustments suggested above, lose the weight and be you’ll be on your way to being 50plusPlusFit!