52 Year Old Male Fighting My Weight Entire Life

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Question

Hi, I am a 52 year old male who has been fighting my weight my entire life. Bad genes in my family, both my sisters are big and my dad was also a large man. I’m finding the older I get the more difficult it is to lose weight. Stubborn fat for sure and I really want to get rid of it.

I admit bad eating habits are a problem and cravings are hard to control. I weigh approx. 230 lbs. and am 5’10 1/2″. I would like to at least get down to 190 lbs. I have 2 bad knees that eventually need replacements but I am able to climb stairs, walk fast, elliptical, etc. I just can’t run.


Can you recommend an exercise routine for someone my age to follow, weight training and cardio, to lose the weight? I already know I need to lose the junk food : )

David T.

Answer

Hi David,

The main reason why weight loss becomes harder as we grow older is because metabolism slows down in response to lowering muscle mass. Testosterone levels fall in men as the years pass by so it becomes harder to maintain a healthy level of muscle without taking action.

Due to knee problems I would recommend that you approach your weight loss in 3 ways:

1. Walking – regular (ideally daily) walks for around 45 minutes will burn around 200-250 Calories. This can have a big impact on your daily calorie balance and it will also improve your cardiovascular fitness.

You could also try cycling – this is a good low impact exercise and so good for those who have problems with their knees.

2. Weight Training – Weight training provides 2 functions – it builds muscles which boosts metabolism, and it also uses up energy, this aiding weight loss. Darvis Simms shared with us a weight lifting workout that he designed for over 50 year-olds.

You may want to leave out the leg press, depending on how your knees are. You can also do bodyweight partial squats instead – reduce the movement to avoid placing too much pressure on the knees.

3. Diet – Of course, you do need to look at your diet also. Your body needs less energy than it did 10 years ago, but it still requires good nutrition. Reduce total calories, but focus on cutting back on excessive “empty carbs”, such as bread, rice, pasta and baked foods (cakes, biscuits etc.).

One simple approach is to eat a much smaller breakfast and then have a light lunch. If you can handle much fewer calories in the morning then the occasional binge in the evening will not cause such a problem.

However, overall you really do need fewer calories now than you did 10 or so years ago, so changes have to be made. It is not a massive difference, but somewhere between 100 and 150 Calories a day less.

The key now is to do a little exercise often and take control of the diet.

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  4 comments for “52 Year Old Male Fighting My Weight Entire Life

  1. David T.
    August 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you . You provide a great service and website here. Much appreciated!

  2. David T.
    August 20, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Follow up on 52 yr old male: I have begun to implement a weight training regime into my workout and I have to say I’m enjoying my gym visits much more now. I’ve started out with a 30 minute cardio workout and then go into a weight training circuit based on info i have gathered from this website. I wear a Bodybugg and display so that I can gauge my calorie burn and I’ve discovered that I basically need to weight train about 15 to 20 minutes longer than my cardio workout to burn the same amount of calories. Not a big deal, it’s actually nice to finish a workout without a soaking wet shirt : ) I’ve learned that muscle development aids in fat burn. My question is, at age 52 and beyond, how much development in the muscles do you actually get? The muscles can’t be as responsive as when I was younger?

  3. MotleyHealth
    August 20, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Building muscles at 52 certainly is harder to do, but still possible to make positive changes.

  4. Matt
    June 20, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I am the same age, height similar family history. Similar starting weight. I went from 200 lbs to 165 lbs in about 8 months. It was actually easy. You have to stop blaming genetics and other external factors. Exercise is only 15% of the solution. It is all in diet.

    After I lost the weight, I ramped up the exercise volume tremendously and I now eat normally and maintain my weight (even lose it). It’s too hard to exercise to lose weight, because it make you hungry and you need the food to fuel the effort

    Stop being a whimpy baby. Each less. Eat only raw food. No alcohol, Don’t go out to eat.

    Stop being lazy and do it.

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