How to Lose Weight in Your 50’s and 60’s

— Written By Lethia Lee and last updated by Patricia Burch

Have you noticed that your body has started to change now that you’ve hit middle age? You’re not alone. It’s common to see changes on the scale and in the way your clothes fit as you get older. But you don’t have to throw in the towel and let your appearance slide. You can learn how to lose weight in your 50s and beyond.

Today middle-aged men and women are using targeted physical activity, a healthy diet and progressive medical approaches to stay fit as they age. While you can’t necessarily stop or reverse all of the changes that come with aging, there are simple things you can do to reach and maintain a healthy weight in middle age.

Here are a few tips to help you lose weight. You need to know your numbers. Your doctor may calculate your BMI and you might weigh yourself on the scales at home, but there are other numbers that can affect the way you look as you age, like waist circumference and body fat percent. Your waistline may get bigger, even though you are not gaining weight. Hormonal changes don’t necessary cause weight gain, but they can change the way you carry weight on your body. Women tend to see weight gain in their middle. And men especially those who don’t go to the gym- wear their belt a little lower to accommodate a bigger belly.

Body fat percent causes changes as you get older. So even if your weight stays the same you might feel and look fatter if you’ve lost muscle and gained fat. Evaluate your family health history. Simply knowing your family health history is a starting point. Start asking your health care provider questions. If you are starting to look like your Aunt Sally who has the big belly and you know that there is a history of diabetes in your family, then you know to ask your doctor to screen for that condition. We need to become our own personal health expert by knowing our history then connecting with our doctor to get personalized advice to improve our history of high blood pressure, etc. We need to know what lifestyle can help us to avoid medication in the future. If you maintain a healthy weight you can reduce or prevent many diseases.

We can boost our daily activity level by increasing our movements when doing chores. Our lifestyle comes into play as well. Stay connected and active with friends. Especially those who will help you stick to your exercise routine. Social support is one of the best predictors of any exercise program. Some encouragement, and love goes a long way. Each of us are unique, and there are many factors that come into play. We just have to do what works best for us.

Most of all be kind to yourself as you age and your body changes, but don’t throw in the towel just because you’re getting older. Stay smart and stay active to keep your body strong and lean.

For more information on how to lose weight as you get older contact Lethia Lee at the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Sampson County office. At 910-592-7161 or