Read on to learn what is the best diet plan for seniors/older adults to lose weight while improving/maintaining bone density & muscle mass.
Older adults (over 40, 50, 60 or even 70) tend to lose muscle mass & bone density while they are working on shedding weight.
This unwanted muscle and bone loss can lead to many health problems, including mobility issues and increased risk of injury.
Best Diet Plan For Older Adults/Seniors To Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle Mass
In a recent study, it has been shown that a high-protein, low-calorie diet can help seniors avoid many problems.
For this study, 96 adults of over 65 years age were randomly selected. They were allocated to two different groups.
The researchers put the first group on a six-month, high protein, low-calorie meal plan – that is more than one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. The other group was put on a weight-maintenance meal plan, which included 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
High-Protein, Low-Calorie Diet Plan
The participants in the high-protein, low-calorie diet plan group not only achieved the most weight loss, but also maintained their muscle mass. They were also able to shed fat from their stomach, hips, rear and thighs. This can lower the risk of certain medical conditions, including stroke and diabetes.
Moreover, the researchers found that the participants in the high-protein diet plan group enriched their bone mass quality. Moreover, their Health Aging Index score, involving longevity and mortality biomarkers, was improved by 0.75 points.
Why, how and what to eat to meet your protein needs – whether you are a non-vegetarian, vegetarian or vegan, man or woman – A most comprehensive Protein Guide!: Protein Synthesis / Myths & Facts
Seniors And Nutrition
Your body loses muscle mass as a natural part of aging. Furthermore, the older adults do not burn calories at the same rate as they did during their younger years. These natural aging processes on one hand change our nutritional needs as the years go by, on the other hand reduce our calories requirement.
So, the older adults should plan their diet based on the following two most important key factors:
(i) Keep focus on nutrient-dense foods; and
(ii) Avoid high-calorie foods that lack vital nutrients.
[Nutrition Guidelines For Elderly]
Beneficial foods for older adults include vegetables, fruits, seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes, whole grains & low-fat dairy.
[Read: Protein For Older Adults]
Several studies have been conducted to ascertain what are the nutritional needs and best diet plans for older adults. They have come to the same conclusion that the addition of more protein can help avoid some of the unhealthy pitfalls of dieting that can occur when an older adult loses weight.
[Read: How To Increase Protein Intake For Seniors]
In one study the older adults in the weight-loss group were instructed to have four meal replacements every day and eat two meals of lean protein & vegetables each day. The researchers allowed each participant one healthy snack a day to wrap up the high protein, low-calorie meal plan. Those in the other group were asked to maintain their regular diet and usual activities. This study also revealed that a diet plan low in calories and rich in protein can help older adults lose more weight while maintaining / improving the bone density & muscle mass they need for better quality of life as they age.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”