Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI is so important for senior health. But as people age, losing weight can become more difficult. Nutrition and exercise needs change with age. Fewer calories are required daily, and it can be harder to burn them as well. Still, the regular rules of weight loss still apply. Seniors should:
- Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meats, and low-fat dairy.
- Try to burn more calories than you consume.
- Limit foods high in sugar or those with little nutritional value.
- Stay away from fad diets.
- Maintain muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so maintaining muscle mass is key to weight loss. Encourage senior loved ones to do strength training workouts using weight machines at the gym, light hand weights, or even body weight resistance exercises like yoga and Pilates.
- Pick protein. Protein is a building block of muscle, so incorporating lean proteins into a senior’s diet is important. Chicken, fish, eggs, and beans are excellent sources of healthy proteins. Whey protein powder can be added to smoothies as well.
- Maximize metabolism. Most of us don’t have the metabolism that we did when we were 18. That’s because metabolism slows as we age. However, seniors can take simple steps in order to outsmart their metabolism, such as eating small meals throughout the day, as opposed to 3 large ones, and consulting with the senior’s physician about the number of calories he or she needs daily.
- Hydrate. Many times, thirst can feel a lot like hunger, and as a person gets older, it can be harder to tell when they are thirsty. Drinking 64 ounces of water per day can help prevent dehydration and stave off feelings of hunger. Water-rich foods, like cucumbers and tomatoes, can also aid in hydration.
- Exercise daily. Beyond helping seniors lose weight, regular exercise benefits the body in numerous ways. Exercise improves balance and flexibility, which help seniors stay safe and active. Simple exercises, like a daily walk around the neighborhood, can help seniors stay fit and enjoy the outdoors.
If you have a senior loved one in need of assistance with maintaining a healthy weight, Senior HomeCare of Tucson’s experts in home care in Catalina and the surrounding areas, can help. Our professional caregivers can help plan and prepare nutritious meals that meet the senior’s dietary needs, assist with exercises, provide transportation to a local gym or fitness class, and much more. If you would like to learn more about our in-home care services in and around the Catalina area and how they can help a senior you love stay safe, independent, and healthy, contact us today at (520) 355-4787.