Maintaining a Healthy Weight | National Institute on Aging


Many components can have an effect on your weight, together with your genes, age, gender, life-style, household habits, tradition, sleep, and even the place you reside and work. A few of these components could make it exhausting to take care of or obtain a wholesome weight. Regardless, following a nutritious consuming sample and exercising recurrently will help maintain your physique as wholesome as attainable as you age. Learn on to be taught why weight could change as you become old, why it’s necessary to purpose for a wholesome weight, and what you are able to do to assist meet your objectives.

Why does weight change as we age?

As we age, metabolism — how the physique will get vitality from meals — can change. Because of this some older adults should develop into extra lively or eat fewer energy to take care of or obtain their preferrred weight.

Different older adults could shed some pounds unintentionally. This will occur when you’ve got much less of an urge for food, problem leaving the home to purchase meals, ache when chewing or swallowing, or overlook to eat.

Why ought to older adults keep a wholesome weight?

Conserving your weight within the regular vary is a crucial a part of wholesome ageing. As in different phases of life, elevated physique mass index (BMI) in older adults can improve the chance of creating well being issues. These embrace coronary heart illness, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes. Reducing weight or sustaining a wholesome weight will help lower these dangers.

Being underweight additionally will increase your likelihood of creating well being issues. In case you have a low BMI, chances are you’ll be extra more likely to develop medical issues comparable to osteoporosis and anemia, and it might be tougher to recuperate from an sickness or an infection.

How are meals, train, and energy linked?

Being lively and selecting wholesome meals will help you keep or obtain a wholesome weight, really feel extra energetic, and reduce your probabilities of having different well being issues. It’s necessary to decide on meals wealthy in vitamins and purpose for not less than 150 minutes of bodily exercise per week.

The vitality your physique will get from the meals and drinks you devour is measured in energy. Your physique wants a sure variety of energy every day, relying in your exercise degree and different components, to take care of your present weight. Go to MyPlate Plan to find out what number of energy a day you want based mostly in your age, intercourse, top, weight, and bodily exercise degree.

To shed some pounds, train extra or eat fewer energy than is advisable. To achieve weight, improve the variety of energy you eat whereas sustaining a average exercise degree.

Learn extra about making sensible meals decisions and discover suggestions of how a lot to eat, organized by exercise degree.

What ought to I eat to lose or acquire weight?

Learn and share this infographic to find out about making more healthy meals decisions as you age.

Whether or not you are attempting to lose or acquire weight, maintaining a healthy diet meals issues. Attempt to comply with a wholesome consuming sample wealthy in greens, fruits, complete grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins. In the event you’re involved about your weight and wish to change it, there are issues you are able to do. Discuss with a well being care skilled about how you can make modifications in a wholesome means that’s best for you.

Making an attempt to shed some pounds?

  • Restrict portion dimension to manage calorie consumption.
  • Be as bodily lively as you may be.
  • Swap out your common meals for more healthy options.
  • Keep hydrated with water and keep away from drinks with added sugar.
  • Set particular, lifelike objectives, comparable to three 15-minute walks per week.
  • If there’s a break in your wholesome consuming or train, attempt to get again on monitor as rapidly as attainable.
  • Maintain monitor of what you eat in a meals diary.

Making an attempt to achieve weight?

  • Eat extra meals with wholesome fat, comparable to avocados and peanut butter.
  • In the event you get full rapidly, eat frequent, smaller meals all through the day.
  • Add nutrient-dense snacks comparable to nuts, cheese, and dried fruit to your menu.
  • Dine with family and friends to make the expertise extra fulfilling.
  • Keep lively to spice up your urge for food.

How a lot bodily exercise do I would like?

Diet and exercise infographic icon
Learn and Share this infographic and assist unfold the phrase about nutritious diet and train.

Train and bodily exercise are good for almost everybody together with older adults. Purpose for not less than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise — working exhausting sufficient to boost your coronary heart price and break a sweat — every week. You don’t have to perform this all of sudden, reasonably, you possibly can break up your exercise over the course of seven days. In the event you can’t meet the objective straight away, attempt to be as bodily lively as you possibly can. Doing one thing is best than doing nothing in any respect.

For adults at each weight, ageing is related to muscle loss, which makes sure actions troublesome. Being lively will help older adults keep muscle mass and make it simpler to conduct every day actions, take part in outings, drive, sustain with grandchildren, keep away from falls, and keep as unbiased as attainable.

You don’t have to spend some huge cash becoming a member of a gymnasium or hiring a private coach to get match. Take into consideration the sorts of bodily actions that you just get pleasure from, for instance, strolling, operating, bicycling, gardening, swimming, and dancing. Even on a regular basis chores comparable to vacuuming can present bodily exercise. When you’re getting began with train, attempt to keep motivated to maneuver your physique recurrently. Then improve the size of time you train or add one other enjoyable exercise. Discuss along with your physician earlier than beginning a brand new or extra vigorous train program.

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This content material is supplied by the NIH Nationwide Institute on Getting older (NIA). NIA scientists and different consultants assessment this content material to make sure it’s correct and updated.


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