Now that you’re in the senior life stage, you may notice that your weight is different than when you were younger. Maybe you have a harder time keeping the weight off, or perhaps you’re losing weight. It’s natural to wonder what kind of weight loss or gain is normal for seniors. The answer is that the experience can differ depending on the person.
We at Village Green wanted to give a more thorough understanding of what’s healthy for seniors. We have put together some helpful information about what you can do during this life stage, whether your goal is to lose weight or gain weight. We help all our residents at Village Green retirement community in Federal Way, WA with these goals every day. We have senior exercise activities, varied menus to fit different needs, and expert staff who can help monitor your weight and health
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Which Is Normal: Weight Loss or Weight Gain for Seniors?
There isn’t one common experience for people who reach their 60s and over. Some seniors are underweight, while others are overweight. This can vary because of many factors, such as your unique physiology, genetics, your habits throughout your lifetime, your current lifestyle, your age, and others.
For example, you may have been like many adults and slowly added on a few pounds each year throughout your lifetime. Now, you find that you are overweight in your senior years. But it’s also common for many people to have unintentional and unexplained weight loss as they get older. Part of weight loss comes from the natural decline of muscle and bone density that's associated with aging, or like many seniors, it’s easy to lose one’s appetite with aging.
You could consult a weight chart for seniors or a health professional to see whether you are at a healthy weight. It’s good to check with your doctor if you have an unexplained or sudden weight loss. Sometimes this happens due to a health condition, and it’s always good to double-check and ensure that is not the case.
How to Change Your Weight
Since experiences vary, you’ll want to tailor lifestyle changes to fit your goals. Our staff at Village Green or your own health professionals can help guide you if needed. Here are some healthy living tips for seniors to suit different situations:
- Weight Bearing Exercises for Seniors: You can make up for some of the muscle mass you lose through strength-training exercises. One type is weight-bearing exercises, which means that you use the resistance of your body weight to strengthen your muscles. Squats and lunges are examples of weight-bearing exercises, and you can learn more through yoga or strength classes.
- Track Nutrition: Once you know your goal, tracking your nutrition can help you consume more or fewer calories. Use a nutrition tracker, such as an app, to note what you eat, and the nutrition associated with each meal.
- Best Exercise for Seniors to Lose Weight: Strength-training and aerobic exercises help with the goal of losing weight. They burn calories you consume, while adding strength also continues to burn calories even when you’re not exercising. Adapt exercises to your interests and abilities. You may like senior exercises like aerobics classes, swimming, walking and strength classes.
- Losing the Belly Weight Loss for Seniors: To reduce belly fat, eat more fiber and protein, increase aerobic exercise, cut down on refined carbs and sugar, and reduce your stress. In fact, this is a great practice overall, whether you need or want to lose Belly weight.
- Healthy Eating for Seniors: Aim to eat a balanced diet with numerous food groups and strive to obtain a balance of healthy fat (like seafood and olive oil), protein (like lean meat and nuts) and complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and beans). Also, follow recommendations specific to any health condition you may have. For example, your doctor may want you to cut back on salt. Strive for more healthy calories if you need to gain weight or fewer calories if you aim to lose weight.
- Improving Appetite: If you have lost your appetite, there are many different tactics you could try. For example, try a nutritional drink, pre-prepared meals, eating with another person, eating many snacks or small meals throughout the day, be sure to find and eat foods you enjoy and/or follow a meal schedule that you know you can easily stick to. Here are some tips: if you’re the loved one of a senior who is eating less.
Get Support Through a Retirement Community
If you move into Village Green retirement community, our expert team can support you with your weight loss or gain goals. Whether you live in our senior apartments, independent living housing, or assisted living housing, we provide many ways to stay healthy.
We offer activities to keep you active, including ping pong and a walking group. We have a variety of exercise classes, including dance cardio, balance and strength, chair yoga, and sittercise. You can also exercise on your own on our walking trails and in our fitness center. Our many options help you adapt to the type of exercise you need, whether your goal is to gain muscle mass or to lose weight.
If you’re losing interest in meals, you might be tempted by our lunch and dinner outings to local restaurants. Also, our chef and trained dining staff create a range of menu options and can meet special dietary needs. This means we can help you eat healthy, nutritious meals while providing options to help you gain or lose weight. Perks of dining on-site are that you gain delicious meals without cooking or food shopping, and you get to socialize while you eat. These perks may increase your interest in eating.
Overall, it’s our goal at Village Green to help our residents age gracefully. We provide an array of fitness and nutrition amenities to help you meet your weight goals, in addition to our trained staff who can track your weight and guide your journey. Contact us to learn more or ask about availability at our Federal Way retirement community.