Many say that life starts when we’re 60. This is because, during this age, we are considered emotionally and physically mature beings. It is also a time when we get to do the things we haven’t gotten the chance to when we're still burdened with responsibilities. However, what’s gotten hard during this age is losing weight.
Older adults normally lose muscle mass and experience a decreased metabolic rate. This is why it's challenging to lose weight. Fortunately, it’s still possible to maintain a lean, healthy body even after 60. That’s why in this article, I will be sharing some crucial info about losing weight in your 60s as well as some helpful tips and workouts for achieving your weight goals.
Why Losing Weight After 60 is Important
Being overweight and having excess fat after 60 is not something we should take for granted. In fact, seniors who are obese may be at risk of different chronic diseases like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Bone fractures
- Mobility issues
- Weakened immune system
Additionally, older adults tend to have difficulties losing weight. This is because age significantly affects how our metabolism works. That’s why engaging in workouts is an important practice to maintain lean muscle and ideal weight.
Finding the Ideal Weight for You
Before planning a workout routine, it’s crucial to know your ideal weight first. Adults and children usually consult weight charts in determining what weight best suits them, however, it might not be a reliable tool for older adults especially those who are suffering from muscle loss.
Is BMI A Reliable Basis?
Checking your BMI is one of the most common ways to determine the ideal weight for adults. Though this is an effective method, it might not be 100% reliable.
BMI measures the appropriate weight in proportion to your height and age. The problem with this is that since muscle is denser than body fat, some people with higher muscle mass may fall under obese or overweight compared to people with less muscle mass. Thus, a better way to know your ideal weight is by talking to your doctor.
Body Composition In Seniors
Doctors recommend focusing more on one’s body composition rather than BMI or weight charts. Body composition refers to the ratio of fat and muscle as well as where they are located in your body. People usually have stored fats in the upper abdomen or belly.
Knowing your body composition is the best way to determine what exercises are best for losing excess fats. Talk to your doctor about how to assess your body composition and plan the best workout routine for you.
Other Factors To Consider
Determining your ideal weight also depends on several factors such as:
- Existing health conditions - Adults over 60 with chronic diseases such as diabetes may have a different ideal weight compared to others in the same age group.
- Gender - Female seniors’ ideal weight is usually lower than those of male seniors.
- Hormonal shifts - As people age, the flow and function of hormones may also change especially in female seniors who are in the post-menopausal stage. In this case, there will most likely be changes in one’s body composition as well.
Tips To Consider
Once you know what ideal weight you should aim for, the next step is to follow the tips listed below.
Focus More on Losing Fat
The best way to aim for a healthy weight is to focus more on losing excess fat and gaining more muscle mass. To do this, you can do weight lifting exercises, cycling, squats, situps, pushups, or squats. This will help maintain thicker and stronger muscle mass. Not only that but by making your bones get used to lifting weights, you’ll achieve stronger bones as well.
Drink Plenty of Water
This is one of the most crucial tips to keep in mind. Older adults are more at risk of dehydration due to fewer stored fluids. Additionally, seniors’ thirst indicator, or hypothalamus, weakens as they age, making them prone to dehydration. That’s why it’s important to drink water before, during, and after workout sessions.
Engage In Strength Training Exercises
We lose muscle as we age. And to address this issue, going for strength training exercises is the best way to maintain and even gain more muscle mass.
You can establish a workout routine that includes lots of strength exercises like cycling, weight lifting, planks, and pushups. For people who are already suffering from joint and bone problems, you can do less rigorous exercises like squats, crunches, lunges, and resistance band exercises.
Additionally, using cluster sets, doing low-cardio workouts, and bike sprints are also good options for muscle growth. For beginners, it would be ideal to hire a gym coach to guide you in aiming for your ideal weight and body composition.
Include More Protein In Your Diet
Experts say that senior citizens need more protein in their diet considering that muscle loss is prevalent at this age. Ideally, 30 grams of protein in each meal will do the trick.
You’ll be able to get better results from your workouts since protein is proven to promote healthy, thick, and lean muscle mass. Also, Susan Bowerman, a registered dietitian stated that protein helps you avoid further consumption of carbs and fatty foods since protein helps you feel fuller and more satisfied.
Stretch Your Body
Including stretching exercises in your routine helps keep your flexibility at its peak even with old age. One of the benefits of being flexible is that you are less likely to get injured or fractured. Stretching exercises also promote healthy bones and muscles, lowering your risk of joint and bone problems.
Aside from stretching exercises, you can also join yoga sessions. Not only will it improve your flexibility, but it also helps you relax and meditate.
There is no quick fix to being overweight. This means that losing weight may take quite some time before you finally see the results. Some people may feel that they are not losing weight after several weeks of diet and workout.
The key to breaking this mindset is to learn to be patient. It’s also better to focus on the healthy routines you have been doing since day 1 rather than focusing on your frustration in losing weight as this may even make it worse. If you practice patience, you’ll eventually see the results you’re looking for at the right time.
Improve Your Metabolism
Metabolism usually slows down as we age, and this contributes to weight gain and excess fat. The good thing is that you can outsmart your metabolism by eating more smaller meals and not waiting longer than 3 hours without eating.
Additionally, dietitian experts say that you may also need to lower your calorie intake as you age.
Establish A Positive Mindset
One way of keeping yourself on track with your diet and workout is establishing a positive mindset.
Most seniors would say that being overweight and losing muscle mass is a natural part of aging. Being inculcated with this kind of mindset will discourage you from achieving your ideal weight. To address this, you may want to establish a support system that includes people going on the same journey as you or people who are keen on keeping up with fitness goals.
Losing weight after 60 is as important as maintaining your weight when you were in your 20s. Though losing weight at this age might be quite challenging, it's actually beneficial to your overall health as a senior.
Achieving your ideal weight will not only promote physical health, but also reduces your risk of various chronic diseases including bone and joint problems, heart diseases, muscle loss, and diabetes. So long as you stick to your healthy workout routine and diet, you will achieve a fitter, healthier you. I hope this article helped you get a better grasp on losing weight after 60.