The dangers of rapid weight loss in older women

Plus, how to stay healthy—before and after—retirement age

I’m all for reaching a healthy, normal body weight. I think it’s something everyone should strive for. However, for older adults (especially women), there are some consequences to losing large amounts of weight quickly.

A new long-term study looked specifically at how the numbers on the scale affect the health of women over age 65. And the results were eye-opening…

Researchers found that for every 22 pounds an older woman lost over a 20-year period, the risk of hip fractures increased by a whopping 52 percent. Even more disturbing, the risk of death increased by 23 percent.1

And women who had the most weight fluctuation over a 20-year period were two times more likely to have reduced physical function compared to women with stable, maintained weights.

Moderation is key

If you’re an overweight woman over the age of 65, should you avoid losing weight?

Not at all. The issue is more with rapid weight loss and yo-yo dieting—which I’ve always advised against. And it’s important to note that the researchers found older women who lost less than 20 pounds over 20 years had no increased risk of hip fractures or poor physical function.

In other words, moderate weight loss is fine. But if you need to lose more than 20 pounds to reach a normal body weight, it’s healthier to do so before you reach the age of 65—especially if you’re a woman. (And if you’re over 65 and overweight, fear not—I’ll talk about how you can safely shed those pounds in just a moment…)

Dropping extra weight sooner rather than later puts you in a position to better prevent the many chronic, potentially deadly conditions associated with being overweight or obese—including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, various cancers, and even Alzheimer’s disease. And that extra weight puts stress on your bones, which could lead to fractures.

So even if you do need to drop quite a few pounds to achieve a healthy weight, I think that’s worth considering—no matter your age. Just be sure to avoid fad diets (like low-fat diets), which are typically ineffective and difficult to maintain. They’ll just lead you right back to the very weight fluctuations this study warns against.

The A-List way to manage your weight

Whether you’re 26 or 76, the key to healthy weight loss is outlining an action plan. And more importantly, providing your body with the right type of nourishment to keep your metabolism humming and your bones and muscles strong. Honing in on these key factors will help you lose weight safely and effectively.

A great place to start is with an analysis of your dieter type. Weight loss and maintenance should not be a blanket “one-size-fits-all” plan. That’s why I wrote my latest book, The A-List Diet. I outline ways you can work healthy eating, activity, and nutrition seamlessly into your everyday life.

To get started, or to identify your dieter type, I encourage you to take the two-minute quiz on the A-List website,

Natural osteoporosis protection

The important takeaway for you is this: No matter where you are with your weight—whether you’re overweight, in the process of losing weight, or just maintaining your weight—there’s one important factor research shows both women and men need to be mindful of. And that’s bone health.

As the research has shown, it’s vital to protect yourself from increased risk of osteoporosis or bone fractures (especially if you’ve lost a large amount of weight). And you can do this without taking dangerous drugs.

Bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs like Boniva, Fosamax, and Forteo are not the cures they’re advertised to be. True, they may increase bone mass. But they also decrease bone stability, which actually raises your risk of atypical bone fractures.

Instead of putting your bones at risk with prescription drugs, I recommend the following supplements for maximum bone support:

Calcium: 500 to 600 mg per day
Magnesium taurate: 125 mg per day
Strontium: 500 mg per day
Vitamin D3: 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day
Vitamin K2: 45 mcg twice per day (I recommend a product called MenaQ7®)

This daily regimen, along with maintaining a normal weight, will help support your bones, brain, and body as you age.

To read more about the dangers of these prescription bone drugs, I encourage you revisit the March 2018 issue of Logical Health Alternatives (“URGENT WARNING: Study shows popular osteoporosis drugs destroy bones—from the inside out”). Newsletter subscribers have access to all of my archives. Simply visit the “Subscribers” section of my website and log in with your username and password.


1“Long-Term Weight Trajectory and Risk of Hip Fracture, Falls, Impaired Physical Function, and Death.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018.