Being in your 50s doesn't mean you're doomed to a large waistline and thick thighs. It might just be a bit harder to maintain your skinny physique. Staying at a healthy weight protects you from a range of health conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, so it pays to drop excess weight. The basics of any weight loss are the same, regardless of age. Although, some additional tweaks to your routine once you reach your 50s can help you get slim and stay that way.
Eat fewer calories. Taking in less than you burn is the best and healthiest way to lose weight. Many women in their 50s see their weight begin to creep up when menopause hits, even if their eating habits don't change. To counteract this, MayoClinic.com recommends scaling back your diet by about 200 calories per day. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains are good choices because they're generally low in calories, but high in nutrients.
Get more exercise. It can help prevent you from putting on pounds and can help you drop any extras that have already piled on. Make sure you're getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Walking is ideal for women of all ages because you can tailor it to your abilities and fitness level. In addition, include two strength training sessions each week to build lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and makes weight control easier.
Set attainable goals. You'll just set yourself up for failure if you aim to look the way you did in your 20s or have the physical capabilities of your 30s. Instead, set goals that match your current fitness status, suggests the AARP. Make small goals that fuel your motivation instead of setting just one broad purpose. For example, break your get skinny goal into 5 or 10 pound increments and reward yourself each time you drop that much.
Eat regularly and don't skip any meals. It might sound counterintuitive to weight loss, but fueling up on a consistent basis can help you get and stay skinny. Eat low-calorie snacks if you go several hours between meals, suggests "ABC News." Try not to let more than 4 hours go by without having something to eat. Letting yourself get too hungry only sets you up to binge at your next meal, which isn't conducive to weight loss.
Keep track of your eating and exercise habits. This holds you personally accountable, but it also provides a tool for detecting patterns that interfere with your skinny goals. Maybe you tend to hit the vending machine in the afternoon or you eat a double portion of cereal for breakfast. With a written record, you can easily see where you need to make changes.