As we age, some weight loss strategies stay the same, but others have to be tweaked to be practical and effective.
I am currently eight years away from 60 years old, so I can’t give direct advice, but there are many members of my Weight Loss Coaching Program in this age group.
In this post, I will be sharing stories from those members so that you can see what is actually working to lose weight over 60.
Lose Weight Over 60 – At-A-Glance
- After 60, slow metabolism, established habits, and your mindset can keep you from losing weight easily.
- The most important hormone for controlling your weight is insulin, and the nutrient that keeps insulin low is dietary fat.
- Increasing your fat intake, staying away from sugar and refined carbs, and practicing intermittent fasting will help you reach your weight loss goals and gain other positive side effects.
Lose Weight Over 60 – 3 Practical & Tested Tips [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Practical strategies that work after 60.
- Weight loss challenges after 60.
- Success stories from those who have tried my Freedom Health Program!
In the forum of my Freedom Health Program, I asked members who are over the age of 60 about the unique challenges they face as well as the strategies that have worked to get the pounds off. Let’s start with the challenges.
Weight Loss Challenges after 60
Many members identified the slowing down of metabolism and an inability to exercise as they once did as challenges that can slow down weight loss. While those may be realities, they don’t prevent weight loss.
Read Dr. Becky’s Article: Lose Menopause Belly Fat (Starve Your Fat Cells, Not Yourself)
Another obstacle that was brought up often was the fact that bad eating habits have had a long time to get ingrained into our daily habits by the time we reach 60.
Habits have an element of being automatic. We don’t have to think about grabbing a piece of candy out of the candy dish, but we do have to think about not grabbing it, so habits can be hard to change.
One of the more surprising challenges that was widely mentioned dealt with mindset. At or beyond 60, it’s easy to adopt the mindset that “this is how it is for me. I just can’t lose; I’ve tried every diet under the sun.”
It is easy to lose confidence in your ability to lose weight. One member mentioned that it is easy to resign herself to the thought that “I’ll try anything, but I doubt I’ll follow through anymore.”
If you’re feeling discouraged or hopeless, just know that those feelings are not yours alone.
If weight loss has been hard for you up to this point, it’s not due to a lack of wanting to eat healthily. Much of the blame lies in our confusion over what exactly healthy eating for weight loss looks like.
Where We Went Wrong-War Against Fat
Starting in the 1970’s we entered a war against eating fat. This was an easy war for us to pick a side because it sounds very logical that if we eat fat, we will get fat.
However, it took until the recent decade for us to start questioning that assumption. We now know that weight loss is a hormonally driven process.
The most important hormone for controlling your weight is insulin. That understanding changed everything because we now know that when we select foods that keep insulin levels low, we encourage our bodies to lose weight. The nutrient that keeps insulin low is dietary fat.
Despite the fact that this new understanding of eating fat has been well studied and documented, learning to allow fat into your diet is a tough thing to do.
You are essentially learning a new way of eating that is in direct contrast to the rules that you have been living by.
Switching to a higher fat diet is one of the strategies that was often credited for the success that my members have had.
Weight Loss Strategies that work after 60
#1 Increase Fat Intake
This is illustrated in the words of this member:
“I had to understand that eating whole fats instead of low fat everything was much healthier and would help me to lose weight. Almost everything that I had learned over the years was turned upside down.”
I loved this contribution as well:
“I’ve modified an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, to an avocado a day keeps the hunger away.”
Not that an apple is bad, but an avocado is a great healthy-fat fruit for weight loss.
#2 Get Away from Sugar and Refined Carbs
It is good to note that just increasing your fat intake is not going to yield the weight loss results that you want. That dietary change needs to be accompanied by a drop in sugar and refined carbs. Those are the foods that spike insulin and therefore block weight loss.
Cutting down on sugar is a scary notion because cakes, cookies, and candies are not only fun foods to eat, but as we age, they also become forms of entertainment and ways of showing love.
It is one thing for me to tell you that you can stop eating sugar, but it is quite another for me to share the words of those who have successfully done it after the age of 60. One member wrote:
“I NEVER thought I’d be able to not want sugar, but after only a few days, I didn’t. I think when people read that they think, “Yeah, fine for her, but they don’t know how much I love Oreos (or whatever). But I was one of those people (Hershey’s milk chocolate for me), and I can easily turn down sugar – best of all, not be tempted!”
That temptation does subside because you lose your tolerance to sugar. Once you get into the swing of how to make this shift to a high-fat/low-sugar lifestyle, you discover that it is truly enjoyable and that the food is very satisfying as shared by this member:
“Love the recipes. I didn’t realize that I could lose weight and eat so well!”
#3 Practice Intermittent Fasting
Another strategy that was mentioned by many members is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting simply means that you split your day between eating hours and fasting hours. Much like if you’ve ever had a blood test scheduled for the morning and the technician asks you to not eat after dinner the night before. Practicing intermittent fasting is no more complicated than that.
This works for the same reason that a high-fat/low-carb diet works. It has the same effect on your insulin level.
Insulin is pumped into your blood when you eat a meal. If there is no food coming in, insulin stays low and your body stays in a state that encourages fat burning.
Three practical and tested strategies that work after the age of 60 are to increase healthy fats, decrease refined carbs and sugar, and incorporate intermittent fasting by shortening the number of hours a day that you consume calories.
Positive Side Effects – Bonus!
I want to share a few more very encouraging comments from members.
Members were asked to share the positive side-effects they’ve experienced since losing weight. I am going to share their words about getting off of medications, improved sleep, less joint pain, and improved mood. Their words are so powerful that I wanted to step out of the way and let you read them.
“Hi, everyone, yesterday I went to my doctor for the annual Medicare checkup and spoke to my doctor about stopping my cholesterol medication. (I have been on the diet since mid-January.) She said she would look at the blood panel and call me back today. Well, the results are in, and I no longer have to take the medicine! Just changing my eating patterns have yielded this good result.”
“A non scale victory has been weaning myself off various long term prescriptions. Naproxyn 3, blood pressure meds have been whittled down to 2, with a plan to discontinue both eventually. Plus I no longer take Ambien, which I took for at least 10 years. I now sleep like a baby with melatonin. ?I’m a happy camper.”
“I sleep well, usually without waking up at all until morning. One other thing that I’ve noticed is that I don’t feel sleepy in the afternoon.”
Less Joint Pain
“I love moving more easily. It’s like taking off a parka and snow pants, but it’s my body fat. My joints have less pain. Going up a flight or two of stairs is easier.”
“I feel so much better and I’m happier. And it’s doable—I don’t have the all or nothing attitude. I know I can bounce back.”
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.