Putting on excess weight is all too easy for most people, especially if you are 60 or older. Taking that weight off can seem like fighting an uphill battle. There are some steps you can take to safely shed 5 pounds in a week or less, and we are here to help.
As you get older, muscle strength begins to decline and you become more prone to soreness. Combined with a busy schedule, hormonal changes, and being confident and comfortable in your skin, it becomes easier to pass up on the gym.
Seniors don't need to consume or burn as many calories as younger people, and it's easy for seniors to become set in their diet and lifestyle habits. Your daily routine could be resulting in excess calories. All these factors open up the door to weight gain, which shouldn't be a part of the aging process.
Before you begin a new exercise regimen or diet, you should talk to your doctor. Arthritis, heart disease and metabolic issues – all more common after age 60 – can affect your ability to exercise. As you age, it also becomes harder for your body to take in oxygen. Your doctor can look at your overall health and tell you whether you can exercise more.
Once you get the all-clear from your physician, you're ready to lose weight. To do this, you must eat fewer calories than you use, which will probably require changes in both your diet and exercise habits.
The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week for adults age 50 or older. Adding simple tasks like taking the stairs, gardening and going on brisk walks to your daily routine can help you on the path to quick weight loss. Aerobic exercise leads to improved cardiovascular function, a better immune system and stronger mental health. Some other suggested (less intensive) aerobic activities include biking, water aerobics, Pilates, tennis and dancing.
If you can, we also recommend adding strength training to your routine. Aging leads to muscle loss resulting in a slower metabolism and more weight gain. Lifting weights is an easy method of resistance straining. It isn't as intense as it sounds, either. You can start slow with some 5-pound dumbbells or by lifting a 2-to-5 pound medicine ball that will work your abdominals and lead to a flatter stomach. Or you can use resistance bands instead, which don't put too much strain on your muscles and joints.
Stretching is also an easy way to help you lose weight. You should always stretch before strength training, but you should also consider stretching throughout the day or enrolling in a yoga class. This can strengthen your joints and improve your range of motion, balance and posture.
It's simple to overlook the importance of drinking water and getting plenty of sleep when it comes to weight loss. Water is essential to digestion and a boosted metabolism. Sleep deprivation lowers your basal metabolic rate, which means it prevents your body from burning as many calories while at rest.
Even more important than water and sleep intake when it comes to weight loss: your diet.
Older women generally need 1,600 to 2,200 calories per day, while for older men the range is about 2,000 to 2,800 calories each day. You should consume less than 10 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat. Total fats should make up between 25 and 30 percent of your daily caloric intake.
Moderating food intake and portion size are huge when it comes to weight loss. Cut out high-fat, high-calorie foods and start measuring out your food portions. Swapping out fruit juice and soda for sparking water or lemon water instead can also do wonders.
You should be eating protein-rich food, especially since a lack of protein can lead to osteoporosis in seniors. This doesn't mean you have to be downing chicken breasts each night for dinner, or slurping down raw eggs either. Beans, chickpeas, lentils and peanut butter all have plenty of protein. These foods are also more satisfying than carbs and fats, making you less likely to snack throughout the day.
If you struggle with high cholesterol, consider protein sources with low saturated fat, such as chicken and fish. These help ensure you get plenty of iron. It's recommended that you limit your daily cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams or less.
Losing weight can be a difficult endeavor, especially at an older age. You might not be able to push yourself as hard as you once could, so shedding pounds may seem quite tough. However, it's never too late to change your diet and exercise program for the better. Effective diet and exercise changes can help you not only lose weight, but achieve a healthier lifestyle and make you feel younger.