How to Maintain a Healthy Weight as You Age
As we age, our metabolism slows down. While this is hard to hear, it is true! Many people want to continue eating and living like they were twenty but it is important to remember that the body is changing; hormones are changing body composition and as the metabolism slows it is easier to hold on to weight, especially in the abdomen. One way to prevent this is through healthy eating to lose weight with wholesome, nutritious foods.
Eat whole foods and know your ingredients: As your metabolism slows, you want to take advantage of every calorie you are eating. If you are eating highly processed foods you will not feel satisfied and end up eating more later in the day. For healthy weight loss, avoid empty calories and eat whole foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats to keep you satiated after a meal.
Monitor your portion sizes: If you are noticing you are gaining weight or want to achieve healthy weight loss, take a look at your portion sizes per meal. You will notice a significant change in your weight simply by decreasing the portion sizes of what you eat. It is important to eat healthy but also pay attention to how much you are eating to lose weight in a healthy consistent way. Rather than cutting out an entire food group, decrease the overall portion of your meal. Instead of a cup of starch, have ½ cup. Instead of 6 ounces of protein, try 3-4 ounces. Eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you can as they are filled with
fiber and very low in calories.
Choosing “treats” wisely: It is a fine balance to manage weight as you age. However, you still want to enjoy yourself! Determine what are the splurges you love, whether it is a salty snack, sweet, cheese or alcohol. Indulge when you really want it, not just because you are used to the habit. And when you eat that chocolate or cheese, really enjoy it! Savor each bite.
Increase aerobic intensity: Our bodies do get acclimated to activity so it is important to continually challenge yourself. Increase the speed, resistance level or length of time to try a new cardiovascular exercise to move your body in a different way. Aerobic exercise should not feel easy. Use a scale from 1-10 where 10 is completely out of breath—a sprint you could only do for a short amount of time. Next time you do your cardio workout, figure out what level you are at and see what you can do to bump up the intensity to the next level. Alternate with increasing speed, time and resistance to continually challenge yourself.
Resistance training: Weight training is a fantastic form of exercise and should be incorporated into all workouts. Resistance training increases lean muscle mass and metabolic rate, improves bone density and blood lipid panel. Use free weights, weight machines or your own body weight to provide resistance.
Increase flexibility and balance and try something new! As we get older, improving balance and flexibility will greatly improve daily living the health of our joints. Try a yoga, Pilates or fitness class to learn new ways to move your body and challenge your balance.
*Please keep in mind that the information on this site does not constitute medical advice. Before embarking on any weight loss plan or making dietary changes, you should consult your doctor.