Managing weight isn’t always easy, and can get slightly more difficult once you turn 50. But you can always begin with making some healthy changes to your everyday routine. “As the years go by, medical problems and diet restrictions contribute to the difficulty in maintaining your waistline,” said Atul Kapoor, founder, Sense Bio.
The reasons for the same are numerous — ranging from slower metabolism to inactive schedule, and also the development of sarcopenia or the natural loss of muscle mass which makes it more challenging to shed unwanted fat stored in the body. He added, “Additionally, there are risks associated with nutritional deficiencies that begin to create complications in old age, further hampering the weight loss process.”
That is why we are here with a few easy tips to help you navigate through your weight loss journey. Take a look below.
Note your calorie intake
“Ageing brings a lot of changes in the composition and metabolism of the body, and people who are above the age of 50 years are at higher risk of gaining weight,” said Kapoor, highlighting why it is essential to tweak one’s eating habits.
“We often tend to consume more calories than what is required by our bodies which results in gradual weight gain. In order to estimate calorie intake, one can keep a food diary to track food, daily activities along with weight. There are many apps available that can be used to calculate calorie goals for managing daily calorie intake,” he said.
Say yes to strength training
“When it comes to weight loss, cardio sessions are given extreme importance. However, while it works well for the young population, it can show contrary results in older adults,” said Kapoor, adding that since muscle mass declines with age, it slows down the metabolism which makes the weight loss process longer than usual. “Several studies show that after the age of 50, muscle mass starts declining by 1-2 per cent per year while its strength goes down by 1.5-5 per cent per year,” says Mr Kapoor.
This is where strength training comes to your rescue. Strategic weight lifting and bodyweight exercises significantly improve muscle strength and make your body feel active. This not only helps to boost metabolism but also helps in reducing body fat.
Increase your protein intake
A protein-rich diet is crucial for older adults because it is the key to maintaining muscle mass and strength. It not only aids in weight loss but also assists in reversing muscle loss due to ageing. “Many fitness experts recommend limiting the consumption of red meat. One can replace it with lean protein sources like eggs, lentils, chicken breast and nuts to meet nutrition goals,” suggested Kapor. These sources make you feel fuller for long and accelerate the calorie-burning process.
Get your dose of hydration
Hydration is the key, whether you are young or old. “As we start to age, the sensation of thirst starts to decrease. Thus, older people are more at the risk of dehydration which is not good for health and weight loss. Go for fresh juices, tea, and steer clear of packed and added preservatives and sugar drinks since they are strongly linked to weight gain,” he said.
Get your sleep cycle on track
Sleeping less can cause way more than just dark circles and under-eye bags. It causes metabolic dysfunction in the body and hinders weight loss. Not only that but it also increases appetite. “Sleep-deprived adults experience day-time fatigue that makes them less motivated to do physical activities,” he concluded.
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