Aging, Weight Gain, and Weight Loss

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Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity are smoking’s close cousins in preventable causes of mortality, leading to over 300,000 deaths annually.  The societal costs of these conditions* may be as high as $400 billion per year.  Therefore, upon reading the May 6 blog post from Sissela Bok and the May 20 post from Steven Schroeder, it seemed appropriate to address two questions that came to mind from their posts:  1) Do people over the age of 65 continue to fall prey to overeating, physical inactivity and weight gain?, and 2) Is 65 too late to tackle overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity? 

To answer question 1, we observe prevalence estimates and weight trajectories over time.  Among Americans 60+ years of age, nearly 74% of women and 77% of men are either overweight (body mass index of  25 or higher) or obese (BMI  of 30 or higher).  The rates are even higher for certain racial/ethnic groups in this age group; nearly 90% of African-American women or Hispanic men are overweight or obese.  These numbers are staggering and rival or surpass the prevalence for any other age group.

 But what about weight gain over time?  When does it stop?  Data from long-standing cohorts demonstrates that both men and women continue to gain weight, on average, through middle-age with some flattening of the trajectory compared to younger age groups.  By the time men and women reach age 65, some weight loss thereafter is evident.  However, slower weight gain and eventually some weight loss with aging probably reflect gradual loss of muscle mass over time, coexisting with rising body fat mass.

 Consistent with this data are findings of increasing calorie consumption over the last several decades among those over the age of 60.  Older people are drinking more soda, consuming more fast food, and snacking on high-calorie foods, just like everyone else.  And, these behaviors are cumulative.  Increases in weight and/or fat mass during older ages are on top of any prior gains, which were substantial in the over 65 group because they lived much of their adulthood during the heart of the obesity epidemic.  Living for longer periods at unhealthy body weights only exacerbates the development o f chronic disease and functional limitations that are associated with overweight and obesity.  Coupled with weight gain, physical inactivity is typical and, if anything, has increased over time in all age groups. 

But, on to question 2.  Is older age too late to address body weight and physical inactivity?  Are the harms already embodied and unlikely to be reversed?  Prior observational research has been mixed, showing that weight loss after age 65 may be associated with higher morbidity and mortality. However, a 2011 study by Villareal, et al., in the New England Journal of Medicine provided critical evidence in support of the concept that it’s never too late.  This study enrolled 107 patients who were 65+ years old, sedentary, mild-to-moderately frail, and obese  in a randomized controlled trial comparing four treatment arms: 1) a weight management program that included weekly group meetings with dieticians seeking to achieve a daily calorie deficit of 500 to 750 calories, 2) a three times weekly, 90-minute, group exercise program, supervised by a physical therapist, that included aerobic exercises, resistance training, and flexibility and balance exercises; 3) a combination of the weight management and exercise programs, and 4) a control group that received monthly advice about a healthy lifestyle from research staff.

The results were impressive.  All of the intervention groups had substantial improvements in physical functioning and exercise tolerance compared to the control group, with the greatest improvements for those in the combined exercise and diet group.  Strength was improved only in the groups that participate in the exercise program, and weight loss was achieved (18 to 21 pounds) only in the groups enrolled in the weight management program.  In other words, losing weight and improving physical activity can have incredibly important and positive influences on health after age 65.  We need more studies like this, in older age groups, to make certain that these effects are consistent.

So, I think our answers to questions 1 and 2 are a resounding “yes” and “no”.  Older people are vulnerable to weight gain, physical inactivity, and overeating, and it’s never too late to address these issues.  Weight loss and starting exercise are achievable and clearly improve functional status.  Treatments for obesity in this age group include all of the same treatments for younger people, including lifestyle changes for everyone and medications and bariatric surgery for selected patients.

Medicare has begun recognizing the potential benefits of lifestyle changes and now covers intensive behavioral therapy for obese patients.  However, the documentation and billing process for this treatment is overly burdensome, leading to limited use among providers.  Medicare does not cover weight loss medications but does cover weight loss surgery.  The selection process for medications and bariatric surgery among older patients is particularly important because of a highest risk of morbidity and mortality undergoing bariatric surgery and much uncertainty about the safety of using medications (really for any age group but particularly geriatric groups).  The medication labels for the primary medications FDA-approved for the treatment of obesity (orlistat, phentermine, lorcaserin, phentermine/topiramate) each recommend caution when using in geriatric populations because of inadequate samples of geriatric patients in trials.

*The AMA recently classified obesity as a disease.  The effects of this classification are not yet clear but could open the doors to more widespread coverage of obesity treatment programs.

Jason Block, 37, is a general internal medicine physician, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where he is Associate Director of the Obesity Prevention Program. His research examines geographic influences on the obesity epidemic and interventions to promote weight loss and overall wellness, especially at the environmental level. 

101 Responses to “Aging, Weight Gain, and Weight Loss”

    • harshad

      I am 65 how can I loose seven to ten pounds.
      Thanks.
      Harshd

      Reply
  1. Barb Brewtone

    I am 68 and have recently lost 16 lobs. I do not eat starches, eat leafy green and other vegetables, low sugar fruit and fish and chicken with limited fats. I exercise, when possible, 20-30 minutes a day at home just dancing or doing stretches. I feel better than I have in years so I do believ it’s beneficial no matter how old you happen to be.

    Reply
    • T Justice

      What are the low sugar fruits? Also, how do you prepare the fish and chicken? Are any of the foods pre-cooked? I need to lose a lot of weight, so I need to get started. I’m still working at age 67, and busy. Thanks for any help you can give me.

      Reply
  2. Angelo

    I am a 67 yr old male who has had 5 bypasses, stroke, two heart attacks, diabeties, sleep apnea, asthma and weigh 260. What can I do to lose weigh? I do eat junk food almost everyday – can’t help IT. ANGELO

    Reply
    • Louise

      Hello Carol, weight loss over 65 is challenging I personally know. I have friends that have had success with lap band and bariatric procedures. I had problems losing and found my thyroid was slow. So probably best to start off with a check up. Also I found a good nutritionist who helped a lot. It’s slow going but moving in the right direction. All my best.

      Reply
    • Donna

      Can’t help it? Really?

      Well Angelo… since you feel so victimized, and believe you have no control, I guess you’re stuck.

      Reply
      • Leanne

        Don’t be so insensitive, Donna. You could take a kinder approach.

        Reply
        • Pamela

          Donna is not being insensitive at all! She’s telling it as it is. Let’s stop the PC garbage.

          Reply
    • David

      I do eat junk food almost everyday – can’t help IT. ANGELO.

      Well, Angelo, you will die well before your time…can’t help it…

      Reply
  3. Carol

    I am 68 and have lost 11 so far on Dr. Joel Furhman’s nutritrarian plan. I have never felt this good even when young. Joint pain is gone, allergies are almost gone, and even chronic gout is so much better! I have heard many doctors say not to try to lose weight when a senior, but I’m so glad I didn’t listen. I eat lots of salads and greens, and mostly vegan dishes which I make at home. They are so delicious! I also eat a little meat at times but most of the time, I don’t want much anymore. I feel so good and have so much energy now and no more cravings for junk food! Great way of life for a senior or anyone else!

    Reply
    • Julie

      Hi just been looking around on google and came across this group. Just a few question which country do you live in? What eating program are you on? I to are over weight and my dr is not really interested in my frustration about not being able to lose weight any help would be greatly accepted. Cheers

      Reply
    • Maggie

      I am inspired about the weight loss, but I have painful arthritis and plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, which makes exercise very difficult. So the answer for weight loss is more exercise, and I need to relieve my excruciating foot pain first. Any ideas?

      Reply
      • Mad

        Maggie: A few years ago I went to a foot dr. because of the pain in my heels. I didn’t like when he gave me cordisone shots. I went to my chiropractor, who I should have gone to in the beginning, but didn’t think about that because it was my feet. He checked me out, said I didn’t have plantar fascitis or heel spurs, and gave me exercises to do with my feet and legs. Amazingly the pain went away. I did those exercises every day and now when I feel the pain I had felt, I do the exercises again and the pain goes away. I stand with my arms stretched out to the wall and my legs angled straight back. One knee is bent slightly and I stretch the straighter leg by bending the other knee. I hold for 10 seconds and then do the other leg. I repeat this first starting 10 times and then gradually going up to 20 times. Amazing how the stretching removes the pain. Where do you have arthritis? I don’t have that but I prevent it by taking MSM which you can get in a drugstore or any store. Also, it has glucosimine and chondroitin in it too. It’s for painful joints. Vets even prescribe it for aging dogs. I prevent the pain by taking that.

        Reply
  4. Tom

    Hello. This blog and comments brightened my day! I’m 68 yrs old, and need and want to lose 35 to 50 pounds. I realize that is quite a bit, but, do believe it can be done, and not overnight!!! I’ve started going to the Y and taking water exercise classes. Once I’m there, I really enjoy it. My problem is the snacking and periodic food binges.
    I’m having problems with arthritis and spinal stenosis. Losing weight will help with that, along with PT. I know all the good things to do, however, like most, I overlook them! Thanks for reading this far, and I hope to keep in touch with this blog. It’s good incentive for me.

    Reply
  5. Carol C

    I am a 69 year old woman. I am 200 lbs. today. The past two years I have been sedantary, and not following any diet. Prior to that for 20 years I exercised 6 days a week 60 minutes a day. I followed a gluten free diet three years ago and felt fabulous. Today I am having trouble beginning the healthy routine I had for so many years. I was 165 lbs. two years ago and am currently tired, uninspired, and unable to gain my momentum. How do I find a weight management support group?

    Reply
    • Glenda Schreiner

      Go to your local TOPS group. Look online and see what this weight loss group is about and where the group meets in your area.

      Reply
      • Glenda

        Go to your local TOPS group. Look online and see what this weight loss group is about and where the group meets in your area.

        Reply
  6. Jan

    I am a retired woman 65 that is 5’1″and weighs 250 lbs. Over the past few months my hip and back have started bothering where walking is becoming more difficult. Dieting has always been an up and down syndrome. My most successful diet was hospital managed 500 calorie supplement liquid meal program in early ’90s. I kept the weight off for about 3 yrs until my mother passed away and the stress of that gradually gave way to slowly gaining back the weight. Now stress over the past few years seems to sabatoge my diet efforts. Six months ago my husband had open heart surgery and has been recouping since. We are careful what we eat, but my weight doesn’t budge except for about 5 lbs that go up and down. Please help I want to be around for my family for many years to come.

    Reply
    • Sara C.

      Make a decision, and stand firm. No more unhealthy items in your house. Throw them out. Don’t buy them. No more excuses. If you have a computer, learn to cook healthy. It is easy, quick, and affordable. Learn about the products you eat, which ones to buy, and once in the grocery store, don’t give in into junk food.
      Walk, walk, and more walk. It works if you do it consistently. Consult with your doctor first.

      Reply
    • Amber

      I identify with Jan. I am a o69 year old woma n. I am 5 ft tall and weigh 250. I started gaining in my late 40s, but my husband passed away 11 years ago. I am very sedentary. I don’t know what to do.

      I

      Reply
  7. Michael McCaleb

    I’m 68 year old male, 6′ 2″ and weigh in at 260 lbs. I don’t drink sodas, I don’t eat fast food and I don’t snack. I do have a somewhat sedimentre lifestyle because of a De-generative spin at T-1 through C-7 after a broken neck in 1990. Certain daily chores and activities can create pain. Pain can destructive and debilitating to ones self being. I just joined a gym and am doing 30 minutes of cardio, some weights to strength my back and neck muscle and aqua aerobics 3 days a week. I do eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mostly consisting of vegetables, meats, but not that much red, dairy and whole grains. I do daily consume 12 oz or so of a alcohol beverage that varies between Gin or Vodka or white wine mostly after 5pm until dinner which normally is at 6:30. I have good blood pressure,good working organs and generally in good health. I have a great big beer gut but I don’t drink beer. I think because of my recent lifestyle changes I am on the right track, if I could only see this gut go, what do I do?

    Reply
  8. don

    67 yo male here. I lost 45lbs over the course of the past 12 months because of fear. Last years blood test was shifting me towards diabetes and it scared the hell out of me. As there are 2 types of motivation 1.the carrot on the stick pulling you forward or 2. the swift kick in the butt that scares the crap out of you. Find your motivation before its too late. The rest is easy.

    Reply
  9. Paula1949

    I had a severe reaction to an infused antibiotic. I lost appetite, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, feel full long time. It has been several months. I am still sick. I am normally 5ft small boned and normal weight is 97-98 lbs. I am now 92.6 lbs. I was told I had Gastro Paresis then the doc back tracked and said not sure. I got records and she said unsure because she gave me BENTYL and ate Gastro diet and I said it did not help. In my research it said Gastro Paresis should not be treated with BENTYL. I told her I had felt worse taking it. When contacting radiologist, I found out I had a sliding hiatal hernial, which was not big, and multiple kidney cysts, bilaterally. Both can not mean anything. However, I think the hiatal hernia is affecting me. I am a small person. Now I do not know what to do. I am 66 years old, inactive due to an injured shoulder. I will not go back to this Gastro doc. I use to live to eat; now I eat live. I have eaten healthy before it became popular. I re-create recipes to make healthier. Now, I just do not like cooking anymore. I am nauseated good portion of time. Also, belch, hicup after eating. I try things like Zantac, Maalox and I almost throw up. I do not know what to do.

    Reply
    • Barbara

      Paula, go to a different doctor. You have a medical problem, and some doctor out there will know what it is and how to deal with it. Don’t give up after consulting one useless doctor. Remember: a doctor who got the lowest possible mark on his examinations is still a doctor. Many are poor diagnosticians; many are lazy; but many more are exemplary physicians.

      Reply
  10. Janet Richardson

    I am a 65 year old female. I have been sedentary for about 3 years. I am 5’8 and have weighed between 240 and 300lbs for the past 3 years. I am not diabetic but I have had neuropathy in my legs and feet for several years. I also have very bad knees and hips. I am trying to come back from 3 years of grieving for the loss of my son and I have finally started mall walking about a month ago. I am allergic to so many foods it is ridiculous. I don’t think I have lost any weight yet. Do you think it is possible? I wonder if I will even be able to lose weight at this age?

    Reply
  11. Sara C.

    Hi Janet, we are all attempting to justify our undesirable weight. First check with your doctor. All of the information you need is at your hands reach, however, you must “stick with the good” to be able to have positive results. Take control of your environment. You can’t eat “junk”, if not available in your house. Start walking. When you go to the grocery store, park on the farthest place. Walk as much as you can. God Bless.

    Reply
  12. Carolyn

    Please don’t give up hope, folks….I will be 68 next week and I have been following Dr. Fuhrman, JJ Virgin, and Dr. Mark Hyman over the past 3 years. Basically gave up sugar, wheat, artificial sweeteners, and dairy. I do eat more protein than Dr. Fuhrman’s plan. I have lost 46 pounds over that period. I went from a size 16 to a size 8. I now easily walk 10,000 steps a day and climb multiple sets of stairs. Even enjoy playing golf and playing with my grandkids more. I also have RA and I am off all medications. I cannot tell you how wonderful you will feel once you detox from processed, unhealthy foods and begin a life where healthy eating is your centerpiece!

    Reply
  13. john

    Hello my friend there are lot of supplements in the market but few of them are good to be used and you may use the best supplement which have no side effects. For this you may use the best Muscle building supplement .It gives the result very fast and good result without any side effects.
    http://healthoffers24.com/

    Reply
  14. Santina

    Can I loose weight at 69, I have Heart Failure w/water build up and have gained some 40 lbs over the last 2 years, I went from 138 to 180 and not happy about it, I think I need a diet and exercise that I can follow. Help Please

    Reply
  15. Petra

    The most difficult part to weight loss for me, was throwing out the junk food. Once that was done, I replaced it with healthy options including, nuts, skinny cheese, veggie sticks and phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. This is a great plan and it works. You can loose up to 14 pounds every 2 weeks without exercise. Simply follow the plan. I lost 30 LBs in one month w/no exercise. I’m done.

    Reply
  16. JohnM

    Eating is EASY and so is not eating. When you understand why you eat the wrong foods then you will win the weight game. We eat to feel good and secondly to survivie. when you can control the eating to feel good reflex you will exclude ALL fast food, all sugar rich foods. I have never been on a diet in my life- I just change the foods which I eat – after a lot of research. I eat Quinoa and fresh fruit with beet and vegetable juice for breakfast, snacks are nuts and dried fruit, lunch is deep water fish and salad with a couple of crackers, dinner is high protein, low carb. No deep fried food – ever – and limit alcohol intake. Exercise, every day intense 60 minutes of aerobics and body work with weights – at home and 1 per week at the gym. I use no equipment and want no excuse for not exercising like “I need to go to the gym” or “I dont have the equipment. Equipment you need nothing at all.

    My BMI is 21 and body fat is 14% ……. and I am 61.

    II can do it you can as well. Here is the trick, start slow and only increase the intensity very very very slowly. It took you years to put on that weight- consider that it will take you years to get rid of it. Start your exercise with somehting so simple and so easy that its never a struggle and say – its so easy to start. I always start with running on teh spot – and it gets increasingly intense from there.

    Weight loss is as easy as weight gain – and lot more pleasurable and rewarding. 2 years down the road you will feel so good – just go and do it.

    Reply
  17. cynthia vaida

    I never, never needed to lose weight until I hit my 50’s. I’ve never, never been a junk food eater, I plan very carefully what I buy. I never, never drink sodas. The best recommendation seems to be to reexamine who you are, how you got where you are in your life-cycle, and try again to find the balance that worked before the weight gain. But what about other factors, such as needing prescription drugs that are essential to deal with something like a heart valve problem and which might be causing the weight gain? Please don’t keep saying that salad greens and water are all we need to do. I work with a personal trainer and have for years. My husband loses weight every time I change the diet plan, and I gain on the same diet that John claims helps him. i.e. I started the high protein low carb years ago, my husband fought it tooth and nail, finally accepted it, and south beach diet, too, wooo—I’ve been eating these kinds of diets before they were diets. I think genetics account for more than people allow. Now the only thing left for me is creating “caloric deficits” and getting my husband to agreeing to one night a week with no eating after 5 pm. Good luck girl (meaning me). And to the rest of you, believe in yourself. Your aren’t your own enemy. Life is very unfair. I support all those who are calorically challenged–Please be kind to yourself first. God bless you, dear friends.

    Reply
  18. Cheap True Religion

    You’re just about right but what about the last one you posted not long ago that was slightly different? I believe you were right the first time.
    Cheap True Religion http://truereligion.top/

    Reply
  19. Phyllis west

    I am 74 yr old woman, who has lost 21 pounds since Apri 2015. I exercise 1 1/2 hours – 5 days a week, but I am at a standstill.
    I have 2 knees and 1 hip full replaced, but I do 2 miles on the treadmill, 3/4 mile on stationary bike, and 100 sits ups (on a mat with back flat on floor). Can you give me some idea of what I can do to still lose maybe up to 10 pounds more?

    Reply
    • Gary Comer

      Hitting stubborn weight barriers is common. A change up may be needed. You did not mention diet. Most of the weight losers who have posted here have done so by watching what they eat. This may be the way to pass the barrier.

      Reply
  20. Glob22

    I am an 65yo. female,get this..last I check at my Dr’s office, my weight was 327lbs. Wow! I am not happy about this, and really need some help with, easy proper daily lowfat,lowcarb meals. I have knee arthitis, and it’s sometime difficult to walk around, I do not like taking pills like, tylennol, aleve, ibuprofin nor advil. I will take two aleve once every two weeks to keep the pain in my knees at bay. I know that the extra weight that I carry is what is affecting my knees, so, just like the gentleman stated in the above scrip, do something before it’s to late. What I have started back doing is what I use to do in my younger age…40’s is, adap a good healthy eating plan, workout frequently, and I know, that I know, the weight will slide off. I am motivated now by my day to day exercise
    routines, I just need to get my eating habits under control, and by the grace of God who has led me thru the dificult times of, reduction in junk foods, sugar cravins, carbs, don’t drink soda’s, some fats, processed foods etc. I am doing ok, but could do better. I eat…a protein smoothie for breakfast, mid-morning a healthy snack, I try to eat a healthy lunch(portion size)because I am a big eater, and a healthy meat and veg. dinner or low carb and fat dinner. I have not lost but a few pounds, which is not enough but…now that I have a little extra energy, I want to push forward and critick my diet…I need info. on daily healthy meals that I can stick with and lose weight with right along with my exercise. I hope this makes sense. I am thankful for this site with people that are struggling like me. So, good luck to all and…..Peace!

    Reply
  21. Gary Comer

    Your body can burn a significant amount of calories while sleeping. Problem is many eat a full evening meal just a couple of hours before bed. Not only can this cause sleep discomfort but it cancels out the nighttime calories you would have burned while asleep. So, try this, eat your evening meal earlier before bed and eat only enough so you will become hungry at bedtime. Take ONE bite or swig of food then hop into bed. This will stop the hunger and send blood to your stomach to digest your ONE bite, which will induce sleep. The bite will be burned off in less than an hour and you will wake up lighter.

    Reply
  22. Kathlay'N Morgaret

    1988 age 42i had a gastoplasy operation weighing in at 232#’s within 1 year weighed in at 118lbs that’s a lot of throwing up and lots of popcorn to foil cravings …NOTE the throwing up was caused by eating too much or I didn’t chew the food fine enough…BUT AFTER A WHILE YOU LEARN ALL THE TRICKS TO SMOTH OUT YOUR EATING HABITS AND NOW YOU EAT 6. To. 8. TIMES A DAY..SATURDAY OCTOBER 23rd 2015 I WEIGH 147.2 Lbs..I AM FLEXIBLE BUT SEDANTARY DUE TO COPD ASTHMAS GOUT ARTHRITIS and have lots so many of my teeth, My dentist refused to work on my mouth unless I will agree to complete set of false teeth…I eat very healthy own over 1500cookbooks it just my meals are like tapas a little of this and that…BUT MY PROBLEM NOW IS A HAVE DEVELOPED A VERY LARGE TUMMY ANF MOSTLY I ENJOY MY BED THE TELEVISION AND MY TABLET: Any suggestion to reduce bloated TUMMY?”” Queensnow2121@gmail.com TORONTO ONTARIO CANADA

    Reply
  23. KrissyGarcia @ drop5plusenergy

    I really need to get on track with my weightloss but I’ve just got my FitBit today so I’m hoping that’s going to spur me on a bit too. Good luck with yours!

    Reply
  24. John Roberge

    I am a 65 male that began losing weight after reading the book “It’s all about the Food”. I read the book and followed the non-dairy, no sugar, no starch or processed foods for 30 days. After two weeks I found I had more energy, and began walking, 2, 3, 3 1/2, and now 5 miles a day. My cardiologist lowered my blood pressure meds, and I feel better that I have in years.I have had a change in mindset about the foods I eat.Following a regimen becomes routine, just spent 3 weeks on vacation and managed to lose a couple of pounds. Bottom-line after only 90 days I am proudly down 41 pounds only 10 more to go till I won’t be considered overweight. Don’t forget to add minimum weights to exercise routine, otherwise you begin to lose muscle mass. Good luck.

    Reply
  25. Jill feind

    Look for Jimmy Moore on u-tube and study the Low Carb High fat Diet. LCHF

    Reply
  26. Ginger

    I am 67 years old. My normal weight until I was nearly 50 was on average 108lbs. When I was 47 I was diagnosed with Graves disease. Following treatment I went up to 127lbs. By 50 I learned I was hypo thyroid. My weight surged to the 130s. By 57 I did exercise and and changed my eating patterns. I went down to 117. I work in a virtual office and my activity has slowed down. I found when I stopped going to the gym, it made a huge difference. Plus my diet which used to be mostly Japanese (mostly fish and chicken & vegetables) changed. Here in FL I can’t get the food I’m used to. It’s taken it’s toll. This site has given me the inspiration I need to balance work and get back to exercise. Thank you. And any helpful tips?

    Reply
  27. Azad Kashyap

    I am 65 year old male weighing 89 kgs. I have fat balley. I need to reduce my weight to 65 kgs. Please help me you anyone has any suggestions. I am finding it very difficult to manage.

    Thanks

    Reply
  28. Dorothy G.

    You young people…..I’m 86 yrs old from the waist down and from the waist up feel like 65. Got to loose some weight in the tummy.I was going to give up, but I was told that I look 65 (I really am 86 yrs old)so I decided to fight my fat. I was thinking of going on the Mediteranian Diet. Any suggestions????

    Reply
  29. Yaya

    Greetings – I will be 65 next week. I have spent the 3 years losing 100 lbs. I have 30+ more to go and it won’t move. I have been trying to lose the last 30 lbs for 8 months now. I am so depressed about it. I do not have a thyroid so my metabolism is at next to nothing. I have been looking for a senior weight-loss group online for about 2 years and have not found one other than Weight Watchers, and a couple others that want money to join. It should not cost money to have friends to lose weight with. I am considering doing the “Neanderthin” way of eating and see what happens. Anyone here tried it? Can I use this site more than once? I would really like to have some weight-loss friends to do this with?

    Reply
  30. Yaya

    Ann – I just read a lot of reviews about “Fat Burn X” – not good reviews – only a couple good reviews – most were negative. I research before putting anything into my body. Being safe & healthy is priority.

    Reply
  31. Yaya

    Ginger – It seems that a Japanese diet would be healthy eating. Maybe I should do more research into that.

    Reply
    • Lynda

      I just did some research on a Japanese diet, Ginger… seems like it’s very healthy aside from its sodium content.
      Basically, they eat a lot of fish and avoid red meat.

      Reply
  32. Sandra

    Reading all comments: I’m motivated on one hand and then depressed on the other. I am a 72 yr.old female, about 40# overweight. I have had 2 heart surgeries(need another one), insulin dependent diabetes including vision issues, a blood disease called essential thrombycythemia, knees & hip arthritis so I can barely walk, neuropathy in feet/legs/hands, and dermatomyocitis (which has attacked my skin and large muscle groups). I can handle food issues and though I walk slowly using a walker, I can cook healthfully for myself.
    My problem is that with feet and leg vein issues, I cannot do enough walking to strengthen my legs, arms.and to become more stable. If anyone has ideas, I would certainly appreciate it. Due to financial issues, there are many things I cannot afford to do (like gym memberships, specific foods and supplements, etc.) Lucky if I can afford living expenses, high insurance premieums, and medications.
    I know many seniors are in the same boat, so there must be good ideas out there. THANKS!

    Reply
  33. Denise

    Good luck everyone. I’m 65 and was looking for a site like this one. Now days everything is geared towards young people.
    I’m 5’2 and 214 lbs and have been trying to lose weight for
    a long time. I’m motivated after reading some of your comments.
    Thanks

    Reply
  34. Darlene

    I am 65 and I’m most definitely overweight by 80 lbs. All my life my mother had me on this diet or that diet. Still as old as I am why can’t
    I just accept who I am on the outside and not worry about it. You want to read a silly thing? I only weighed 2 pounds when I was born. Friends out there I hope you can help me. I’m tired of getting up thinking about it going to bed thinking about it.

    Reply
  35. NINA

    I am 68 years old and started my lifestyle change when I was 67 years old 9 months ago. I call it a lifestyle change and not dieting. In 9 months I have lost 65 pounds, I still have many more to lose. My starting weight was 315 lbs and I am now 253 lbs. I have tried every diet under the sun including OPTIFAST. This is the only one that worked. I have Dr Mosely’s 5-2 intermittent fast program. I eat 500 calories two days a week and 1300 to 1500 calories the remaining 5 days. Besides losing weight it has helped me change my eating habits and also helped me live in a world where there are a host of foods that make one fat. I have learned moderation and control. For me it has worked. I hope I will be able to continue and lose the rest of my unwanted weight.

    Reply
  36. NINA

    I want to add I did not exercise to begin with but slowly I started using the treadmill and now I have graduated to two sessions a day of 35 minutes starting at 3 mph and going up to 4mph. I must add 13 years ago I was 405 pounds. With different diets I cam down to 315, but the most effective diet was the 5-2 since it changed my eating habits totally. I found it educated me as well as changing me physically.

    Reply
  37. NINA

    Anyone wanting to ask me how I did it, I will only be too glad to help. I know how it feels.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Nina I was so happy to hear about your success. I am 67 and weigh over 300 lbs at 5′ 3″. I could use some email pals or pen pals to write to when I am discouraged. I became very scared about my health when I got sleep apnea and it was discovered during surgery. I am anxious to learn about other seniors who have been successful. If you are on Facebook or other social media maybe we can connect?

      Reply
  38. Darlene

    Nina, that is wonderful news! I am happy for you. Is OPTIFAST like Slim Fast?

    Reply
  39. Phil

    The comments were all helpful for a person who was just told by my Doctor that my lab work indicated that my weight is a big problem. At 68, l must make immediate lifestyle and diet changes to lose 40 lbs. l realize that it can be done. Thanks again!

    Reply
  40. linda

    So glad to have found this site. I am 66yrs old and desperately want and need to lose about 20 lbs. Every night, I promise myself tomorrow I will do this but tomorrow never comes. Maybe knowing there are other people in my age group struggling, it will give me some motivation.

    Reply
  41. Lucy

    I’m 63 , and until recently I’ve managed to keep my weight under 150 lbs. I’m only 5 ft.
    I have always enjoyed my exercise. Three months ago I have restricted my diet to under 1200 calories per day and increased my exercise regime by 15 minutes now 45 minutes minimum. I do not take medications other than 5mg of zolpeden for sleep and have no physical limitations. What else can I do to increase my weight loss?

    Reply
  42. Dennis

    I turned 67 in January. I have never had a weight problem. I’m very active outdoors and have always been. I seem to have a problem in the loss of weight and muscle tone over the past year even though I’m as active as ever. My usual weight would be 155 in winter and 145 in summer…and regain in winter….I didn’t regain my weight this winter….and am now DOWN to 140. I’ll make a doctor’s apt. as I do annually in the coming weeks but I wonder if it’s age, or is there an illness that only manifests itself as weight loss.

    Reply
  43. linda

    Lucy: What is zolpeden? I have insomnia but don’t like meds the make you groggy the next day. Lunesta was very effective with no side effect the next day but it is very expensive.

    Reply
  44. Cathy

    I am 77 and weigh 155. 5ft. 3.5 inches tall. I want to lose weight,about 15lbb. I cannot function on less than 1200. Moderately active, treadmill, exercise tape, and will e adding weights. Any advice for me?

    Reply
  45. Franco

    I AM A 74 YRS OLD MAN, 175 CM TALL AND MY WEIGHT IS 85 KG, ( A FAR CRY FROM THE 67 KG OF MY TWENTIES!)
    I AM VERY ACTIVE, ( WINDSURFING, SWIMMING, BYCICLING , ELLIPTICAL CROSS-TRAINER) AND I WATCH MY DIET: I DON’T OVEREAT AND I EAT MOSTLY CEREALS, OATMEALS, FRUITS, LIGHT MEAT, FISH , EGGS, TOFU, VEGETABLES, NO CANNED FOODS, NO READY-MADE MEALS FROM THE SUPERMARKET, ETC. NEVER EVER JUNK FOOD ! I AM ALSO BEING REGULARLY FOLLOWED BY MY FAMILY DOCTOR AND MY BILL OF HEALTH IS GENERALLY SOUND, WITH MARGINAL CHOLESTEROL AND BLOOD PRESSURE RISE, FOR WHICH I AM TAKING MEDICATION.

    IN SPITE OF THIS AND WITH ALL MY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, WITH THE YEARS I HAVE BEEN STEADILIY PUTTING ON SOME WEIGHT, ESPECIALLY AROUND THE WAIST, MOSTLY INTRA-ABDOMINAL FAT ( WHICH I’D LIKE TO GET RID OF, BOTH FOR HEALTH REASONS AND ALSO FOR ESTHETICAL REASONS), BUT I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO SHED ONE SINGLE POUND.
    SO two months ago I STEPPED UP MY EXERCISE SCHEDULE BY ADDING THREE WEEKLY SWIMMING SESSIONS AT THE POOL AND I HAVE TWEAKED MY DIET, BY COMPLETELY REMOVING SALT, SUGAR, HONEY, JAM ,BREAD, ON ALL OF WHICH I WAS PERHAPS A LITTLE INDULGENT, ALTHOUGH NOT EXCESSIVELY..

    I HAVE BEEN ON THIS TWEAKED DIET FOR ALMOST TWO MONTHS NOW AND MY DAILY CALORIES INTAKE IS NOW DOWN TO APPROX. 1800 CAL ,WITHOUT FEELING TOO HUNGRY OR UNCOMFORTABLE OR WEAK. ACTUALLY, MY ENERGY LEVEL HAS INCREASED, I FEEL LIGHTER AND I SLEEP WELL , YET …NOT ONE SINGLE POUND OF WEIGHT LOST!

    I KNOW METABOLISM SLOWS DOWN WITH AGE, BUT I RECKON THAT WITH A 1800 CAL/DAY INTAKE AND THE WEEKLY CALORIES EXPENDITURE FROM SWIMMING AT THE POOL( 500-600 CAL/HR OR 2 KM PER SESSION, AND OTHER ACTIVITIES) MY CALORIES BALANCE SHOULD BY NOW BE SLIGHTLY ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE AND I WOULD HAVE EXPECTED SOME WEIGHT LOSS IN ALMOST 2 MONTHS.

    WHY NO WEIGHT LOSS? IS IT NORMAL? SHOULD IT TAKE PERHAPS 6 MONTHS OR A YEAR BEFORE I SEE THE RESULTS?
    I WONDER IF YOU COULD PROVIDE SOME COMMENTS

    THANKS

    ITTIANDRO

    Reply
  46. Nyak

    This is not true. I counted caoriles from my former way of eating and then when I went on a low-carb for 6 weeks. I lost 22 and hit my goal. During that time period, I ate roughly the same amount of caoriles. Granted on days, I was a couple hundred under, but on days, I was a couple hundred over. In my case, I was eating roughly the same amount. I’ve come to believe that caoriles are not the deciding factor.

    Reply
  47. Mina

    Hello. I am concerned about my weight and had hoped to get helpful information on your site. I did not because it seems I’m too old. No comments relate to a 90 year old person. I can find no help at any website I have found on line to make me aware of what my average weight should be. As a much younger woman, my weight remained steady year after year at 125 pounds. I will turn 91 in May and I weigh 92.8 pounds. When I was 89 years old I was at 110 pounds . I am gradually losing weight and wonder when it will stop. Doctors do not say that I am sick . I eat regularly, but small portions at all sittings. I have never been a big eater. So, what should my weight be as a 90 year old Caucasian female with a height of 60 inches and small bones?

    Reply
  48. Isaac Hume

    I am 65 yrs old . In a two yr period I have gone from 250# to 173# by making some right choices . No diet , just common sense . No alcohol , no tobacco , no processed food at all ; and a lot of exercise . When I started it was an experiment, not knowing where it was going to lead . At 5’11” am I getting too light ?I have not weighed this little since my teens.
    Could I have some feed back .

    Reply
  49. Grandma

    Hi, I’m 67, 5’4 & weigh 174 (the most I’ve ever weighed). I have never had a weight issue until the last ten years (sneaked up slowly) so I really have no idea how to lose 30 pounds. I still work and have a couple issues with my knee and IT Band, which limits how I can exercise. I had to stop yoga because it made the knee and IT Band worse. I do have a treadmill. I have a slight heart condition and the cardio doc said I need to lose some weight. I’m all for it, but really don’t know how. I’m not a junk food eater. My issue is time. I grab yogurt, hard boiled eggs or something along those lines to eat on my way to work in the car. Work consists of me sitting for most of the day. Lunch is a lean cuisine, high protein, & low carbs. Dinner is a green salad and a piece of fish or meat. I have around 2-3 cups of coffee a day and the rest is water around 3 bottles. Snacks are fruit or popcorn. I am an active person, except I am getting tired lately after work and find my self sitting on the couch most week nights. Any ideas on how I can lose 30 pounds would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  50. Melba J. Moss

    I will be 66 this year and I have lost 75 pounds since last April through Weight Watchers and beginning walking. I could only walk a few blocks when I started and I now walk 5 miles each day. I now use Myfitnesspal which helps me track the calories I eat and adjusts the amount alloed based on my Fitbit synching, this works very well for me for maintenance.

    Reply
    • Melba J. Moss

      I should say I am 5’4″ and weigh 139 pounds which my doctor and I are pleased to have me use as a maintenance goal.

      Reply
      • Judith Bourgeois

        I am a 5’6″ 76 year old woman. Since October, I have gained 15 lbs. It was then that I stopped working (not my choice). I have had a difficult year with health issues but nothing that needs to be chronic. As a former WW leader, I know how to eat but knowing is not doing. Because of a few health problems, I have not been exercising. It’s such a vicious circle: need to walk to reduce pain but am in too much pain to walk. Hopefully, I will get some help when I see the doctor.

        I am not dealing well with the aging if it has to include all of these physical infirmities. I will never be slim but want to be healthy and comfortable in my skin.

        I am not concerned with BEING old but am not thrilled with the GETTING old. But I take responsibility for what is in my power to change. Thank you for allowing me to get this out there. Having to see it in print will help.

        Reply
  51. Jeannie

    I am now 62 and for the past year I have eaten nothing but chicken, fish, and all kinds of veggies. No pop, only water, maybe enough bread in a year to make a loaf, no dairy products, no pasta and yet, believe it or not have not lost one pound. I even use a kitchen scale that tells you the carbs, fat, etc, and use it faithfully. Thought maybe my thyroid, but had it checked and since I hadn’t heard from the doctor, assume it’s fine. I’ve been extremely patient considering results are disheartening. I’m not active during the winter months but am outdoors all summer. I’m not giving up. I don’t take vitamins or supplements and wondering if maybe that’s what I’m lacking to boost my metabolism. Any suggestion would be welcoming.

    Reply
  52. Catherine Felix

    I recently had to under go a pretty intense bariatric surgery. The whole process leading up to the surgery was traumatic for obvious reasons. I don’t want to go into too much detail but during my surgery, my team used a FAW blanket called the Bair Hugger and it helped so much with my post surgical recovery. I credit my super quick recovery to the blanket. I was able to get back to exercising in no time. I have been able to lose the weight faster because I was able to start my exercise routine quickly after surgery. Here are some facts about the system http://www.bairhuggerfacts.com

    Reply
  53. Marion Collington

    Mina age 90,My father followed the same pattern as you.He was very healthy and came from a large family,his siblings followed the same pattern of losing weight when they aged.Don’t worry if you eat a little less.The doctor seems tohave told you your health is fine

    Reply
  54. Trudy

    I am 67 year old female in pretty good shape, high energy, but weigh 210 at 5’5″. I don’t expect to get back to 130 lbs. again but would like to see 150-160. I am quite busy all day taking card of home and disabled hubby. My question is will swimming 30-45 mns. 3 or 4 times a week help me accomplish this, especially in my mid section and butt.? I love to swim and if I get some feed back maybe will encourage me to do more.

    Reply
    • Sci821

      Hey there, I have been continually tormented by fact that losing weight seems impossible. After researching and always looking for the easy way out, I am realizing that it won’t be anything easy. Personally, alcohol had to go! Using it as a crutch to stop the pain as we age is ludicrous at best. Just research how it affects the liver during metabolism. No weight loss can possibly happen.
      Okay, gravity affects us all, but swimming reduces its effect as we exercise. And what a wonderful effect it can have on all of the major muscle groups. Cardio? Just try treading water for 20 minutes. But the good news is with the loss of muscle mass and the unfortunate increase of the other mass, we float easier!
      Being a type 2 diabetic, it is always a challenge to eat right. Just educate yourself, it becomes less difficult. Don’t stop trying. My best advice is, downsize your everyday life. That means in all aspects of your life. You are number one now and without you, no one that you care about can be helped when you are dealing with this huge personal problem. So, suck it up and change your life today! Wishing you the best.

      Reply
  55. Judith Bourgeois

    Judith Bourgeois April 10, 2016
    I am a 5’6″ 76 year old woman. Since October, I have gained 15 lbs. It was then that I stopped working (not my choice). I have had a difficult year with health issues but nothing that needs to be chronic. As a former WW leader, I know how to eat but knowing is not doing. Because of a few health problems, I have not been exercising. It’s such a vicious circle: need to walk to reduce pain but am in too much pain to walk. Hopefully, I will get some help when I see the doctor.

    I am not dealing well with the aging if it has to include all of these physical infirmities. I will never be slim but want to be healthy and comfortable in my skin.

    I am not concerned with BEING old but am not thrilled with the GETTING old. But I take responsibility for what is in my power to change. Thank you for allowing me to get this out there. Having to see it in print will help.

    Reply
  56. Lynda

    The Japanese diet seems to be pretty healthy, Ginger, except for the sodium content in it. They basically eat a lot of fish and vegetables. The vegetables are simmered in a broth

    Reply
  57. Jim

    I’m a 5’10” 1/2 65 year old male who had 3 major surgeries of the colon due to diverticulitis, the surgery didn’t go well due to the amount of scar tissue from previous surgeries and had sepsis from the first surgery, after five months in ICU and post ICU I was able to come home but needed to begin to walk again, it’s been 2 years post-op and my issues now are abdominal hernias and weight gain, at 270 lbs it’s been very difficult to exercise although I do watch what I eat, no junk or fast foods, lots of vegetables and some meat, my wife is very good on making sure I eat the right foods, I walk as much as possible to loose some weight but it has not been very successful, I get to the point of being very depress specially when not too long ago I was able to do maintenance and ordinary fixing and repairing around my house and now I’m limited due to my hernia.
    I do thank you for reading my scenario and hopefully will see some commentaries on the next coming days.

    Reply
  58. Linda

    I’m 67 and lost 52 lbs through TOPS I have kept my weight off for 5 years but it is getting harder this last year I have gained 7 lbs, I still follow my diet and exercise 3 times a week I have gained inches around the middle I cant figure out what is going on, does anyone have any idea??

    Reply
    • Glenn

      Linda, we are the same age and although different gender, I find it more difficult to lose weight now than I did 2 years ago. Like you, I have not done anything differently. I count calories, do 10000 steps a day and stay active. I’m unsure what happened with me other than having my gallbladder removed last October, everything is the same. As mentioned below, I also take medication for my acid reflux. The aging process certainly plays a big role on our weight loss and I find it so difficult to even lose two pounds nowadays. Good Luck with your health.

      Reply
  59. Glenn

    I have read through these threads and don’t see any mention of medications affecting weight loss? I am a 67 year old male with Barretts Esophagus (GERD) and a variety of other issues. Nonetheless, I try to do my 10,000 steps a day and eat fairly sensible. I, too was a food junkie and loved the sweets. To make a long story short, I believe that the meds I take for my GERD do indeed affect weight loss. I’m not sure what meds a lot of you are taking, but you might want to check if they have a direct effect on your weight loss. It is very difficult for me to lose weight. It comes much slower than when I was younger but I’ll take the one pound loss every couple of weeks and try to get down to my desired weight of under 200. I didn’t mention meds as an excuse to hang our hats on. I just know with the medication I take for my GERD, it’s difficult to lose weight. The med increases appetite and breaks down food differently. Good Luck everyone.

    Reply
    • Marie

      Try walking as you walk you can go slow i have bulging disk and one herniated ive had shots put in my spine so no jogging or gast walking allowed but i now can walk 3 miles.i do have to take a heart pill so i watch my heart rate .but over all its fine. I also have gerd so i do yake a pill each morning for that .which by the way has gotten better with my 18 lb loss .

      Reply
  60. Barbara MacArthur

    Despite remaining active in my 90th year and suffering loss of appetite I haved gained weight over the past 18 months. I am the sole Carer for my disabled son who lives with me. I have arthritis and had a hip replacement in 2013 due to arthritis. I manage to get around with the use of my dAd’s old walking stick. I cope without help, so do not understand why I wore size 14/16 trousers about 2 years ago, but now have to wear size 22 comfy track-suit trousers. GPs think it’s just aging.

    Reply
  61. pansy

    U can eat everything just eat small amount if u stop eating what u like altogether your body frets portion size and walking at least 15mins per day. I loose two pounds each week on this regime. When you can’t eat your favourite food you stress too so for example eat one spoon of icecream half of a cup cake. Just little of everything. I have bulging disc and a injured right foot but I still walk. Try it portion size and walking is the key to weight loss at any age

    Reply
    • Barbara MacArthur

      Thank you for your kind reply,but I walk a lot more than just 15 minutes a day. Just to get to the local shops once a day takes at least 45 minutes and I usually do that twice a day. To walk to the town centre to get to the bank, chemist etc. takes longer. I have a high threshold of pain.

      Reply
  62. Marie

    I am 63 and weighed 265 in my late 50s i gave up all sodas and lost 50 lbs in about 8 months.i gained a little lost a little till sept of this yr. I decided i needed to get fit i gained 3 great grandchildren in the past 3 yrs and i love spending time with them just couldnt walk far.i have been disabled due to a back injury since 2004.
    My husband of 40 yrs after a long bout of illness including being bed riden i put on extra flab i hardly ever left the house. So binge and nervous eating was the norm.for me. After he got better he decided his nurse was his best friend and decided to leave me and moved in with her. I ate even more. Its now been almost 5 yrs.even though i wont divorce him we no longer are together.i started slowly walking in sept a way mostly of just getting out of the house .and some peaceful thinking. I hot up to 3 miles a day and look forward to my walks. Im down to 185 and just joined a gym so i fidnt get so hot out .i really enjoy my workouts theres a swimming excersice class and i do residtant training. I have had colon cancer and have several hernias and am also diabetic. Using three different kinds of meds including 2 kinds of insulin. Im. Now off my diabetic pill each day af down to using just one insulin shot twice a dsy i feel so much better. I thought i wss too old to ever lose this weight or get anykind of real excersice i was wrong ..if youve tead this whole story thanks .i just found this blog and am so interested in talking with any of you. I dont hae any friends just my kids .ive moved to a new town living with two of mt daughters alternatly one in ok and one in tx so i dont get a chance to meet anyone except at the gym .
    Good luck i hope my story helped at least one person realize its not too late. I jave more energy now than my 45 yr old daughter.

    Reply
  63. Tubby

    Hi – so glad to have found this site- as someone said nearly all the sites on weight loss are general and not specific to older people.I am 66 and have gradually put on my weight in the last 20 years I am 5’1″ and weigh 171lbs. My ideal weight woulde be 132 but would happily settle for 143 lbs. I eat when I amd bored, anxious, nervy or uncertian about what to do next. I love sweet things,biscuits and bread so it is no surprise how I go to this size. Reading the posts here i realise that i have bee very blessed to so far not had to face the consequences of my obesity in terms of diabetes, heart or hip and knee problems . In reading the health issues others have had to face I have found motivation and new determination to capitlise on the good health I currently have and lose weight starting NOW before I do have irreversible problems.. Thanks to all who have shared your wieght loss stories – you have convinced me that weight loss is possible at any age. i encourgae those who have plateuaed or just cant lose to keep going and to try new methods. I dont know how I will go so i will report back here in a month . Hope to see posts from you guys too – encouragement really helps

    Reply

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