Managing weight for seniors is critical for a healthy lifestyle, and to reduce risk for certain diseases. It’s also something that most Americans struggle with.
More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and the senior population is no exception. There are many factors that contribute to added weight gain during the later years, such as slower metabolisms, a sedentary lifestyle and a culture that makes a healthy weight difficult to achieve.
The added weight can put seniors at risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health risks. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, there are two indicators that weight loss could help.
- A waist circumference above 35 in women and above 40 in men can be a sign that you are at risk for more health problems.
- A body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 indicate a healthy weight for adults, but that can have limitations for older people.
For all that’s published about weight loss, the concept is still rather simple. You must burn more energy than you take in.
Managing Weight for Seniors Requires Two Main Principles
Become More Active
Taking some simple steps to increase activity can help seniors. It doesn’t have to be much, but simply spending time moving can help.
Below are some ideas:
- Go for a walk
- Do some housework or yardwork
- Water aerobics, tennis, or spin
Eating Healthier, Eating Less
One way to think about managing weight for seniors is to consider what purpose the food you’re eating serves. Foods high in saturated fats and sugars likely do more harm than good. They have a negative impact on your health with very little nutritional benefit.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats can all pack a nutrient-dense benefit. For more on nutrition, take a look at this post about National Nutrition Month. If you are looking to develop a personal weight loss strategy, it always helps to talk with your doctor!