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Why You Should STOP Making Weight Loss Your Main Goal Over 50

As we age, it’s natural to become more conscious of our health and well-being. However, many people over 50 tend to fixate on weight loss as the primary means of improving their health.

If you are in midlife and have found yourself heavier than before you are not alone. 
As you head into our 50s hormone changes – specifically a decrease in estrogen and progesterone – cause us to accumulate fat, especially in our midsections. At the same time, age-related muscle loss means our bodies don’t burn as many calories or process blood sugar as efficiently. All of that, experts say, leads to an increased risk of obesity and with it a cascade of health complications such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, a decline in physical functioning and more.


So it is natural to assume that the best thing to do is to make a weight loss goal!
Not exactly. And here is why…

#1) Weight-Centric Healthcare Can Be Misleading

A conventional “weight-centric / weight-normative” approach — where health is only possible at a specific weight and weight and disease are directly related – has prevailed for many years. However, more and more research is showing that this approach is not improving health for the majority of individuals regardless of their weight.

With this approach, weight is being overemphasized for higher-weight people – with assumptions being made that they are unhealthy based on their weight. While assumptions are made that lower or average weight people are healthy because their body weight is lower. 

This can lead to higher-weight individuals being consistently told to lose weight as the top priority to improve their health. If they struggle to lose the weight this can lead to feeling discouraged and giving up on exercising and healthier habits EVEN if those things could have dramatically changed their health and longevity into the future, regardless if their weight ever changed. 

This can also mean that lower or average weight people are more likely to be labeled as “healthy” by health professionals and not encouraged enough to exercise and build healthy habits that will greatly serve them into their elderly years. 

#2) You Can Lose Weight Without Improving Your Longterm Health

Weight loss goals can be achieved through dieting alone OR combining dieting with short term exercise (example only exercising for 4 weeks then stopping). Often people will lose some pounds and then stop healthier behaviours and become sedentary again because their weight loss goal was achieved. 

The Problem? If you don’t exercise (OR if you only exercise when you want to shed a few pounds – and then stop) you are neglecting the immense benefits of regular exercise on your longterm health. These risks increase with age and you can be setting yourself up for a host of issues including: 

#3) Being Slightly Overweight In Older Age Can Actually Be Positive

Research has shown that being slightly overweight in your later years can actually have positive effects, such as increasing longevity and reducing fragility. 

While being overweight or obese is generally associated with increased health risks, there are some potential positive impacts of being slightly overweight, particularly in older age such as: 

It’s essential to note that these potential benefits are context-dependent and may not apply universally to all individuals. Moreover, the line between being slightly overweight and obese is fine, and excessive weight gain can lead to an increase in health risks, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

So it is still essential you to strive for a healthy lifestyle through balanced nutrition, ongoing physical activity, and proper medical care as you age.

BUT having a few extra pounds on as you get older may not be such a big deal.

So what should be the goal to work towards?

Glad you asked…

So What Should Be Your Primary Goal Over 50?

Your Goal Should be to Build and Maintain Strength

Regardless of your weight, making your primary health goal to build and maintain strength over 50 will set you on the path for better longterm quality of life and health outcomes.  

Studies indicate that strength is a better predictor of longevity than weight, highlighting the significance of prioritizing strength-building activities.

Making your goal to build and maintain strength encourages CONSISTENCY of health behaviours long-term. It is easy to say “I lost the 10 lbs I wanted to so now I can stop”.  But to build and maintain strength you have to stay consistent longterm. 

So how do you build and maintain strength? Through intentional strength training (or called weight-training/resistance training) at least 2x to 4x per week on going.

The proven health benefits of strength training are extensive and you can learn more about those benefits 

And if you do have weight to lose... strength training alongside dietary adjustments is the most effective approach to achieving weight loss!

Here is why:

By making your primary goal to building strength you'll improve your energy levels, bone density, metabolism, longterm quality of life, and longevity. Allow weight loss to be a side effect of focusing on building your strength.

Studies show that your STRENGTH is a better predictor of longevity than your WEIGHT.

How do you make strength training part of your life over 50?

That is where we can help! 

Here at Movimento Fitness, we advocate for a shift in focus from weight loss to strength building for individuals over 50. By prioritizing strength training, you can enhance your overall health, increase longevity, and maintain vitality as you age. Whether your goal is to improve mobility, prevent age-related muscle loss, or achieve sustainable weight loss, building strength should be the cornerstone of your fitness journey.

Join us at Movimento Fitness and embark on a transformative fitness experience tailored to individuals over 50. Let’s prioritize strength and wellness to enjoy a fulfilling and active lifestyle for years to come.

Our Stronger For Longer 6 Week Program is specifically designed for those brand new to Movimento Fitness to get started with us and experience the benefits of strength training. We custom design your training programs and tailor everything around your fitness level and any health conditions or limitations you may have. Click the button below to learn more about the program: