As we grow older, life generally becomes better and easier for many people. We become more comfortable and confident in ourselves. However, there are some things that don't become easier with age, like losing weight after turning 60. It can actually feel quite challenging to maintain a healthy weight as we get older.
While weight is an important aspect of our health, it's not the only factor to consider. The number on the scale doesn't reveal everything that's happening inside our bodies. Heart health, lean muscle mass, and bone health are also crucial for our overall well-being. It's important to remember that your weight does not determine your self-worth.
If you do want to maintain a healthy weight after turning 60, there are steps you can take to support this goal.
1. Focus on Your Health Instead of Numbers on the Scale
In the coming years, it's better to focus on gaining muscle rather than simply losing weight. Dr. Huizenga explains that as you get older, it becomes crucial to preserve muscle, organs, and bone mass. Each year, you naturally lose a portion of your muscle, which affects your metabolism and ability to burn body fat.
Additionally, as you age, your bones become more prone to fractures, especially after menopause due to lower estrogen levels, which help maintain bone mass.
However, you can strengthen and improve your bones by doing weight-bearing exercises that put pressure on your joints. Instead of fixating on the number on the scale, it's recommended to channel your energy and attention into adopting a new strength training routine.
2. Add Strength Training to Your Workout Routine
Muscle loss leads to a slower metabolism, which can affect your health as you get older. However, lifting weights can help boost your metabolism by building muscle.
If you don't have a consistent weight training routine, start slowly. It's also a good idea to work with a personal trainer who can create a customized strength training plan for you. Starting gradually allows your body to adjust without straining your muscles or joints too much, reducing the risk of injury.
But don't stay too comfortable with an easy resistance-training program. It's important to gradually increase the amount of weight you lift. Dr. Huizenga advises incorporating significant resistance exercise into any fat loss plan for people over 60. When you can do 10 to 12 repetitions with a 5-lb. dumbbell and still feel like you could continue, it's time to move up to an 8-lb. weight or higher. According to Dr. Huizenga, you're using the right amount of weight if you can barely complete your repetitions before needing to rest.
3. Stay Hydrated
It's important to focus on your health, especially as you get older. As we age, our body's ability to feel thirsty decreases, which can lead to dehydration. Some older people avoid drinking water to prevent frequent bathroom trips. This is especially true for men with prostate issues and women with bladder problems.
Since water is important for digestion and metabolism, it's crucial to make sure you drink enough. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating more than necessary. You can try using a water bottle with a timeline tracker to remind you to drink water regularly throughout the day.
4. Get Enough Protein in Your Diet
Now is a great time to focus on getting enough lean protein in your diet. Older adults may need more protein, according to Susan Bowerman, a nutrition expert. Try to have about 30 grams of protein with each meal, and even more if you tend to crave carb-heavy foods.
As people get older, their eating habits may change. They may start eating more carbohydrates or fats instead of lean protein. However, getting enough protein is important because it helps build and repair muscles. It also keeps you feeling fuller compared to carbs and fats, which can help you avoid unhealthy snacks.
5. Be Patient
As we get older, we tend to become less active. This can make it difficult to stay at a healthy weight or build strong muscles. However, even if it takes longer than expected to see progress, it's still worth the effort if you're following a healthy diet and lifestyle. Instead of getting frustrated, focus on the healthy habits you're adopting to reach your goals. If you stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine, you will eventually see the results you desire.
6. Stretch Often
7. Think Positive
If you think that gaining weight is just a part of getting older or that everyone your age is overweight, it's time to change your thoughts, says Cooper. Don't let your mindset stop you from losing weight. Find a group of people who want to stay fit and surround yourself with their support. You could join a walking group, take a fitness class together, or invite friends to join you for water aerobics at the local pool. Cooper says that often our psychological barriers hold us back from reaching our weight loss goals.
Another suggestion is to focus on how your body feels rather than how it looks. When you eat well, exercise, and stretch, you'll feel more energized, and your heart, bones, and brain will benefit. Your weight is just one part of your overall health, and it's better to focus on your progress rather than how your clothes fit.
8. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Many of us don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. Only about 10% of Americans eat the recommended amount each day. Data shows that Canadian adults aged 35-69 who eat more produce tend to have less body fat.
9. Prioritize Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for weight management. Research suggests that insufficient sleep can lead to consuming more calories, which can result in weight gain. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that adults who had better sleep habits experienced greater weight loss. To improve your sleep, try reducing screen time before bed, keeping your bedroom dark and cool, and going to bed at a reasonable time. These practices can help you get the quality sleep your body requires.
10. Try an All-inclusive Weight-loss Program
If you're looking for a weight loss program that offers quick results, NuStart's NS10 program might be just what you need. With their simple-to-use 10-day program, they promise to help you shed up to 10 pounds in a relatively short period of time. Their approach combines a carefully designed protein, nutrient, and supplement regimen with simple exercise ensuring that you stay on track throughout the program. Nustarts NS10 is known for its commitment to helping individuals achieve their weight loss goals efficiently and safely. So, if you're ready to embark on a focused journey towards shedding those extra pounds, Nustarts NS10 could be the program to kickstart your weight loss journey.