What I Learned About Dieting After 60 Years Old
I recently mentioned in my blog that I’m helping Peter to drop a few pandemic pounds, and I did a bit of research about dieting after 60 years old to make sure I was helping and not harming. I did well with my own weight loss for seniors strategy and am proudly keeping the pounds off. However, I’m not foolish enough to assume that something that worked for me will work identically or just as safely for Peter.
Dieting After 60 Has Different Goals
Peter is just a bit older than I am (I like to remind him of that!), and while weight loss is important at my age, it’s also important at his. That is, it’s important when you’re overweight, not when you’re in a perfectly healthy range.
Still, things can get tricky when we’re not the puppies we used to be. We are active, but not 20-year-old active. Since the ultimate goal (regardless of the way it is achieved) is to burn more calories than are consumed, we wanted to make sure that, like me, Peter was eating properly and exercising properly, but doing so in a way that would gradually reduce the weight around his middle.
Peter and I sometimes eat our breakfasts together, but usually we do our own thing in the mornings. We don’t eat lunch together, but we nearly always have dinner together. So, in terms of influence over what he eats, dinner is the main meal. The rest of the time, I can only try to keep him from frying everything for breakfast or slipping out to the drive-thru for a burger for lunch. To be honest, he’s good about it more often than not. However, his belly does reveal that he’s not quite as good about it as he could be.
Peter has started joining me on some of my walks. He’s also going to play golf – or at least to the driving range when he doesn’t have time for a full round – more frequently than he used to. He’s started swimming and cycling again, which I hope he’ll keep up.
Tips for Dieting After 60
Beyond the usual lifestyle changes that we’ve been taking on, I’ve learned some additional tips for dieting after 60 that I’ve been sharing with him to help support him in reaching his goal. Here’s what I’ve found:
- Focus on strength – Frailty prevention was a recent blog topic of mine and it’s a vital focus of losing weight and dieting over 60. It’s not just about burning fats but also about building and preserving muscle and building and preserving balance and strength.
- Keep up muscle – Remember that when your body loses weight, it’s not just fat. It’s indiscriminate. It’ll also burn muscle. Focus on preserving that muscle or things will only get worse.
- Hydrate – Peter is notorious for drinking coffee in the morning, then nothing until wine with dinner. I swear I tell him to drink water so much that I need to drink more water from what I’ve lost just saying it!
- Don’t fast – Intermittent fasting may be a popular trend among younger people, but it’s not for dieting over 60. Instead, eat regularly to avoid plummeting blood sugar levels.