If you are 60 years old and you want to lose weight, you have to adopt some new strategies. Your metabolism has slowed down, your body's ratio of fat to muscle has changed and you may be fighting a lifetime of poor eating habits. However, some basic tweaks to your diet and exercise regimen can promote quick weight loss and help you develop approaches to cooking, eating and exercising that will keep the weight off.
A 60-year-old woman requires fewer daily calories than younger women. If you are of average height and sedentary, meaning you only do light daily activity, you need 1,600 daily calories to maintain a healthy weight. If you do about one hour of moderate daily exercise in addition to normal activities, you can consume 1,800 calories per day. If you exercise vigorously or for extensive periods every day, you can consume between 2,000 and 2,200 calories a day. Subtract 500 calories per day from these totals and you can lose up to 5 lbs. in one month.
Not just any diet serves your nutritional needs. Select a balanced diet that features ample or unlimited servings of fresh fruit, leafy greens and other vegetables. Get your calcium from healthy food sources such as nonfat dairy products and broccoli. Choose plant-based foods for meals and snacks, including legumes, nuts, unsweetened whole grains, seeds, herbs, spices, olive oil and flaxseed oil. Drink plain water instead of sugary juice drinks, flavored coffee beverages and soda. Eat frequent small meals to balance your energy throughout the day.
One of the results of aging is losing lean muscle mass to fat mass. You can reverse this process by doing strengthening activities three times per week. If you do not want to pump iron, choose exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. Do pushups, either on the floor or against the wall, to build total body strength. Doing yoga sun salutations target all your major muscle groups and burns calories at the same time. As you gain muscle, you raise your basal metabolism, which means you will burn more calories even while at rest.
Functional Fitness Training
Doing functional fitness activities promotes weight loss and builds your strength, endurance and range of motion so you can conduct daily life tasks with greater ease. Many recreation centers and senior centers offer these types of classes. A typical class may have you doing compound exercises such as squatting while doing a biceps curl or lunging while doing pectoral presses. These moves give you the strength, balance and flexibility to do daily tasks such as bending, lifting and carrying.