These tips can help aging individuals maintain healthy weights.
Incorporate strength or resistance training into your weekly routine. Hormone production slows down as the body ages, and that may result in a loss of muscle mass. Lifting weights or engaging in resistance training with elastic bands or body weight can restore muscle tone and speed up metabolism. Adults should aim for strength training twice a week.
Monitor sugar and starch intake. Many older adults have elevated blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance. When cells become resistant to insulin, glucose doesn’t get used up and remains in the blood. Eventually this can lead to pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Many people with these conditions have a hard time losing weight. Avoiding added sugars and extra carbohydrates could help.
Practice portion control. A 60-year-old can’t eat the same way he or she did at age 30 or 40. Nutritionists say that, with every decade that passes, people generally need about 100 fewer calories a day to maintain their weights. Cutting calories slowly and steadily helps people maintain healthy weights, especially when they couple this with exercise.
Avoiding malnutrition-related weight loss
Malnutrition is a common component in unintentional weight loss in aging populations. Reduction in senses of small and taste, smaller appetites and lack of desire to make meals can contribute to malnutrition and weight loss. Underlying health problems also may lead to unwanted and unhealthy weight loss. Tracking weight loss and getting sufficient nutrients is vital to aging adults’ overall health.
A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that having a body mass index at the lower end of the recommended age for adults increased risk for mortality more so than being overweight. Individuals whose BMI is less than 23 could be putting themselves in jeopardy.