All of us want to be growing older in good shape, keep physically and mentally active, and above all, be healthy in our lifetime. What do women frequently ask about being healthy? They, at a certain age, wonder, frequently aloud, a significant question: What is The Best Weight Loss Program for Women Over 60?
For women to look glamorous, they have to be physically well no matter their age. As time goes by, they have to make important adjustments to continue feeling and being even better.
Engaging ideas about weight loss
For overweight and obese patients, interesting options arise when dealing with how to manage their weight loss and maintain it under the best health conditions. A bunch of alternatives is offered, and these choices may include dietary therapy, surgery, pharmacotherapy, behavior therapy techniques, physical activity schemes, and so on.
All alternatives related to managing weight loss and maintaining it, work much better for women when their strategies have been prescribed and supervised for highly qualified professionals of their own choice and confidence. Nevertheless, there is enough, simple information available concerning this health issue and women can utilize it as a risk-free reference in their daily life.
For older adults (aged of 60 and on) obesity is associated with medical complications such as arthritis, pulmonary abnormalities, cataracts, metabolic abnormalities, urinary incontinence, cancer, sleep apnea, decreased physical function and of the quality of life (1).
Some risks arise or emerge during the process of weight loss: loss of fat mass and loss of fat-free mass. In older adults, the amount around one-quarter of all weight loss is fat-free mass, known as sarcopenia. In a natural way, adults lose fat-free mass as they get older. In that sense, it is better to focus on wellness to have better results and not only in weight loss (1).
The benefits of weight loss are the counterpart of the above mentioned. Certain aspects could be cited such as improved insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk factors, blood pressure and lipid profile improved, fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin, reduction in body weight and a decreased need for antihypertensive medications, improved physical function in daily living and quality of life (1, 2).
A recent, six-month study dealing with a group of overweight and obese women of about 69.3 years old ( ± 4.1 years) showed that a hypocaloric diet and a multicomponent exercise (resistance, cardiorespiratory, balance, and flexibility training) produced a significant reduction in the body weight, absolute fat mass, relative adiposity, muscle quality and an improvement in lower-extremity physical function (3).
Weight loss, diet, and physical training
Another study carried out with overweight and obese, older women except that for the rest they were healthy demonstrated that a high-protein diet and the involvement in a resistance-exercise program produce more loss of weight; the loss of a percentage of body fat, fat mass, and waist circumference is greater, when compared with women on a diet of high carbohydrates (4).
Moreover, the weight loss in this group was achieved without a substantial decrease in resting energy expenditure and fat-free mass. These women improved their fitness, health and functional capacities as strength and endurance of upper and low extremities (4).
It is important to highlight that until now there is no significant difference between women and men related to weight loss. Even though men compared to women tend to lose more weight with meal replacements, low-fat diets, and exercise programs and men have different preferences for diverse types of weight management programmes (5).
A crucial component of a plan of overweight in order to overcome weight loss and keep people healthy has to include meaningful ways of boosting through physical activities. The main key to managing successfully the overweight and obesity, in the long run, is by developing and maintaining a well-designed exercise programme.
The characteristics of each individual related to their actual medical conditions, physical limitations, preferences, and level of previous activity determine the type of physical activity, frequency, intensity, and length.
It could be suitable to set an appointment with an appropriate health professional, to have a specific evaluation every case. Nonetheless, keep in mind that physical activity has proven benefits even in the absence of weight loss.
It has been suggested that people with a sedentary lifestyle begin their physical activity in a slow manner so 30 minutes of daily exercise can be reached after some weeks of build-up. It could be swimming or walking depending on their physical conditions.
Long-term outcomes can be achieved with strength training or resistance exercise merged with aerobic activity instead of only aerobics. The reason is that strength training favors the reduction of loss of lean body mass, increases loss of body fat, builds muscle, and attenuates the reduction in resting metabolic rate produced by weight loss.
It is important to stress last studies showing that programs of exercise alone do not produce significant weight loss and, reduction of caloric intake alone is not enough either. (For a review see 6).
An essential aspect of enjoying good health is to count on the support of adequate nutrition. You already know that a poor diet and lack of appropriate physical activities produce an energy imbalance. People consume more energy than they expend. From that point of view, it is necessary to highly consider for each individual and their own characteristics, the importance of consuming a balanced diet, a variety of nutrients, foods and different patterns of eating.
Consuming foods high in nutrients is essential enough compared with the calories they have. Among these feeding nutrients, the following could be mentioned: low-fat or fat-free milk, whole grains, lean meats, seafood, fish, cereals, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
For older adults, it is important to keep in mind that how necessary is to watch over the consumption of vitamin B12, potassium, trans fat (you have to avoid), vitamin D and calcium to stay healthy.
Below you have a list of fruits, vegetables, and legumes:
Sources of vitamin A (carotenoids)
- Bright orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.
- Tomatoes and tomato products, red sweet pepper.
- Leafy greens such as spinach, collards, turnip greens, kale, beet and mustard greens, green leaf lettuce, and romaine.
- Orange fruits like mango, cantaloupe, apricots, and red or pink grapefruit.
Sources of vitamin C
- Citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, strawberries, guava, papaya, and cantaloupe.
- Broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage (especially Chinese cabbage), brussels sprouts, and potatoes.
- Leafy greens such as romaine, turnip greens, and spinach.
Sources of folate
- Cooked dry beans and peas.
- Oranges and orange juice.
- Deep green leaves like spinach and mustard greens.
Sources of potassium
- Baked white or sweet potatoes, cooked greens (such as spinach), winter (orange) squash.
- Bananas, plantains, many dried fruits, oranges and orange juice, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons.
- Cooked dry beans.
- Soybeans (green and mature).
- Tomato products (sauce, paste, puree).
- Beet greens.
Your feeding containing fiber and other nutrients is very beneficial; e.g. whole grains. The whole grains are composed of entire grain seeds generally called the kernel. You can see my post about The Mayo Clinic Diet.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Out of your reflections on this reading, each one of them and their actions surely will help you choose foods and strategies suitable for your healthy eating. It can be regarded as a framework of references where you can see the kind of foods that are better when wisely dealing with handling your weight process and above all your health (For a review see 7).
You can implement other strategies in the eating environment to tenaciously leverage how to manage or be in charge of your healthy weight as:
1. Prepare meals at home and carry bag lunches.
2. Learn to estimate or measure portion sizes in restaurants.
3. Learn to recognize the fat content of menu items and dishes on buffet tables.
4. Eliminate smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
5. Substitute low-calorie for high-calorie foods.
6. Modify the route to work to avoid a favorite food shop. ( See 6 for a review).
To remind you
All suggestions previously described conveying a distinctive message: the best or most appropriate program for weight loss for women over 60 comprises a hypocaloric diet, proteins, low in carbohydrates, rich in fruits and vegetables, including moderate consumptions of good fat, and exercising routines as a lifestyle. Keep always an eye on your daily environment to avoid or minimize temptations, stay hydrated and get enough sleep.
Don’t forget to consult your physician, nutritionist, and exercise coach. Each of them will help you provide with an adequate diet and a suitable program of a tailor-made physical training.
For these reasons for achieving your goals on weight loss and remaining healthy, it´s up to you to undertake a strong commitment to yourself, because … surely you can wisely do it.
I will appreciate your comments related to the information I have shared with you.
- Lydia E. Gill, Stephen J. Bartels, MD, and John A. Batsis. Weight Management in Older Adults. 2015. Curr Obes Rep. September 4(3): 379–388. doi:10.1007/s13679-015-0161-z.
- Michael D. Jensen, Donna H. Ryan, Caroline M. Apovian, Jamy D. Ard, Anthony G. Comuzzie, Karen A. Donato, Frank B. Hu, Van S. Hubbard, John M. Jakicic, Robert F. Kushner, Catherine M. Loria, Barbara E. Millen, Cathy A. Nonas, F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, June Stevens, Victor J. Stevens, Thomas A. Wadden, Bruce M. Wolfe and Susan Z. Yanovski. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Volume 63, Issue 25 Part B, July 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.11.004
- Straight CR1, Berg AC2, Reed RA3, Johnson MA4, Evans EM5. Reduced body weight or increased muscle quality: Which is more important for improving physical function following exercise and weight loss in overweight and obese older women? 2018. Exp Gerontol.108:159-165. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.04.011
- Melyn Galbreath, Bill Campbell, Paul La Bounty, Jennifer Bunn, Jacqueline Dove, Travis Harvey, Geoffrey Hudson, Jean L. Gutierrez, Kyle Levers, Elfego Galvan, Andrew Jagim, Lori Greenwood, Matthew B. Cooke, Mike Greenwood, Chris Rasmussen, and Richard B. Kreider. Effects of Adherence to a Higher Protein Diet on Weight Loss, Markers of Health, and Functional Capacity in Older Women Participating in a Resistance-Based. Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 1070. doi.org/10.3390/nu10081070
- Robertson C, Avenell A, Boachie C, Stewart F, Archibald D, Douglas F, Hoddinott P, van Teijlingen E, Boyers D. Should weight loss and maintenance programmes be designed differently for men? A systematic review of long-term randomized controlled trials presenting data for men and women: The ROMEO project. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Jan-Feb;10(1):70-84. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2015.04.005
- Subcommittee on Military Weight Management, Committee on Military Nutrition Research. Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs. 2004. ISBN: 0-309-52681-7. 276 pages.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2005.
What is The Best Weight Loss Program for Women Over 60? Relevant recommendations for feeling and looking great!
The best or most appropriate program for weight loss for women over 60 comprises a hypocaloric diet, proteins, low in carbohydrates, rich in fruits and vegetables, including moderate consumptions of good fat, water, and exercising.
Aura T. Chavez Zobel
Aura T. Chavez Zobel