People experience a 5 to 10 percent loss of muscle mass each decade after age 50, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. As a result, your resting metabolic rate declines by an average of 2 to 3 percent every decade.
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And this means you can be eating the exact same amount that you did at 40 — not a morsel more — and still gain weight. Becoming more sedentary with age can also skew the equation, especially if you begin to develop arthritis or other joint issues that restrict activity. She recommends making sure that between 30 and 40 percent of your daily calories come from protein , depending on your body weight.
Imagine a lean piece of meat or fish taking up one third of your plate, and you get the idea. By contrast, the average American gets about 16 percent of his or her food intake from protein, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To even out your intake, try adding an egg or yogurt to your breakfast, a glass of milk or a handful of nuts to your lunch, and scaling back on your protein source at dinner.
In one study, something overweight adults who pumped iron lost more weight and lost less muscle mass over 18 months than those who just hoofed it for exercise.
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Beyond strength training, if you can take your overall exercise program up a notch, do so. Older adults who did high-intensity interval training HIIT , which entails short spurts of high-intensity exercise, not only lost weight but also had less DNA damage to muscle cells.
And this helped trigger growth of new muscle. Rather, research now shows that a specific type of intermittent fasting, known as fasting-mimicking, can trigger weight loss as well as improve your overall health. People who followed this type of diet plan — where they consumed only to 1, calories five days out of each month but otherwise ate normally — lost, on average, six pounds, shed one to two inches of their waistline, and saw both their blood pressure and levels of IGF-1 a substance linked to increased cancer risk drop significantly, according to a University of Southern California study published last year.
How might it work? Craving bread?
If you think your weight gain may have something to do with midlife stress aging parents, college tuition bills and managerial responsibilities at work, anyone? People who practice this technique — which involves paying attention to how hungry or full you feel, planning meals and snacks, eating as a singular activity without, say, also reading the paper or watching TV , and zeroing in on how your food really tastes — may be more successful at weight loss. People who participated in an online mindfulness-based weight-loss program, for instance, lost more weight on average, about 4.
Need some tips to get you started? Eat slowly put your fork down between bites, and chew your food well , try to have meals without any outside distractions, and follow the one-bite rule when it comes to favorite but fattening foods like desserts.
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