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Senior Health

Here you will find informative articles on the topic of senior nutrition. Topics covered range from senior nutrition and weight loss to the relationship between BMI and quality of life for the elderly.

Weight Loss Tips for Women 50 and Up

Staying healthy and eating a balanced diet can do wonders on keeping the mind and body feeling young. Although it may be trickier to shrink in size, women’s weight loss after 50 can still be achieved with a few simple tips and advice.


With rising age, comes the declining ability to lose weight, right? Wrong. There is never a bad time to embrace a total lifestyle change and tackle weight loss.

The Rise of Age and Weight Gain

The weight gained more than likely was accumulated over a span of time. Before you realized it, pants felt a little snugger. Quite frankly, it occurs in a vast majority of older adults. Metabolism can start to slow down as age advances. Metabolism encompasses all chemical reactions that take place in the body to sustain life. Cells and vital organ systems rely on energy, from calories, to keep them fueled and going.

A metabolism determines how fast and effectively the body is able to obtain that energy. The speed and rate of metabolisms are dependent on numerous factors – age, gender, muscle mass, and health conditions. A slower metabolism can ultimate lead to weight gain if excess calories are consumed and not needed for body reactions. Instead, extra calories are stored in the body and can eventually accumulate as fat.

When it comes to age, advancing years typically leads to a slowed down metabolism. In fact, individuals' metabolisms can start to naturally decrease as young as mid-twenties. Increased muscle mass also increases metabolism, as muscle burns more calories than fat can. Unfortunately, muscle mass can start to reduce following age. Add on menopause and hormonal imbalances, and muscle mass can be compromised even further.

The loss of estrogen plays a large role in weight gain during menopause. Lower estrogen levels can increase food intake and lessen physical activity and metabolism rate, a triple threat to weight gain. Additionally, low estrogen has been linked to reduced efficiency in the body's utilization of starches. Altered effectiveness in starch use can increase fat storage.

Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 50

Eat Fiber

Research has shown those who consume adequate fiber weigh less. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber. Additionally, beans and legumes provide ample amounts of both fiber and protein. Consuming plant-based foods can naturally keep calories in check.

Increase Protein

Advancing age results in an increased need for protein in the absence of certain health conditions. Have fun with proteins, too. Swapping out a traditional chicken breast with plant-based proteins can keep flavors evolving. Although "foodies" tend to be in the younger generations, trying out new foods does not have to disintegrate with age. For instance, give tofu and hummus a try!

Stay Hydrated

Although water technically lacks healthy nutrients and calories, water consumption aids in weight loss and weight management. Thirst mechanisms may be reduced with age. To ensure adequate hydration, keep large water bottles in convenient locations. Try to avoid sugary sodas that offer nothing more than lots of unnecessary calories. Consuming a glass of milk can contribute to fluid intake as well as calcium for bone health.


Paired with diet, exercise can accelerate weight loss related to increased calorie burning. The risk of heart disease also increases with age. Walking, light jogging, biking, water aerobics, and even gardening are activities that can reduce the possibility of a heart attack and stroke.

Weight Train

Like mentioned previously, muscle can increase metabolism. Although age tends to weaken muscle, including strength training into an exercise regimen can maintain and build muscle and reduce the opportunity for its reduction. Weight bearing activities can also help to preserve bone stability.

Control Emotions

Hormonal imbalances may egg on aggressive emotions, especially during menopause. Furthermore, seniors are more apt to stay at home and become inactive. A lack of socialization and impeding isolation can result in depression and anxiety and such feelings can result in emotional eating. To minimize bouts of binge and unhealthy eating, look to other outlets. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while, read a favorite book, or go on a walk to help reduce those moods and avoid eating a significant amount of calories.

In contrast to intentional weight loss and weight maintenance, the senior population is susceptible to malnutrition related to a declining appetite, difficulties chewing and swallowing, inaccessibility to foods, and social isolation. Although aging is inevitable, eating a healthy diet and staying active can keep the mind and body feeling young.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on April 24, 2016. Updated on May 18, 2016.


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