Weight Loss for a Grandmother (or Grandfather)

It’s different than you think.

http://Photo by Natasha Spencer on Unsplash

I have some bad news for you. By the time you reach Grandparenthood, your metabolism is already shot.

It’s disturbing, I know. There’s nothing to be done about it. Move on with life. You can’t get over that mountain so you’ve gotta get around it.

You can’t lose weight by doing what you’ve done all your life. None of that works anymore, unless you’re extremely lucky or a freak of nature.

By way of a disclaimer, I’m not a health professional of any kind. I know there will be people who will argue with me and have the facts to do so—more power to you! I’m not saying you’re wrong and I’m right.

What I’m saying is that this is the truth as I’ve found it to be in my own life, so it must be true for other people as well. I’m going to publish this like the authority that I actually am. I’ve been through it. It’s completely true in my world.

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

About Your Metabolism:

It’s gone. There may be a few things that you can do to raise it a little bit from the dead and by all means, I encourage you to do them! It sure can’t hurt anything.

My resting metabolism is about 1200 calories a day. That means that if I eat more than 1200 calories in one day that I don’t burn off, I’m going to gain weight. What I don’t burn off gets stored as fat. UGH.

You’d be surprised at how fast I can eat 1200 calories and still be hungry!

We’ve been told all our lives that if we skip meals, it slows down our metabolism. That may or may not be true for younger people.

Intermittent Fasting:

I’m NOT going to tell you not to skip meals.

If you want to lose weight once you’re a grandparent, lay the fork down!

Ouch! That hurt, I know.

At our age, all the rules change. Your body has changed a lot too. Things that used to be perky and at attention are now a bit saggy and distracted at best.

I’m sure you’ve heard of intermittent fasting. Suddenly, it’s our best friend for weight loss. I feel like I lose a pound with every meal I skip.

Let’s face it—we’re privileged. Going without a meal or two isn’t going to hurt us! The longer you go (and I’m not talking about periods of days, only hours), the better it is.

When I was growing up, the norm was three meals a day. As far as I know, it still is.

In the South, we called those meals Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper. Lunch became Dinner on Sundays and Holidays.

All these meals were major spreads for the most part. We even ate together at an actual table as a family. That’s almost unheard of these days! We didn’t have cell phones to distract us either.

Anyway, telling us to eat five to six small meals a day is a way to get us to pack on another 20 lbs. fast! We’re conditioned to eat everything on our plates (starving children in disadvantaged countries were a frequent topic of conversation when we didn’t care to eat our veggies). We’re used to it, and still try to do that plus anything extra you throw at us.

Other Methods:

Calorie counting is not a sustainable endeavor. We can’t remember half of what we’ve counted already, and we need something that’s easy to do for the rest of our lives (however long that happens to be).

Same with counting fat grams. Nobody has time to read the ingredients on every container before we buy it, and besides, we can’t see the freaking words anymore without our readers, and where are those things at now?

Boiling it Down:

I was raised not to tell my age, being a lady and all. I’m old enough to remember 2 cent bubble gum and 5 cent coke bottle deposits. That’s all I’m telling.

A lot of us were raised in homes where being thin was praised even though there wasn’t a thin soul in the home!

Our Mamas were good cooks. They loved carbs. The South is all about biscuits, gravy, and fried everything. It’s hard to give all that up.

It all boils down to whether you want to eat more than you want to lose weight. It also matters what you eat.

What to Eat:

I like stuff like cheese and bacon, and I can’t see myself giving it up. I’m never going to be a vegetarian. Please stone someone else for a real sin. I love meat. I really love deer meat.

There was a time when I couldn’t even look at hamburger—then I married a taxidermist. I think at this point I could scrape up roadkill and eat it.

That’s way off the point, though.

My point is: meat is good. Carbs? Not so good. No rice, bread, or pasta.

I do eat potatoes, and no one will ever take them away from me. I don’t eat them every day.

Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

I also don’t ever tell myself I can’t have something that I want. That’s because I will eat my way through the planet trying to avoid that one thing. May as well just have it and then get back on the plan.

The Plan:

So, here’s the deal: low carb, intermittent fasting, and don’t eat so much you make yourself sick. Have a treat when you want it. Don’t reward yourself with food. Break the old norms. Raise your metabolism if you can (lifting weights is good for that, and exercise of any kind is good).


It’s really that simple. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Small changes over time can make a big difference!

I lost 65 lbs., if you’re wondering. I’ve kept it off for two years so far.

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