How To Lose Weight Easily After 50

I love food. I mean really, and if I ate whatever I wanted, I know I would have a big problem. I am very lucky that I have never really suffered with being hugely overweight, and I certainly never want to be skinny, but on my small frame a stone or two over my ideal weight becomes very obvious quite quickly.


So whenever I found myself having put on a few pounds, I would grudgingly resort to dieting. I hated dieting! I could usually drop 6 pounds or so by sticking to a strict regime for a month or so, but it was miserable. I have never joined a slimming club, so I have no experience of that, but I would gamely count the calories in my yoghurt for breakfast, salad for lunch and small main meal. I would completely cut out biscuits, chocolate, crisps and chips, and even wine, if I was feeling supremely motivated. There were 3 things wrong with this approach; firstly I could never keep it up very long, secondly, the pounds I lost just came back on as soon as I started eating normally again, and lastly, I’d begun to notice a horrifying fact in the last few years; it didn’t actually work anymore.


Apparently, this is down to my age and at 56, I am far more susceptible to weight gain and weight loss is harder. That double whammy doesn’t seem fair does it? Not only am I dealing with an alarming amount of wrinkles and saggy looking skin, but it is now more challenging to shed those pesky pounds once they’ve settled around my hips and stomach.


There seem to be a number of reasons why we gain weight over 50. That old favourite, menopause is top of the list, followed closely by decreased activity, (and therefore decreased muscle mass,) and finally, metabolic rate change. I still exercise quite a bit, but apparently my metabolic rate is declining by an average of 2 to 3 percent every decade. Therefore, even if my eating habits stay the same, I still gain weight! Doesn’t seem fair does it?

Then a few years ago, I was having a chat with a work colleague, and I mentioned something about needing to get a sandwich as I hadn’t eaten for a few hours. He launched (quite without warning or invitation I might add) into an evangelical speech about the wonders of fasting. He said that Intermittent Fasting can not only reduce weight, high blood pressure and lower cholesterol, ( I must admit at this point I was not even slightly hooked, as that would be the very least I would expect if I stopped eating), but incredibly it SLOWS DOWN THE ANTI AGEING PROCESS AND CAN PREVENT A MYRIAD OF DISEASES INCLUDING HEART DISEASE, DIABETES, CANCER AND ALZEIHEIMERS. I have put that in capitals because I really want to get your attention, as when he said that, he certainly got mine.


Feeling sceptical, I whined that I couldn’t give up food, not for days on end, I would faint, feel sick, be dizzy etc. He explained that an intermittent fasting plan can be devised to suit you personally. For example you can fast 16 hours a day, and have an 8 hour ‘eating window’, or you could do 20/4 or mix it up a bit like I do:

On Sunday evening at approximately 7pm after I have had my usual dinner, I start the clock. I do not eat ( or drink anything other than water, black coffee or peppermint tea) from then until Tuesday morning when I have my breakfast. Tuesday and Wednesday I eat completely normally, and then on Wednesday evening after dinner, I start the fast clock again but this time, it’s a shorter period and I eat again on Thursday evening. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I eat what I choose. I have lost just over a stone since starting and most of the week do not feel I am on any sort of diet. OK, Monday evenings can be a bit uncomfortable, but a couple of hours feeling uncomfortable is a very small price to pay for being your ideal weight and not having to DIET!

Now let’s deal with those “ how can you possibly not eat for 36 hours between Sunday evening and Tuesday breakfast?” worries ….It’s not as difficult as it sounds. If you have eaten well on Sunday, you won’t want to eat on Sunday overnight right? Most people don’t eat during the night and therefore the first pangs you are going to have are on Monday morning/lunchtime. By Monday evening you will be feeling hungry, but I drink lots of water and keep busy. The best way to describe it is it’s a feeling of being a bit uncomfortable when you first begin. But you do NOT faint, have dizzy spells or generally collapse. Nor does your blood sugar get dangerously low. You simply feel a bit empty, but while are feeling empty, look at what is happening to your body: Firstly your metabolic rate increases. The body releases hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline to help sharpen the mind and keep the entry levels up. These hormones instruct the fat cells to break down the fat in the body and to stimulate the metabolic rate. So basically the body becomes a fat burning machine approximately 14 hours after your last meal!


I have never experienced any need to binge eat on finishing a fast, I don’t feel any hungrier in a Tuesday morning than I would do on any other day of the week and there is no feeling that I need to make up for the food that I have missed.


Fasting is nothing new of course, and has been practised for centuries for religious and political purposes. But in the last few years, there has been overwhelming research released showing that fasting can be a really powerful tool for weight loss. But the most important thing to remember about Intermittent Fasting, is that it is a lifestyle not a diet.

If you decide to go for it, check with your doctor first that IF is safe for you, then have a read up on the various IF plans there are, join a IF support Facebook group and get the ‘Zero’ app on your phone. Whenever I start a project, I love to have lots of information at my fingertips…and it will really support you to read other people stories and tips for success, if you feel it’s challenging to begin with.

And remember it is not just the weight loss, but the overall health benefits: For example, fasting may boost heart health by improving blood pressure and dropping cholesterol; it helps fight inflammation, (which can lead to cancers, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis), and increases growth hormone secretion vital for metabolic rate, weight loss and muscle growth. On top of all that, it may aid cancer prevention and increase the effects of chemotherapy, while boosting brain function and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

Above all though, there is evidence of impressive success rates in people who have a lot of weight to lose, and what’s more, there is increasing research to show that once shed, the weight stays off. So…What are you waiting for? 🤩

8 replies »

  1. Fantastic blog Karen, setting IF out sensibly so it can easily be followed .I am going to give it a try as I fell & hurt my knee & need to lose the weight I put on during the pandemic (& some) in order to help my knee to heal. It will also benefit me in many other ways . Thank you again…. Hoping you & Andy are keeping well x

    • Ah bless you Dee thanks for your support as always… glad you are determined to give it a go … make sure you start carefully and listen to your body if you haven’t done it before ❤️

  2. Like you, I’m on the wrong side of 50 and I too discovered intermittent fasting and I completely concur with everything you said here. My only addition would be walking as exercise. It’s easy and almost anyone can do it and it requires no special equipment. Intermittent fasting and walking have me in better shape in my 50’s than I was in my 40’s.

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