Maintaining a healthy weight for those over the age of 60
Identifying your ideal weight and doing your best to maintain it is important for a senior. As a general rule, it’s not a good idea to be too chubby or too gaunt. People over 60 have slower metabolisms than their younger counterparts (on average); they also may have additional health problems to manage as well. Maintaining a healthy weight will of course require changes in diet and nutrition; the side effect of this will be lower overall cholesterol and more balanced blood sugar levels (in addition to other numerous benefits). On the other side of things, there is a tendency for some seniors to be significantly underweight. This may limit overall available energy and may severely weaken the immune system as well. In addition to an excellent nutrition schedule, seniors are also encouraged to make improvements to their lifestyle; like becoming more physically active on a daily basis. This can be accomplished by simply making small adjustments to your regular routine.
What to eat
The average moderately active senior over 60 requires around 2000 calories per day, a little less for some women and a little more for some men. Unprocessed foods are always preferable, and meals will be most beneficial if they’re smaller and consumed throughout the day.
|Fruits||Juices are good, but for the best possible benefits you should stick to whole fruits. In doing so you will be increasing your fiber intake significantly.|
|Vegetables||Broccoli, Spinach and Carrots are among the best veggies for seniors, but all types of leafy green vegetables are also great. Seniors should try to consume between 2 and 3 cups of vegetables daily for best results.|
|Grains||When shopping for bread or pasta remember to only choose items that are ‘whole grain’, they will be more nutritious and help you cut carbs.|
|Protein||Seniors should get their protein from the following sources: Nuts, eggs, dairy, and fish. Parmesan cheese is essentially a concentrated dairy product and it also contains higher amounts of protein as well (goes together well with whole grain pasta and olive oil)|
|Calcium||Dairy based sources of calcium include: milk, yogurt and cheeses. If you’re lactose intolerant you may also get your daily calcium from broccoli, almonds, tofu|
In general seniors should pay close attention to their sodium intake. Bad fats, like those in butter should also be replaced with wholesome sources like olive oil. Older individuals need significant daily doses of fiber in order to remain regular and keep their energy levels up. When shopping it is also important to keep an eye on how much sugar is in the food you’re buying. Excess sugar consumption can lead to a whole host of health issues.
Aside from making better food choices, seniors should also pay close attention to how much exercise they’re getting on a daily basis. Physical movement is essential for a number of reasons, not the least of which is keeping the metabolism in good shape; and a slower metabolism means more weight is added with every calorie that is consumed.
The best and easiest way for seniors to stay active is to simply take more frequent walks. And whenever the opportunity arises to take a couple flights of stairs instead of using a lift, you should take the stairs. Those with more initiative should engage in bike riding or swimming on a weekly basis. And you’re never too old for strength training / light weight lifting; which will also combat muscle loss / atrophy as well. Proper stretching exercises should also be performed on a daily basis.
Proper diet and exercise can greatly increase the quality and longevity of your life; you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take good care of yourself. With just a few changes in diet and an increase in your physical regimen you should be able to keep your weight balanced, greatly boost your overall energy and stave off future health concerns.