Four things you need to know
By Katherine Tweed
Maintaining a healthy weight is a worthwhile goal at any age. And as you get older, it can get trickier. You may no longer burn calories the way you did when you were younger, but you can still take off those extra pounds.
The golden rules of weight loss still apply:
•Burn more calories than you eat or drink.
•Eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, and low-fat or fat-free
dairy and keep meat and poultry lean.
•Limit empty calories, like sugars and foods that offer little or no nutritional value. •Avoid fad diets because the results don’t last.
Try these tips if you’re over 60 and want to lose weight.
1. Stay strong
With age, you lose muscle mass. Offset that by doing strength training. You can use weight machines at a gym, lighter weights you hold in your hands, or your own bodyweight for resistance (yoga or Pilates, for instance). Keeping your muscle mass is key to burning more calories, says Joanna Li, RD, a nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York.
2. Eat more protein
Because you’re at risk of losing muscle mass, make sure your diet includes about one gram of protein to every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.“Protein also keeps you full for longer, so that helps with weight loss efforts,” Joanna says. She recommends wild salmon, whole eggs, organic whey protein powder and grass-fed beef.
Drink plenty of water, because sometimes thirst masks itself as hunger. As you get older, you may not be as quick to notice when you’re thirsty, Joanna says. She recommends getting 64 ounces (two litres) of water a day.You can drink it or get part of it from foods that are naturally rich in water, such as cucumbers and tomatoes. If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough water, check your urine — it should be pale yellow.
4. Outsmart your metabolism
Eat more small meals and snacks, and don’t go much longer than three hours without eating. “Because your metabolism is already slow, if you’re starving yourself, it just gets slower,” Joanna says.
You may need fewer calories than you did when you were younger. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian about your calorie intake.“If you’re eating the same way you did when you were 25, you’re definitely going to be gaining,” Joanna says. ■
Antioxidants and Aging
Eat foods rich in antioxidants to help fight free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules that contribute to the aging process. Antioxidants can be found in colourful vegetables and fruits like berries, beets and tomatoes. For a balanced diet and to help reduce your risk of developing cancer and heart disease, add at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet each day.