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How can I prevent weight gain as I get older?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
You might not like my answer because it requires focus and work! You have to watch what you eat and exercise regularly. There is no way around it!Limit the servings and kind of carbs, make sure the carbs are whole grain, and exercise at least 4-5 times per week. That is the secret.
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics

If you really want to prevent weight gain as you get older, stay active. Keep burning calories. Yoga is an excellent form of physical activity that burns muscle mass and promotes flexibility. Even walking one mile a day will help maintain blood pressure.

Karen Ansel
Nutrition & Dietetics

Weight gain as you get older isn't inevitable. In fact, with a game plan it's entirely preventable. The main reason we gain weight as we age is because we lose lean muscle mass (up to 8% per decade after age 40). Because muscle burns considerably more calories than fat our metabolisms start to slow. But there are steps you can take to counteract this. The first is weight training. Weight training is the most effective way to preserve existing muscle. The second is by eating enough protein. Protein provides amino acids which are the building blocks our bodies need to synthesize muscle, so making sure you get some at every meal is key. Top sources include 1% or skim milk, low fat yogurt, eggs, fish, skinless chicken or turkey, beans, tofu and very lean cuts of meat. By spacing small servings of these throughout the day you'll ensure that you're giving your body the building blocks it needs to preserve lean muscle mass and keep your metabolism from taking a nose dive.

Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics

As we age, our metabolism will start to slow down therefore potentially causing weight gain. The first way to combat this is to pay attention to the portion sizes that you consume. Remember for meats and protein that one serving size is about 3 oz which is the equivalent of a deck of cards. A serving of cooked pasta is ½ cup which is about the size of a small light bulb. Over eating your portions is one of quickest and easiest ways to gain the weight. Another way to prevent weight gain is to increase your exercise throughout the day. Walking, swimming and biking are easy and funs ways to get the exercise in. Look throughout your community to see what exercise groups are available specifically targeted to the senior citizen age group. This is a great way to have fun, meet new people and prevent weight gain.

Dee Sandquist
Nutrition & Dietetics

It's a challenge to prevent weight gain as you grow older. Gradually reduce portion sizes and add exercise. You can start by adding 10 minutes a day of exercise if time is a problem. Then add another 10 minutes and another until to reach 30 minutes a day of physical activity. Try strength training to help prevent muscle loss that starts to happen after age 40. Take a look at what you are eating and make one change at a time to get your plate to follow the "my plate" method. www.myplate.gov

 

Smart eating and an active lifestyle help you prevent weight gain and stay healthy as you age. Learning to make healthy food choices and watching your portion sizes are important steps in achieving and keeping a healthy weight. A registered dietitian can help you get -- and stay -- on the path to nutritional health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.