7 Tips for Achieving a Healthy Weight

If you are struggling to maintain or achieve a healthy weight, know that you are not alone. In 2020, an estimated 29 percent of U.S. adults aged 65 or older were obese. To reach your healthy weight goals, it’s important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. A healthy lifestyle will also help you obtain better health and wellness. Keep reading to discover our top tips for achieving a healthy weight.

Tips to Achieve a Healthy Weight

1. Discuss Your Options with Your Doctor

As you age, there are various factors that affect your weight, such as your age, gender, genetics, lifestyle habits, sleep, and where you live. It’s recommended that you discuss your options with your primary doctor. Your doctor can offer some safe suggestions based on your age, health conditions, and any medications you are currently taking. By getting a recommendation from your doctor, you will be more likely to achieve a healthy weight in a safe manner.

2. Eat Healthy

One of the best tips to help you achieve better health is to eat healthier foods. When you eat the same types and amounts of food, but do not increase your physical activity, this can lead to weight gain. This is due to your metabolism (how your body obtains energy from the food you eat), which slows down as you get older. If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. For those that need to gain weight, you should burn less calories than you eat or drink. 

As for what to eat, it’s a good idea to eat nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. When possible, limit the amount of food you eat that is high in sodium, sugar, and calories. Like any diet, it’s helpful to have a cheat day to enjoy those special treats that aren’t on the healthy list.

3. Be Mindful of Food Portions

Aside from what you eat, it’s also important to be mindful of how much you eat. If you eat smaller portions throughout the day, this can help you avoid overeating and gaining too much weight. To limit portion sizes, it’s recommended that people 50 or older follow the Healthy U.S. Style Eating Pattern, in which they choose foods from the following list each day:

  • Dairy – 3 cups (fat-free or low-fat)
  • Fruits – 1 ½ to 2 cups
  • Grains – 5 to 8 ounces
  • Oils – 5 to 7 teaspoons
  • Protein foods – 5 to 6 ½ ounces
  • Vegetables – 2 to 3 cups

4. Drink Enough Water

When you drink enough water for your age and size, this helps your body function at optimal levels, reduces cravings in between meals, improves digestion, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. The Obesity Society indicates that drinking enough water every day can also decrease your waistline and help reduce your body fat percentage. Furthermore, drinking more water can prevent you from becoming dehydrated, a health issue that can cause muscle fatigue and pain, as well as heat exhaustion.

5. Keep Track of What You Eat

Like any goal, it’s helpful to keep track of your progress. By keeping track of what you eat and drink, you can see how many calories you are consuming every day. You can use this information to determine any changes you can make to achieve your health goals. For example, if you are trying to shed some pounds, you need to burn more calories than you consume. 

6. Exercise Daily

If your doctor has given you the approval for physical activity, this is an excellent way to maintain a healthy weight, achieve long-term health and wellness, stay independent, perform activities of daily living (ADLs), and prevent falls. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, which can be broken up into smaller amounts over the course of the week. Even if you can only do light exercise a couple times a week, it’s still better than no exercise. 

As always, it’s best to talk with your doctor about increasing or changing your current exercise routines. Depending on your health conditions and current medications, you may need to avoid certain activities that can cause more harm than good. If you have any of these health concerns, ask your doctor which exercises would be safe for you.

  • Blood clots
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Hernia 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Joint swelling
  • Recent hip or back surgery
  • Shortness of breath

Your doctor will also offer some safety tips or specific exercise suggestions that would help you achieve your goals. Remember that you don’t need an expensive gym membership or at-home equipment to get active. There are plenty of options to try, so it’s most important that you find something you enjoy and is safe for you.

Exercise Ideas:

  • Bicycling
  • Cleaning your house
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Walking

7. Get Enough Sleep

The Sleep Foundation indicates that between 40 to 70 percent of older adults may have chronic sleep issues, which can affect your ability to perform daily activities and live the highest quality of life. Since getting enough sleep is crucial for achieving better health, recharging your body, and reducing the risk of overeating, it’s important to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. For those that struggle to fall or stay asleep, consider adopting a bedtime routine to help you sleep. This can involve activities that you find relaxing, such as meditating, praying, stretching, or yoga. 

As you can see, there are numerous ways to achieve a healthier weight. These tips also have additional benefits for your health, such as more energy, better overall health, improved strength and balance, all of which can help you maintain your independence. At Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services, we offer a wide range of expert services designed to help you achieve your unique health goals. Our compassionate staff and therapists are equipped to help you regain your function and independence, improve your health, and better manage your health conditions.