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Dieting for Seniors

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Old 12-10-2013, 04:34 AM   #1
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Default Dieting for Seniors

Hello, everyone. First, I know I'm posting on the Dieting with Obstacles Topic. So if I'm on the wrong topic page, please let me know and I'd gladly move it.

I just wanted to ask. They say it's relatively easier to lose weight when you're younger. So where does that leave our seniors? If you're 60 years old and up, do you think dieting still works? What's a good diet plan for them considering their dietary needs are different from younger people? And exercising is limited too.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:54 AM   #2
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I am a senior too. I know I only now lose weight when I diet and exercise. I must do both. See if your insurance covers the silver sneakers program it is great. You can even do it on a chair. Also walk a little bit each day with a cane.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:43 AM   #3
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Hi savtoosh'

I'm a 68 y/o female with rheumatoid arthritis who's maintained a significant weight loss for almost 5 years. It can be done. With very limited mobility, it took longer, but with the help of God, I've been able to be persistant & do this. I do have to count calories & keep carbs fairly low (this helps with appetite control). Good Luck!
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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I'm 72. I do low carb with great results. Seniors require fewer calories so exercise is imperative if you want to have more to eat. It's also necessary for flexibility and balance which we lose as we get older. Since I've been doing low carb I have more energy
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by classykaren View Post
I am a senior too. I know I only now lose weight when I diet and exercise. I must do both. See if your insurance covers the silver sneakers program it is great. You can even do it on a chair. Also walk a little bit each day with a cane.
Thanks for replying, classykaren. I'm not quite a senior yet, myself, but I find this interesting. What sort of diet are you doing on top of the exercise?
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
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Hi savtoosh'

I'm a 68 y/o female with rheumatoid arthritis who's maintained a significant weight loss for almost 5 years. It can be done. With very limited mobility, it took longer, but with the help of God, I've been able to be persistant & do this. I do have to count calories & keep carbs fairly low (this helps with appetite control). Good Luck!
Hi, joyful retiree!

One of the things that turns me off most diets is counting calories. I just can't bring myself to figure out how many calories there are in every single thing I eat. Don't you think that's quite tedious?

And congratulations on the weight loss! I know how hard it can be to move with arthritis.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:53 PM   #7
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I'm 72. I do low carb with great results. Seniors require fewer calories so exercise is imperative if you want to have more to eat. It's also necessary for flexibility and balance which we lose as we get older. Since I've been doing low carb I have more energy
Hey, QuilterInVA. Thanks for replying.

I agree about exercise and flexibility. What exercise are you doing?
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
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I'm 65 years old, live alone and working a full time job..In 2007 I had back surgery so gradually the weight has piled on.. all 250 lbs 5'4". Ridging a stationary bike is not hard for me to do, but I do not want to excercise alone. I'm just depressed..Ive stop looking in mirror's I'm hoping 2014 is my year to turn myself around.
Thank you for sharing your stories with me.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterInVA View Post
I'm 72. I do low carb with great results. Seniors require fewer calories so exercise is imperative if you want to have more to eat. It's also necessary for flexibility and balance which we lose as we get older. Since I've been doing low carb I have more energy

This is so true. I am 66, and really trying to up the exercise. I am still working so my time is limited. I lost 60 pounds after age 50 when I discovered I shouldn't have been eating wheat all my life. The next 20 pounds is really hard to get off.

But since I cut out wheat I have more energy than when I was 20. I had been very sluggish all my life up until then.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:02 PM   #10
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I am not quite 60 yet...but it isn't far away.

I got to lifetime at Weight Watchers in my 30s, but regained.

There is no doubt that I burn fewer calories now. As you age you naturally lose muscle mass and you don't burn as many calories.

What is working for me now is watch my eating closely and to work on increasing activity. For me, using a Fitbit has been a great motivator. I mostly do walking and use a rower. When I want to get in some extra steps, but don't want to do anything too complex, I will do a Leslie Sansone video.

I also have dumbbells to do some strength training since I want to get back some of the muscle mass I've been losing the last 10 years or so.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:59 AM   #11
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A diet should include all the recommended intakes for vitamins, minerals, and protein (shown as Daily Value, or DV, on food labels).
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:02 AM   #12
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I like this thread and hope it continues. I am 68. I was thin and healthy until my 40's when I started to gain and my diet and exercise went by the wayside. My biggest mistake! If I could get one thing across to the younger people I would tell them to exercise and eat healthy to maintain a healthy weight, because I now have several health problems caused by being overweight and unfit. I wish I could go back and do it all over.

I think the best food plan is one that you will continue for a lifetime. It should include lots of fruits and vegetables. These contain the nutrients we need. They are low in calories and fat. Lean protein is important, too. Exercise is important not just for losing weight but for being healthy. It increases your mobility, indurance, lung function, lowers blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.

I talk the talk, but have problems walking the walk. Bad habits become ingrained and are hard to break. We are fortunate that food in plentiful, but we need to eat the healthy ones and also keep portions small.

I suggest walking if you are starting out with exercise. You don't have to run a race, just do what you can. Add a little more distance each day. The old story of "use the stairs" and "park farther away from the stores" still hold true. Just make you life more active. If you are unable to walk, you can do sitting exercises. I think there's a program on TV that has seated exercises. Someone mentioned Silver Sneakers, that your Medicare pays for. Some senior centers have exercise programs. The more you start moving the more you will be able to do, eventually. If you use a walker or a cane, you might be able to give them up someday as you get stronger.

Don't give up!
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:18 AM   #13
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Hi folks!

I'm in my fifties and I've had weight issues my whole life -- fattest kid by far in elementary school, lost weight on my own prior to HS, been in a yoyo pattern since then.

It has gotten harder as I've gotten older, and I guess it will continue to get harder. I tried to resolve to keep the weight off each time, but that never worked. I ended up sort of accepting that life would be a series of diets followed by periods of weight gain (during which time I was eating the kind of healthy food that most people (including me) eat to lose weight, just not counting cals or carbs).

The problem was that as things got more difficult during the diet phase, I had a harder time working up the mojo to go back into diet mode, even after passing my supposed "red line." It was just so darn miserable tracking all my food and planning each (pathetically small) meal.

For those of you who are facing weight issues for the first time, small changes in your lifestyle may make all the difference.

For those of us who have lifetimes of weight issues, we need to seek out new strategies. If nothing else, trying something new helps with the mind game. I'm trying a new approach that does not involve calorie counting, and I'm losing weight slowly but I'm optimistic that I will be able to keep up this lifestyle in maintenance (assuming I get that far with it).

If that turns out not to be the case, at least I've lost some weight, and I got the benefit of feeling optimistic, lol.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:55 PM   #14
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I finally reached my goal weight at age 60. I did a low carb method (Ideal Protein). It took about 7 months to lose 77 lbs. That was about the same rate as my female co-workers. I din't exercise at all though I have a fairly active job. Now that I'm in maintenance, I'm learning how important exercise is to keep the pounds from creeping back.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:27 PM   #15
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Im quite a way off being a senior but i live with my father and have watched him these last 2-3 years lose weight and get fitter.

He has become really interested in weights. But he has built his own gym and i think he gets much more benefit out of building his gym equipment and concreting the new floor and putting iron on the roof than he does from doing leg lifts and things of that kind. But he loves it so that's all good. I just hope he stops extending soon because we might run out of room. I mean i think he gets more activity and burns more calories from all this work.

I think activity that is intellectually interesting in some way is much more beneficial than formal exercise which can become boring. Hence the brilliance of gardening for older people. Bushwalking in a group is also popular with older people. Being active is the key, not formal exercise and that's true for all of us. Although formal exercise is good if you can keep it up.

Food wise, he had a bowel operation some years back and since then he's eaten a lot more vegetables. He makes big meals with a lot of vegies and usually meat. he often has two desserts of an evening and snacks before dinner on cheese and biscuits and stuff like that.

I think he is currently in a gaining weight phase though he says he's not. He had another operation not long ago and lost a lot of weight so i think he may be rebounding from that still. But he still looks better than he used to.

So what i mean about the weights is that in recent years he's lost a lot of muscle mass notably in his arms and legs and doesn't seem to be able to build it up again. It could be his meds? I think we saw on a show not long ago that lipitor inhibits muscle growth and he's been taking lipitor for a while now. He might have stopped after seeing the show. He doesn't really need it anymore. He used to have high cholesterol but i think its been fine for a long time.

For breakfast he usually eats oats with stewed fruit and milk. He loves his stewed plums, and apples and things like that.

He is a tall, broad shouldered guy who when young was very strong and muscly and i still can't get over how skinny his legs have become. Why can't i have skinny legs like him. Do i have to wait until i'm in my late 70s when it no longer matters?
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