Carrying extra weight puts seniors at risk for various diseases and complications, including joint pain, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Making simple lifestyle changes can help your aging loved one maintain a healthy weight.
1. Cut Out Sugary Drinks
Many seniors enjoy drinking sodas at the movies or with dinner without realizing the amount of sugar these beverages contain. One 20-ounce bottle of soda has the same amount of sugar as six donuts. Drinks sweetened with sugar, such as soda, iced tea, and sports drinks, can cause weight gain that leads to type 2 diabetes. A 2010 study found people who drink sugary drinks every day are 26 percent more likely to develop diabetes. Water flavored with fruit is a great substitute for sweetened drinks.
2. Exercise Throughout the Day
Your loved one may not have the energy or time to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Research shows exercising in 10-minute increments is just as helpful. Exercise strengthens and tones muscles and burns extra calories. Encourage your loved one to try walking, swimming, or dancing throughout the day to keep his or her metabolism going strong.A professional care worker can be a great source of support for a senior who wants to maintain a healthy weight. At-home care agenciescan be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
3. Increase Fiber Intake
Most seniors don’t get enough fiber in their diets each day. Fiber increases satiety, which means your loved one will feel fuller after eating and won’t reach for snacks. Fiber also helps the body maintain healthy blood glucose levels. When blood sugar levels spike, the pancreas releases insulin, which signals the body to hold on to fat. Decreasing blood sugar levels can help your loved one lose weight.
4. Add Strength Training to the Exercise Routine
Building muscle is one of the only ways to increase the base metabolic rate. Weight lifting can help your loved one build muscle. As a bonus, seniors with more muscle mass are less likely to break bones in falls.
5. Eat More Protein
Eating protein can help your loved one maintain steady blood sugar levels and decrease his or her hunger. Eating protein at breakfast may be especially helpful. A 2015 study published in Nutrition Journal found study participants who ate high-protein breakfasts reduced their caloric intake throughout the day by an average of 135 calories. Beans, eggs, meat, and cottage cheese are all great sources of protein.If you usually help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals but need a break now and then, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Des Moines, IA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
6. Drink Water Before Eating
The human body’s thirst signal is so weak it’s often mistaken for hunger. If your loved one complains of feeling hungry throughout the day, encourage him or her to drink a glass of water first. Your loved one may feel satisfied afterward and decrease his or her snacking. Dehydration also has been found to slow metabolism. A 2016 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition found increased hydration resulted in a faster metabolism. Professional caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for seniors who need to maintain a healthy weight. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Des Moines, Iowa, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (515) 264-2438 today.