Weight loss in later life can be difficult due to various reasons from ageing muscles and different hormones to physical strain and lifestyle changes—so how can we best tackle these issues and stay fit as we get older?
Attending annual health checks is important; during these sessions your doctor can monitor your weight, scan for any problems and conditions and make suggestions on your weight management—these will largely revolve around a healthy, balanced diet, regular trips to the gym, and suitable exercise programmes. The key is making small but concerted changes that you can commit to for life.
Let’s talk about food
So-called ‘quick fix’ diets can be harmful to our health and put our bodies through a great deal of stress. Managing your weight and losing it the healthy way can only be done through swearing by a balanced regime and putting time aside for physical exercise. The journey to achieving a healthy weight can start by simply swapping out a high-calorie food with something healthier—like opting to eat fruit over pastry for breakfast. Getting your five-a-day is hugely recommended for managing your weight, as it is an integral part of every balanced and nutritious diet. On the whole, watching your calorie intake—and eating better nutritionally—while being more active will go a long way in losing excess weight and keeping it off for good.
According to NHS Choices, adults aged between 19 and 64 should get at least 150 minutes of physical exercise each week. This can include cycling, fast walking and any activity that increases your heart rate. If you’re just starting out, you should take it slow and gradually build up your level of exercise until you’re able to complete the recommended 150 minutes. Putting time aside for physical activity can significantly lower your risk of developing a series of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer and stroke.
See also: Best Exercises to Lose Weight
Don’t overdo it
Although managing your weight and maintaining your health can do wonders for our long-term wellbeing, putting our bodies through the strain caused by extreme dieting and exercise will never pay off in the long run. According to NHS Choices, the safe rate of weight loss sits between one and two pounds—about half to one kilo—a week. Setting a realistic and achievable target will put you on the right track. If you’re unsure about what weight range is right for you, there are useful tools online such as the NHS weight calculator that can help you work it out. Similarly, you can download the 12-week weight loss guide from the NHS Choices website.
See also: Guide to Weight Loss
Stick to eating a low-calorie diet: a low-fat and high-protein diet can help maintain weight loss as protein-rich meals tend to make you feel full—cancelling out the need to snack between meals.
Habits: plan your meals ahead and stick to your healthier habits no matter if you go out to dinner or go on holiday.
Goals: setting goals can motivate you to keep up the good work.
Keep it interesting: if you feel like you may be about to spiral back into your old ways, make a change. Buy a new healthy cookbook, try a new activity or book a place on a cooking class.
Watch the scales: Managing your weight should be simple if you keep an eye on the scales and on any sudden changes.
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