As we get older, our metabolism slows down, we get tired quicker, and often work out less. This often leads to weight gain. It’s incredibly common for seniors to find that as their age grows, so too does their waistline. This is commonly due to physical inactivity, hormonal changes, and stress. If you find yourself among those that gain weight as they age, you have two choices: You can accept it as a fact of aging, or you can change it. So, which option will you choose?
Lose That Weight
For many, the most obvious choice is to work toward losing that weight, and it’s possible to lose weight in a healthy manner no matter your age. It also doesn’t hurt that there are plenty of health benefits of losing weight. If this is the route you want to go down, your first step should be looking at your diet. This is where most of the weight gain “damage” is done. While you can try a new diet or cutting snacking (both good steps), improving your overall diet by eating healthier is all you truly need.
While you can try a new diet or cutting snacking (both good steps), improving your overall diet by eating healthier is all you truly need.
You can further bolster your weight loss endeavors by exercising regularly. Simple, low-intensity workouts like jogging or swimming are excellent ways that you can burn calories while keeping yourself physically fit. You can also join a fitness program, many of which may be included in your Medicare plan.
The real trick to exercise, though, is to find fun activities that are still exercise. Pastimes like golfing, dancing, or gardening are effective at working out your body without you even noticing, since they’re also fun. Even something as leisurely as fishing can help you lose weight and be healthier. It all comes down to your attitude and keeping yourself moving. Diet and exercise together can become successful and realistic weight loss plan.
Accepting Weight Gain
Some people may not want to adjust their diet or exercise habits, especially now that they’re tired. Instead, they look at a bit of a belly the same way that they view greying hair. It comes with the territory of aging. This type of acceptance of natural changes to your body can actually be good for your mental health. So, respecting that you may gain some weight as your lifestyle changes is reasonable.
Weight gain comes with the territory of aging, and accepting natural changes can actually be mentally healthy.
Now, accepting that weight gain is normal does not mean endangering yourself with unhealthy eating habits. The trick is regulating your weight while accepting the reality of the situation. While you may not start a new diet, limiting your unhealthy favorites or tweaking them can help you keep your weight at a healthy, if slightly elevated, level.
Sometimes, It’s a Good Thing
It’s also worth noting that some seniors will actually be told they need to gain weight. That’s right, there are several reasons why a senior may be considered “underweight,” and they’re fairly common. Sadly, eating disorders are common among seniors, usually aiming to lose weight at any cost.
In some cases, weight gain is a good thing, especially since there are several common reasons why a senior may be considered “underweight.”
But there are other reasons why a senior may need to gain weight, often for less concerning reasons. A big one is as we age, many of our senses dull, taste among them. At the same time, appetite can decline with age. For this reason, seniors may simply not want to eat as much, losing weight in the process. If that happens, it may be important to actually gain weight!
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Now, we haven’t really talked about this much, but the two solutions don’t seem to be entirely mutually exclusive. You can work to lose weight or maintain a healthy one while accepting that some weight gain is OK. As with most things in life, the best solution most likely lies somewhere in the middle. Together, though, you can deal with any senior weight gain in a healthy and manageable way.