Weight loss in seniors is challenging but not impossible.
As overall metabolism tends to decline during this age, it gets trickier to lose weight. However, with persistent goals and a better lifestyle, losing weight is possible. Making small adjustments in lifestyle and diet is the best weight loss plan for seniors.
Some quick tips for effective weight loss in seniors include:
- Burning more calories than what they eat or drink
- Restricting empty calories, such as sugars and foods, with little to zero nutritional value
- Avoiding fad diets that provide temporary results
- Including a wide variety of foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, fish, beans, or low-fat or fat-free dairy
A person should discuss their fitness goals and comorbid conditions with their doctor before they start any new physical activity.
9 ways to lose weight for seniors
- Eat a high protein diet: Protein helps build muscle mass, which helps in increased metabolic rate and decreased calorie intake. As older people are more prone to muscle loss, it is important to incorporate high-protein diets, such as seafood, dairy, fortified soy products, beans, lentils, and peas into the diet. High protein diets prevent weight gain and abdominal fats.
- Engage in strength training: Strength training improves muscle mass and may involve:
- Avoid consuming sugary foods and beverages: Sugary foods and beverages have high sugar content and little nutritional content. Added sugars contain high fructose, which may decrease fat burning. Hence, avoiding sugary foods and beverages, such as candies, cakes, frozen yogurt, soda, flavored coffee drinks, and sweet tea, is essential to stay fit.
- Stay hydrated: When people age, their thirst sensation tends to fade. Drinking water can do wonders. Drinking more water often leads to consuming fewer calories without any added sugar. One should aim at least 64 ounces of water a day even if they are not thirsty.
- Eliminating processed food: Processed foods are stripped of nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Foods, such as white rice, white bread, and food products made of refined flour are easily digestible and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals.
- Avoiding extreme stress: Stressing out can release the “stress hormone” cortisol, leading to abdominal obesity. Stress leads to declined sleep quality, overeating, and heavy alcohol drinking, which all contribute to weight gain. Meditation and breathing techniques may help relieve stress and make one feel good.
- Alcohol and smoking: Alcohol and smoking can lead to fat accumulation near the abdomen and lead to weight gain.
- Adding more vegetables and fruits to the diet: Experts recommend two to three cups of vegetables for senior women and two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half cups of vegetables for senior men for consumption each day. Similarly, including fruits can prevent the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as:
- Never starve: Starving can further slow the metabolism. Rather than avoiding meals, limit your daily calorie consumption.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Tweed K. Dieting After 60: 4 Things You Need to Know. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/dieting-tips-older-adults
National Institutes of Health. Healthy Meal Planning: Tips for Older Adults. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/healthy-meal-planning-tips-older-adults
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