Weight Management this Holiday Season
We often get asked, “Why do elderly people gain weight so easily?” The answer we provide: As the elderly age, their metabolism slows down. Their level of activity decreases, as does their muscle mass. Medical conditions such as metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and diabetes complicate weight loss as well. In addition to medical factors, elderly people often become stressed and can’t sleep at night. They grow discouraged and frustrated once they see themselves gaining weight, and they find comfort in food. A vicious cycle!
The holiday season is especially difficult. Every Christmas get-together and New Year’s party seems to include goodie trays layered with cookies, brownies, fudge, and chocolate truffles. Our culture emphasizes food as a go-to for entertainment. We are all encouraged to eat even when we’re not hungry.
So what’s the answer?
Establishing and maintaining a healthy weight demands commitment and discipline. Diet and balanced caloric intake helps you achieve an appropriate weight, and exercise prevents regain. You need both to make a lasting difference, and we at Rochester Medical Weight Loss are here to help you in any way we can!
Dr. Masood, our on-site, board-certified bariatrician, suggests several medical weight loss tips to help you make wise choices for healthy living. We hope these suggestions will carry you through the holiday season and straight into 2015.
1. Choose Protein, Not Sugar
You can increase your quality of life by establishing discipline with your diet. Elderly people don’t have to eat as much as they did when they were younger. When you are hungry, choose high-quality calories like protein. Protein, like egg whites, tofu, beans, and lentils, provides your body with needed nutrition.
You should also decrease your sugar-intake. Sugar has no nutritional value; it is merely instant energy which dissipates almost instantly in your body. Donuts, for example, are high in sugar and will give you immediate energy, but because they have no nutritional value, they will make you will feel hungry sooner.
If you feel those familiar sugar cravings, which is a natural bodily response, go for low-sugar fruits like berries, apples, and pears (not pineapple, watermelon, or grapes). Eat slowly, take time to enjoy each bite, and avoid seconds. Allow the digestion process to catch up with your chewing so you don’t feel hungry when your body has had enough. Focus on solid foods instead of beverages. Fluids won’t satisfy hunger pains and are often high in sugar calories.
2. From Breakfast to Bed
We often get overwhelmed with all our meal options. Make your diet choices easier by narrowing your stimulus and limiting yourself to a single breakfast choice. Choose a nutritional, low-sugar and high-protein meal and stick to it.
Dr. Masood strongly recommends avoiding any kind of food two to three hours before bed. It’s best to eat only when you’re about to be active. Food is meant to give people energy throughout the day. At bedtime, however, the body needs to relax and unwind. Give your body a break from digesting.
3. Be Careful Even at Holiday Parties
When it comes to appropriate diet choices, holiday parties can be especially challenging. Even though we’re not hungry, we often eat to please our host. What can you do? Limit yourself to healthy choices like vegetables and low-sugar fruits. And don’t feel guilty if you must say a polite “No, thank you.”
If you’re attending a potluck style meal during the holidays, don’t bring yet another cookie tray to share. Try bringing flowers instead! You can still demonstrate your support and thanks without tempting yourself or others to make unhealthy food choices.
4. Get Your Blood Work Checked
Dr. Masood stresses getting your blood work checked regularly. You need to know if the vitamin levels in your bloodstream are balanced.
Have any more questions? Make an appointment with our on-site bariatrician to learn what our weight management programs offer! Dr. Masood has extensive training and knowledge to give you advice the you need, especially to finish out the holiday season. Click Here to Read More About Weight Loss Doctor Rochester NY