As people grow older, both physical and physiological changes takes place in the body as a natural part of aging and these physical changes can affect almost all organs of the body and leave an impact on the health and lifestyle of elderly people. With aging, the bones, joints and muscles become weaker. The bones lose density and shrink in size leaving them more susceptible to fractures. Joints become less flexible, inflamed and painful leading to a lack of flexibility and balance. Even the body shape changes because of increased muscle loss and reduced fat metabolism leading to fat redistribution in the abdominal and buttock areas making it more difficult to maintain ideal body weight. A blend of a balanced diet and easy weight loss exercises is the most reliable way to achieve better health outcomes in elderlies.
Most of us associate old age with a stage of life where people lose their independence and become increasingly dependent on others for performing their day to day activities. But this is not the truth. There are many health conscious elderlies who show us how amazing it feels to age gracefully and have a healthy and robust physique even at the age of 65 or 70.
Weight maintenance at this stage is just a matter of balancing calorie intake with activity level. Women over the age of 50 need 1600 calories if they are sedentary and 2000 calories if they are involved in physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles a day at a pace of 3 miles per hour in addition to physical activities related to daily living. Aging men often require more calories compared to aging women because they have more muscle mass and larger frame. Men over the age of 50 years require 2000 calories daily if they have a sedentary lifestyle and 2400 calories if they participate in daily physical activity equivalent to walking 2 to 3 miles a day at a speed of 3 to 4 miles per hour.
|Gender||Sedentary Lifestyle||Active Lifestyle|
|Elderly Women||1600 calories||2000 calories|
|Elderly Men||2000 calories||2400 calories|
It is obligatory to elucidate the terms sedentarily and active used in the table above in order to get a clear picture of the everyday routine and level of physical activity of the group of people mentioned in this table.
“Sedentary” – The word sedentary in this context implies a lifestyle that comprises of only light physical activity associated with regular day-to-day life with no other exercise or workouts.
“Active” – The word active in this context implies a lifestyle that comprises of physical activities such as daily walking of more than 3 miles per day at the speed of 3 to 4 miles per hour or involvement in sports along with light physical activity associated with regular day-to-day life.
Most women tend to gain weight as they age because of slowed down metabolism. Weight gain leads to a number of diseases in elderly women such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Over 1/3rd of seniors aged 65 and older are obese. Therefore, it is crucial to plan out a healthy diet for aging women on the basis of current body weight and level of physical activity in order to promote healthy weight management. Generally, after the age of 50, women require 1600 to 2000 calories daily in order to maintain healthy body weight and promote weight loss. 1600 calories are for women with a sedentary lifestyle, and 2000 calories are for women with moderately active to fully active lifestyle.
As we age, our appetite and food preferences change but even seniors need to make healthy food choices in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Because older women require fewer calories for weight maintenance compared to younger women, it becomes difficult for women over the age of 50 years to lose weight. On the other hand, an increase in weight after the age of 50 increases the risk of breast cancer. It has been seen that the daily calorie requirements for women in their 50s and 60s with more or less sedentary lifestyle is approximately 1600 calories. A fairly low-calorie diet like a simple 1200 calorie diet plan or 1600 calorie meal plan can help in losing weight without much physical activity. But a 1600 calorie meal plan must include foods from all food groups in order to meet all the vitamin and mineral requirements of the body.
The 1600 calorie meal plan for aging women must be divided into 3 meals, each consisting of roughly 500 calories, and 2 small snacks, each consisting of roughly 50 calories.
Breakfast – 2 slices of whole wheat toast, 1 teaspoon of butter, 1 cup orange juice, 1 omelette made with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and 28 grams low fat cheese
Mid-Morning Snack – 1 small apple
Lunch – Pasta salad made with 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta, 56 grams of diced chicken breast, 28 grams low-fat mozzarella cheese along with 1.5 cups cooked mixed vegetables, 1 small orange
Evening Snack – 2 cucumbers
Dinner – 1 cup cooked brown rice, 113 grams stir-fried tofu or cottage cheese, 1.5 cups mixed cabbage, onion and bell pepper salad
The 2000 calorie diet plan is considered one of the best healthy diets for women of all ages and it is also suitable for elderly women with an active lifestyle. Unlike short-term diets like 7 days diet plan for weight loss, a well-planned 2000 calorie diet helps to meet the daily nutrient requirement without adding empty calories. A 2000 calorie diet plan should include fruits, vegetables, protein foods, dairy, grains and healthy oils. This diet, when combined with daily exercise and physical activities can help drop pounds and allow aging women to stay in shape and reduce the risk of heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The 2000 calorie diet plan for elderly women should be divided into 3 equal sized meals and 2 snacks, each meal comprising for approximately 500 calories, and each snack comprising of 250 calories.
Breakfast – 1 cup whole-grain cereal, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 slice whole grain toast, 1.5 teaspoons of peanut butter, and 1 sliced pear
Mid-Morning Snack – 1 apple, 1 cup low-fat yogurt
Lunch – 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 cup sauteed vegetables, 84 grams salmon cooked in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Evening Snack – 28 grams mixed nuts
Dinner – 1 cup cooked brown rice, 140 grams grilled chicken breast, 1 cup cooked squash or zucchini, 1 serving of light cake
It has been seen that women over the age of 50 require 1600 to 2000 calories per day for healthy working of the body, maintaining healthy weight and promoting weight loss, depending on their daily level of activity. Daily calories for weight loss in elderly active women are 1600 calories, and it is also appropriate for overweight and obese women who are trying to lose weight. Women should reduce calorie intake by 500 to 1000 calories per day in order to lose 1 kg per week.
As you reach the golden years; the daily calorie requirement changes because of the change in the composition of the body – more fat and fewer muscles. In modern times, obesity has become an epidemic among people of all age groups including elderlies and the question of how to overcome obesity is a burning question that the society is still struggling to solve. But, exactly how many calories a man needs on a daily basis to maintain healthy body weight depends on his level of physical activity and age. It has been seen that daily calorie intake for men over the age of 51 ranges between 2000 and 2400 calories. But the problem with requiring fewer calories is that it becomes difficult to meet the daily nutrient needs of the body, making it essential to include basic nutrient-rich foods in the diet. A healthy diet for men with more or less sedentary lifestyle should include 2000 calories in order to prevent weight gain and reduce the risk of obesity. The calorie requirement for men over the age of 51 with an active lifestyle is roughly 2400 calories.
As you get older, it becomes important to include healthy foods in each and every meal in order to stay fit and strong. Healthy eating also helps in keeping the mind sharp and enhancing the quality of life. It becomes difficult for men over the age of 50 to keep weight off. This is because, as men age, they become less physically active and lose muscle mass and gain fat. All this things jointly causes the metabolism to slow down. Therefore, more work is required to keep the metabolism up. Most aging men with sedentary or moderately active lifestyle require 2000 calories to maintain a healthy weight and keep up with the day to day activities.
A 2000 calories diet for men is segregated into 3 meals and 2 snacks, each meal encompassing approximately 500 calories and each snack encompassing approximately 250 calories.
Breakfast – 2 slices of whole wheat toast, 28 grams bran cereal, 2 tablespoons reduced-fat margarine, 1 glass skim milk, 1 peach
Mid-Morning Snack – 1 cup fruit yogurt and bran mix
Lunch – Chicken sandwich made with 2 slices of whole wheat bread served with 84 grams of sliced chicken breast, 28 grams cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato slices and cucumber slices, 1 glass orange juice.
Evening Snack – 1 cup fat-free yogurt, 3 graham crackers
Dinner – 112 ounces baked fish, 1 medium baked sweet potato, 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 2 teaspoons of margarine, 1 cup light lemonade, 1/2 cup light fruit custard
Combining a physically active lifestyle with a balanced diet is one of the best diet tips for men that aids in healthy aging. Chronic diseases and overweight issues are much less prevalent among aging men who remain physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days. It helps in keeping the metabolism up throughout the day and burns excess calories. In addition, the daily physical activity also helps in maintaining strong bones and muscles so that men can age gracefully without losing mobility. Daily calorie requirements for men over the age of 50 with more or less active lifestyle are 2400 calories. It is enough to meet the daily energy requirements of the body and maintain a healthy weight.
The 2400 calories are distributed into 3 meals and 2 snacks, each meal containing approximately 600 calories and each snack containing approximately 300 calories.
Breakfast – 1 large banana, 1 cup cereal, 1.5 cups skim milk, 3/4th cup apple juice, 1 peanut butter cookie
Mid-morning Snack – 1 slice whole wheat bread, 2 tablespoon peanut butter
Lunch – 1 cup cooked brown rice, 84 grams baked or grilled fish, 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, 2 tablespoons margarine, 1 cup melon
Evening Snack – 1 apple
Dinner – Large grilled chicken salad made with 1 cup chopped lettuce, 1/2 cup boiled beans, 3 tablespoons shredded carrots, 84 grams grilled chicken, 1/2 cup sprouts, 1/3 rd. cup bell peppers, 2 tablespoons of margarine along with 1 slice of whole wheat bread
Eating a healthy diet along with regular physical activity can help elderly men live a full, active life and help to preserve a healthy physique even into older age. A healthy lifestyle helps in reducing the risk of major illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, kidney failure and obesity. Older persons tend to eat too much or too little, and this leads to either exponential weight gain over time or serious energy deficiency, leading to various health issues and suppressed immune power.
There are endless benefits of exercises and physical activities such as healthier heart, enhanced flexibility, stronger bones, etc. But what are the additional benefits of exercises especially for seniors? Here we have listed some of the amazing benefits of exercises for elderlies.
Make some healthy lifestyle changes such as start following a healthy diet as per your level of activity and daily calorie requirements, enjoy your night’s sleep and give up the habits of smoking and heavy drinking in order to age well while retaining your energy and stamina.