Weight Loss After 50
When authors Stephen Perrine and Heidi Skolnick set out to develop a weight-loss program specifically for men and women at midlife and older, they knew it needed to be different.
Science has shown that adult bodies have unique nutritional needs. To prevent weight gain and muscle loss after age 50 it is necessary to fuel our bodies in a new way. Enter The Whole Body Reset, a lifestyle plan based on protein-timing.
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The concept is simple: Eat more protein and fiber throughout the day, starting with a fulfilling, energy-packed breakfast. The weight-loss plan is full of real, healthy foods and approved by researchers in the fields of aging, nutrition and weight management.
But the proof is in the results. AARP enlisted staffers ages 50 to 75 to try out the plan for 12 weeks. Here are three success stories:
Elizabeth Woodard, 55, Tigard, Oregon
Dropped 22 pounds on the 12-week test panel and 30 pounds overall
Elizabeth Woodard knew she needed to make a healthy change.
“I was up thirty pounds over my ideal weight — meaning the weight I wanted to be at,” she says. A former exercise physiologist, Woodard was already very active, walking six to eight miles every day and going to the gym regularly. So she knew if she was going to drop those unwanted pounds, it meant changing her diet.
“Knowing what you need to do and actually doing it are two different things,” she says. “Then AARP offered this program. I just said, ‘Okay, this is my start date. This is what I’m doing.’ ” She began by becoming more aware of what she was eating, making sure her portions were sensible, and most important of all, adding protein to her breakfasts every day. And sure enough, not only did the pounds start coming off — she lost twenty-two during the Whole Body Reset 12-week trial — but they kept coming off, and stayed off, even during the pandemic. Today, she’s not only thirty pounds lighter, but she recently tried on her wedding dress — and it fit! “My daughter was really impressed,” she says.
So is her doctor: Her healthy HDL cholesterol levels rose, her unhealthy LDL levels dropped, and now both are within the recommended guidelines.
But perhaps most important is how she feels. “My energy levels have definitely increased. My mood improved. And now it’s fun to shop for clothes again. I couldn’t go to the stores because of COVID, so I’ve been shopping online, and I find that I’m not returning things like I used to, because the clothes fit better.”
Bill Hawkins, 64, Birmingham, Alabama
Dropped 10 pounds on the 12-week test panel and 40 pounds overall
Weight control has for years been an issue for Bill Hawkins who has diabetes. “I had done every diet known to man. And it’s always a struggle,” Hawkins says. But he couldn’t find one he could stick to.
The problem: Most diets just aren’t made for real life. “Many of the diets I’ve read about are things you can’t sustain,” he says. “They’re geared for folks of different ages, or for people who have access to weird or uncommon ingredients. I have a family, and most programs require foods that they’re just not going to eat.”
Now, he eats more protein, while reducing simple starches and upping the number of fruits and vegetables he consumes. “I feel fulfilled, especially in my lunch and nighttime meals.”
As a result, he says his diabetes has become much easier to manage: “I feel tremendously better when my blood sugar is under control, and this diet has helped me do that. I can’t cut out medicines, but I can drastically reduce the number of times I have to go to the doctor. And I can point to better sleep, which has helped.”
Beth Daniels, 57; Silver Spring, Maryland
Dropped 19 pounds on 12-week test panel
“I had always been able to lose weight when I wanted to,” says Beth Daniels. “Like a normal person, my weight would go up and down. But once I turned 50, it changed.” Suddenly she no longer had control over her weight, and she needed to make a change. She also wanted to be thinner at her wedding, which was just a few months away.
Within weeks, Daniels noticed a change in how she felt. “I wasn’t sluggish. My sleep was good and I had improvements in my mood. I just noticed that it was easier for me to move around — I felt lighter in my person. It was very motivating, and it just made me feel more engaged.”
But she was surprised to see that while she was changing on the outside, healthy changes were happening inside as well. “I was using my Fitbit and I realized my resting heart rate was noticeably lower.”
What's in the Book?
The Whole Body Reset includes:
- Scores of recipes and snack suggestions
- A guide to dining out
- A 10-day jump-start plan
- A fitness plan that requires no equipment
Order it at aarp.org/wholebodyreset or at your favorite bookshop or online store.