13 Tips To Lose Weight After You Retire
by Greg Bastin on Aug 24, 2019
By Wen Liu • August 24, 2019
Retirement is something that we’ve all looked forward to reaching. But we must stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible so that we can enjoy the activities we planned.
Our metabolism slows as we get older. After 20, for every decade we live, our body burns 150 fewer calories, causing those extra pounds to creep up on us. And so what this means in real life is that when we turn 50, we are burning 450 fewer calories than when we were 20.
The first step in reaching our goals is to realize why the pounds have crept up and why we don’t have the strength and stamina that we once had.
We focus on our family and our household while balancing an outside job. We do for others and neglect to nurture ourselves.
Right now you must make it a priority to take care of yourself.
The truth is that small changes in diet and adding moderate exercise to our daily routine will result in lasting changes. That 30+ pounds we gained didn’t happen overnight.
Don’t worry about a quick weight loss — quick weight losses are difficult to maintain. Slow and steady, just like the tortoise, yields big results that last will for the rest of your life.
1 - Walk every day
Adding a walk to our daily routine is one of the easiest activities to jump-start weight loss and rebuild our strength.
Walking helps fight depression and improves our moods too. A daily 30-minute brisk walk burns about 150 calories. Some of us have been sedentary for quite a while.
Where do we start if we can’t walk for 30 minutes? We start with what we’re able to do and rebuild our stamina. A ten-minute walk is a good starting point. After a week, add five minutes. After another week, add five more minutes. Pretty soon, you’ll be at your goal. Continue walking, and we’ll keep our weight off.
2 - Give up soda
A 12-ounce can of soda contains 125 – 180 calories and has no nutritional value. All of the calories come from sugar, roughly 8 – 11 teaspoons per can.
If we drink just two sodas daily, that’s 250 – 360 calories daily that we’ve cut. Even more important, we’ll be lowering our blood sugar levels.
Don’t substitute diet sodas. Evidence shows that artificial sweeteners may contribute to heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
3 - Eat more protein
Some studies suggest that as we age, our protein needs increase. We may develop sarcopenia, a loss of muscle mass and strength.
Use this online calculator to determine how much protein to eat. On average, most women should eat about 50 grams of protein every day. Eat from a variety of protein sources — lean meat including fish and chicken, whey, collagen, beans, eggs, Greek or Icelandic yogurt, and milk.
4 - Plan meals in advance
When we plan out our meals for 2-to-4 days in advance, we eliminate the “what’s for dinner” dilemma that causes us to stray from our commitment to eat healthier.
Planning helps us utilize leftovers and is budget-friendly. With planning, leftover pot roast becomes beef-barley soup. The extra chicken breast that we grilled becomes grilled chicken Caesar salad.
5 - Use weights or resistance bands
Buy a set of 5-pound weights and a resistance band. These bands come in different strengths so get one that you can stretch but is not too easy.
These two little acquisitions are affordable and help build arm strength along with stretching those back thigh muscles, called our hamstrings. Biceps curls, even when we’re sitting down, build arm strength and strengthen our bones. Lifting weights helps tighten those wings we develop on our upper arms when we hit 60.
There are phone apps and websites to help us learn simple exercises that give big results.
6 - Order hard-to-find food items online
One of our biggest challenges when we live in small-town America is buying organic and all natural foods.
Smaller, independent grocery stores aren’t able to carry selection of healthier food options. We can order non-perishable organic and whole grain products online for delivery via UPS or FedEx — many of these online retailers offer free delivery for orders over a particular amount (usually $35).
Order once of month for staple goods, including specialty protein powders, organic products, and superfoods; there are many online retailers like Opportuniteas that offer a diverse selection of healthy foods— find the one that works for you.
7 - Limit alcohol
Experts all agree that limiting our alcohol helps us stay healthy.
As women, it’s best if we limit our alcohol consumption to one drink daily. A “standard” drink a 12-oz can of beer or a 5-oz. glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor like vodka, bourbon or tequila. Alcoholic beverages contain between 100 and 150 calories per serving. And if mixed with coke or ginger ale, we’ll be consuming even more calories. Alcohol loosens our inhibitions, and we’re prone to eating more too.
8 - Have an annual physical
Don’t neglect basic health issues. Some symptoms that we attribute to our age may be physical issues that are easily remedied. Have an annual physical. Be sure that it includes these four things:
- ➡️ Thyroid function. Decreased thyroid function causes fatigue and weight gain.
- ➡️ Hemoglobin A1C. Detects pre-diabetes.
- ➡️ Vitamin D level. Low vitamin D levels are linked to fatigue, increased infections, bone loss and muscle pain.
- ➡️ Bone density scan. Post-menopausal women lose bone mass more quickly in the first ten years after menopause.
9 - Get enough sleep
Our exercise promotes good quality sleep. The two go hand in hand to help us lose weight and feel better and stronger. Aim for at least 6-to-8 hours of quality sleep every night.
10 - Manage stress
Even when we retire, we still experience stress. Stress often triggers the urge to eat. We turn to our comfort foods to relieve stress. We gain a few more ounces, and we stress over our weight gain. A vicious cycle ensues.
Yoga, deep breathing, meditation or a nature walk relieve stress. Even in small towns, our library, local fitness center or senior center may offer weekly yoga classes. Once we learn some poses, we can practice yoga at home on our schedule. Yoga helps us with balance too.
11 - Eat at home
Nothing will derail our good intentions of smaller portion sizes more than eating out. Temptations from the menu abound. Eat at home and you stay in control.
12 - Use smaller plates and bowls
The plates that we buy today are considerably larger than the plates that we ate on as children. Likewise, cereal and soup bowls are larger. Invest in a set of smaller plates. You won’t feel deprived, but you’ll eat fewer calories day-after-day.
13 - Find an exercise buddy
The people who exercise together lose weight together.
It’s easy to get discouraged when we’re walking or exercising by ourselves. But when we get a partner, we encourage each other. Time goes by more quickly when we exercise with someone. When we set up a schedule to meet at the gym, we’re less likely to skip our planned exercise.
How can we get motivated?
We love our family. We love seeing our children grow up and achieve educational and career success. We dream about their weddings. We hope for grandchildren. We envision vacations for two with our spouse — perhaps that long-awaited excursion to Europe or the Far East.
But without good health, many of these dreams can’t be fulfilled. Picking up our grandbabies requires strength and balance. Babysitting our grandchildren demands lots of energy.
We begin to realize that the “Battle of the Bulge” is going to be an ongoing issue for not only ourselves, but our spouse. We’ve got to transform our love of cooking into a love of “healthier” cooking.
We don’t have to buy expensive beauty products or resort to expensive cosmetic procedures to look our best. We don’t need a meal subscription service. Our years of experience have taught us the value of suitable substitutions. When our garden gives us too many zucchini, we learned how to make zucchini bread. Ingredient substitutions transform our favorite recipes into healthier versions.
We have the power within us to become a BETTER VERSION OF OURSELVES. The first step begins from within us. When we realize that we still have power over our food intake and our activities, we have taken that first step toward losing weight and becoming stronger and more active.
If you need help losing weight or want to talk to a health coach, click here for a free 15-minute consultation. We can go over your current lifestyle, set some goals, and give you a plan to achieve them.