Obesity is a common side effect of aging. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to move around and stay active, and much easier to spend our days lounging and snacking. This is especially true for seniors with mobility problems, for which movement is a real struggle.
Luckily, though, there are some very simple ways that you and your loved one’s senior care aide can help your aging loved one to get back in shape.
Here are just a few of them:
Go for a walk – If your aging loved one is able to walk around a bit, try going for a walk with them every day. It doesn’t have to be a long or strenuous walk: just a simple walk around the block can be enough to get their blood flowing and keep their metabolism boosted, so they can burn more calories from the food they eat.
Drink water – Drinking water instead of sugary drinks like soda or sweetened fruit juice can be a great way to lose weight. You would be surprised how much fat and how many calories are in these drinks, so cutting them out of your diet can make a huge difference. Water is naturally free of anything unhealthy, and the more your loved one drinks, the better!
Fiber – It is a little-known fact that many sugary or fatty foods are actually designed to make the body crave more sugary and fatty foods. When you eat them, instead of feeling full, you feel as if you want to eat even more! That is why filling up on fiber instead of junk is such a great idea. You will feel much fuller and more satisfied by eating fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables than you ever will be eating junk food.
Watch your portion size – When we prepare a plate either for ourselves or a loved one, our first instinct is to start filling the plate with meat first, then adding the vegetables and other things as a side dish. It is healthier, though, to start with the vegetables. Fill half of the plate with the vegetables you prepared, and split the other half between lean meat (or other protein) and a non-fatty starch.
If you or your senior care aide prepare healthy meals in this way, you will see that your loved one will begin to lose weight quickly. Remember, though, that exercise is another important component of weight loss, but be sure to ask a doctor before you start your loved one on any strenuous exercise regimen.
One other way to help your loved one lose weight is to join them in their diet and exercise plans. It wouldn’t hurt you to eat better as well, and it might be fun to spend time walking or exercising with them. Having a diet and exercise buddy can help your loved one feel more motivated and less alone, which can be key to losing weight and keeping it off.