Losing weight can be difficult at any age, but it’s especially challenging for seniors. Slowing metabolism combined with aches and pains that can make it harder to exercise frequently contribute to unwanted weight gain.
We all know that being overweight can be risky for our health, but what can you do if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to shed those extra pounds? Many people find themselves contemplating fad diets, wondering if they offer the solution to their dietary woes.
What Is a Fad Diet?
According to one definition, a fad diet is “a stylish weight-loss plan that promises dramatic results.” These promised dramatic results make these diets so appealing. They may be promoted by celebrities, other clients, or so-called experts, and they may advertise their particular method using dramatic before and after photos. Fad diets may promote anything from avoiding certain foods, to eating certain combinations of foods, to sticking to a strict regimen for a period of time.
However, fad diets usually don’t result in long term weight loss. And, rather than put you on the path to better health, some of them could even put your health at risk.
5 Things Seniors Need to Know About Fad Diets
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering any plan for weight loss.
1. Balanced Nutrition is Important
Many fad diets limit your food choices or even eliminate entire food groups. This can make it much more difficult to take in all of the nutrients your body needs every day to stay healthy. Even if you take a multivitamin, you may still be missing some important nutrients.
A healthy weight loss plan for seniors will likely include a variety of foods, including lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. It will also focus on eating healthy fats and while limiting sugar intake. And it will not skimp on healthy sources of protein since this is especially important for seniors.
2. Slower Weight Loss is Usually Better
Fad diets frequently promise rapid results. While this is understandably appealing, it isn’t necessarily a safe way to lose weight. Losing one or two pounds a week might test your patience, but it’s generally much healthier. If you lose weight too quickly, you’ll lose more than just fat. Some of your weight loss could be just water weight, but you could also be sacrificing lean muscle and bone. You’ll also be much more likely to regain the weight you’ve lost.
3. A Healthy Diet is Long Term
Some fad diets require you to follow a certain regimen for a short period of time, possibly only a week or a month. While you may initially lose a few pounds, they generally creep back on once you return to your “normal” eating habits.
Successful weight loss and weight management require you to find a long term plan that you can stick to. If a diet’s demands are too complicated or restrictive, it may not be a practical choice. It’s much better to choose a weight loss plan that you know you can adopt as a permanent part of your lifestyle.
4. Don’t Leave Exercise Out of the Picture
A diet plan that promises that you’ll lose weight and keep it off without exercise is probably too good to be true. Exercise plays a vital role in weight management at any age, and it offers other health benefits too. You don’t have to run a marathon to experience the benefits of exercise. Taking a walk a few days a week or signing up for a low impact senior exercise class may help you shed a few pounds and will probably leave you feeling better too.
5. Talk to Your Doctor
Before you begin any weight loss program, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your doctor. He or she may be able to offer practical suggestions to help you on your way and also steer you away from anything that could be harmful to your health.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or formula for easy weight loss. Whatever plan you choose, make sure that it’s good for your long term health. Even if it takes some time, once you start seeing results you’ll be glad you made a healthy choice!
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC
If you or a loved one are in need of help living a safe, active and independent lifestyle, call the Davis Community today at 910-686-7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington, NC. We offer a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Davis Community is pleased to offer customized concierge home care services, including meal preparation and nutritional guidance, to independent seniors living in Landfall, Cambridge Village, Wrightsville Beach and Porter’s Neck, NC. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!