For many senior citizens, life often gets easier or even better when they get older as they don’t have to work for money and have more time for leisure activities. But the sedentary lifestyle also has its downside. Keeping a fast metabolism and doing exercises can be challenging, which makes it really hard to drop a few pounds. Fortunately, there are a few tips to help you start a healthy habit and lose some extra weight.
1. Drink a lot of water
Of course, this tip is for everyone who is trying to boost their health and lose weight, but it is actually the best way to lose weight over 60. As we get aged, the hypothalamus that controls our thirst and hunger will become desensitized and dull our thirst signals.
Plus, many senior people often avoid drinking water to avoid running to the toilet constantly, especially for those with bladder limitations and prostate problems.
But water is vital for metabolism and digestion because our body easily mistakes thirst for hunger, thus causing us to have more meals than our needs. That’s why it is essential to get enough water each day.
You would set the alarm on your mobile device at a regular interval to remind you of sipping during the day. Also, eating more water-rich foods such as veggies and fruits and stay away from sugar or caffeine liquids.
2. Improve your strength
You should know that our muscle mass will decrease with age and lose up to 20% when you reach 50. This results in a slower metabolism and extra weight gain. To avoid this issue, the simplest thing you can do is to lift weights and improve your strength.
If you don’t train consistently, it is advisable to start slowly with light weights and give your body enough time to adapt. Do not place too much strain on your joints or muscles to avoid injuries.
Over time, aim to increase the lifting loads gradually instead of getting too comfortable with a steady resistance-training schedule. For example, once you can lift 8 to 10 reps with a 5-pound dumb-bell and think you would upgrade, then it’s time to have a 7-pound weight.
3. Take in more lean protein
Many studies have proved that older adults should take in more lean protein to help build muscle. This will counteract muscle loss due to aging.
It is suggested to double your dietary protein, which should be about 30g each meal or more if you often crave carbohydrate-rich foods. A few good sources of protein include salads, fish, tofu or chicken. Also, you can start a new day by drinking protein or protein-packed smoothies.
Not only does sufficient protein support the repair and growth of muscle, but it is also more satiating than fats and carbs. This means that you will be less likely to crave for unhealthy snacks between each meal.
4. Embrace prebiotics
It is essential to know that pasta and white bread won’t help you with weight loss in your 60s. Instead, you should focus on resistant starch – a prebiotic that can resist digestion in your small intestine and directly go to your large intestine for fermenting.
Many studies have shown that this process will help increase your fullness or satiety thanks to the production of fatty acids, more effective fat-burning capability, and better control over blood sugar.
You might find resistant starch in lentils, oats, brown rice, bananas, corn, and beans. Also, you should know that this component can increases when food gets cooled. That’s why it is suggested to refrigerate your foods after cooking to lose weight effectively.
5. Focus on fat loss rather than weight loss
At the age of 50 or 60, you can’t afford to lose bone mass, organ tissue, or muscle, meaning that focusing on a number on the scale can be inappropriate. Instead, it is better to try burning your fat by having a balanced diet and do exercises frequently, e.g. by using a recumbent bike for seniors.
Also, purchase a fat measurement device like calipers or simply measure the size of your waist. As a rule of thumb, this size should not more than a half of your height. For example, the waist size of a woman who is 64 inches or 5′ 4″ should be around 32 inches.