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AIBU?

To think it's impossible to lose weight as an older woman (70)

201 replies

DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 10:52

OK I've been daft. December was a really social month for us with Christmas get-togethers, special birthdays and anniversary celebrations with lovely friends. Lots of eating and drinking without much thought for the consquences. Basically just had a great month.

Weighed myself on Boxing day and had put on 8 lbs from my usual weight to bring me to 10 stones exactly (I'm 5' 3"). Decided to take drastic measures before it got any worse. Joined a gym for 2 PT-led sessions a week, one Pilates class, Zumba Gold and I try to walk 2-3 miles a day. I also ride twice a week but I have been doing this for years so that's not new.

Eating wise I never eat breakfast anyway but a normal day is now a black coffee around 8.30 and another at 11.00. For lunch something like porridge, homemade vegetable soup or two eggs one slice of wholemeal from a small loaf. Dinner is chicken or fish with vegetables, maybe one small potato or a spoonful of rice, a plain two egg omlette or ham salad. Dessert is an apple or an orange. If we go out I will have a really boring salad. Oh and I've been drinking loads of water (up 6 times in the night last night).

Since Boxing Day I've not had any cake, biscuits, crisps, sweets or alcohol. DH has been eating his usual sized portions, but cutting out cake, crisps and chocolate (no exercise, apart from he will sometimes walk with me) and has lost 6 lbs. I weighed myself this morning. 10 sodding stones. My PT says I'm not eating enough which is ridiculous. So, people. What else can I do? I've been hungry since Christmas and nothing to show for it. Oh, and my bicep and thigh measurements are the same, my waist is 1" bigger, so I've not gone entirely on weight.

Sorry for the essay!!

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Morvillehrs · 08/02/2024 14:43

@leilani83 op isn’t talking about body image. Did you read her post? She’s talking about health, so you know avoiding things like hypertension, type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis of the knees.

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ru53 · 08/02/2024 14:49

Agree with PPs you need plenty of protein intake and also calcium (dairy) to keep your bones strong. Just keep going maybe allow yourself extra calories but make sure they are protein based. Lean meats, lentils, nuts etc. It’s actually not been very long yet (although I’m sure it feels like it is!) I think if you’re usually slim it takes a while for weight loss to happen.

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Everanewbie · 08/02/2024 14:52

Hi OP. Firstly, you're lapping all those out there who are able but unwilling to keep themselves healthy and people like you are what the NHS needs more of. I'm overweight through choice, not necessarily conscious, but yeah, instant gratification and all that. But I've done a lot of reading. I'd recommend that you establish your BMR, there are plenty of online free tools for this, basically your calorie consumption if you do naff all all day apart from sleep and go to the toilet. Then conservatively estimate your activity level, establish a maintenance calorie output, and try to hit 500 calories or so beneath that per day. And be strict, we (I anyway) underestimate portions, milk in tea, rice pasta, serving suggestions (portion for 4 between 2, anyone?). Its harder as you get on, but barring any rare conditions or medication, if you're in deficit, you'll lose weight. That's science.

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Paw2024 · 08/02/2024 14:57

I mean technically it's healthier when you're older to be in the slightly overweight range
But it's up to how you feel too, just don't be right at the bottom of the healthy weight as you've no reserves then

Maybe focus on dress size, how you feel, mobility, flexibility, fitness rather than the actual scales?

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TFrth · 08/02/2024 14:59

From personal experience, I would recommend a long active holiday, if you can manage this from time and financial perspective. e.g. walking in alps. Being away gives an opportunity to change habits and plenty of activity kick starts the weight reduction and increases metabolism. I found after 10 days walking in high mountains every day, the weight dropped off easily and much more toned. Also camping holiday worked similarly well due to lots of movement. The longer the better! Lots of options to consider. Also house sitting with dogs (long walks every day and free of cost). Wishing you success!

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Darkmodetwo · 08/02/2024 15:05

Ace56 · 08/02/2024 12:07

Honestly at 70, why bother? Unless you’re chronically obese and it’s affecting your health.

Jeez what a crass thing to say! Everyone should be interested in their health, weight etc all their lives. We can easily live until our 90's these days.

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Achillo · 08/02/2024 15:14

It could possibly be an intolerance to a food you are eating. If I eat any dairy at all my weight balloons because I retain so much water with the inflammation it causes. My joints ache day and night and I feel 30 years older. Like you mention going up the stairs is exhausting. But if I stay clear of it I am a new woman, full of energy and weight drops off again as it was mainly water.
Maybe keep a food diary for a few weeks and see if there is anything that might not agree with you that you eat. Signs could be headaches, joint pain, low energy, low mood. Then you could cut it out for a few weeks and see if anything improves. If I give up dairy the joint pain gets worse for a few days, then disappears and the weight drops rapidly.

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Catsbreakfast · 08/02/2024 15:18

Life is too short to eat like you’re in prison. Plus if you restrict too much it’s unlikely you keep at it and gain weight. If you put weight on from Christmas indulgence, your weight will come off with the added exercise and your normal diet anyway. But 6 weeks isn’t that long to stress this much and losing weight this quickly isn’t recommended either.

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GettingStuffed · 08/02/2024 15:22

I'm very close to 60 and I'm losing weight at around 2lb a week. It is possible that you're not eating enough as your body thinks there a famine and holds on to your fat stores just in case.

I saw a GP this morning and he seemed a bit worried about the weight loss

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SaturdayGiraffe · 08/02/2024 15:26

Maybe you’ve built muscle?

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Dapbag · 08/02/2024 15:31

My PT says I'm not eating enough which is ridiculous.

Seems a funny thing to pay a personal trainer and think their advice ridiculous. I'm 60, have lost 3 stone at Slimming World in the last. I've spent the whole year eating a lot more than you and have certainly never had to eat boring salads when I go out to eat (what is the point of that?)

Why don't you try eating more? Perhaps start your day with a good healthy breakfast?

Do you lift weights? That might tone up the bits you're unhappy with.

That said, you sound the right weight for your height, are fit, healthy and active so maybe you're just in a good place already.

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Trickedbyadoughnut · 08/02/2024 15:32

Are you drinking the water later on in the day? My DH was told by his dietitian not to drink a lot in the evenings as good sleep is crucial to weight loss and getting up and down in the night wasn't great.

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spanishviola · 08/02/2024 15:36

baileybrosbuildingandloan · 08/02/2024 12:59

@DoraSpenlow your knees feel worse with an extra 8lbs? That's not possible.
Just aim for a small loss each week and it will come.

It is totally possible.

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useitorlose · 08/02/2024 15:40

Don't fret about exercise, I just walk daily and I've lost 1.5 stone in six months aged 55. I eat well sensibly but I don't eat in a way that feels restrictive.

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Fluffywhitecloudsinthesky · 08/02/2024 15:41

I could not eat that little and exercise that much, I find my body works better when it's better fuelled, so three meals a day and lots of protein, but under allowance. If I eat too little body panics! Too drastic. Agree it is hard over menopause.

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ChaoticBag · 08/02/2024 15:44

I wonder if you're actually retaining a lot of water for some reason.

Do you wear glasses and are they leaving more of a groove in your nose at the moment? That's how I know I'm retaining water.

It would be interesting to know if your % of body fat has changed since Christmas.

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Womanofcustard · 08/02/2024 15:46

Hi OP,
sorry you are getting a lot of discouraging messages telling you that you don’t need to loose weight. You do, if you want to keep well and active in the next 10-20 years.
May I suggest you have a light breakfast, and cut out the black coffee first thing. Too much caffeine on an empty stomach, not good for the metabolism. And you don’t need to be permanently hungry. Your PT is probably right that you are not eating enough.
Good luck!

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heyhohello · 08/02/2024 15:49

I'm in my 50s. My weight was plateauing at just under 13 stone at 5 ft 7. I started running. Initially cut my portions down by half from what I usually eat. Just to see if it made a difference. It did. So decided to get a FitBit and monitor all food and exercise. I worked to a deficit which kept working.

I'm now 8 st 7 and lot fitter, run 10k a day, do weights and have muscle definition.

Sometimes portions are just too big for the energy you burn, exercise is not necessary linear but I think it makes the body function better. Keep it up. Monitor it and try a few things. Capitalise on what works for you.

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BIossomtoes · 08/02/2024 15:54

mooncloud1 · 08/02/2024 12:35

Not sure exactly what to say this, but what a thoughtless comment. I imagine you're one of those people who think 30 is old. Wait until you're 70 and see if you think 'why bother' 🙄

I’m 70 and that was my first thought too. Particularly for someone whose BMI is 25.

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TonTonMacoute · 08/02/2024 16:01

No, it’s not impossible, it’s only been just over a month since Christmas.

I am also struck by you ignoring what your PT has said about your diet, I think you should ask them more about this and perhaps draw up a diet plan together.

Agree that you sound quite stressed about this, stress causes your body to produce more cortisol which can prevent your metabolism from working smoothly and effectively.

Sleep is as important as staying well hydrated, drinking so much water that you are up 6 times in the night sounds counterproductive. Sometimes less is more and if you have a good diet you shouldn’t have to drink lots of extra water.

I recommend Dr Chatterjee’s books as he explains how and why these physiological blocks to weight loss work even when you think you are doing everything right.

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haggisandcoos · 08/02/2024 16:02

I'm 70, 5' 2" and last year, when I hit 10 st 3lbs, I started working out with a gym PT once a week. I lost about 8lbs in two months but I had to send photos of all my meals. Breakfast was a kale, pineapple, mango, ginger (fibre heavy) and lemon smoothie with a scoop of protein powder, OR raw oats, yoghurt, apple, nuts and oat milk. This would keep me going till 2pm without feeling hungry. I also took Vit B, magnesium and turmeric supplements.

Lunch and dinner were unlimited chicken/pork/fish/beef with lots of different coloured veg and salad, which I grow myself. There was the occasional potato and fat was avocado/olive oil for stir fries and salad dressing. Low carb meant no beans/pulses, and the PT wasn't in favour of tofu either. No sweets either. Fortunately, I love salad.

I exercised 5 days a week. Pump; HIIT; Abs Blast; Legs, Bums and Tums; Tabata; Body Attack and Pilates. Some days I did three classes covering, core, strength and cardio. Pilates was three times a week. I can do squats for ages, my tummy is flat, and my BP is good. I recently went on holiday where I walked 18-20k steps a day without problems.

OP, keep up the exercising, add weights, eat more animal/fish protein and go low carb. Good luck!

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:07

SummerFeverVenice · 08/02/2024 13:23

Do you do weight training? I see lots of cardio, but nothing to build muscle mass.

Yes, thank you. Sessions at the gym are approx 35mins cardio and 25mins weights and I sometimes stay on to do some more. PT is aware I want to lose weight.

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:12

MuddlerInLaw · 08/02/2024 13:36

You’re definitely not flushing out fat - and all that drinking water overnight sounds distinctly unhealthy. Night time is for sleep - without which your body can’t function properly.

I don't drink water over night. I'm getting up to pee from all the water up until 6pm. Supposed to drink 2 litres a day but | don't always manage it because I feel awash.

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amberglas · 08/02/2024 16:13

Ace56 · 08/02/2024 12:07

Honestly at 70, why bother? Unless you’re chronically obese and it’s affecting your health.

Charming! OP has already mentioned her knees. I think she's perfectly entitled to want to make a change no matter what her age.

OP for now I would combine your diet with some exercise to help with knees, as mentioned by a previous poster.

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leilani83 · 08/02/2024 16:13

@leilani83 op isn’t talking about body image. Did you read her post? She’s talking about health, so you know avoiding things like hypertension, type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis of the knees.

Sure, but I don't think these are very likely to be an issue for someone who is of normal weight.

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