As the years pass, we may find ourselves loosening our belt a notch (or two) as those unwanted extra pounds begin to add up. By the time you hit your 50s or even 60s some may think it’s too late for them to get in shape again. Maybe you have thought to yourself, “I’ve been overweight for ten years and the damage is done. Losing weight now would be for nothing.” Well, that’s not true. According to new research, weight loss at any age is beneficial — even if it’s only temporary.

A long-term history of excess body fat (adiposity) in adulthood can lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular-related problems and diabetes. The study found that, “Adults who drop a BMI category—from obese to overweight, or from overweight to normal — at any time during adult life, even if they regain weight, can reduce these cardiovascular manifestations.”

According to lead author from the study Professor John Deanfield from University College London in the United Kingdom, "Our study is unique because it followed individuals for such a long time, more than 60 years, and allowed us to assess the effect of modest, real-life changes in adiposity. Our findings suggest that losing weight at any age can result in long-term cardiovascular health benefits, and support public health strategies and lifestyle modifications that help individuals who are overweight or obese to lose weight at all ages."

Losing weight can become more difficult as we age. Here are some tips to help you shed the pounds at any age.

Exercise. You don’t have to go out and train for a marathon. Any type of physical activity will benefit your health in a number of ways. Speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine and remember every little bit helps.

Portion control. Watching your portion sizes can make a huge impact on your weight-loss plan. Take the time to read the labels on the foods you eat. Understanding how much is in a serving can help you gauge how much you are eating.

Eat healthy. It may sound simple enough, but making healthy choices in your everyday life can impact your weight drastically. Choosing water over soda and filling your plate with fruits and vegetables will help put you on the right track for eating healthy.

Listen to your body. You’ll probably never run as fast as you did in high school, or lift as much as you could in college but that’s OK. Our bodies change with age and so should our exercise routines. Find something that works for you, whether it’s swimming laps at the pool or taking a spin class at the gym. There is something for everyone no matter your age. If something doesn’t work for you there are plenty of other options available.

To learn more about weight loss:
Weight Loss and Diabetes: A Balancing Act
9 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight
3 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight