Curious about losing weight after 60? Wondering how to lose belly fat over 60 years old? Still googling the “best diet for women over 60?”
Read on to learn more about weight loss for seniors, including the healthiest and best diet for seniors to lose weight.
Can Seniors Lose Weight?
While it can be harder to lose after age 50, it is possible! Many factors contribute to reasons a senior may gain weight, and getting these factors under control can increase the chances of maintaining a healthy weight in older adulthood.
Seniors may gain weight for the following reasons:
- Certain medications
- Health conditions
- Hormone changes
- Muscle loss related to aging
- Slower metabolism
If weight is getting in the way of everyday activities, it may be time to talk to a healthcare provider about making a change.
Likewise, known changes do and should not need to be drastic. In fact, small shifts are often more sustainable, especially when the elderly are trying to undo years and years of patterns and habits.
How Can Older Adults Lose Weight?
In general, the advice “move more, eat better” encapsulates the best weight loss plan for seniors. The following pillars can typically be found in weight loss programs for older adults.
An Exercise Plan
Research links sedentary lifestyles with increased disease risk. For older adults, a low movement lifestyle can contribute to the rising risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and poorer health in general. In other words, movement may actually add years to one’s life.
Surprisingly, movement often starts with a mindset. Begin by learning how to get more into the weight loss mindset.
A Sleep Schedule
Older adults are often stereotyped as sleeping a lot, but studies show that sleep quality may decline for those over 60 years old.
Research also suggests a link between obesity and poor sleep, making it even more important to be aware of health as one ages.
A Balanced Diet
A calorie deficit does not mean cutting entire meals or food groups out. In fact, research shows that those who skip breakfast can continue poor health habits throughout the day. Paying attention to portion sizes and staying hydrated can also help seniors cut down on calories.
If unsure where to start, try incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods as a first step. Overall, aim to consume more whole foods when crafting a balanced and healthy diet. Include more whole grains, lean and plant-based proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat sources.
How To Lose Weight For Seniors
There are many small shifts one can make throughout the day to get closer to their health goals. Try incorporating these ideas into a weight loss plan to make it more manageable.
Walk to Work
When safe and appropriate to do so, walk to work! Even parking farther away or taking the stairs can add up over time.
Also, consider carrying some sort of device that alerts loved ones to falls. Just in case, since it can save a life!
Use the Buddy System
Healthy habits are more easily accomplished when one has an accountability partner. Research supports this theory and shows that sticking to a weight loss plan may be more successful when people approach it in pairs or hire a personal trainer.
Having a partner for exercises can also ensure that they are done safely. Especially when weight training, for younger or older, it is important to have a spotter.
The patterns of the past may be making exercise unenjoyable. Switch it up by finding a type of movement that truly excites.
Maybe give yoga, tennis, pilates, and other enjoyable movements and activities a try! Incorporating some sort of weight/strength training is also important to preserve muscle mass for healthy aging.
Snacks and sugary drinks can be the culprit when it comes to weight gain. Be sure to select a snack with lots of protein and fiber, which encourages a feeling of fullness.
Delicious and nutritious snack ideas include nuts, Greek yogurt and berries, and tuna salad.
Get a Tech Upgrade
There are plenty of watches, apps, and even fitness mirrors that can help make life easier nowadays. Invest in new technology to help keep fitness and dietary goals on track.
Whether for the holidays or just because, these devices can be a thoughtful gift for seniors who have trouble tracking steps, calories, or other needs.
Make Stress Manageable
Stress is a huge part of disease development, even (and especially) in seniors. Stress can be linked to changes in the body’s physiology, weight gain, and stress hormone dysfunction.
Take time to undo the patterns of yesteryear by establishing healthy habits.
Take a Cooking Class
Old dogs can learn new tricks, contrary to popular belief. Take a cooking class from a dietitian or other medical professional to help manage conditions like diabetes.
Learning new skills can make cooking at home more exciting and inviting. Plus, it can lead to less eating out, which is another common cause of weight gain for older adults.
Attending regular check-ups is important for the elderly. Healthcare providers may be able to spot red flags and keep track of progress more easily than a senior can on their own.
Be sure to ask about weight gain and related concerns at appointments.
In Summary On Weight Loss For Seniors
Studies show that seniors tend to be more sedentary and more stressed. However, small shifts in daily habits can greatly impact a senior’s life.
Incorporate one healthy habit today to start a healthy weight loss journey off right!
Ames H. How to lose weight after 50. Medical News Today. Published February 26, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-lose-weight-after-50.
Kubala J. The 20 Best Ways to Lose Weight After 50. Healthline. Written May 13, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-after-50.
Lawler M. 5 Reasons It’s Harder to Lose Weight With Age. Everyday Health. Reviewed June 27, 2019. https://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/weight-gain-and-aging.aspx.