The CDC claims that over 36 percent of all seniors are now obese, and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. While gaining a few pounds after the age of 65 is generally not a big deal, seniors who are severely overweight almost always develop secondary health issues such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The following five tips can help you bring your aging loved one’s weight back under control naturally.
1. Steer Clear of Fad Diets
Most fad diets rely on gimmicky products, unusual eating habits, and unproven science. As a general rule, the diets that actually work have been around for quite some time. For seniors who are trying to lose weight, a simple diet comprised of leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and lean protein sources will most likely be the best option. Older adults also need to avoid processed foods that contain simple carbohydrates and white sugar.
If your loved one needs assistance with preparing healthy meals, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Lincoln, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Don’t Ignore Resistance Training
One of the most common misconceptions in the fitness industry is that static training is the best way to lose weight. Running, bicycling, hiking, and other activities carried out over a long period burn relatively few calories. Researchers now know that an individual will continue to burn calories for hours after a strength training session, which might include lifting moderate weights or using resistance bands to strengthen muscles.
Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. A Lincoln caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns.
3. Address Sleep Hygiene
Seniors who have chronic sleep deficits might not be able to lose any weight at all. While sleeping, the body produces chemicals and hormones needed to burn calories and suppress appetite. Different issues can impact a senior’s sleep schedule, including medication, stress, and general discomfort. Older adults who cannot get enough sleep should speak with a doctor about lifestyle changes they can make.
4. Increase Water Intake
There are quite a few reasons people are able to lose weight simply by drinking more water. Cold water is a natural appetite suppressant, and having a full glass just before every meal can reduce a senior’s caloric intake. Water also gives seniors the energy they need to carry out longer exercises. The average active senior needs to consume at least eight full glasses of water per day, but this number can change depending on other factors.
5. Add More Protein to the Diet
Protein-rich diets have become very popular over the last few years, but seniors should speak with a doctor before changing their eating habits. Even though these diets are great for weight loss, they can be hard on organs such as the kidneys and gallbladder. Eating plenty of protein throughout the day helps many people avoid carbohydrates while they are trying to lose weight. Chicken, fresh seafood, eggs, nuts, spinach, and turkey are all excellent sources of protein.
Your senior loved one may need help making healthy lifestyle choices. In Lincoln, Nebraska, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If your loved one needs assistance managing daily activities, call us at (402) 261-5158 today.