How to Safely Control Weight Loss in the Elderly

Dieting is seldom recommended for elderly people unless they are obese or have a compulsive eating disorder. The need for the elderly to lose weight could stem from problems such as stress, which is known to cause people to overeat. It is therefore important that before putting your loved one on a diet you first check on why they are eating so much and what exactly they eat throughout the day. It is recommended you keep a daily log and faithfully enter everything they eat and drink for a week so that you can help them safely control weight loss.

The importance of adopting the right weight loss program cannot be stressed enough. Seniors should never go on a strict diet. Their doctor should be your first point of contact; he or she can tell you what your loved one should be eating in relation to their medical history. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent substitute for processed foods, fats and refined sugars. However, if he or she is diabetic for example, not all fruits or vegetables will be good for them.

Weight management is important as we grow older because the body’s metabolism starts slowing down. In the simplest of terms this means fat gets stored instead of being burned up. We live in a hectic, fast paced world where eating on the run and other unhealthy eating habits rule. Who has the time to cook a nutritious meal anymore? The availability of pizzas, burgers and other yummy foods add to the weight loss challenge! If that is not enough the giant serving portions are enough to give anyone a coronary!

When seniors manage their weight by paying attention to what they eat and drink they are actually investing in their future. A healthy body which carries the right body mass decreases the chances of them developing serious health problems.

Tips for managing weight loss successfully

  • They are not going to find a magic remedy for losing weight, there isn’t one! They will need grit and determination to succeed and the overabundance of appetizing products around them certainly does not help.
  • They need to put their commitment to good health and long life at the top of their list and remind themselves of this every single day.
  • One of the best things your senior loved one can do is cut out the foods that are not good for them and increase their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. They can eat them raw or as a juice, either way is good, but let them replace the excess snacks and red meat that is not good for them.
  • They should eat more fish if they can and cut down on meats as much as possible. Eating small meals rather than large is helpful as well.
  • Drinking plenty of water will keep them hydrated and increase their strength. Dehydration will sap their energy.

A sustained diet will carry them through for the rest of their life. Changing their lifestyle does not mean they have to give up going out for a meal with their family or friends. They can by all means continue to enjoy their life but they should start making healthy choices when dining out. Gradually, over time they will probably find themselves automatically shunning the deep fried and the processed in favor of fresh vegetables and other healthy options.

Try to get the support of family and friends. Get them into your corner to cheer your loved one on and support them when they feel like bingeing. Avoid fad diets that promise to make them rapidly lose weight. Rapid weight loss is not good for their health and certainly not good for their nervous system. Sudden weight loss is more a loss of water and muscle from the body rather than fat.

Committing to a plan and sticking to it is important. If they can convince themselves to cut out 100 calories daily, they will lose approximately 10 pounds in one year! Learning how to safely control weight loss will have them looking and feeling good as they stay healthy far into their senior years.


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