Losing weight comes with a lot of important health benefits – whether you do it in your early twenties or late forties – but shedding a couple of pounds after the age of 50 can be greatly rewarding to you.
Why? It’s easier to add on weight after you have clocked 50 due to the various metabolic and hormonal changes that usually occur at the time.
While it’s common for people to gain weight after age 50, it can be hazardous to your health since this raises the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and stroke. Remember, that developing Type 1 Diabetes makes losing weight even more daunting.
The good news is, you can still lose weight at this age. And it’s a worthy thing to do if your weight falls within the unhealthy range or causes you discomfort. Below are some surprising health benefits of losing weight after the age of 50.
1. A Lower Risk of Dementia
Being obese at 50 has been linked to a higher risk of Dementia, according to a 2018 study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
Even though researchers are not sure why or how this happens, many believe it might have to do with our gut microbiome, which may become imbalanced as we grow older.
Research has shown that we have a natural tendency toward an imbalanced gut, including more bad bacteria belaying in our stomach as we grow older. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can affect brain health and correlates with neurodegenerative disease.
In a 2019 study published in Scientific Reports, researchers examined patients’ fecal samples in a memory care clinic. They discovered that samples from participants who are dealing with Dementia had a higher level of harmful bacteria.
What should we do? Focus on eating more fruits, veggies, and foods rich in fibers, resulting in weight loss, a balanced gut, and a healthier brain.
2. Fewer Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are one of the common side effects of menopause and are more prevalent in women above 50. These are very uncomfortable, and gaining a few more pounds can make them worse.
Hormones like estrogen are stored in fat tissue. Hence, it’s only sensible that the more fat a woman has, the more estrogen in her body, and the more pronounced her menopausal symptoms can become.
A 2017 study on women’s health found that obese women had a higher chance of having moderate-to-severe menopause symptoms and seemed to experience them more frequently.
3. Lowered Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA for short), also known as “wear and tear” disease, is one of aging’s prevalent side effects. It can cause the cartilage, which protects and cushions the bones, to wear down with time. This combination makes bones come together, and the joints stiff, swollen, and painful.
Being overweight worsens osteoarthritis, as it puts more pressure on the joints and leads to more pain.
Arthritis and bone cartilage deterioration are irreversible. Fortunately, weight loss helps reduce the pressure on the joints and relieves symptoms, making walking around more comfortable and less painful.
Being pain-free is essential to support a lifetime of activity.
4. A Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers
Women often face unexplained weight gain in their 40s and 50s. Excess weight gain can exacerbate hormone-sensitive cancers in women above 50 since estrogen hormones are stored in fat cells.
The more fat you’re carrying, the higher your hormone levels. This explains why obesity in women has been linked to a higher risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer and why women who lose weight — particularly after the age of 50 — dramatically reduce their risk of the disease.
Supporting this theory, a 2019 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that women who lose weight in their 50s had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer than women whose weight remained the same. The study shows that even if you regain some of the weight, the overall risks reduce.
It’s also important to note that excess body weight is also linked to a poorly functioning liver. Our liver helps filter out harmful chemicals, such as environmental pollutants and carcinogenic toxins. Since the cancer risks are already increased due to age, having an improperly functioning liver as a result of obesity raises the risk of several diseases, like cancer.
If you’re over the age of 50 and struggle to lose weight, there is hope.
Schedule a complimentary consultation to understand why what you’ve been doing isn’t working and how to take the shortcut to lose weight and improve vital health parameters.