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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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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:18

@MuddlerInLaw

Stop eating in the evening!

Thank you for your suggestion. I have my evening meal at 5.30. Evenings is when I really struggle not to eat so I don't really want to eat earlier (and I don't think DH would be too impressed eating at that time). I'm never hungry in the mornings. I can go to bed with a rumbling tummy but still wake up not hungry. It's afternoons and evenings I really struggle.

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108Anj · 08/02/2024 16:19

I would suggest doing the 5 Tibetan Rites, to boost your metabolism. I can't recommend them highly enough, they are so energising. It's a sort of Tibetan yoga. They take 5 or 10 mins to do, daily. There's a video on YouTube with Raageshwari showing how they're done - they are not strenuous and you start off doing only 3 of each.

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malificent7 · 08/02/2024 16:23

Why should op give up wanting to look and more importantly, feel good at 70? She said it's affecting her knees which can lead to arthriris. Should we all just eat ourselves silly when we get older because"why bother?"?
Some agist comments on here!
Obviously, nowt wrong with a few treats and op had those at Christmas.

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:23

@ThreeTreeHill

Firstly are you tracking your weight?

Sorry if I'm being thick but I don't know what this means. I weigh the same today as I did on Boxing Day.

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:26

Yup, already have hypertension caused by a kidney condition.

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Mayla · 08/02/2024 16:27

Like you, I really let loose over the holidays and gained almost 6 kg! At 5'4", I usually fluctuate between 53 and 54.5 kg, so being almost 60 kg felt horrible.
I usually tend to lose weight relative quickly but I'm noticing that each year, it gets slower and harder to do.
I find the best solution that works for me is intermittent fasting and intense weight training at least 3-4 times a week. The weight exercises aren't too long, usually around 15-30 minutes per session.

I know people are telling you to chill but when you've been almost the same size your whole life, it doesn't feel like you when you've gained a significant amount.

I'm sure you'll get there...be patient and find out what works for you.

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MyHuckleberryFriends · 08/02/2024 16:27

@DoraSpenlow of course her knees feel worse with an extra 8lbs of weight! A key study published in a medical journal about osteoarthritis found that by losing one pound of weight resulted in 4 pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. When you walk on level ground, the force on your knees is equivalent to 1 and a half your body weight. That means a 200 pound man will put 300 pounds of pressure on his knees when we walks. Stop gaslighting the OP implying she is imagining increasing pain with weight gain because it’s a fact

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:31

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!

Funnily enough we have just booked a holiday in April that will involve lots of walking. One of the reasons I want to get the weight off!!

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ElBandito · 08/02/2024 16:33

I think your body thinks there is a famine going on and is desperately trying to hold on to weight. It does this by slowing down your metabolism to use fewer calories.

Your husband is losing weight even though he's eating more than you. And I suspect he's roughly the same age? This should give you a clue that you need to eat the right type of food in the right quantities and your fitness chappy is right.

Water isn't going to 'wash away the fat' it just goes through your digestive system with your body absorbing the amount it needs. If you're constantly on the loo then you are taking on way more water than you need.

To posters who don't believe that you can be feeling the 8lb you've put on, try running up and down the stairs carrying 8lb of potatoes, see if you can feel the difference. I think you will!

Good luck OP. I think it's so important to keep fit and healthy at this point in your life, I hope I manage to do the same. You're just heading to your goal in the wrong way and I think there's a danger that you're current course might do you more harm than good.

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MyHuckleberryFriends · 08/02/2024 16:34

Apologies @DoraSpenlow I tagged you by error instead of the poster who didn’t believe your knee pain has increased

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Dapbag · 08/02/2024 16:34

If you eat your dinner at 5.30pm and don't eat again until noon the following day you are going 18.5 hours of each day without eating.

I'm no expert but that doesn't sound ideal, especially with all the exercise you're doing.

Could you just try eating a little bit more - but all really heathy things, lots of lean protein, fruit and veg and sharing that food more evenly through the day?

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:34

Hardly losing weight quickly. I've not lost anything.

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MyHuckleberryFriends · 08/02/2024 16:37

@baileybrosbuildingandloan please see my comment above about how increased weight causes extra pressure on your joints. It beggars belief how you can deny that- it’s common sense

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:37

108Anj · 08/02/2024 16:19

I would suggest doing the 5 Tibetan Rites, to boost your metabolism. I can't recommend them highly enough, they are so energising. It's a sort of Tibetan yoga. They take 5 or 10 mins to do, daily. There's a video on YouTube with Raageshwari showing how they're done - they are not strenuous and you start off doing only 3 of each.

Thank you, I'll have a look at that.

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MyHuckleberryFriends · 08/02/2024 16:39

@DoraSpenlow I honestly think you’re doing really well and the weight will start to drop off in a week or two

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DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:44

@ElBandito

I think your body thinks there is a famine going on and is desperately trying to hold on to weight. It does this by slowing down your metabolism to use fewer calories.

But surely eating less and exercising more should mean some weight loss. Calories in vs. calories out and all that?

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BardRelic · 08/02/2024 16:45

Supposed to drink 2 litres a day but | don't always manage it because I feel awash.

Who told you to do that? It's a common belief that 'we' should drink 2 litres a day but when you pause to think about it, it's ridiculous. A large person doing physical work outdoors in the heat will need a very different amount of fluid from a small person doing a sedentary job in a moderate climate. Also, there's confusion about whether that 2 litres does or doesn't include fluid in foods. Generally, fluid intake should include all your intake, both that present in your food and whatever you drink.

I mean, maybe you've been told this by a kidney specialist, in which case fair enough. But if you're doing it on general guidelines I would stop, and listen to your body.

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MyLadyTheKingsMother · 08/02/2024 16:47

Menopants · 08/02/2024 12:14

Older women don’t magically stop wanting to take pleasure in looking nice and wearing nice clothes. You don’t turn 50 and suddenly start buying elasticated slacks from Lakeland

Lake land sell elasticated slacks?

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WonderingWanda · 08/02/2024 16:47

I totally get what you are saying. My dhnjust has to put his trainers on and he loses weight. I just can't or if I do I can't sustain such a miserable restrictive diet when busy and exhausted all the time. Hormones are against us for sure and of course women come in all different shapes and sizes.

One thing I would say is try not t9 fixate on the weight. Take a photo once a week in the same underwear and take measurements, it's much easier to feel positive about progress when you can see improved shape even if the scales just go up and down.

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OhcantthInkofaname · 08/02/2024 16:51

When you decrease your intake too far your body goes into "starvation mode". It tries to maintain the status quo. Eat more.

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DilemmaAtWork · 08/02/2024 16:53

Have you always done this much exercise? Or were you relatively sedentary before this?

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Disturbia81 · 08/02/2024 16:57

My mum is mid 70s and has lost weight through just eating less, no exercise

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CherryogDog · 08/02/2024 16:58

@Mammajay the estrogen helps with atrophy which is common post menopause and can lead to pelvic floor weakness. I've got a bladder prolapse following surgical menopause with no follow-up or after care.
I had to be a bit forceful with my GP to get a more frequent script as opposed to the 3 x per week.

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BardRelic · 08/02/2024 16:58

DoraSpenlow · 08/02/2024 16:44

@ElBandito

I think your body thinks there is a famine going on and is desperately trying to hold on to weight. It does this by slowing down your metabolism to use fewer calories.

But surely eating less and exercising more should mean some weight loss. Calories in vs. calories out and all that?

If your body thinks it's starving, it will try to reduce the number of calories burned. E.g. I fidget a lot and that actually burns a fair few calories. But if I'm hungry, I fidget less, in order to conserve the calories I am consuming.

It's not just deliberate exercise that burns calories but all the little movements we make during the day. You will subconsciously do less of them if you're hungry all the time. 'Starvation mode' does have some effect, although how much is debatable https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/starvation-mode#what-it-implies

Is "Starvation Mode" Real or Imaginary? A Critical Look

When you lose weight, your body responds by burning fewer calories, which is often referred to as starvation mode. Learn about the concept,

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/starvation-mode#what-it-implies

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Boomer55 · 08/02/2024 17:03

I’ve lost 3 stone in 10 months at age 68. I lost it simply through my DH dying. So, yes, you can lose it, but I wouldn’t recommend it.🙄

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