FITNESS COLUMN - Weight loss in later life made easy

Health tips from Xercise4Less fitness guru, The Colonel
Health tips from Xercise4Less fitness guru, The Colonel

CAROLINE, 58, asks: I am over 50 and I’m finding that the older I get, the harder it is becoming to lose weight. Is this normal and is there something I can be doing to help boost my weight loss?

The Colonel says: Caroline, putting on weight during your older years is a real concern for many women and as another year approaches it’s often a time when people start to reflect.

As we get older we begin to lose muscle, which in turn leads to a slower metabolic rate and the burning of fewer calories.

This slowing metabolism may make weight loss harder, but it can still be done with a few subtle lifestyle changes.

The first thing that needs tackling is your diet. As you get older your ability to burn calories deteriorates and so you should be aiming to reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories a day.

This can also be achieved by decreasing caloric intake by 250 and increasing the calories burnt through physical activity by 250.

However, cutting down calories will not guarantee that this weight will stay off. Experts recommend that women under the age of 65 should aim for 30 minutes of gentle cardio a day, every day of the week, and so ensuring you are getting enough exercise is vital for keeping off the weight.

If you struggle with more intense workouts, then try walking or swimming. Why not also try pilates and yoga as both involve a series of great exercises that help strengthen your ab muscles whilst being gentle on the body.

So, in a nutshell. Caroline, weight loss in older women may take a little more effort but is easily achievable with a few subtle changes.

Combine your change in eating habits with 30 minutes of exercise a day to ensure you keep off any unwanted weight.