You might think that because you are growing older, you have to submit to the effects of your slowing metabolism. Feelings of lethargy, gaining weight without a change in diet and an overall sense of poor health come with age if you are not proactive in keeping yourself healthy. Losing weight at 57 or older can be a challenge, but the mental and physical benefits of keeping the weight off and maintaining an active lifestyle are not so far out of reach. With a few changes to your eating and exercise habits, you will be feeling healthy, fit and youthful in no time.
Keep a food log. Writing down what you eat and when you eat it allows you to get a general picture of your nutrition. Do you snack mindlessly throughout the day? Is your diet composed primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables or processed foods? Notice the trends and replace bad habits with good ones.
Cut calories. Start by eliminating or eating less of foods with empty calories, like soda or candy. Replacing sugary drinks with fresh fruit or vegetable juices, and processed snacks with carrots or apple slices are simple ways to improve your nutritional habits. As you progress, cut down on your portion sizes. One portion of any dish should be about the size of your fist.
Eat small meals throughout the day. Snacking on healthy foods at regular intervals helps your metabolism to stay consistent and work more efficiently. Keeping your metabolism at a consistent level will allow your body to burn calories at a regular rate, rather than slowing down at varying times throughout the day.
Exercise daily. Start out with at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and add minutes in increments, as you feel ready. Walking is considered a low-impact and easy way to boost your cardiovascular health and burn calories without taking too much effort.
Find a buddy. Having someone to exercise with or to try new, healthy recipes with helps keep your morale up and can keep an exercise routine fun and exciting.
Take supplemental vitamins. As you get older, losing weight isn’t just about counting calories; it includes overall health, too. By keeping your body healthy overall, you will be able to function at your best.
Drink a lot of water. Remaining hydrated helps flush out toxins and keeps you feeling full, stemming those hunger pangs.
There are many websites that can help you determine the appropriate amount of calories you should eat per day and how often you should exercise based on your height and weight. For example, WebMD’s Personal Diet Evaluator allows you to answer questions based on your personal eating and exercise habits and provides a printable plan for you to discuss with your doctor.
Don’t be easily discouraged. Losing weight as you get older can be difficult. Keep trying. If you find your current routine isn’t working, consider a new approach.
If you have the finances, consulting a personal trainer and a nutritionist is a very valuable and personalized tool in trying to lose weight.
Always consult with a doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.