One of the most common falsehoods about losing weight is the older you get, the harder it will be. However, believing this lie can be a huge mistake, considering that age may not make it harder to lose weight after all, according to a new study.
This research on age and weight loss was published in October 2020 in the journal Clinical Endocrinology and examined the correlation between obese patients and their ages. The study authors found that patients over the age of 60 were able to make lifestyle changes to lose weight just as effectively as their younger counterparts.
Between 2005 and 2016, researchers in the UK worked with a group of 242 randomly selected obese patients who participated in a hospital-based obesity service. They were put on a plan that only utilized lifestyle changes for weight loss, which included dietary and psychological support. Patients were split into two groups: those aged 60 and older and those under 60. (Related: 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.)
Weight-loss intervention in the patients ranged anywhere from one month to 143 months, but the results showed that the group of patients aged 60 and older lost weight just as effectively as the under-60 group. Doctors and researchers measured both weight and BMI and noticed no significant difference in either metric between the groups.
The study authors concluded that in a lifestyle-change weight-loss plan, age should not play a factor. That said, they also noted that this study is hospital-based, which means it could be different for those seeking to lose weight on their own.
So, yes, it's a mistake to believe the lie that the older you get, the harder it will be to lose weight. Weight loss for older adults might simply mean going about it in a different manner to achieve the same results as someone half their age. Remember, the patients in this study were matched up with doctors to help them through the process, which ultimately proved successful. If you're setting out on a weight-loss journey of your own, it may not be a bad idea to also seek out the help of medical professionals (such as your primary care doctor, personal trainer, registered dietitian, or nutritionist) who can tailor specific lifestyle changes to you.
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