I have clients of all ages whose main goal is to lose weight, and then keep it off. Even though they're from different age categories, the principles remain the same: eating at a calorie deficit, strength training regularly, and getting in cardio on your off days.
With strength training exercises, you want to focus on compound lifts and improving performance each week. You can do that by either lifting heavier weights, performing reps, resting less, or all of the above. And as far as your cardio is concerned, work out on your favorite machine or do your favorite aerobic activity for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If you do these things consistently, you'll be well on your way to shedding some weight.
However, losing weight—and keeping that weight off—can get more difficult as you age, and you may need to incorporate some extra strategies, activities, or tricks to help you move the needle. But don't fret, because if you're in your 50s, we have you covered with five of the best-kept secrets to losing weight. Check them out below, and next, be sure to read The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Perform fasted training
One way to continue losing weight and burning stubborn body fat is to incorporate fasted training. To keep things simple, fasting is not consuming any calories (from liquid or food) within a certain timeframe. When you're training in a fasted state, your growth hormone levels may rise. (And according to Prospect Medical, getting in some exercise while fasting is deemed okay, and it's really good for your hormone optimization.) This will help increase your fat loss, assuming you're still eating at a calorie deficit.
An easy way to incorporate fasted training is to work out on an empty stomach or 2 to 3 hours before eating. If you're a breakfast person and work out in the morning, you can train first thing, wait a while, and then go into your first meal.
Add "carries" to your workouts
If you're used to lifting weights regularly, one type of movement you can add to your routine is loaded carries, such as the farmer's walk or the suitcase carry.
These carry exercises engage your full body and require a good amount of core strength. They can also be used as a conditioning exercise, which can help you burn more calories and lose weight.
Start with the suitcase carry. Hold a heavy dumbbell at your side, keeping your chest tall, core tight, and spine neutral. Brace your abs hard, then begin walking, under control, for 50 to 100 feet. The weight will try to pull you down to one side, but resisting it will work your core. Once you complete the distance, turn around, switch the weight to your other hand, and walk back to the start. Do this three times though.
Add a finisher to the end of your workout sessions
Besides carries, you can also add in some sort of finisher to the end of your workouts. Something as simple as a bodyweight circuit can be enough to burn extra calories and increase your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Here's an example:
Keeping your chest tall and core tight, push your hips back, and squat down until your quads are parallel to the ground. Drive through your heels and hips to come back up to standing, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Do 15 reps.
Alternating Reverse Lunge
Move #2 in this finisher sequence is the alternating reverse lunge. Begin by taking a long stride backward with one leg. Firmly plant your heel down, then lower yourself until your back knee touches the ground. Push through with your front leg to come back up, then repeat with the other side. Perform 8 reps on each leg.
Bodyweight Hip Thrust
In the 3rd move in this finisher, you'll place your upper back on a bench or sturdy surface with your feet in front of you. Keeping your core tight and chin tucked, lower your hips (under control), then drive through with your heels to raise your hips up until they're almost parallel to the ground. Squeeze your glutes hard at the top, then lower before performing another rep. Do a total of 10 reps.
Change up your sets and reps
If you're used to performing the same amount of sets and reps in your training program, changing that up can be a great way to challenge the body and force it to work harder. This will allow you to burn more calories and build more muscle. Plus, it can give you a boost of motivation if it's lacking.
Take your current set and rep scheme, and flip it around. For example, if you're used to working in higher rep zone, such as 10 to 15, you can flip it and work in the 6 to 8 rep range instead.
Perform low-intensity cardio during your rest period
One way to increase calorie burn and help you continue losing weight is to incorporate cardio in between your rest period while you're strength training. It should be an activity that you can perform at a low intensity for at least 60 seconds. Some examples would be the exercise bike, jump rope, or even a brisk walk. It might not seem like much at first, but if you do this over the course of your entire workout, you'll end up burning a good amount of calories and get some good sweat going.