Exercise vs. diet. What matters more for weight loss over 50?
You may have heard the sayings “You can’t out exercise a bad diet” or “abs are made in the kitchen” both referring to the fact that exercise may not be the most beneficial for weight loss. What you eat matters more.
There’s no denying it. Your diet matters for weight loss.
You could add longer walks and more intense huff-puff workouts, but if you’re eating more than you expend, you won’t lose a pound.
Yet, for middle aged women shifting your diet alone isn’t enough.
There are a cascade of hormone shift in peri-menopause and continue to shift into post-menopause.
There hormone shifts affect your ability to:
- Lose weight,
- Slim away the tummy (the visceral fat)
- Curb appetite
- Reduce inflammation that is not only associated with your ability to lose weight but also staves off chronic disease.
Research shows that while diet helps to balance these hormones, exercise coupled with a healthy diet has a greater effect for women over 50.
The bottom line: There’s no competition when it comes to exercise vs. diet. You need to exercise and you need a healthy diet for weight loss over 50.
So why do some women say the scale drops faster when they diet without exercise?
It’s simple, because the scale isn’t revealing what you’re really losing.
With diet alone, (especially low carb diets) the weight you drop on a scale is predominantly water weight.
You may have experienced this:
You try a diet, you lose the weight, but your skin looks like it’s hanging. That never happened before!
That’s because you’re depleting some of your lean muscle.
At the same time, with age your lean muscle breaks down more quickly.
You lose scale weight, but it’s really revealing the loss of lean muscle and the loss of water.
The way to combat this is with resistance training.
It only takes 2-3 times per week of weight training to tone and firm the body, as you continue to lose inches around the waist.
Your Health Matters Too:
Of course, there’s one more valuable reason to exercise and follow a healthy nutrition plan. During this fabulous second act, looking great is wonderful, but only if you feel great too.
Nutrition matters to energize your body and achieve optimal health, but exercise does too.
When exercise and diet are coupled together, you reduce your risk of cancers, of heart disease, type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
You stave off osteoporosis, and let’s not forget, you have the strength and energy to get twice as much done.
It’s a win, win all around!
Here’s how to Combine Exercise and Diet for Weight Loss:
Begin with a simple check in. Log your food and see how well you’re eating.
If you’re just getting started with exercise after a long time off, or you’ve never really started, then begin slow.
Do 2-3 days of resistance training in your week.
If you’re not sure how to get started. Take my FREE 7 Day Starter’s Strength Training & Slim Down Challenge.
There’s a daily action step geared towards nutrition, fitness or mindset. By the end of the 7 days you’ll have a clear plan to achieve lasting weight loss, increased strength and optimal health in your 50’s and beyond.