Healthy Weight for Seniors
Question. This senior citizen thoroughly enjoys reading Diet Bites. At 73, I find that I am at the very top of what I should weigh, according to your weight charts.
I lead a fairly active life, have no health concerns, and try to eat healthy. Also, I feel great!
I am not as active as I was in my youth, of course.
Is there something more that you could suggest to help me get to the low end of my desirable weight? ~ Milly, Austin, TX
Answer. Milly, even though you are at your highest 'suggested' weight, you are doing great! Here's why:
a) Age plays a big factor in what an individual weighs.
b) More and more doctors are recommending that seniors do well with a little additional weight on their bones.
Because you are at the top of the weight charts and not over indicates that you are doing excellent in managing your weight so that you do not exceed your recommended weight.
However, some health advisors are even suggesting a 10 pound overage in weight to allow for times of illness; those extra pounds might equal the difference in surviving.
c) You appear to be doing all of the 'right' things - the activity, healthy food choices, and you are healthy.
d) A person's weight is dependent on several factors - such as how one feels at a certain weight - and you feel great!
You touched on a very important point, that being 'activity and youth'. As we grow older, we do tend to slow down and of course, a decrease in activity without a decrease in food intake, may make an individual put on a few pounds.
There is one other factor; as we age our bodies do not perform as efficiently as they did in our younger years. Our metabolism slows down, we have more aches and pains due to our ageing body and as you mentioned Milly - we may be unable to exercise and perform certain activities as we did in our younger years.
I daresay it doesn't take a genius or a weight loss guru to know that if a race were held and the competitors were a 21 year old female in average health running against an 80 year old female in average health - it's highly conceivable that the younger female would win the competition. However, it's also highly likely that the well-seasoned cougar would have more grace.
Finally, I must stress that recommended weight charts, ideal weight recommendations and perfect weight indicators are just that - charts. Weight is just a number. Recommended weight is just a number.
While these type charts and indicators can serve as patterns for ideal weight - they are only patterns.
We can view them, study them and use them to chart our weight but they should never be set in stone as all individuals are created different and each of us - even if we are the same height, body frame, gender and age will have individual ideal weights.
That weight should be what we feel best at - the weight that we feel healthiest at.
But Milly, just keep on doing what you're doing now, because when you've got a good thing going - don't rock the boat.
If you are still concerned about your weight then ask your personal physician for a professional opinion.
Take care, Milly and thank you for reading Diet Bites! ~ Sky
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