As we age, it can become increasingly challenging to stay at our goal weight. The metabolism naturally slows later in life, and our lifestyles are often more sedentary than in past years. If you're struggling to shed those last few pounds, know that it's possible to reach your healthiest weight at any age!
Find Your Healthiest Senior Living Lifestyle
The foundation of successful weight loss and maintenance is a healthy lifestyle. A short-term diet only leads to short-term success; as soon as we finish the diet and go back to our regular habits, all the weight comes back. Maintaining your goal weight is accomplished through a healthy, happy lifestyle. If you know your routine needs some attention, here's where to get started.
- Aim for whole foods in their most natural forms. Processed foods can lead to many health problems, including weight gain, while whole foods contain essential vitamins and nutrients.
- Increase your activity level. Whether it's a daily walk in your neighborhood or a new fitness class with friends, incorporating something active into your lifestyle will boost your mood as well as shedding pounds.
Remember to start small when building new habits. Don't expect yourself to change everything at once! Just try one or two healthy habits at first, like substituting water for soda or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. As you start to see the benefits of these small changes, you'll feel motivated to try more healthy habits.
Overcoming Health Obstacles
It's important to understand what our bodies go through as we age. This allows us to care for ourselves and our aging loved ones as healthfully as possible. There are many challenges to weight loss that are unique to aging adults, but each one can be addressed with healthy senior living habits.
Here are seven obstacles faced by seniors and how to counteract them:
- Fiber is essential for aging adults since the digestive system becomes less efficient in later years. Oatmeal, carrots, celery, peas, and lentils are all whole foods high in fiber.
- Hydration is crucial for weight loss. Some lose their sense of thirst as they age, so remember to drink at least the recommended daily 8 ounces even if you don't feel thirsty.
- As we age, it becomes harder to absorb vitamin B-12 and synthesize vitamin D. Choose foods high in vitamin B and vitamin D, and consider a supplement with your doctor's approval.
- Our senses of smell and taste diminish as we get older, so cook with flavorful herbs and spices. Be careful not to over-salt food even if it doesn't taste salty; try other strong seasonings instead.
- While other flavors are tasted less strongly as we age, sweet flavors often remain the easiest to distinguish. To avoid overeating unhealthy sugary foods, add naturally sweet foods to your diet, like fruit and yams.
- Eating alone can be a challenge for seniors after the passing of a spouse. Some of us overeat when we're lonely; others don't eat enough. Share mealtimes with family and friends for happy, healthy nutrition.
- Some medications affect appetite. Talk with your doctor if your prescriptions cause you to overeat or perhaps lose your appetite.
While maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge for seniors, perseverance and a healthy lifestyle always pay off. Following even a gentle exercise routine and eating fresh, whole fruits and vegetables will keep you fit and energetic. With dedication to a healthy and happy lifestyle, you'll spend your golden years looking and feeling your best.