Healthy Weight for Your Age

Weight MeasuringYou find it a little harder to fit into your regular pants & an extra walk each day just isn’t taking care of those extra kgs. Even if you haven’t changed your diet habits, your body is changing. Nutritional needs change as you get older & you may find that you have to fight the battle of the bulge throughout your senior years.
If you feel like you’re slowing down a little, you may be right, & your body is too – specifically, your metabolism (the process that your body performs to burn & use calories & when it slows down, you don’t use as many calories as you once did). Any unused calories turn into kgs & unwanted weight gain. This means that as you age, your calorie intake should be lowered to prevent weight gain. If you’re giving your body more than it needs, you’ll be putting on more weight.
Exercise may also be more difficult for you as an older adult, or maybe you’re just not getting as much activity into your day as you should. Health problems, arthritis & soreness may seem like good excuses to skip exercise, but you’re doing yourself more harm than good by being sedentary. Exercise can help combat a number of health problems & keep unwanted weight away. Your senior years can be a lonely time if you feel isolated from friends & family or have lost loved ones. This isolation can also cause you to eat too much or eat the wrong foods (all adding up to weight management problems).
Maintaining a healthy body weight can keep you in shape through your senior years & ward off a host of health problems like:
• Diabetes, heart disease & other chronic diseases
• High blood pressure & high cholesterol levels
• Stroke
• Some cancers
• Loss of mental acuity
Ask your doctor about what your healthy body weight should be. One indicator of being overweight is your Body Mass Index, (BMI). But keep in mind that BMI isn’t always the best indicator for everyone (another reason to talk to your doctor about the goal weight you should shoot for).
How do you achieve a healthy body weight, especially if your aging body is working against you? It’s a tough job, but you can absolutely maintain a healthy body weight as a senior. First, figure out how many calories you need to eat in a day to get to & maintain your ideal weight. Women over age 50 who are inactive & get little to no exercise need about 1,600 calories each day. That number jumps to 2,000 to 2,200 for very active women & it’s in the middle, at about 1,800 calories, for those whose activity levels are average.
Men over age 50 need about 2,000 calories each day if they’re not very active; between 2,200 & 2,400 if they’re moderately active. Men who get a lot of physical activity each day need between 2,400 & 2,800 calories. Start with these basic numbers in mind, then meet your needs with healthy foods – not just any old calories.
To stay full & satisfied while losing weight try these changes to your diet:
• Add foods rich in fiber, like fruits, vegetables & whole grains.
• Limit salt & fat.
• Drink a lot of water.
• Choose lean meats like fish & chicken without skin, instead of hamburger or steaks saturated with fat.
• Eat & drink lots of-low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Remember to add exercise into your weight management equation. Make a commitment to yourself to get active. It’s okay to start out slowly, then gradually increase your activity level until you’re  working out & burning calories on most days of the week. The more exercise you get, the better you’ll feel & the easier it will be to maintain your weight.


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