In many ways life gets better and easier for women as they get older. They get more comfortable and confident in their own skin. They weed out what doesn’t work for them and invite more of what does work into their lives. Bu dropping pounds can be harder than ever for elderly women. A busy schedule can mean that you eat on the run, and those ten pounds that you gained as a result at the age of 40 can become an extra 20 pounds in your 50s. Now, these expert-approved tips will help you lose excess weight, clean up your diet, and will set you up for better health in 60’s 70’s and beyond.

1: Focus on Fat loss instead of Weight loss

At this age, a woman cannot afford to lose organ tissue, muscle, or bone mass.  Since all of these things weigh more fat by volume, adding lean mass could mean you actually gain weight even though you are successfully losing fat and getting fit.  So worry about other measurements like you waist size rather than how many pounds you’ve lost.  The general rule is that your waist size should not be more than half of your height. Therefore, a woman who is 5’4” should have a waist size no larger than just 32 inches.  Make that your goal, not some arbitrary weight number.

2: Drink plenty of water

Naturally, this is a tip for everyone who is trying to lose his weight and boost her overall health, but it gets more important as women get older. This happens because as we age, the hypothalamus becomes desensitized to our thirst signals. Another thing is that many women avoid drinking water so they can avoid running to the bathroom constantly.  Since water is key for metabolism and digestion, it is more important to make this sure that you’re getting enough. You may even want to set an alarm, which reminds you to keep sipping throughout the day.

3: Add strength training

As we know, muscle mass decreases with age. We also know that muscle loss means a slower metabolism, which is why you are more likely to put on those extra pounds that appear to creep up with every birthday.  However, there is something you can do about this;  lift weights. Yes! If you’ve never followed a weight training regimen, you should take care to start slowly and lift light weights, which will allow your body to adapt to the strain without placing too much pull on your joints or muscles, and which will also help you avoid injury.

4: Load up on protein

If there was ever a time to focus on getting enough protein, it’s now. There is plenty of evidence that older women need more protein than they did in their 20’s.

5: Be Patient

Your focus should be on the healthy behaviors you are adopting in order to achieve your goal, rather than the frustration you may feel if your wait is not coming down (see Tip #1 above!).

6: Stretch

Better flexibility will let you enjoy any physical activity you do and reduce the chance that you will end up hurting yourself. Consider simply adding a few stretches to your day or take yoga classes to lose weight.

7: Change your attitude

If someone tells you that “gaining weight is part of the aging process”, don’t listen!  Just keep doing what you are doing.   Find a group of like-minded peers who want to get fit so that you surround yourself with as much support as possible.