Weight loss is more complex than simple dieting, as it requires a holistic approach to your overall health. However, your diet habits and nutrition do impact your weight, energy level, and sleep quality. Therefore, the way you eat and fuel your body allows you to boost your metabolism, nourish your body and foster a healthy weight.
Healthy habits affect the way your body metabolizes food and allows it to nourish your body more effectively. To support your body’s metabolism, there are some habits that you can implement into your daily routine.
When your mind is feeling the effects of stress or mental illness, your body also suffers. Stress increases the release of cortisol which is the stress hormone that creates the flight or fight response. Cortisol affects your physical and mental wellness and can increase lower belly fat. Sleep deprivation can also increase the likelihood of obesity for older adults.
Exercise and active living are one of the best daily routines to get into as it actively burns calories both during exercise as well as after the exercise as the muscles continue passively burning more calories during the rest. Strength training in particular increases your basal metabolic rate, improves muscle tone and overall endurance. Even if exercise seems intimidating, integrating any simple movement into your day increases cardiovascular health. Light movement, such as gardening and housework keeps your body flexible.
It may seem counterintuitive, but eating enough calories is important to a healthy metabolism. If you do not consume enough calories, your body will enter ‘starvation mode’ to conserve energy which will decrease muscle mass and hold onto body fat. Unfortunately, seniors often have reduced appetites and that can signal potential health issues. If you struggle with low appetite, make an appointment with your doctor to address the problem. Another tip for building muscle is eating an efficient amount of protein. Eating protein can boost your metabolism and prevent muscle loss which can help increase functionality and the ability to perform everyday activities. While it is beneficial to ingest your protein from whole foods, a good quality protein powder can help support your metabolism.
The value of nutrition expands beyond a healthy metabolism and can be the cornerstone for a healthy weight. The best type of diet to lose weight is one that works for your personal lifestyle. The variables that affect your goals include gender, age, personality, and overall health. The ‘quick and easy’ diet industry will not account for your specific circumstances, and the best diet is one that is personalized, balanced, and made of small realistic positive changes.
Sustainable diet goals can include:
- Work with your doctor and a team of physicians to develop a personal plan
- Eat ‘Healthy’ – fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-rich natural food
- Mindful Eating – Be aware of your portion sizes, and connect with your hunger cues (try keeping a food journal to gain insight)
- Drink Water Consistently – medications can be dehydrating
- Vitamins and Minerals – can be absorbed either from food or a multivitamin
Dieting does not have to be rocket science. At its core, it is simple and sustainable choices that lead to ongoing healthy habits. The challenge is not allowing stress to derail your progress once you get started. Try to implement one small change at a time and stick with that change until it becomes a habit. Once you feel the success of those habits, then add in more small changes until you have fully developed a healthy and sustainable daily routine. The more often you reinforce your health habits, the better it will be for your weight loss and overall health.