Maintaining a healthy weight is important for senior adults. More than other periods of life, excess weight affects an elderly person’s overall wellbeing in more serious ways. Being overweight in old age will contribute to decreased mobility, which can result to disability and frailty.
Unfortunately, weight loss is harder as we get older. Senior adults need to put more effort into making sure that their weight remains manageable. However, other health issues can also pose risks on a senior adult looking to lose weight. Keep in mind that before your loved one begins any new weight loss program, it should be cleared with their doctors first.
Staying fit and healthy is important in old age. There are a number of ways that a senior adult can lose weight the healthy way. Here are a few of them.
Prioritize fat loss
First of all, keep in mind that it’s not actually about the pounds that your elderly loved one loses. Remember that muscle and bone mass are important in order for them to maintain their mobility and, in effect, independence. Therefore, it’s definitely inappropriate to measure their weight loss through the scale.
What’s a better way for measuring fat loss then? You can invest in a caliper or an electrical impedance device to measure waist size. One thing you must remember is ideally, a person’s waist size should not be more than half of their height. So convert your elderly loved one’s height in inches and measure their waist size in inches to see how much fat they need to lose or already lost.
Drink lots of water
This one is especially important for senior adults who need to lose weight. The hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls hunger and thirst, becomes desensitized as one gets older. This results in the dullness of thirst signals. However, many senior adults try to limit their water intake, in fear of incontinence or due to prostate or bladder issues.
Besides water’s ability to boost metabolism and aid digestion, it will also trick the brain into thinking that a person is full even without having much food. Therefore, water can help senior adults stay nourished without eating more than what they need, enabling them to maintain a healthy weight. Remind them to drink water frequently. You can also set an alarm for them to ensure that they keep sipping throughout the day.
Go for strength training
Lifting weights even in old age will do wonders for your senior loved one’s strength and metabolism. Since muscle mass decreases with age, and muscle loss leads to a slower metabolism, including a weight training regimen to their weight loss program will benefit them greatly.
Start with light weights to allow their body to adapt, then gradually increase the amount of weights they lift. A significant resistance training plan will help your elderly loved ones over the age of 60 with their fat loss programs. Help them increase the weights they lift and encourage them to keep going.
Fill up on protein
If you think protein is important for bulking up in your youth, it’s not all that different in old age. In fact, protein is more important for senior adults who want to shed fat. Increasing their protein intake will help them build muscle mass, enabling them to fight age-related muscle loss.
The older we get, the more we crave carbohydrate-rich foods. It’s best to serve your senior loved ones at least 30 grams of protein per meal, and more if they eat more carbs. Enough protein in their diet will help support and repair their muscles, and when coupled with weight training will help boost their metabolism that will lead to fat loss. They’ll be less likely to crave unhealthy food, too.
You have to understand that shedding calories gets harder as we grow older. Therefore, don’t get frustrated if you see that your senior loved one is not losing as much fat as you expected. Don’t pressure them into going hard during workouts, or depriving them of food. It’s important to help them for healthy habits, so be there to guide them.
If your elderly family member requires assistance around your home, we’ll be happy to survey your place and suggest the right modifications. You can talk to us at Western Stairlifts and get a free evaluation! Simply call us on: 801-386-2408.