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Weight gain after age 50
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I have noticed a gradual, steady weight gain starting in my mid 40s which has continued into my 50s. I am 52, not doing as much running as I did in my 40s, but still cycling 3-4 days a week, doing strength training, and also running easy a few days a week. I have not raced since 2018. At age 41 I weighed 157 lbs. That was when I was only running, averaging about 50-60 mpw. I gradually started to gain weight as I reduced the running and started tri training. The weight slowly increased a few lbs per year. I now weigh 178. Same diet the whole time. The cycling I am doing is mostly high intensity, and I run hill repeats a few days a week to offset the lack of run frequency and mileage. Doing too much running at my age causes too many issues with my legs, hips, etc.

Has anyone in their 50s been able to reverse the weight gain and drop weight, and if so, how did you manage to do it? It is frustrating having to buy new suits since my old ones no longer fit. I recently had a physical and my doctor told me not to change a thing. He thought my BMI was very good (6 feet tall).
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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runner66 wrote:
I have noticed a gradual, steady weight gain starting in my mid 40s which has continued into my 50s. I am 52, not doing as much running as I did in my 40s, but still cycling 3-4 days a week, doing strength training, and also running easy a few days a week. I have not raced since 2018. At age 41 I weighed 157 lbs. That was when I was only running, averaging about 50-60 mpw. I gradually started to gain weight as I reduced the running and started tri training. The weight slowly increased a few lbs per year. I now weigh 178. Same diet the whole time. The cycling I am doing is mostly high intensity, and I run hill repeats a few days a week to offset the lack of run frequency and mileage. Doing too much running at my age causes too many issues with my legs, hips, etc.

Has anyone in their 50s been able to reverse the weight gain and drop weight, and if so, how did you manage to do it? It is frustrating having to buy new suits since my old ones no longer fit. I recently had a physical and my doctor told me not to change a thing. He thought my BMI was very good (6 feet tall).

you are thinking wrong. instead of weight focuses, did your bodyfat increase or decrease? Likely you gained muscle from strength training, or are eating in excess since quitting running (which needs a lot of fuel for repairing damage)


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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runner66 wrote:
I have noticed a gradual, steady weight gain starting in my mid 40s which has continued into my 50s. I am 52, not doing as much running as I did in my 40s, but still cycling 3-4 days a week, doing strength training, and also running easy a few days a week. I have not raced since 2018. At age 41 I weighed 157 lbs. That was when I was only running, averaging about 50-60 mpw. I gradually started to gain weight as I reduced the running and started tri training. The weight slowly increased a few lbs per year. I now weigh 178. Same diet the whole time. The cycling I am doing is mostly high intensity, and I run hill repeats a few days a week to offset the lack of run frequency and mileage. Doing too much running at my age causes too many issues with my legs, hips, etc.

Has anyone in their 50s been able to reverse the weight gain and drop weight, and if so, how did you manage to do it? It is frustrating having to buy new suits since my old ones no longer fit. I recently had a physical and my doctor told me not to change a thing. He thought my BMI was very good (6 feet tall).


You are giving yourself excuses about age. Look at what you posted. You are running way less. When we run it elevates metabolism better than bike because your body has to do more recovery work to bounce back from runs. The reason that runners cannot train as much as cyclists is because you can't recover fast enough between workouts.

So your answer is "run more" or "eat less if you are mainly biking". If you swim as much as you ran (60 miles per week is like 25 k per week swimming), then you won't gain weight. Most triathletes can't recover fast enough between workouts to swim 25km per week or run 100km per week.....so you are stuck getting heavier if you don't accept this reality. Your age is not an excuse.....less training load is.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, about the same age. Have been running at least 20 MPW for 30 years. Steady gain since early 40s. I lost about 20 lbs, and plan to lose another 10 more. I just ate less. I could not exercise enough to lose weight, it was all about eating less. Oh yeah, and stop drinking alcohol. That was the bane of my weight gain.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [exxxviii] [ In reply to ]
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That is inspiring to hear. Did your run get faster after dropping 20? Were you able to run more with the reduced weight and less stress on your knees? I really miss the racing but I can’t run more than a few days a week without being sore and gimpy. Are you finding that your per mile run pace is about 40 seconds faster after losing weight? I have found the 2 secs per mile per lb to be fairly accurate in the past.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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My Story: I’m 55 and have remained active in all three sports. I swim often, ride often and run 4 days a week. In the last two days that’s 17 miles of running. I also travel the globe often because of work. I noticed slow weight gain in my late 40’s until this year. I stood on the scale in December and it said 160. That’s 15lbs over my weight when I raced often. I increased intensity this year and although I felt really good my weight was still 160 in June. A nutritionist 6 years ago tried to get me to go high fat low carb. I didn’t do it but I tried again in June. The weight literally fell off. Right now I’m 145.

I used many of the same resources Triathlon Taren uses. I also went back to the notes from the nutritionist I used. My plant eating is way up my protein is about the same and I’ve replaced any carbohydrates (rice, oats, Energy Gel, Caboydrate sports drinks) with nut butters, avocados, coconut milk.

Dave Jewell
Free Run Speed
Running Shoe Insight

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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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Way faster runner. And yes, 1-2 seconds per pound lost is about right. I qualified for IM WC 70.3 this year after dropping the tonnage.

One major old man factor that is not weight related is days/week I can run. I can only run 4 days max. The one back-to-back day is tough.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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I had the same thing happen, late 40's to about 60. mid to high 150's was pro race weight, topped out at 180's, hitting 185 at the peak. For me it was going on the IF eating program, and slowly cleaning up the diet. Over the past 10 years heading more plant based, with 18 hours of no eating a day, and right now at 169. I hit 166 awhile back, but back slid, and now going right direction again. And yes, running is much easier, and climbing on the bike too. Riding flat or swimming, no change really. In fact, swimming always feels better when fatter and in shape, flotation I suppose.

Main thing is not to let it just keep going, get a handle on it, and then make sure to let your body be at a weight long enough to reset. It always seems to want to go back to the weight it has been recently, so that is why losing is so much harder than gaining. Probably some survival trait.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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It sounds like your simple answer is to bike and or swim more. If you’re burning more calories per day, you’re on the path most likely depending on your intake.

https://www.strava.com/...tes/zachary_mckinney
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [exxxviii] [ In reply to ]
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My 68 year old father just gave up alcohol. He was 6'3 250lbs. Now he is down to 220 with more to go. He feels 'weigh' better too. Amazing what giving up one bad habit can do. I just turned 40, still drinking and exercising. I can feel the weight coming on though if I don't workout out or eat right. I think its time to give it up also.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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runner66 wrote:
Has anyone in their 50s been able to reverse the weight gain and drop weight, and if so, how did you manage to do it?
55 this year, 5’ 9”, 145 pounds. I’ve been able to stay within 5 pounds for the last twenty years or so. Last winter I went up to just below 150 and it took me most of the summer to get the extra off.

My main plan is to not let it get away... I don’t yet have to cut out any ‘treats’ but I try to be moderate in indulgence to begin with.

Less is more.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
I had the same thing happen, late 40's to about 60. mid to high 150's was pro race weight, topped out at 180's, hitting 185 at the peak. For me it was going on the IF eating program, and slowly cleaning up the diet. Over the past 10 years heading more plant based, with 18 hours of no eating a day, and right now at 169. I hit 166 awhile back, but back slid, and now going right direction again. And yes, running is much easier, and climbing on the bike too. Riding flat or swimming, no change really. In fact, swimming always feels better when fatter and in shape, flotation I suppose.


Main thing is not to let it just keep going, get a handle on it, and then make sure to let your body be at a weight long enough to reset. It always seems to want to go back to the weight it has been recently, so that is why losing is so much harder than gaining. Probably some survival trait.


Agree with most of what Monty has said here. I'm 59 and have found it harder to lose weight with age but it's definitely doable with some changes and discipline. Main things are a cleaner diet and eat only what you need. Hey, I love pizza, beer and sweets as much as anyone, but when I need to lose 10 lbs or more to get down to "race weight" it can still be done. Generally I eat more plant based and healthy whole foods, cut down on carbs, and cut down...or completely cut OUT the OBVIOUS things like sugar, junk foods, alcohol, etc. You'll know you're on the right track when you start craving fruit and veggies, haha. Also as Monty said look into intermittent fasting (if you're not already doing it), it's worked for me and believe it's anti aging too. Change the mindset and habits of eating at certain times out of habit and be more mindful of when the body is truly hungry and needs nutrition. Good luck!
*I'm not a nutritionist or dietitian :)
Edit: when I say cut down on carbs I mean eat more plant based carbs (less processed carbs)
Last edited by: Mike.A: Oct 19, 19 17:04
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [Mike.A] [ In reply to ]
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General question to this thread.

All you guys are talking about gaining weight after 50, BUT it may just be that we can't train as much as we used to in our 30's, 40's. Over to Monty, is it that you first gained weight because you kept eating like old and training less? Heck, I saw slowman at the ST party and I was ready to run an intervention....he looked pretty darn light and I can't imagine its because his metabolism suddenly got similar to this 30's and he can train as just as he used to!!!!

I'll be 54 shortly and I'm around 8 lbs over my former triathlete self race weight, but I think it is 1000 percent because I don't need to stay that lean to do a lot of swimming and compete. It's an advantage to be a bit more muscular and fatter swimming than my former runner self, so its just mainly less running and less eating discipline and less to do with using age as an excuse.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Mine started at 46 when I got my pacemaker and couldnt do anything for a couple years. That was about 15 lbs, and it got hardwired. And of course after that, I was pretty much relegated to 4 to 7 hours a week of training on good weeks. the days of just riding the weight off were long gone. Swimming was the thing I could do mostly, and of course that just makes one hungrier, and the weight is not really a penalty.

Then it was just a slow creep upwards, lb here, lb there, up down, but always a graph ascending. When I saw 185 one day, that was it. I got disgusted with myself and vowed then and there to do something. SO mostly it is eating, just like they say, calorie in, calorie out. Only when the out gets blocked, you gotta block the in to balance it all. Seem to have a handle on it now, just about 6 or so more to go, and I will feel like I won the battle..
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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I think you have a point. Most people cannot sustain the running into their 40s and 50s. So the reduced training leads to weight gain. I have a good friend who is 55, only a runner, not a triathlete. He has not put on any weight and still runs 50 plus mpw. He is the exception, being a national caliber runner.

I wonder what my weight would be if I were still able to handle that much running on a consistent basis. I don’t think I would be under 160, but I know I would be much lighter than I am.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
General question to this thread.

All you guys are talking about gaining weight after 50, BUT it may just be that we can't train as much as we used to in our 30's, 40's. Over to Monty, is it that you first gained weight because you kept eating like old and training less? Heck, I saw slowman at the ST party and I was ready to run an intervention....he looked pretty darn light and I can't imagine its because his metabolism suddenly got similar to this 30's and he can train as just as he used to!!!!

I'll be 54 shortly and I'm around 8 lbs over my former triathlete self race weight, but I think it is 1000 percent because I don't need to stay that lean to do a lot of swimming and compete. It's an advantage to be a bit more muscular and fatter swimming than my former runner self, so its just mainly less running and less eating discipline and less to do with using age as an excuse.

Hey Dev, ya agree - we can't train as much as we used to (as much as I like to believe I can), and that definitely is a factor in how many calories we burn. That said though, we triathletes are not normal compared to the general population in terms of how much we exercise, so if you take the average fifty or sixty something, they are burning way less calories, however I still believe they can also be at a healthy weight or even lean through just dietary choices. Exercise is essential for optimal health but it shouldn't be a crutch to allow us to eat whatever we want, which is the running joke as to why we do this crazy sport. I've noticed the same as you and Monty with swimming...especially in the off season (winter) when a typically put on a few (several) extra poids...swimming doesn't slow much, often gets faster...at least the sprint stuff. As you said slowman is light so lets hear how he's doing it?
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Like Paul said, "Run more, eat less." It's part of the process of aging. You can bemoan it and let the weight increase or get after it and crush your AG. Get some. Wait until ageism bias hits.

Be Uncommon
Last edited by: ZimZam: Oct 19, 19 18:08
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [Mike.A] [ In reply to ]
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Mike.A wrote:
devashish_paul wrote:
General question to this thread.

All you guys are talking about gaining weight after 50, BUT it may just be that we can't train as much as we used to in our 30's, 40's. Over to Monty, is it that you first gained weight because you kept eating like old and training less? Heck, I saw slowman at the ST party and I was ready to run an intervention....he looked pretty darn light and I can't imagine its because his metabolism suddenly got similar to this 30's and he can train as just as he used to!!!!

I'll be 54 shortly and I'm around 8 lbs over my former triathlete self race weight, but I think it is 1000 percent because I don't need to stay that lean to do a lot of swimming and compete. It's an advantage to be a bit more muscular and fatter swimming than my former runner self, so its just mainly less running and less eating discipline and less to do with using age as an excuse.


Hey Dev, ya agree - we can't train as much as we used to (as much as I like to believe I can), and that definitely is a factor in how many calories we burn. That said though, we triathletes are not normal compared to the general population in terms of how much we exercise, so if you take the average fifty or sixty something, they are burning way less calories, however I still believe they can also be at a healthy weight or even lean through just dietary choices. Exercise is essential for optimal health but it shouldn't be a crutch to allow us to eat whatever we want, which is the running joke as to why we do this crazy sport. I've noticed the same as you and Monty with swimming...especially in the off season (winter) when a typically put on a few (several) extra poids...swimming doesn't slow much, often gets faster...at least the sprint stuff. As you said slowman is light so lets hear how he's doing it?

Well if slowman turns sideways he will dissappear into aerobic nothingness....wait, wait, Timothy Carlson captured this on camera....it appears he is living off coke and Gu!!!!


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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
Mine started at 46 when I got my pacemaker and couldnt do anything for a couple years. That was about 15 lbs, and it got hardwired. And of course after that, I was pretty much relegated to 4 to 7 hours a week of training on good weeks. the days of just riding the weight off were long gone. Swimming was the thing I could do mostly, and of course that just makes one hungrier, and the weight is not really a penalty.

Then it was just a slow creep upwards, lb here, lb there, up down, but always a graph ascending. When I saw 185 one day, that was it. I got disgusted with myself and vowed then and there to do something. SO mostly it is eating, just like they say, calorie in, calorie out. Only when the out gets blocked, you gotta block the in to balance it all. Seem to have a handle on it now, just about 6 or so more to go, and I will feel like I won the battle..

That's amazing Monty. Good for you and keep it going!
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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runner66 wrote:
I think you have a point. Most people cannot sustain the running into their 40s and 50s. So the reduced training leads to weight gain. I have a good friend who is 55, only a runner, not a triathlete. He has not put on any weight and still runs 50 plus mpw. He is the exception, being a national caliber runner.

I wonder what my weight would be if I were still able to handle that much running on a consistent basis. I don’t think I would be under 160, but I know I would be much lighter than I am.

Here is the deal with running. It's this virtuous cycle. When you get lighter you run faster and you get motivated to stay light. If you are biking with a power meter, unless you are doing hills, higher watts is motivating, and the heavier we get our watts improve (my watts or shockingly higher now than my best in my early 40's, but I am also generally 10 lbs heavier). So I don't have this runner reinforcement to "stay light". In swimming more fat+ muscle = more float+more propulsion = faster.

I don't think there is a good way to stay "runner light" without "runner volume". Between it jacking up the metabolism better than biking due to the run's weight bearing nature and the positive performance reinforcement, I don't think the other sports really have the full effect that being a hard core runner has on us. So we gain more weight!

I think less running is part of getting older....with it comes more weight, but i BET if all of us could run like old times, we would be just as light.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Agree with you to a point Dev - but i think there are other factors in addition to not being able to run as much that can impact mass and body composition of those who exercise a lot. We all have our n=1 but i expect that for many of us in our 50s or older even keeping the mass around the same doesn't mean having the same body they had in their 20s and 30s.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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I've gone the other way. I retired. Now I have the time to work out as much as I want. At 52, I was 160 pounds, lifting weights, and making my return to running marathons. By 55 I was cycling and swimming, and getting ready to make my return to triathlons at 155 pounds. I'll be 60 next year, and training for my 2nd full, and weigh 148. I don't run nearly as much as I used to. But I work out more hours a week than I ever have in my life. I eat as much as I want, and let my body find its own weight.

Athlinks / Strava
Last edited by: Dean T: Oct 19, 19 19:07
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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Four years ago, at 58, I decided to make some changes. Broad strokes, I decided to eat for my health and not to focus on ‘performance’. I was bordering on pre-diabetes and insulin resistance, had to make a change. Crazily enough, my health AND my performance got better.

I eat a largely plant based diet, but am not a vegetarian and most certainly not vegan. The biggest thing— I cut all processed/non-fibrous sugars from my diet. Over the course of a few months I dropped 20 pounds of visceral fat (confirmed by a series of DEXA scans) or as I like to say, between the nipples and the navel.

Over the last few years I have dropped another 10 pounds without much effort. When I’m training hard, I calorie count to make sure I get enough to eat. Eating to appetite won’t work. As for processed sugar, I keep it to an absolute minimum, basically when consuming energy products during exercise. Never before, and never after.

I’m coming up on my 63rd birthday and weigh about what I did in high school.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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I am 53 today. All that has been said is correct. In addition as we age our insulin sensitivity goes down. I have noticed that when I measure my blood sugar ( I am not diabetic, just interested) goes up higher and stays up longer than ten years ago. I now really try to restrict carbs to the post workout period and eat plenty of protein and vegetables for the other meals. I also bitter melon and apple cider vinegar really brings your blood sugar down quickly after a meal. I take to tablets before every carb meal.
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Re: Weight gain after age 50 [runner66] [ In reply to ]
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Add me to the list of folks who think running is essential to keeping the weight off. I got plantar over the summer and had to quit running for a few months. I made up for it by riding, swimming and doing more strength training, but my weight just kept increasing. Now I'm back to running and the weight is coming off. Nothing guts you like a good run; you can feel it's effect on your body overnight.

"The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue."
- Napoleon Bonaparte
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