10 Weight Loss Tips For Women Over 50

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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I’m stronger than most people think I am!

Did you know that your 50s are the time of life when most women are at their heaviest? It’s true! Sadly, 44.3% of Americans ages 44-59 are considered obese! Even if you’re not obese, and you haven’t changed your eating or exercise routine, you may have found yourself with 5 or 10 extra pounds that gradually crept onto your body. 🙋‍♀️ (That’s me!) This is alarming, but I’m here to tell you that there are things you can do to combat it. Today I’m sharing 10 weight loss tips for women over 50.

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I’m wearing in this post fits TTS, unless I tell you otherwise! 😀

Why Women Over 50 Gain Weight

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Note to self: extend self-tanner beyond your legs! 😂

Two-Piece Scallop Edge Workout Set (12 color options & currently 33% off!) | One-Piece Scallop Edge Workout Set with Shorts Underneath (6 color options) | Brooks Empower Her Ghost 15 Running Shoes (in Eclipse Blue)

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How to Lose Weight

When You’re Over 50

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Basically, a bunch of things come together to make weight maintenance and weight loss over 50 more difficult.

  • Hormone changes, especially the decline in estrogen during menopause, can cause weight gain.
  • As we age, the subcutaneous fat underneath your skin migrates to your abdomen, becoming more dangerous visceral fat. Visceral fat is belly fat found deep within your abdominal cavity, surrounding organs like your heart, stomach, liver, and intestines.
  • Age-related muscle loss (which starts at age 30) means a greater percentage of our body is made up of fat, which doesn’t burn as many calories as muscle.
  • Age-related muscle loss ALSO means our bodies don’t process blood sugar as efficiently as previously.
  • You may still be eating like you’re 30 (when you were more active and burning more calories).

This weight gain can lead to issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and more.

Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 50

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as eating less and moving more. Research shows that effective weight loss involves food choices as much as (if not more than) good volume. These tips can help with weight loss over 50.

1. Move at Least 30 Minutes a Day

Aim for at least 150 minutes of movement a week. Focus on activities like walking, swimming, biking, and gardening for cardiovascular fitness, and at least two days a week of resistance training for muscle strength. You don’t necessarily need equipment! Do what I do and use your body weight! Also, you should know that, in study after study, active daily living beats a few weekly gym sessions + sitting around the rest of the day.

woman over 50 wearing navy blue scalloped workout set standing by a pool showing her muscles
I don’t know about you, but as an empty nester, I want to be strong and energetic for all the great things that the empty nest brings – like weddings, vacations, grandkids, and more!

2. Sneakily Work in More Movement

Park farther away from the front of the store. Take the stairs. If you need to move something to the second story of your house, don’t make a pile on the steps! Walk it up there. Those steps add up! Aim for 10K a day. For bonus points, make those steps vigorous to raise your heart rate a little bit. Walk like you’re in a hurry, and do it with purpose!

3. Start Your Day With Protein

Did you know the average American currently eats about 10 grams of protein at breakfast and about 60 grams at dinner? This contributes to fat! Instead, try something called “protein timing” — eating 25-30 grams of protein in the morning, the same amount at lunch and dinner. Studies show this helps you retain muscle mass.

4. Up Your Consumption of Organic Fruits & Vegetables

In general, foods in their natural form are always better than processed foods. Think nuts, seeds, seafood, olive and avocado oils, low-fat dairy, and especially lean meat, and especially fruits and veggies. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.” Pesticides are considered obesogens and are linked to weight gain, so be sure to wash produce well with a product like Veggie Wash Fruit & Vegetable Wash (It’s what I use.), or purchase organic if you can. 

5. Reduce Your Consumption of Simple Carbs & Sugar

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Chambray Ruffle Shift Dress | Gold Drop Earrings in Platinum Drusy | SunButter Sunflower Butter (I like the crunchy, but it comes in creamy as well!)

Minimize your intake of cookies, donuts, cakes, pies, sodas, and other sweet treats. Simple carbs like these fill you up with calories but provide minimal nutrition. Plus, higher carbohydrate intake makes you retain water, making you look bloated, feel heavier, and weigh more.

To read more about what I eat in a day, click HERE.

6. Stop Eating at 7 pm

It may seem counterintuitive, but studies have shown that eating later in the evening actually increases next-day hunger! It also decreases your next-day calorie burn and triggers your body to store more fat.

7. Figure Out WHY You Eat

When it comes to weight loss tips for women over 50, I think figuring out why you eat can be something we forget to address! Emotional eating can be linked to emotions like depression, anxiety, discouragement, fear, or even excitement and joy. What causes you to make poor food choices? If you haven’t examined the emotional reasons behind your food choices, it’s probably time to do that. If you can’t figure it out on your own, here’s a free online test that might help.

8. Shift Your Thinking About Food

Adopting the mindset that food is fuel can change your relationship with what you put into your body. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy what you eat! But it does mean that you need to understand that all foods aren’t processed at the same rate. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose which can either be released quickly or slowly. Foods that release glucose quickly (See number 5 above.) cause a sudden spike in blood sugar. These foods give you a sudden burst of energy, but cause your blood sugar levels to drop quickly, causing a crash in your energy level and maybe even making you sleepy.

Foods that release glucose slowly (See number 4 above.) provide sustained energy and keep you feeling fuller longer. These foods won’t cause a spike in blood sugar because they provide a steady flow of energy to your brain. They cause your blood sugar to slowly rise and then slowly go down. Your brain needs a steady amount of glucose to stay alert, focused, and productive.

Need help with this? Mighty Health is a health & fitness app (endorsed by AARP) just for empty nesters and the over-50 crowd! I strongly endorse it and use it myself! Read more HERE.

9. Actively Combat Stress

Although it may look like empty nesters are enjoying the good life, we know that life over 50 can be stressful. Many of us are dealing with aging parents, concerns about our adult children, and job-related stress. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, leading to an increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods.

woman over 50 walking for health on walking path weairing free people Movement Breathe Deeper Leggings and crop top and pumping her arms

Free People Breathe Deeper Crop Tank (in 16 colors) | Free People High-Rise Ankle Breathe Deeper Leggings (in 6 colors) | Colorful Cheetah Apple Watch Band | Brooks Sneakers sold out

Fight stress by doing things like taking a walk, calling a friend to vent, practicing yoga, or spending time in prayer. A book called  by Kelly McGonigal changed the way I think about stress completely and made a big difference in my anxiety level. It’s based on her famous TED talk called “How to Make Stress Your Friend.” In it, she cites research proving that undergoing stress is not bad for you; it is undergoing stress while believing that stress is bad for you that makes it harmful. In fact, stress has many benefits!

To read more about walking for health, fitness, and weight loss, click HERE.

10. Get 7 Hours of Sleep

Sleeping less than 7 hours a night has been shown to elevate ghrelin, the hormone created in the stomach that signals hunger. Sleeping less than 7 hours means you actually may be driven to consume more calories the next day.

While it’s true that midlife weight gain is something to be more conscious of after age fifty, be encouraged! There are small changes you can make that can help in the battle to lose or maintain your weight.

Sometimes the biggest challenge can be coming to grips with the fact that we are not the age of our kids, and we just can’t get away with the food choices that they make. 🙃 How do you fight the midlife weight gain battle? Do you have any good tips for weight loss over 50? Leave me a comment and give me some inspiration! We’re in it together, friends! 

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    1. Lori,

      I’m so happy you found the post helpful! This is a challenge for all of us! ME TOO!

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment! Please share the post with others if you think it could be helpful!


    1. Vicki,

      You’re so sweet! I’m so glad you liked it and found it helpful! I learned a lot researching it – especially about not eating after 7! Bob and I are working on that!


  1. Love all the great info! I do well at meals, but snacking is my weakness! (Even after 7 pm!) On our recent Europe trip, we walked everywhere, and even though I was on vacation and eating lots more calories, when I got home and stepped on the scale, I’d actually lost a couple of pounds! So MOVING even if it’s walking, is so effective!

    1. Shannon,

      So glad you liked the post! Snacking is tough – I’m a popcorn addict! The carbs in my popcorn weren’t doing me any favors though, as my blood sugar would crash an hour later. I’ve found if I eat enough protein at my meals, I can make it with just drinking water, tea, or a Dr. Pepper Zero (my weakness!) in between!

      So glad you stayed active and it helped you lose a little! That was SOME vacation!!!


  2. I commented earlier~great post filled with lots of great information. Sleep is important. I have to ask, what is your suggestion for people who must work shift work and often have extremely interrupted sleep due to working nights hours then back to daylight. I try not to eat at night or before going to bed in the morning but awake famished and can’t return to sleep. Getting 7 hours of sleep is out of the question. 3 or 4 is more like it.

  3. Juliet,

    Wow! That is a tricky one! You are amazing, and I thank you for the work you are doing that is causing these issues for you! I can imagine that your body is confused, to say the least!

    I’m so sorry, but I’m totally out of my element on this issue! When I Googled it, I found multiple articles – from various sources – so I would talk with your doctor about this and maybe do some research yourself as well. I can totally see how it would be a huge issue for you.

    Again, thank you for your important shift work. Grateful for you!


  4. Thanks for all of the great suggestions! I just retired from teaching and need to get back in shape! What strength exercises do you do for your arms? I don’t have a gym membership. Yours look great!

    Thank you-

    1. Nancy,

      That’s a good question! I do planks, push-ups, tricep dips, and others with handheld weights. I’ll do a post on this soon! Thanks for the suggestion!

      Thank you for the years you spent teaching! You’ve had a tremendous impact on so many families, I know! I’m so proud of you for resolving to focus on your health now that you’re retired! I want you to be strong and energetic for all of the opportunities that are going to come your way! Go get ’em, girl!


  5. Hi Suzy,
    I enjoyed the article, so many great points. I found the protein timing information so interesting, I never realized! I notice I sleep much better if I do not snack after 7, some days are easier than others though.
    Thank you for all your hard work!

    1. Diane,

      Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you liked it! The protein timing was new info to me too, and I couldn’t wait to share it! I find the same thing with eating before 7. Sleep is SO much better.

      Thanks so much for following Empty Nest Blessed and taking the time to leave a comment!


  6. Great article! Exercise is so important and it doesn’t have to be intense workouts. You have motivated me to get off my phone and go for a walk 🤣

    I’m going to check out the book on stress and pass it along to my young adult daughters 👍🏻

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