14 Weight-Loss Tips for Seniors

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HEALTHY HABITS FOR LIFE

Habits change as we get older, and so do the little things we need to do on a daily basis to stay healthy. Maintaining a healthy weight greatly reduces the risk of serious illnesses like diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer, which makes it more important than ever to stay fit as we get older. By incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into the daily routine, maintaining an optimal weight as a senior is a reachable goal.

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TAKE A DAILY WALK

Taking a walk everyday is good for the body and the mind and is an easy way to improve your life for free. Walking outside is a quiet time for the mind to relax and unwind, while giving your body low impact exercise. Walking just a mile every day keeps your muscles and joints engaged so that they maintain and improve their strength.

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GET ACTIVE WITH A NEW HOBBY

Take up a physical hobby like dancing, yoga, or water aerobics instead of — or in addition to — something sedentary like bingo or bridge. Keeping up the physical activity will help you keep the mobility you have and may even increase flexibility and range of movement. And you may even make some new friends.

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PARTICIPATE IN MEATLESS MONDAY

Meat is a concentrated form of calories that can pack on the pounds if not eaten in the right portions. Choosing one or more days a week to go vegetarian can help lower the caloric load of the day, giving your body a chance to burn off excess fat. When going vegetarian, don't just substitute with cheese, which is equally rich in fat. Instead, opt for meals with low-calorie veggies like mushrooms or soy-based tofu.

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DRINK A LOT OF WATER

Drinking water should be obvious, but many people of all ages drink less than they should and are dehydrated on a regular basis. Older people are at an especially high risk of being hospitalized due to dehydration. Carrying a water bottle wherever you go and knowing how many full bottles you should drink per day is a good way to start paying attention to your water intake. Many foods will help you hydrate, too.

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EAT PLENTY OF OATMEAL

Eating oatmeal for breakfast is heart healthy, filling, and satisfying. In addition to lowering and maintaining healthy cholesterol, oatmeal is packed full of fiber, which keeps your bathroom schedule regular and promotes weight loss. Mix up the flavors by adding different fruits, nuts and spices for variety.

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EAT MORE FRUIT AS A SNACK

Fruits are a delicious source of natural sugars, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Keeping fruit on hand as a go to snack and dessert is a healthy and low calorie way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Be sure to ask your doctor about which fruits may interact with any medication.

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HAVE A SALAD EVERY DAY

Eating a daily salad ensures that you get at least a few servings of vegetables in your diet. There are so many variations on salads that use both cooked and raw vegetables that it's easy to have a different salad every day of the week. Be careful when adding dressing since they are often full of salt and calories from fat.

senior couple walking dog
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GET A DOG TO KEEP MOVING

Dogs are not only a source of loving companionship, they are also the key to getting daily exercise. Dogs need to be walked at least a few times a day, and also love to play outside. Just by taking good care of your dog, you will be more active, which can help trim off those extra pounds.

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STRETCH DAILY

A few minutes of stretching during the day can help keep muscles long and lean. Building muscle mass is good for cardiovascular health and also helps the body burn excess fat. Start with a simple routine and gradually build to it to keep a consistent level of challenge to your daily stretches. And be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

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STEER CLEAR OF ALCOHOL

Alcohol is full of empty calories that cause weight gain. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy an occasional drink or a small glass of wine with dinner, it just means that keeping alcohol intake low will help avoid going overboard on empty calories.

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PLAN YOUR MEALS AHEAD OF TIME

Planning meals in advance ensures that meals are portioned correctly and include a balanced nutritional load. If you wait until you are hungry to figure out what to eat you are more likely to give in to temptation or opt for comfort food that may not be healthy.

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TAKE A FIBER SUPPLEMENT

Fiber keeps things moving in our digestive tracts, which helps eliminate unused and harmful substances. Keeping a healthy flow of digestion promotes weight loss while reducing inflammation. Getting fiber from plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet is best, but adding a gentle fiber supplement can also increase weight loss.

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GROW A GARDEN

Having a garden is a relaxing and fun hobby that provides low impact exercise, and also promotes savings on fresh flowers and produce. If you include herbs and vegetables you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of your own labor, which will become a healthy part of your routine.

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DITCH THE SODA (AND JUICE)

Soda, juice and other sweet beverages are full of sugar, which are empty calories. Eliminating these culprits from your diet can be a one step process to losing a few pounds. In addition to weight loss, cutting out refined sugar as much as possible is a healthy choice for people of all ages.

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