Safe Weight Management for Seniors

Safe Weight Management for Seniors Requires a Healthy Diet and Complimentary Exercise Regime

Senior weight management is quite similar to that prescribed to those in younger generations. The key to success is found in a combination of a healthy balanced diet and sustained physical activity. Eat better and move more often is a mantra that applies universally. The science of weight loss is fairly straightforward and requires creating a calorie deficit. Simple big-picture directives aside, however, there are some complications and considerations regarding older adults.

First, before embarking on an exercise or diet regimen, you should discuss your goals with your physician. Your doctor will likely endorse your goals and alert you of any physical conditions that may limit certain exercises or diets. If you are at an increased risk of heart disease or have experienced cardiac issues, your doctor may steer you away from high-intensity cardio workouts or high-fat diets.

A healthy senior diet is nutritionally dense

As people age, their calorie requirements reduce. This is because metabolisms slow down, and activity levels may be less than during younger years. Many seniors experience this in reduced appetites, which can naturally help keep diets and waistlines in check. Reduced appetites become problematic when meals are skipped in favor of snacks that are rich in low-quality ingredients and empty calories. Although a male over 65 may only require 2,000 calories each day, if 1,000 of them come from candy bars or donuts, there is an increased risk of gaining weight. These empty calories leave us unsatisfied, looking for more to eat.

Aim for fewer calories with more nutrients. Increasing protein is a surefire way to feel satisfied with fewer calories. Avoid or reduce carbohydrates, especially those found in sugar, bread, pasta and rice. Vegetables make us feel full while adding negligible calories, and several can stand in for starches in meals. If you enjoy pasta, try substituting julienned carrots, zucchini, summer squash or sweet potatoes for spaghetti. If you like the taste, make this substitution a part of your cooking routine by investing in a spiral vegetable slicer.

Resist the temptation to drown your meat, fish, and veggies in high-fat sauces or salty condiments. Heart health should also be a primary consideration in creating a balanced diet. Get to know the different kinds of fats, which ones are good such as olive oil, avocados and grass fed butter – and which ones are not so good including the trans fats that are often found in processed and convenience foods.

Balance your healthy diet with exercise

Working out, even at low-intensity levels, also helps you create a calorie deficit. Senior exercise should be varied, fun and targeted at building muscle strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health without causing joint or bone injury. Mixing up your workouts keep them from seeming stale and boring. No one wants to do an activity that is drudgery. For weight management success, your workouts should easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Daily walks should be considered less about losing weight, but more about recasting your life into one that is full of activity. Such low-impact exercises culminate into healthy bodies over time.

If you are looking for ways to ensure that you get the strength training recommended for seniors, consider setting up a simple home gym before you shell out money for expensive equipment or a gym membership. Even in a small corner of a room could include a few low-cost items such as dumbbells, resistance bands and a yoga mat, and you’ll be able to perform full-body muscles strength training, rain or shine.

Healthy senior weight management may involve a little more planning than for younger people, but the science behind weight loss is constant. Fill your plates with healthy foods, and your days with activity, and balanced weight will follow.

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