Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of staying healthy, especially for seniors. But often seniors find it difficult to lose weight. Seniors should be exercising daily, but for many seniors that’s not enough to help them lose weight because they can’t do strenuous exercise. Cutting calories and getting regular exercise is recommended as the best way for seniors to lose weight.
Seniors may not want to cut calories from their daily diet because they worry about feeling hungry. Changing the foods that they eat can help seniors cut calories without feeling hungry. And seniors with elder care may have an easier time switching their diet because an elder care provider can help seniors experiment with new dishes and new foods that will allow them to cut calories without feeling like they’re starving. Some other things that seniors can do to cut calories without feeling hungry are:
Cut Portions in Half
One of the most straightforward ways to cut calories is by being mindful of portion sizes. Use smaller plates and utensils to help control portion sizes and prevent overeating. When dining out, consider splitting a meal with a friend or asking for a to-go container right away to save half for later. Simply cutting portions is a great way to cut calories without feeling deprived of certain foods.
Drink Plenty of Water
Sometimes people snack when they’re really thirsty because they mistake a thirst cue as a hunger cue. Seniors should be drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated, and seniors can try drinking a glass of water before a meal so that they will feel full and eat less.
Eat More Protein
Protein helps people feel full longer. And protein is essential for keeping muscles strong. Strong muscles burn more calories. Choose lean sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, and beans instead of higher-fat options. These proteins are not only lower in calories but also promote muscle health, which is crucial for seniors. Protein shakes are also a good option for seniors.
Eat More Fiber
Incorporate more fiber into your diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, reducing the likelihood of snacking on high-calorie foods.
Watch Out for Sugary Drinks
Cutting out sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices can significantly reduce calorie intake. Instead seniors should choose water, herbal tea, or sparkling water with a splash of lemon for a refreshing and calorie-free beverage.
Practice Mindful Eating
Take your time to savor each bite and pay attention to your body’s hunger cues. Eating slowly can prevent overeating and help you enjoy your meals more.
Cook Meals Rather Than Getting Takeout
Preparing meals at home allows you to have better control over ingredients and portion sizes. You can make healthier choices and use cooking techniques that reduce the need for added fats and oils. Elder care providers can help seniors cook meals and clean up.
Keep an eye out for hidden sugars in processed foods, sauces, and condiments. Cutting back on added sugars can have a significant impact on calorie reduction.
Choose Healthy Fats
While fats are calorie-dense, opting for healthier fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts can be beneficial for overall health. Just be mindful of portion sizes.
If you enjoy snacking, choose nutrient-dense options like fresh fruit, yogurt, or a small handful of nuts. Avoid sugary and high-calorie snacks that offer little nutritional value. Cheese and low calorie crackers, peanut butter and celery, or cottage cheese with fruit are all good snacks that have protein to help you feel full.
Planning your meals and snacks in advance can help you make healthier choices and avoid impulsive, high-calorie decisions. Seniors may want to try a meal kit delivery service that provides pre-portioned ingredients for meals.
Don’t Eat Alone
Eating with friends and family can make mealtime more enjoyable and help you focus on the experience rather than rushing through your food.