How to Lose Weight After 55

Getting and staying in shape after the age of 55 can be very difficult, but it is not impossible. Habits are ingrained at that point in life, and few people really want to do the work to change those habits. You may say you want to do it, but actually making the effort is a huge commitment. However, if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you can make the effort to lose weight and get in better shape. You will feel better, look better and have the ability to enjoy life even more.

Two friends walking up a path in the countryside. (Image: hansslegers/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Start doing cardiovascular work. If you can get your heart rate up by exercising hard for 20 to 30 minutes every day, you will set the groundwork for a healthier lifestyle. You can run, walk, bicycle, swim or do aerobics. Start off by walking at a fast pace if you don't like running. Make sure you swing your arms as you walk and make a major effort to exert energy. You can walk on the pavement, but if you have concerns about your feet and shins, head out to the high school or college track and walk on that softer surface. If you can progress to running after three or four weeks, make that move. If not, keep on walking and do it every day.

Step 2

Start lifting weights at the gym. Lifting weights will not only make you stronger, but it will also help you burn fat and lose weight. Lifting free weights is most beneficial, but if you are going to engage in the bench press and other workouts that are similar, you are going to need a spotter to help you with the weights. If you don't have a workout partner, do circuit training. If you use the circuit training machines, you will work out your shoulders, arms, chest, back, abs, buttocks, hamstrings and calf muscles.

Go to the gym three times per week.

Step 3

Do push-ups and sit-ups to improve your conditioning and burn additional calories. Do push-ups in sets of 20 at least three times per day and sit-ups in double sets of 20 at least four times per day. This will also help you get in the right mood to do additional exercise and get in the best shape possible without overdoing it.

Step 4

Make serious changes to your diet. Cut out red meat and fried foods. No more fast foods or junk foods. Eat white-meat chicken and fish. Have at least two portions of fresh vegetables every day. Eat at least one portion of fresh fruit every day. Don't drink carbonated beverages and stay away from sugared beverages. Limit your dessert intake to one portion per week. If you are a beer or wine drinker, you should not have more than one bottle of beer per week or one glass of wine per week.

Step 5

Drink plenty of water. You should have at least 64 oz. of water per day. In addition to helping flush out toxins from your system, water will lubricate your muscles, joints and tendons. Water is especially good for keeping your body in good working order after a workout and will help you recover much more quickly.

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