Women over 50, different % balance?

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  • CASue13
    CASue13 Posts: 15 Member
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    MFP terms - need assistance. What are the "Macros" "CICO" and "TDEE" that is discussed here. Thanks.
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
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    Macros are percentages of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that make up your daily calories

    Cico is calories in calories out

    TDEE is total daily energy expenditure eg how many calories you use in a day
  • mamacoates
    mamacoates Posts: 430 Member
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    CASue13 wrote: »
    I have an urgent question, how do you meet those 40%/30%/30% and still eat enough calories. I'm losing weight, but calorie intake is too low according to MFP and I don't want to get sick. Suggestions would be really great. I usually finish my day with 300 or 400 calories left over.

    Meal planning. Consciously choose your foods to be sure you are getting enough protein and then fill in with healthy carbs and healthy fats like nuts, nut butters, hummus, avocado, etc. The fats will also provide additional satiety to keep you feeling full longer.
  • jvt63
    jvt63 Posts: 89 Member
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    I'm 52 and for 23 days, have weighed and measured each morsel, exercised 5 times a week, and stayed at 1300 calories a day. Macros are 25 percent carb, 50 percent protein, 50 percent healthy fat, no processed food at all. And I am losing VERY. SLOWLY. But I am being patient. Better to lose 3 pounds in 3 weeks than gain the same amount. But all this, "it's not harder to lose weight after 50" is not true in my experience. It is harder. Much harder. And I was in fantastic shape until I hit 49.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,988 Member
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    I was past 50 when I started on MFP, and I've lost 40+ lbs counting calories, more easily and more successfully than any other approach I had tried in the 30 years before (everything from Atkins to cabbage soup, and lots of variations on "sensible eating plans" -- for me, counting calories is much more flexible, much more reliable, and much more sustainable). I lost the first 30 lbs in about four months, and I've maintained that 30-lb loss for more than a year while slowly losing another 10+ lbs. Log consistently and as accurately as possible, add it all up over a month or more (to smooth out the bumps from weight fluctuations not directly related to your calorie balance) so you can calculate your average daily consumption, and if you haven't lost, you know you need to eat less and/or move more.
  • jvt63
    jvt63 Posts: 89 Member
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    I can't eat less than 1300 calories a day, and 5 days a week of cardio, 45 minutes at a pop, is reasonable. And yes, I sweat. It really is harder to lose weigh after 50, in my experience. I'm saying this only because some women will need to hear it. Yes. It is harder. You will weigh and measure your food, you will eat within your calorie range, you will sweat, and you will lose 1 pound a week, or sometimes stay the same for weeks. I've made my peace with it. I only need to lose 10 pounds, and I'm giving myself six months to do it. The good news: eating no processed foods at all, I have more energy than I know what to do with. I use it at the gym.
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,160 Member
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    It is not just a woman issue. Things are very different for me at 64 vs 34 when it comes to losing weight. This time around I have left out most all foods that contain over a few carbs per serving. As jvt63 note eating no processed foods at all can be a plus in many cases. Since I only walk to get exercise beyond daily living moving there is not reason to eat extra due to exercising.
  • Salligraphy
    Salligraphy Posts: 8 Member
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    Thanks, @jvt63‌ . Felt for a second I was being whiney! I needed to hear it! It is harder! I am not using it as an excuse to do nothing, throw my hands up and forget it...just realizing that what works now is going to be different from what kept me fit / healthy in the past...and I have to figure it out. Some trial and error, some advice from those who have been there. Maybe some people don't see much of a difference, lucky them but nice to know I am not alone!
  • zerryz
    zerryz Posts: 168 Member
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    52. Started here at 49. First lost on a combo of calorie intake reduction, and increase in calorie expanded. That worked for while ( 60lbs lost) then it stopped working, even after adjusting my TDEE w new data (increased activity level and new body comp due to weight loss)

    The only way that seems to be working for me now is eating below TDEE combined with low carb/medium protein/high fat regimen (10/20/70) w below 40g of carbs/day. Benefits: No hunger, no cravings, no bloating. Sharper thinking, more endurance and of course fat loss. Downfall: hard to keep, all or nothing, meaning these are macros to keep for life or the weight comes back. And yes, i do feel hormonal changes affect my body, on many levels, not just weight.
  • Salligraphy
    Salligraphy Posts: 8 Member
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    Thank you for insight! Helpful!
  • joylevelup
    joylevelup Posts: 63 Member
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    Good information for this 52 year old that is SO struggling with weight loss. Thank you!
  • Noogynoogs
    Noogynoogs Posts: 1,028 Member
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    I think my problem lies with being lazy and not as active since I hit 5o. Plus putting on two stone being on three cruises lol
  • Springfield1970
    Springfield1970 Posts: 1,945 Member
    edited January 2015
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    jvt63 wrote: »
    I'm 52 and for 23 days, have weighed and measured each morsel, exercised 5 times a week, and stayed at 1300 calories a day. Macros are 25 percent carb, 50 percent protein, 50 percent healthy fat, no processed food at all. And I am losing VERY. SLOWLY. But I am being patient. Better to lose 3 pounds in 3 weeks than gain the same amount. But all this, "it's not harder to lose weight after 50" is not true in my experience. It is harder. Much harder. And I was in fantastic shape until I hit 49.

    Well done on your fat loss!
    I'm 44 and battling the bulge every day.
    For me losing slowly is a pound every MONTH! which is what I did last year after my bulk!
    I disn't want to lose any of my hard earned muscle, and I was training hard too, so needed as much energy for repair and fueling etc.

    It really was amazing to see that trend line slowly dropping, tallying up with my stubborn calorie calculations.

    To think that I would starve myself as a teenager and drop 10lbs in a couple of weeks....GROAN.

    I'm peri now, and will be able to draw some conclusions one day about this.
    I'm planning on maintaining the muscle I have, by bulking bi annually and keeping my protein levels up, and proving that menopause can be the same as any other time in your life.

    My fat percentage crept up to over 30% by the time I was 41.

    With education and tons of hard work I was bod prodded at 15% last year.

    I'm not going to let it go over 20% whatever happens! I've no excuses.
  • themedalist
    themedalist Posts: 3,212 Member
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    I'm 52 and menopausal and "thought" I was eating well until I came to this site. I was eyeballing portions, and thought I was consuming the amount of calories my doctor recommended. I was so far off. Accuracy is key. I blamed menopause, I blamed my thyroid, I blamed other medical conditions I have (and I have a boatload of them).

    It was none of those things. I was simply eating too much.

    As far as macros are concerned? It really all comes down to personal preference. I feel best eating a moderate amount of slow-digesting carbs so my macros are something like 40/45 30 30/25 (Carb, Protein, Fat) and I try to get around 100 g of protein a day.

    Get a digital food scale so that your logging is as accurate as it can be. Use the correct food entries from the data base. I usually confirm the ones I chose with product labels or a Google search. Once you have that sorted, go ahead and add exercise. I exercise when my health issues aren't acting up, and it contributes to an overall sense of well-being, makes me more fit, gives me more calories to eat (though I don't generally eat back my exercise calories, it's nice to know they're there), burns additional calories and preserves lean muscle mass.

    This. A thousand times this. Unless you have medical issues, macro balance comes down to personal preference. I lost all my weight eating 55% carbs, 15% protein, 30% fats. And I've maintained that loss for over two years. Like the above poster, I am a 52 year old woman.

    In my experience, people who aren't losing weight and believe they should be aren't tracking their food or exercise calories accurately.

    One last suggestion. Try to minimize how much sitting you do. Besides being terrible for your health, sitting hardly burns any calories. But standing up and moving about frequently and often will add quite a few calories to your daily tally. On days where I'm up and about most of the day, doing this, doing that, running errands etc, I burn about 400 calories a day more than on my uber sedentary days. And yes, I have an office job. I still move a lot. Sitting makes weight loss much harder.

    Best wishes!
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  • earlnabby
    earlnabby Posts: 8,171 Member
    edited January 2015
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    I'm 58 and 5 years post menopause. I actually have found it easier to maintain a weight loss this time and I think a lot of it is changing my macros. I currently eat 35-35-30 (carb,protein, fat). I changed the percentages for a couple of reasons
    1. I was diagnosed a year ago with T2 diabetes and needed to reduce my carbs to a maximum of 180 g per my doctor (a certified diabetic educator). 35% is 160 g so I have a little wiggle room when I eat back exercise calories
    2. Previous weight loss attempts left me with shedding hair and dry skin. Both are common as we age and as we get into menopause, but both are also common symptoms of not enough protein and/or fat. I have mid-back length hair and am a little vain about it so I wanted to preserve it if I could.
    I have been losing for almost 13 months now and feel great. I have more energy, am rarely hungry, and I still have my hair and it looks good.


    The only real issue I have is that years of wear and tear on my body from life in general, and carrying around extra weight, has given me aches and pains I didn't have which makes activity harder. 10 years ago, I could walk 20 miles in a day without an issue, now my feet and knee hurts after about 2-3 miles. I swim instead which is actually better because it strengthens the upper body as well as burns calories without stressing the arthritic joints. I still walk shorter amounts because I know that weight bearing exercise is essential for bone health.

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  • trfree1
    trfree1 Posts: 12
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    I am 50 years old and have lost 105 lbs in 16 months using my fitness pal and a fitbit. I eat 30% CHO, 30% protein and 40% fat. CHO is only from fruits and veggies and dairy...no refined CHO (no bread, pasta, etc. although I do eat brown rice and other whole grains on occasion). Walk/jog combined 5-6 miles a day with strength training twice daily. I have gone from size 24 to size 14 during this time. I am in better shape now than at any time in my life (overweight since I was 6). Key to me is creating a new way of eating. I plan everything on Sunday for the week. Cook lean meats to have in fridge for putting easy meals together. pre-portion healthy nuts and snacks into single servings for grab and go. Prepare a 'salad box' with ingredients ready for a salad for lunches or dinners. Bake sweet potatoes so they are ready to reheat. I plan and log my meals for the day in the morning BEFORE i got to work so I know what I am eating for the day. Alcohol which used to be a daily glass of wine with dinner is now limited to twice a week. While a little hard at first, after settling in to this routine its now a habit. I don't think twice about eating refined CHOs when I used to crave bread and butter.

    Make it a lifestyle and not a diet and things change! At least they did for me!
  • NancyB422
    NancyB422 Posts: 7 Member
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    Interesting discussion!
    I'm turning 55 this year and I have to say, since 2011, I have had a really hard time taking weight off. At the beginning of 2014 after 3 years of nothing (seriously same 3 pounds up and down), I changed the weigh I ate drastically with real "clean" eating, 99% eliminated bread and that was the only way I was able to lose 10 pounds. I've since put back on 5 but hopefully going back to really focusing on my food choices and the support here, I can reach my goal.
  • jvt63
    jvt63 Posts: 89 Member
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    Just one more thing, again from experience: Weigh yourself once a week, and measure once a week. Weighing daily makes me feel discouraged and negative. If you really are logging everything you eat accurately and exercising to break a sweat, don't sweat the results each day. They will come, albeit slower than you'd like. And at the very least, you won't GAIN more weight.
  • aaliceinw
    aaliceinw Posts: 747 Member
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    I'm not sure why there are many who say it is not harder to lose the weight then when we are younger? Up until the age of 49, I never went on a diet and stayed at constant and very healthy weight: menopause hit and I my life flipped! I finally realised that I can no longer eat what I want and that I HAVE TO move if I am to lose this extra weight.

    So I have to live differently and I have to put effort into things that were previously effortless for me, I also have to count calories and weigh food. All of these things are working now that I have come to terms that it is harder and I now have to work at becoming healthy - whereas before, I was healthy without conscious effort.

    Salligraphy, I am also learning to balance between carbs/fat/protein and lowering the carbs, whilst increasing the proteins seems to be working for me.
  • fit4lifemom
    fit4lifemom Posts: 47 Member
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    I have to chime in on how things change as we age. I was very active through my 20's and 30's. I never had to count calories or watch my food choices. I had 2 children in my early 40's, and while I was not as active as before kids, I lost the pregnancy weight fairly easily, again without counting calories. Then the hot flashes and weight gain started. Now I am trying hard to lose the almost 35 pounds I gained over 2 years. I am counting (including weighing) and I am reasonably active. I know that before this would have been enough to get the weight off. Now every pound is a struggle. I am also learning what works with my balance of protein/carbs/fat as well as what is satisfying for me to avoid binges.

    It is not impossible, as a number of success stories in this thread point out, but don't kid yourself that is not harder past a certain point in the aging processes. My expectations had to reset accordingly and belief in the process has been the only thing to carry me through sometimes.