Americans have an obesity problem— and seniors are not exempt. While we lack a proper definition of obesity in this age group, almost 30% of adults aged 65 and over were reported as obese in 2020. Sarcopenia— the progressive loss of muscle and increase in fat that come with aging, makes keeping obesity in seniors under control more difficult. Losing weight can help prevent serious illnesses and injuries, but as a senior, it’s important to approach weight loss differently than your younger counterparts. Here are some helpful strategies from Dr. Goldberg Wellness Associates on how to do it.
Dieting Over 65
A lot of the diet principles that helped you in your youth still apply when you’re older. Reduce your calories, but increase the amount of protein you eat. Proteins are the building blocks of the body and can help prevent muscle loss. Switch out white bread, pasta, and other simple carbohydrates for whole grain versions. Simple carbohydrates provide a quick burst of energy that will leave you feeling tired and sluggish in the end. Whole grains fuel the body for the long run while providing essential fiber and vitamins.
- Certain nutrients become more important as we age, and this needs to be considered when planning meals.
- Seniors can add more nutrients to their diet with these vitamin-rich foods.
- There are plenty of easy and nutritious recipes to choose from when planning meals.
- Depending on your current weight, health concerns, and mobility, your doctor might prescribe weight loss medication to help you on your healthcare journey. In this case, you can easily get your prescription online and order refills any time of day.
Exercise Over 65
Although working out is an important step in losing weight, there’s no need to go from zero to 60. Start slowly, and stay within your exercise comfort zone. Not only does this prevent injury, it can also help keep you motivated to exercise day after day. In order to make progress, you can add distance or intensity as your workouts become easier. Also remember not to rely on cardio alone– lifting weights can reverse the effects of sarcopenia while building muscle that burns fat even when you are not working out.
- Although we all develop limitations as we age, with a bit of ingenuity, we can work around them.
- When starting a new exercise program, It’s important to begin gradually.
- Weight training can build muscles and strength.
- Although seniors won’t be exercising in the same ways they did as teens, there are plenty of exercises that can be tweaked to provide a good workout after age 60.
Drink plenty of water. This can help curb unnecessary cravings while regulating your digestion. Keep a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- It’s important to drink enough water each day, particularly as a senior.
- Water-dense foods can help with hydration. Try some of these.
- Some beverages actually make you less hydrated, so balance those with additional water.
Keep a Positive Mindset
If you’re not losing weight as quickly as you’d like, measure your progress beyond the scale. Exercise helps increase endurance for all sorts of tasks, improves mobility, provides you with more energy, and improves sleep. Plus, you may find you are in a better mood overall and have a certain “glow” that people notice. These little things can help keep you on track when you don’t feel like exercising– and you can also use the tips below to keep yourself focused when you’re in a slump.
- Burnout can happen with exercise programs. Consider group workouts to make this less likely.
- There are ways to get going again when you hit a weight-loss plateau.
- Resisting temptation when you’re eating with weight loss as a goal can be challenging. Here are some ways you can adjust your thinking to help.
Obesity is a problem in the United States, but people over 65 need to be cautious when starting a weight-loss routine. Get yourself on a healthy track by eating a healthier diet, easing into exercise, drinking plenty of water, and staying motivated by noticing progress beyond the scale.