As we get older, excessive weight becomes a significant health concern. This is because it can lead to a wide variety of ailments. Thus, your doctor will advise you to slim down as much as possible. One of the most effective ways to do that is through diet. Home health care provider Amavi guides you through the best diets for seniors to help you lose those excess pounds.
Understanding The Health Risks Of Excessive Weight
Before we dive into these diets, we need to fully understand the risks that being overweight can bring to older people. Here are some of the biggest ones that you should be concerned about.
The most significant health concern arising from being overweight is various heart diseases. Because of the body’s greater weight, the heart needs to work harder to pump blood around it. That can lead to it wearing down faster and becoming more susceptible to failure.
Being overweight also increases high blood pressure. That is again due to the heart having to work more. That increased pressure can weaken the walls of your blood vessels, increasing the risk of stroke, aneurysm, and other related conditions. These are some of the leading causes of death among older people.
Another health condition caused by being overweight is type-2 diabetes. The link is mainly due to too much consumption of foods high in sugar, which are also often high in fat. Diabetes is linked to other illnesses like heart problems, kidney diseases, and eye damage.
Fatty Liver Diseases
This condition happens when there is a buildup of fat in the liver. The liver is capable of processing it. However, if you eat a lot, it gets overwhelming. The resulting condition can result in significant liver damage or even failure.
Sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing can become irregular while sleeping. In some cases, it might even stop altogether. If left untreated, the ailment can lead to various other medical conditions
As you age, your bones become weaker and more brittle. And with the more weight you have, you are putting a lot of strain on your bones. And joints. This significantly increases the damage and may also increase the risk of fractures.
Being overweight can increase an older person’s risk for certain cancers. These include liver, thyroid, and pancreatic cancer. It is likely due to the metabolic imbalances brought about by consuming too much food.
How Much Weight Should Seniors Lose?
When going on a weight loss program, you should know how many pounds you should shed. Too little and you still are not out of the woods. Meanwhile, losing too much weight can have unwanted consequences.
Generally, doctors recommend you lose at least 10% of your current body weight to lessen the above risks. However, that figure might change depending on your specific health circumstances. As such, you should undergo a full checkup so that your doctor can determine how much weight you should lose. They will also help you choose the best diets to follow.
The Best Weight Loss Diets For Senior Citizens
As it is, there is a wide selection of diets that seniors can turn to. However, each diet has its own rules and restrictions. Because of that, they may be more applicable to specific conditions. Seniors must be keenly aware of these to choose the right type of diet.
The Mediterranean Diet
Many nutritionists consider this diet plan one of the most effective for weight control. As the name implies, the diet is based on the types of food people in countries like Italy and Greece consume. As such, it is rich in items like fish, whole grains, nuts, lentils, and olive oil.
On the other hand, the diet requires you to eat the following foods in moderation.
- Dairy products
- Refined grains
- Trans fats
- Processed meats
- Excessive sugar
As you can see, there is a great emphasis on avoiding processed foods as much as possible. It is also highly plant-based. Studies have shown that this type of diet can aid in weight loss. It could also potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers.
The DASH Diet
The Dietary Approach To Stop Hypertension is specifically designed to address the condition. It requires a person to take in a specific serving of recommended food groups. These are the typical daily servings.
- Five servings of vegetables
- Five servings of fruits
- Seven servings of healthy carbs like whole wheat grains
- Two servings of low-fat dairy products
- Two servings of lean meats
Note that these are just the averages. Depending on your condition, you might want to adjust the servings. Studies indicate that the DASH diet can help you lose weight in just 8-24 weeks. It can also help reduce fat percentage and absolute fat mass, vital for better weight management.
However, do note that DASH is a low-sodium diet. Too little sodium can also harm your body. As such, this diet is more suited for people who are required to control their salt intake.
While a strictly plant-based diet is considered the best type of weight loss diet, not everyone are suited for it. As such, it would be a good idea to get a more variable option. That is where flexitarian diets come in.
Unlike traditional vegetarian and vegan diets, flexitarian ones don’t have strict requirements regarding calorie intake. Instead, it follows only several guidelines.
- Consuming proteins only from plants
- Eating mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains
- Limiting sugar intake
- Choosing the least processed foods
As you can see, this follows all the tenets of a plant-based diet. However, you have greater freedom on how to follow it. That makes it well-suited for people who might have special needs.
Formerly known as Weight Watchers, the WW diet is one of the most popular weight reduction programs. It is also one of the most flexible since there are no restrictions on the food groups you can eat.
It works by assigning different points to the various food groups. These points depend on the calorie, fat, and fiber content. You then choose which food groups to eat to satisfy the daily points assigned to you. This does require you to be more diligent in monitoring your intake to ensure that you are within your allowed points.
Getting Help From The Best Home Health Care Provider
One challenge seniors might often face when doing these diets is following them correctly. Here, you can count on the help of Amavi. When you sign up for our home health care service, we can provide a complete diet support team.
That team consists of nutritionists who will determine the best diet plans for your condition. They can also assist you in creating meal plans that would be both fulfilling and well within the requirements of your chosen program. Meanwhile, our caregivers can assist you in preparing these meals.
Amavi is always ready to help you with every health concern, even when it comes to weight loss. So, sign up with us today and get ready to shed those unwanted pounds and stay fit.