Lots of people think gaining weight as you age is just inevitable. You can't avoid it. But that's actually untrue. The changes associated with aging might make it easier to gain weight, but you can make your own changes to fight back.
The main change that makes weight gain easier is a gradually slowing metabolism. A 65 year old won't burn as many calories as a 20 year old. In fact, the difference is most pronounced for sedentary people. The difference is much less when you're active. So the most useful method for avoiding creeping weight gain is to stay very active. Include physical activity everyday: brisk walking, swimming, bicycling, jogging, dance and other activities all count. Local gyms and recreation centers are a great resource for classes and exercise equipment to help your efforts.
Another way to avoid weight gain is to eat slightly less, while sticking to a healthy high fiber diet. Many people find their appetites decrease as they age, so you might eat less without really thinking about it. Just don't let a decreased appetite lead to a less nutritious diet. High protein foods can be especially important now, to maintain muscle mass. If you are less interested in cooking and eating meat, be sure to include yoghurt, cheese, milk, eggs or tofu at your meals. High protein meal shakes or smoothies are another good option.
The best diet for older people is the same for everyone: plenty of plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, with healthy fats from vegetable oils like olive oil and modest servings of meat or dairy foods.
More Answers from Donna Feldman