I haven’t been completely upfront with you guys 🧐. A lot is going on around here right now that I don’t talk about publicly because it’s just too personal, too difficult, and I really try to keep my personal life separate to a certain degree. Especially the hard parts. After I tell you what’s been keeping my attention lately, I hope my “5 Weight Loss Tips at 50 Years Old” will help others that are going through similar situations.
For months now, my focus has slowly gravitated off of decorating back to my children who need me now (as older teens), more than ever. As you may know, our oldest suffers from Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and was doing fantastic for a while, but has had 2 flare-ups this summer since she returned home from her first year in college. I’m happy to report that she has pulled through again, and we pray she will continue to stay healthy.
What you do not know is that our youngest suffers from several severe anxiety disorders, and does most of his schooling from home. He is also in intense treatment and I am happy to say is slowly improving.
As you can imagine, having 2 ill children at the same time can take it’s toll on mom & dad. Both illnesses are extremely debilitating in different ways. The worry, dr. appointments, and in general just caring for them while they are ill has been a struggle, however nothing matters more to me than my children (and my husband of course). Decorating just needed to take a back burner for a little while. This doesn’t mean I am going away, or closing shop. No way! I enjoy this blog and all of my readers way too much, and I need this creative outlet in my life. So please, don’t give up on me. I have lots of ideas brewing.
So, I feel this personal disclosure helps lead into the subject of today’s post. As we all know, stress breeds weight gain. On March 15, 2019 I weighed the most I have ever weighed my entire life (except when pregnant) and I decided to stop ignoring it. I just turned 50, so this comes at a time when I know a lot of women my age have the same struggles losing weight, and I hope my “5 Weight Loss Tips at 50 Years Old” help.
How I Achieved Weight Loss
I’m proud to say I’ve lost 13 pounds since that day in March and I actually surpassed my happy #. 13 pounds may not sound like a lot of weight loss, but when you think about 13 pounds of fat, it really is a big deal. So, let’s see if you can see the difference in some photos. The photo above on the left was taken October 2018 on our daughter’s birthday, and I remember feeling great that day until I saw the photos 😳. My thighs were looking plumper than usual, and as you can see, I was self conscious about my belly that I’m hiding with my hand. After that photo I basically fell into the holiday eating phase and things got worse.
The photo on the right was taken a few days ago. I finally feel comfortable wearing a tank top and showing my arms where before I hid them.
Here’s another photo below that takes a little more courage to share, but I really want to show the difference, especially in the muscle tone in my arms. The photo on the left was taken last summer and the photo on the right was taken a couple weeks ago.
TIP #1 DO CARDIO & LIFT WEIGHTS
Lifting weights has literally changed my life and the shape of my body. I’ve only done cardiovascular workouts my entire life until my husband suggested lifting weights to help tone. I tried it, and it didn’t take long before I was hooked. I could see results the very first time! The way I look at it is that the muscles all over your body are little “fat burner ovens”. Once you get that muscle fired up by lifting weights, it’s going to work very hard for you 🔥and burn more fat without you even realizing it. Ha ha, we have little fireplaces in our body.
I know I am very fortunate to have my husband as my trainer. He is extremely gentle and supportive and backs off when he knows I’ve had enough 😆. If you don’t know anyone like this that you can partner up with, the gym is a great place to ask. Most gyms offer free training with a membership. Joining our local gym was the best decision we ever made. It is worth every single penny and more to be honest. My husband & I meet here 2-3 times per week, and it is where we “connect” as couple. I’m not going to lie, working out together has increased our libido and sex is better because I feel better.
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Okay, maybe a little TMI there, but hey I’m not messing around here. I want you to understand the difference this weight loss has made in my life. Going to the gym clears my mind, helps me feel more in control of all the stress I spoke of earlier, and makes me feel sexier and prettier. BOOM.
Here’s my track that I run on. I usually do 30 minutes of cardio (15 bike/15 track) and then I do 30 minutes of weight training. Some days I do one or the other. On days that I weight train I increase my protein and always have a snack ready right after. Click here for one of the high protein snacks I eat after. That leads me to tip #2…
TIP #2 LOW CARB/HIGH PROTEIN BREAKFAST
I eat eggs and fruit every day for breakfast. Trashing that 300 calorie bagel that made me crash 30 minutes after I eat it gives me so much more energy and less bloat. Now I get high off protein that keeps me full longer and keeps my blood sugar level. I call this my “Rainbow Breakfast” and here’s another favorite “137 Calorie Power Taco“.
Note: I do a combination of low carb and low calorie while trying to lose pounds. I’ve tried both separately and feel I’m a bit too old now to stick to the Keto plan, but I know it works great for folks that have more than 20 to lose.
TIP #3 ORDER PREPARED LOW CALORIE MEALS “A La Cart”
Lunch is one of the hardest meals for me to go low calorie because I get really hungry for that second meal of the day. Talk about HANGRY-LOOK OUT! Lunch usually comes after I work out, so I feel like I could eat a horse.
Years ago I did Nutra System and fell in love with their a la cart “grilled chicken sandwich (200 calories)” and their “grilled hamburger (240 calories)”. I order 10 of each which come frozen so I can keep them in the freezer. They are very very satisfying, tasty, and packed with protein. I add a tomato to mine and a little ketchup/mayo.
Note: I heat my patty in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees and then toast the bun in the oven for a minute.
Here’s a company you may not of heard of… Clean Eatz. By the way I am not being paid for this. They don’t know me, but I wish they would give me some free food 😆. I tried a few of their “clean” meals under the “build your own plan” and WOW. Every single meal I tried I loved-I am not kidding. They are all very tasty and satisfying. My favorite is the Beef and Broccoli (see below) that I hoarded because they were switching the menu. I believe it comes back around again and if it does I completely recommend it. The Beef and Broccoli is not low carb and contains a little brown rice. The beef is very tender and out of this world fantastic.
Note: I keep my “meals” to under 400 calories but everyone should calculate calorie information in a calorie calculator that tells you how many calories you need to lose/maintain. The Beef and Broccoli was around 300 calories and again, packed with protein.
One last point about ordering pre-made food…I know cost is a concern, but if you are decreasing your groceries/gas, you can save there. In addition, eating out and paying a tip is way more expensive than this Beef and Broccoli which cost $7.99.
FYI-if you are enjoying this “5 Weight Loss Tips at 50” article you may enjoy Julie’s low calorie recipes found here.
TIP #4 ADD LOW CALORIE INGREDIENTS TO MEALS TO INCREASE VOLUME
As you may know, I love to cook. Now, although I love to make all kinds of dishes, I do tend to gravitate towards healthier options like ground chicken meatballs, and my all-time most popular healthy recipe is of course “Chicken Loretta“. Sometimes though, I do a little trick that helps keep calories low with every day type dishes. For example, frozen ravioli. I love frozen beef ravioli because it’s so quick. 5 minutes in boiling water and then throw a jar of pre-made sauce on it. That’s great and all, but if you eat too many you are getting too many calories in one meal.
My trick is to saute low calorie foods in cooking spray to add to the ravioli before I add the sauce. Below you’ll see what I sauteed right before I added the cooked ravioli and sauce. Mushroom, onions, peppers, olives, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, and artichokes are some of my favorite add-ins. Sometimes I add big whole mushrooms to my tomato sauce to fill in for meatballs.
One more addition to this tip is to get to know “spaghetti squash”. I use it in place of noodles with spaghetti and meatballs, and casseroles. It bakes up super easy, here’s how I do mine:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash & dry spaghetti squash. Cut in half and scoop out seeds to discard. Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle a little salt & pepper on squash. Place halves on sprayed cookie sheet upside down and bake 1 hour. Use fork to pull out strands and use just like noodles. I enjoy it plain, too.
TIP #5 INDULGE ONCE A WEEK
My last “5 weight loss tips at 50” is to keep your furnace burning by indulging once a week on your favorite food. This will not only help keep cravings at bay, it will trick your metabolism and you will burn more calories when you get back to eating better again. I had 2 pieces of this pizza pie on my birthday and my weight actually went down the next day. Happy birthday, to me.
I’m very proud of myself and that isn’t something that comes easy for me to say. I struggle with self confidence every single day. My husband tells me I’m beautiful sometimes 3 times a day, but still it has to be felt from the inside. Taking some time for myself at the gym during a very difficult time has helped me avoid depression, given me back my health that was on a downward spiral, and now I feel like Julie again.
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