Yes, Lose Weight After 60 Is Real! Here are 7 Tips to Help You
Losing weight can be harder than ever after the age of 60. The aches and pains associated with getting older can make exercise difficult. Also, older adults often feel hopeless concerning weight loss. Cardiovascular exercise can be more difficult due to a lowered oxygen intake, and arthritis pain can make exercise uncomfortable.
It is important for every person, regardless of age, to be a healthy weight. Oddly enough, weight loss has been discouraged to those over age 60. This is mostly due to concerns about bone loss. Some also worry about weight loss causing muscle reduction known as sarcopenia. Dr. Kristen Beavers led a study at Wake Forest that focused on overweight adults over the age of 60. This study found that weight loss and exercise can still lower the risk of health problems in older adults.
Tip One: Drink Water
Many older adults avoid drinking water because they believe they will need to use the bathroom more frequently. However, if you want to lose weight, you must drink more water. The body can mistake thirst for hunger, and you may eat more as a result. Water aids in proper digestion, and hydrating yourself can keep you from overeating. A study approved by the Institutional Review Board of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found that men and women between the ages of 55 and 75 lost more weight when they drank more water.
Tip Two: Strength Train
Once you reach age 50, you have lost around 20% of your total muscle mass. Because muscle burns energy and fat, a loss of muscle leads to weight gain. The good news is that it isn’t impossible to gain muscle as you age. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise showed that older women need to lift weights more than their younger counterparts to build muscle. However, it was still possible to build lean muscle mass.
Tip Three: Focus on Fat Loss
Robert Huizenga, MD states that simply focusing on weight loss after age 60 is not as effective as targeting fat loss. He suggests using a body fat measurement tool to check your progress instead of the scale. Older people are more at risk for organ tissue loss, muscle loss, or a loss in bone mass. The best ways to lose fat are to avoid eating processed sugar, cut back on carbohydrates, and eat more protein.
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Tip Four: Eat More Protein
Joanna Li, a nutritionist at Foodtrainers, advises people aged 60 or older to focus on eating more protein. A study out of the University of Arkansas supports this suggestion. One finding of this study was that an increased intake of protein helps older adults build muscle. The goal for those over 60 should be to consume 30 grams of protein at each meal. Protein shakes and smoothies are excellent options.
Tip Five: Be Flexible
Nationally certified personal trainer Rami Aboumahadi stresses that if you improve your flexibility, you will have less of a chance of getting hurt while exercising. You will also be able to exercise for longer periods of time. Adding stretches to your exercise routine or practicing yoga are great ways to improve flexibility.
Tip Six: Stay Positive
One surprising way to lose weight is by keeping a positive attitude and engaging in positive self-talk. The Mayo Clinic reports that there are many benefits of positive thinking, including increased immunity and lower rates of heart disease. Instead of beating yourself up over a poor food choice or an inactive day, remind yourself that you are trying your best. If it helps, you can even join exercise groups for support.
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Tip Seven: Be Patient with Yourself
It is not impossible to lose weight over the age of 60. However, it is harder, and it may take more time. You must remain patient. If you become frustrated that changes are not taking place right away, you may slip back into unhealthy habits.
Older adults can suffer greatly from the unpleasant effects of extra body weight. If you need to lose weight, be assured that it is possible. It is a good idea to consult your doctor before undertaking any exercise or weight-loss program. He or she will be able to help you develop a plan for success.