Senior Living

Taking the necessary steps to lose weight

By Lindsy Johanson

We are into the New Year and statically speaking, 45% of you have made a resolution to lose weight. This can be a challenge for anyone, but as we age it becomes increasingly difficult. From a slowing metabolism to decreasing muscle mass, shedding those extra pounds now takes more effort than it did in your younger years. Be sure you are not sabotaging yourself with these common phrases as they can be detrimental to your success. 

I just need to go on a diet

The word diet is commonly misunderstood. Your diet should simply be the food that you consume, but in today’s culture, it has turned into a 60+ billion-dollar industry. While adjusting your eating habits is a necessary step to getting healthier and losing weight, most people view it as a temporary period of food restriction. When people go on a diet there is usually the understanding that once they reach their goal, they no longer need to restrict themselves. This is the primary reason 90-95% of people who diet end up gaining weight back and possibly more. To keep your New Year’s resolution this year I recommend no diet at all! Instead, remove the word diet from your vocabulary and just concentrate on healthy eating habits. If bread and carbs are your weakness, don’t eliminate them completely. Simply become more conscious of how much you are eating and try to find healthier alternatives like whole grains or quinoa. 

If I walk every day, that will be enough

While cardiovascular exercise like walking, biking, and swimming are important aspects of fitness, it is not all you need to lose weight. Cardio can do wonders for your health but integrating muscle strengthening is just as crucial. Having a higher percentage of lean body mass plays a major role in maintaining a fast metabolism. Strength training can kickstart your metabolism, help you burn more calories, and can drastically improve how you feel. Strength training is also known to help alleviate painful symptoms of arthritis and can maintain your mobility for years to come. You don’t even need a gym to add strength training to your workout plan. Resistance bands, dumbbells, or even your body weight can be used to perform simple strength exercises in your own home. 

Losing weight and sticking to a healthy routine is one of the greatest challenges. When you set unrealistic standards to your diet, you just create an opportunity for failure. Give yourself a break and know that even small changes will make a long-term difference. When it comes to exercise, knowledge is key. Learning the right way to weight loss will set you on a path to success for your new year’s resolution. 

Lindsy Johanson is a Senior Fitness Specialist at Fairwinds Brittany Park. For inquiries about senior fitness programs in Woodinville, reach out to Lindsy at (425) 402-7100. 

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