There is a lot of misinformation surrounding weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. From keto to counting calories, there have been countless diets and lifestyles that try and sell us the notion that weight and health are a one-size-fits-all program. Even scientific theories based on the most recent evidence are not able to account for each person’s specific genetics and abilities. While you need to be listening to scientific evidence, you must also account for your circumstances and what works for you.
Weight loss has seen some interesting and dangerous diets. From eating less than 1200 calories a day to only eating one type of food, these diets can cause huge damage to your metabolism and bodily functions. The diet industry is a for-profit industry and seeks to make money off people’s desire to improve their health. Scammers target vulnerable people like the elderly to make money off their health. Diet scams are one of the top healthcare-related concerns as they fill the population with dangerous propaganda and false promises. And this misinformation is profitable, the weight loss industry is worth approximately 70 billion dollars.
Scammers and Frauds
Just as you would be leery of someone trying to sell you a ‘too good to be true’ car or house, you would be skeptical of scammers trying to sell you weight loss. Fraud can affect us financially, physically, and emotionally, so be critical of these weight-loss scams.
If a diet, or lifestyle program is unable to present clear and reasonable numbers to account for their evidence that their programs work, then they would be a scam. Just as you would not take medicine without scientific evidence supported by your doctor, you should not follow a diet that does not have clear scientific evidence supporting your program. Ask questions like: How many people are in the program? Did they lose weight? Did they keep the weight off for 5+ years? What are the possible side effects?
Unreliable sources are those that would benefit from you purchasing from them. If a new program states that their product is effective according to ‘this source’, ensure that you are checking to see if that source is impartial and academic. Otherwise, the source may be profiting from you.
On average, the most weight someone will sustainably lose is 2 lbs. per week. Usually, it will be even less than that. If programs are promoting a ‘quick and easy’ fat loss. Then it may be a scam. Just as with most things, there usually is not a ‘quick and easy’ way – weight loss is consistent hard work.
With this in mind, weight loss and healthy habits for seniors is achievable and, at times, important for the ongoing wellness of seniors. Before starting the weight loss journey, ensure you are checking with your doctor and have them approve the program. Your primary care physician will know your health and history best and will be able to recommend a safe and accessible weight loss program.
How to Achieve your Goals
Losing weight can be difficult at all ages, but it is especially more challenging over 60, but by focusing your goals on accessible and sustainable lifestyle changes, you can reach your goals safely. Healthy habits improve your quality of life in many facets, not just because of weight loss. Your doctor will be able to advise you on appropriate goals, timelines, and strategies.
Dieting is challenging, so how can you reach your goals? While it is easy to read the following tips, it is harder to find out how to sustainably implement them into your life. Read this article and write down all the advice that applies to you. Then, check them off once you can implement them into your life. You do not have to do all of them at once, it takes time to build habits. Try to tackle one at a time to focus on building success.
Healthcare professionals should be your first stop on the path to weight loss. Following the advice of educated professionals will lead to more success in your goals. Seniors, especially, require more thoughtful measures when developing a weight loss program. When developing a program, ask your doctor to connect you with specialists to support your goals. A certified nutritionist can help build your knowledge regarding how food affects weight and energy levels. Ensure that your nutritionist has experience with the dietary needs of seniors. A dentist will also be an important resource as dental issues or trouble with dentures can inhibit seniors from trying to eat more vegetables.
Just as with any lifestyle change, having your community support is necessary to ongoing success. It will be easier to lose weight and keep it off if your friends and family are actively supporting your goals. If there is someone who is hindering your journey to a healthier lifestyle, ensure that you speak honestly to them about how this is a positive change and you hope for their support. Having an accountability partner who likes to exercise and eat healthy with you, will keep you and them accountable and motivated.
Before getting started, be sure to sit down with your doctor and family and set realistic goals. Start small, try adding in one healthy habit at a time. Start with a sleep routine and try and get 8 hours of sleep each night. Then, begin to go for a walk every day. Then start adding fruits and vegetables at every meal. These little changes will create gradual sustainable health benefits. Gradual change can be difficult and you will experience setbacks and off days. This is okay and normal. Some days will have a birthday cake and some days will have fresh fruit. Be compassionate with yourself and focus less on perfection and more on routine.
Developing healthy habits can bring real tangible benefits to your life outside of weight loss. Sleeping well, feeling energetic, and experiencing more confidence are all positive effects of healthy eating habits and exercise routines. Even if weight loss is slow, these other benefits show the achievement of your hard work.