As time passes, losing weight for seniors can be a real hassle. Regular exercise routines, modest diet changes, and half-measured efforts to shed a few pounds may not do the trick when you step onto the scale. Obesity in seniors is a major cause for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and has even been linked to memory issues like Alzheimer’s. With changes to your diet, water consumption, lifestyle habits, and overall relationship with food, losing weight after 60 can be more straightforward than you think.
By the time you reach 60, to see real weight-loss results you will need to make more drastic changes to keep up with your slowing metabolism. Eating “whatever you want” does not come without some consequences later in life.
Below are some great diet and exercise tips for seniors trying to lose weight after age 60. It is also important to remember that losing too much weight at an advanced age can have negative health consequences. A healthy weight should be thought of in terms of health rather than aesthetics.
What is the reason it’s so difficult?
Depending on genetics, individuals may experience the slowing of their metabolism (at a more significant rate) around their 40s or early 50s. Certain chemicals and hormones in the body are produced less as people age, and this results in an inability to break down foods as efficiently as younger folk.
It is also more difficult for older individuals to retain certain minerals in the body that boost their metabolic rate. When things like magnesium and selenium are reduced in the body, it has a direct effect on the processing of food in the digestive system.
Other facts include:
- People over 60 are more prone to physical injury because of improper exercise techniques. This can dissuade many older individuals from partaking in physical activity.
- After menopause and perimenopause, women’s bodies have a more difficult time breaking down food and burning off energy.
- Because many people are finished working and are enjoying retirement at older ages in life, eating alone or with others can happen more frequently leading to added pounds.
Tips to Try
The things you eat, at any age, have a profound impact on your daily physical, emotional, and mental lives. This is even more true for people over the age of sixty, as with a slower metabolism, more free time, and less physical exertion, you can have those calories that can add up quickly if you don’t burn them off.
Below are a few tips that individuals over the age of 60 can do to lose weight:
Carbohydrates Are Not So Friendly
Carbohydrates, complex sugars, and dense foods can harm your blood sugar, and for people over the age of 60, this can do much harm.
Your body has something in it called insulin that processes the sugar in your blood and converts it into energy. The higher your normal blood sugar rate is then the more difficult it is for your body to break it down efficiently. Adding sugary foods to your diet can lead to weight gain, energy imbalances, and even complications like adult-onset diabetes.
For those over the age of 60, maintaining the best blood sugar levels possible is a primary concern when making dietary choices. The fewer carbohydrates the better, as they directly affect your weight the most.
Eating fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and sugar substitutes for beverages is a game-changer.
Build and Maintain Your Muscles
Studies show that many people can get great benefits from exercise by partaking in physical exercise for around 20 minutes a day. Those who continue to exercise into their later years have a markedly reduced risk of falling, which is the leading cause of hospitalization for seniors.
This could be:
- A peaceful walk.
- Weight training.
If you want to take things a step further, consult your doctor and see if it is right for you to go to the gym. If perhaps you have never been, pending doctor’s approval, schedule an appointment with a certified personal trainer to show you the ropes and get you acquainted with exercise equipment and proper technique.
Gulp Down That Water
Water is the essence of life and has so many benefits that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Besides helping you to digest food and move dead cells out of the body, it also can curb hunger. Many times, individuals who believe themselves to be hungry are craving the moisture in the food due to lack of water (dehydration).
If you find yourself ever hungry after just having eaten a big meal, try to take a few big sips of a water bottle and see if that does the trick.
Add More Magnesium to Your Diet
Magnesium helps your body to properly digest food that you have ingested. As you age, it’s more difficult for your body to retain the same amount of magnesium as when you were younger. This low mineral level can contribute to weight gain, slower metabolism, and even confusion.
Luckily magnesium is found in many foods that humans eat, so it’s not a difficult fix. Foods that are high in magnesium are:
- Sea Salt.
- Nuts, legumes, etc.
- Beef, chicken, fish.
- Eggs, poultry.
You can even find magnesium supplements at the pharmacy or in the supermarket.
As you age, your metabolism, physical activity, and eating habits all may decrease if you are not cognizant. As a direct result, gaining weight can come quite quickly especially for individuals retired, going through menopause, or who have never been too active.
Taking care of your blood sugar, exercising, drinking water, and watching your mineral levels can have profound effects on your body and help you to lose weight. Along with exercise also comes improved quality of life, less risk of Alzheimer’s, and the ability to age independently for longer. There’s no reason not to start exercising and eating right today!