Look at the way multi-billion dollar weight loss industry is booming. Women and men fast, detox, take weight loss supplements, exercise intensely, clip-off portion of their stomachs, and the list goes on and on. It’s not that the older folks don’t lose weight – they do! BUT after awhile, it all comes back and often exceeds the original weight.. That’s the issue men and women after 50 are groping with – keeping the lost weight off.
From the medical standpoint, it’s easy to determine if a person is overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. Just ask your doctor to check your BMI (body mass index) and the Percent Body Fat. However, for people who have normal BMI and still feel uncomfortable with their weight, it’s a very personal and subjective thing. If you have been told that you have a normal weight but you see a fat person when you look at yourself in the mirror, this creates a constant source of dissatisfaction and stress and that has serious consequences for your physical and emotional health.
All the things that made people gain weight in first place, are the very same things that will make them re-gain weight after any and all diets. It took me almost 20 years to realize why that happens and I have described it in my book called ‘Diet Slave No More!’
As a doctor, I can tell you that weight loss improves a multitude of health aspects, including blood pressure, sugar metabolism, and lipid profile. As a woman though, I’ll tell you that losing unwanted weight will make you feel more energetic, focused, and sexy. As a matter of fact, your sex life will improve on more levels than one, because now you are not only freer to move your body around, but you are also less self-conscious about how you appear to your partner. Ironically, it is obesity, which makes menopause or andropause a miserable time, not the other way around. Obesity worsens hot flashes, increases a risk for heart disease, and lowers sexual libido significantly. Losing unwanted pounds and keeping them off creates a balanced Mind-Body state, in which menopause and andropause can be naturally smooth transition time for most people.
I am always impressed by the older people who lose weight successfully, as their metabolism is so much slower than that of young people. I had an awesome case of a 70-year old lady who had a severe osteoarthritis of the hip. This patient essentially had no joint – it was like bone on bone in her hip joint. However, she was adamant about not going under the knife for the hip replacement. She would not take pain medication either. The only option for her was to lose a significant amount of weight, so that her overweight frame would exert less pressure on her fragile hips. And so, she started losing weight under my guidance, and eventually got back to the weight she had in her 50’es. You can imagine that this woman could hardly move so that exercise was out of the question. I can tell you that she felt so much better after she lost the first 30 pounds. Not completely pain free, but significantly better, able to lead a mostly pain-free life. It has been about 3 years now since she lost that extra weight and she is still keeping it off, effortlessly.
Holistic is the only weight loss older people should pursue, in my opinion. The reason most diets eventually fail is that they are essentially software programs, which try to override the original blueprint we are born with. Now, that is a conflict of interest as far as our bodies are concerned. In my book ‘Diet Slave No More!’ I talk about the importance of recognizing our inner tools and blueprints which enable us to lose excess weight naturally and forever.
I recently talked to the editor of Living Better 50 blog about the way holistic doctors should approach weight loss in older people and the highlights of this conversation can be seen in their post here. I was asked if I could recommend a strategy for weight loss for older people. To that I answered that strategy is a word I would use to resolve a military conflict. We don’t need any more anxiety over our weight than we already have. The best thing we can do is learn about why we eat and what inborn mechanisms are at play here. We can then figure out what went wrong with the way we eat and how to fix it. This journey into the world of Your Self will create a lasting balance within you and the weight loss will follow.