10 Tips to Control Weight After Age 55

Over the years, the pounds accumulate and the silhouette changes. At the expense of self-image! You think it's impossible to fight against this weight gain? HealthHarverster proves the opposite is possible in 10 tips, drawn from the experience of nutritionists.

Why do pounds accumulate with age?

As with every age of life, everything is a question of balance! We gain weight as soon as the calorie intake exceeds the needs of the body. The older we get, the lower our needs. If the diet remains the same, the calories once burned by the body, are stored as fat.

Needs are decreasing

The minimum energy requirement for the body to perform its vital functions is called "basic metabolism". These calories spent by the body at rest are correlated to muscle mass. If muscle mass decreases, the basal metabolic rate decreases. That's what happens when you get older. Muscles lose half of their weight between 20 and 80 years old.

And then, life is strewn with pitfalls when one wants to keep slim. Menopause and pregnancy are two life stages where weight gain is more important. Likewise, the professional activity evolves over time. The opportunities to go out are not so many and it is easier to ride in a car than on the saddle of a bike…

1. Escape severe diets

Do you think that a drastic diet is the best solution to keep slim? You are wrong!

The equation is simple: muscle mass decreases as much as fat during a diet. For every kilo lost, the basic metabolism is reduced. Understands that putting one's body on a radical diet is counterproductive. At the end of the diet, the calories will return to normal… but not the basic metabolism. The extra calories will be stored as fat.

Beyond this "yoyo effect", a diet carries risks to health from a certain age. Muscle is a significant reserve of proteins, which provide amino acids to the entire body. Muscle wasting is accompanied by a decline in protein synthesis of the immune system. The body's defenses are weakened.

Finally, you may suffer from deficits in certain nutrients. You can not cover your vitamin and mineral needs by consuming less than 1500 kcal/day, regardless of your age.

2. Keep your good habits

There is no reason to change the composition of your plates! A balanced diet can control weight, and weight loss if you want.

  • Vegetables and fruits: 5 or preferrably more per day. With their low calorie content and diversity, eat them at all meals. In addition, the fibers promote satiation by lowering the rate of ghrelin by up to 25%, a hormone that stimulates appetite.
  • Starchy foods (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, pulses): at each meal and according to the appetite. It is considered that the global carbohydrate ration should represent 50% of the energy intake.
  • Meat, fish, eggs and substitutes: 1 to 2 times a day. Choose grilled or roasted meats, fish in foil or steam.

There is no question of following the rhythm of regular meals. Eating three meals a day means ensuring a good distribution of food intake. Especially when you know that maintaining a healthy weight starts at breakfast.

3. Bet on proteins

Protein requirements increase by about 20% with age. In addition, studies have shown that people on a higher protein diet (from 25% to 30% of calories) lose more easily weight and especially fat.

Nutritionists advise animal proteins (meat, fish and eggs) which should represent at least 60% of the total protein intake. What is the advantage of these proteins? Their amino acid composition is slightly better balanced than that of vegetable proteins. Proteins preserve muscle mass and strength and provide essential amino acids.

What if you are a vegetarian?

To have enough protein, choose dishes combining various sources of vegetable protein: pulses and cereals (soup or mashed peas and broken bread, semolina and chickpeas…), cereals and oleaginous fruits (bread with nuts , almonds, hazelnuts…).

4. Prefer whole grains

How to keep a healthy weight or lose weight when you are always hungry? One solution is to choose foods with the same number of calories… but that satiate longer. This is the case for whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta, barley, high fiber and low sugar cereals, millet, whole wheat couscous, bulgur and others. These foods contain slow carbohydrates, fiber and water, as well as a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

The hunger pangs are less frequent than with their refined equivalents, rice and white pasta in mind. These cause a rise in blood sugar levels faster than their whole-grain version. Under the effect of insulin, hypoglycaemia occurs earlier and increases appetite.

5. Limit certain foods

It is better to put some foods in the closet.

  • Fats, but without removing them. Choose vegetable fats (rapeseed oil, olive oil, walnut oil, etc.), which provide essential nutrients for the good functioning of the body;
  • Products containing hidden fats: pastries, pastries, ready meals, sweet or savory biscuits, sausages, salted peanuts, over-rich sauces and frying products;
  • Alcohol consumption. Very rich in calories, alcohol has relative nutritional interest!

Peckish? Try an apple instead of a biscuit!

6. See a doctor regularly

Consult a doctor before starting a change in your eating habits! Your doctor is best placed to monitor your weight and advise you. It can also detect diseases that promote weight gain.

A dysfunction of the thyroid gland, hypothyroidism, is relatively common after 50 years. It is accompanied by weight gain, loss of energy and irritability. Women are mainly affected by this disease, which affects the quality of life. Namely that this condition can not be cured but is very well controlled with thyroid hormones of substitution.

7. Move every day

Why do we grow with age? Because the muscle mass is decreasing. From there, we understand the importance of physical activity to maintain its weight of form. There are no secrets: you have to move!

At least 30 minutes of daily physical activity, whatever it is, make it possible to optimize the effects of a possible regime. And to guard against diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In addition, sport is a source of longevity.

8. Sleep is golden

Sleeping well helps to limit weight gain. This is confirmed by several recent studies. One of them concludes that the little sleepers who lengthen their nights sleep at 7 or 8 hours would have everything to gain. According to the lead author of this study "the difference is 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) of body fat in 6 years, just by changing sleep patterns."

Sleep affects the production of certain hormones (especially cortisol) that intervene in the sensations of satiety and hunger. It is scientifically proven: who sleeps, dines!

9. Drink green tea

Green tea is a well-known "fat burning". Its advantages ? Its caffeine and catechin content increase the level of norepinephrine in the blood. However, this molecule has the effect of increasing the energy expenditure and the degradation of fats.

Although studies in rats have shown an "anti-obesity" effect of green tea, those in humans are more nuanced. A meta-analysis conducted on 11 studies, highlighted the role of green tea catechins on weight loss or maintenance, especially during moderate physical activity.

However, do not exceed 3 to 4 cups of green tea per day.

10. Adopt the "infant attitude"

Listening before going to the table is one of the keys to not getting fat. Hélène Baribeau, nutritionist, explains "when we come into the world, eating is a purely physiological need. But with age, the pleasure of eating, the greed, the schedules, the stress take over the proper time to eat and the required amount of food that the body needs. I eat because it's time and not because I'm hungry. "

To manage your weight, you have to relearn how to listen to your body's signals. Experiment with the feeling of hunger and satiety. Only our body really knows how much food it needs.

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