Age definitely affects our metabolism and how we keep or lose weight. I was under weight and stayed at that weight (+/- 5 lbs) for my teens and twenties. As soon as I hit thirty, my weight jumped between thirty and forty pounds.
While my weight did not change dramatically when I hit forty, my health did change. I developed three different diseases during my forties, despite being skeptical of claims that health deteriorates at that age.
One of my diseases (sarcoidosis) caused me to lose about thirty pounds in a month. I don’t recommend this as a weight loss plan. I slowly gained that weight back and I recently found myself at my pre-sickness weight, which is not very healthy.
Since I’m turning fifty in just over a year, I decided it was time to take my health seriously. I have no reason to expect my fifties to be any healthier than my forties. But there are certain things I can control.
A week ago, I put myself on a diet. I have tried this before with little change. But weighing myself after just a week, I found my self five pounds lighter.
How did I do it?
One of the main things was downloading the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. Charting progress really works for me. Based on your height and current weight, it calculates your ideal calorie intake. Then with each meal and snack, you enter what you ate and it provides the calorie count. Each time you enter a number, it calculates what you have left for the day.
In addition, this app can access the information from a Fitbit. The app adds the calories burned from steps to your remaining calories for the day. There are many more features but this is enough for me.
This is more than just calorie counting in the sense of only keeping track of calories. When I see what I have left for the day while I’m tempted to have some snack, I need to make some decisions. This has been the motivation for me to watch what I eat.
The other thing that has made a difference is what I’m drinking. People often spend their time counting the calories of the food and forget what they drink. I do drink water but I also drink tea with sweetener (a lot) and diet pop (sometimes). I try to keep my calories down to just the bit of milk that goes in my tea,
I understand that some hate the taste of sweetener. I used to hate diet pop but I got used to it. And I switched gradually with my tea. I went from two sugars to one sugar to one sweetener. Now if the coffee shop makes a mistake and gives me sugar, it tastes too sweet for me.
By keeping my daily calories intake at an appropriate level, watching my drink calories and walking regularly, I have lost five pounds in my first week.
I’m not saying that I will lose five pounds every week, but I’m already feeling better. Tracking with MyFitnessPal and the Fitbit have really made a difference.