People are living longer. Those in their 60s and 70s are enjoying a late “;middle age”; rather than settling in as senior citizens. They want to look and feel good as they take advantage of the increase in free time and decrease in family and work responsibilities that come with retirement. That”;s why so many people in their 60s and 70s are trying to lose weight. But as our bodies change with age, so does weight loss. That’s why our nutrition experts have put together a list of weight loss tips for those living in their golden years.
Achieving a healthy weight is very important for older adults because there are many risks associated with belly fat, says Current Obesity Reports. However, they explain, “approaches to weight loss must be considered critically given the dangers of sarcopenia (a condition that occurs when muscle mass and quality is lost), the increase risk of hip fracture with weight loss, and the association between reduced mortality and increased BMI in older adults.” Always speak with your doctor before starting a new diet, exercise routine or weight loss plan.
10 Ways to Boost a Slowing Metabolism
Here are 10 tips for losing weight in your 60s and 70s:
1. Go to sleep.
If you”;ve been rising early for work or staying up late watching TV for most of your adult life, you might find it hard to spend more time in bed. However, don’t underestimate the power of sleep. According to Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, lack of sleep disrupts your metabolism and interferes with the natural production of the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. Plus, it increases the body”;s production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Many studies have demonstrated that chronic lack of sleep significantly increases your risk of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
2. Stay hydrated.
As you get older, you might move less and perspire less throughout the day. However, your need for hydration doesn”;t go away. According to Cleveland Clinic, sense of thirst “diminishes” with age. That means that you can be dehydrated without even feeling thirsty.
Dehydration can slow down your metabolism so that you burn fewer calories. “Staying hydrated also helps your body eliminate waste more efficiently, keeps your temperature in a normal range, lubricates and cushions your joints and protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues in your body,” says Carilion Clinic.
On Nutrisystem, we recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily. A good rule of thumb is to try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water spread out throughout the day. If you get bored of plain water, you can enjoy sodium-free seltzer with fresh lemon or lime juice for the same benefits.
3. Limit your coffee.
Plain black coffee is calorie-free, so it can be a fine choice when you”;re trying to lose weight. Just make sure to avoid added sugar, sweet syrups and high-fat creamers, which load you up with extra calories.
We also recommend sticking with decaffeinated coffee varieties. According to AmericanBoneHealth.org, “Some studies link caffeine consumption with negative effects on calcium metabolism, possibly related to caffeine increasing loss of calcium in the urine, and decreasing calcium absorption in the body.” This could eventually lead to bone loss. Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining bone strength as you get older and it plays a key role in regulating your metabolism.
10 Simple Hacks to Help You Drink More Water
4. Choose nutrient-dense foods.
With your metabolism naturally slowing with age, you may need fewer calories than you did in your younger years. But don’t be fooled: Less calories doesn’t mean less nutrition. You still need to get the vitamins and minerals your body relies on to stay healthy.
The solution is to focus on eating nutrient-dense ingredients: Foods that are packed with nutrition, not calories. The Nutrisystem Grocery Guide is filled with healthy options to choose from. Stock up on lean sources of protein (PowerFuels), such as chicken breast and fish. Fill up your pantry with high-fiber carbohydrates (SmartCarbs), which include whole grain rice, pasta and cereals. Make sure to also grab some fresh, frozen or canned produce to get in your fruits and veggies. Nutrient dense foods like these deliver more benefit per bite as you age.
5. Eat more often.
It may seem counter-intuitive but skipping meals can actually hamper your efforts at weight loss, says Women’s Health. That”;s because when your body is deprived of food, your metabolism slows down, something you’re already dealing with as you age. Instead of skipping meals, try eating healthy between-meal snacks every three hours. The best snacks contain lean protein for energy and fiber to help you feel full long after you finish eating.
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6. Beware of empty carbs.
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 25 percent of Americans over 65 years old have diabetes. Your lifestyle and diet can play a major role in the prevention of this disease. In addition to physical activity and weight loss, Mayo Clinic recommends filling up on fiber and sticking with whole grain products.
Many of the most popular snack foods are simple carbohydrates that are full of calories yet low in fiber and other valuable nutrients. We”;re talking about chips, crackers and other salty snacks, as well as baked goods, candies and sweets. Nutrisystem offers a wide selection of delicious and perfectly balanced snacks that are healthier alternatives. You’ll love our Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese Puffs and Butter Popcorn. Not only are they delicious but they’re absolutely packed with fiber and protein. Yum!
7. Dine out wisely.
People in their 60s and 70s often have free time and the financial resources to socialize while eating at restaurants. Meeting up with friends is healthy at any age, but restaurant meals tend to be high in fat and salt. Not to mention the oversized portions!
To stay on track with your healthy diet, consider sharing an entrée with a friend or family member. You can also ask to substitute an extra serving of vegetables in place of the greasy French fries or other unhealthy sides. And do yourself a favor and skip dessert! (Grab a Nutrisystem dessert instead!) Get some tips and tricks for dining out while on a diet in The Nutrisystem Dining Out Guide! >
10 Tips for Dining Out on Nutrisystem
8. Go outside.
According to the Central European Journal of Immunology, vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity. Low vitamin D levels may also lead to higher amounts of belly fat, says Medical News Today. If that’s not enough reason to get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin, remember that it’s essential for proper bone health.
“Vitamin D is provided by skin synthesis by UVB-irradiation from summer sunshine and to a small extent by absorption from food. However, these processes become less efficient with age,” says the peer-reviewed journal Aging and Disease. Stock up on ingredients that contain the nutrient, such as wild oily fish, egg yolk and fortified foods like orange juice, milk and some breakfast cereals. You should also make a habit of spending a little time outdoors during midday to soak up some sun.
If you think you may be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency, you should consult your physician, who may order a blood test to check your levels or may recommend supplementation.
Are you getting enough vitamin D? Click here to learn more! >
9. Build muscle.
As we get older, we gradually lose some of our muscle mass and gain fat mass, says Current Obesity Reports. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “;Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging.” After age 30, people can lose three to five percent of their muscle mass for every decade of life. Less lean muscle means fewer calories burned.
Walking is a healthy, low-impact form of exercise that you can do every day to keep your metabolism active. You also want to do some strength-building exercise to help maintain as much of your muscle mass as possible. If you don”;t belong to a gym where you can lift small weights, you can pick up basic ankle and hand weights at a sporting goods store or online. You can even use cans of food or water bottles!
“To build muscle, the exercises must be challenging, but they shouldn’t be stressful,” says Harvard Health Publishing. “The idea is to lift a weight you can comfortably manage for eight repetitions and try to keep going until you reach 15 repetitions.” Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
10. Get personalized.
You can lose weight and look your best even when you”;re past your 60th birthday. However, your body and its needs are very different than those of younger people. All-new personalized weight loss plans from Nutrisystem create a diet tailored to you and your unique metabolism. We take your age, body type, gender and other factors into account to give you a surefire path to the healthiest, happiest version of you.
How We Create Your Personalized Diet Plan
The post Weight Loss and Age: 10 Tips for Losing Weight in Your 60s and 70s appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Whether you’re an experienced exerciser or a fitness newbie, walking is a fun, easy and low impact exercise that can fit into almost anyone’s routine. Here at Nutrisystem, walking is one of our favorite exercises because it helps many of our members stay fit and healthy –;even with a busy schedule. It provides many health benefits, requires no special equipment and can even help you lose weight. Plus, you can do it virtually anywhere! Add more walks to your calendar by joining in on our Step It Up Walking Challenge.
On July 13th, our registered dietitian, Mandi, is going LIVE on our Facebook page to kick off our four-week Step It Up Walking Challenge. She will continue to go live every Monday at 5:30 PM EST to check in, provide a little motivation and some helpful tips to keep you stepping.
The challenges will get a bit more difficult week to week so that you can ease into a regular walking routine. Despite your current experience, you can join in and adjust the length and pace of your walks to match your skill level. At the end of the fourth week, we will be randomly selecting two lucky winners, who will each receive a $100 gift card.
In order to participate and be entered for a chance win, you must download and log each task into our FREE online tracking app, NuMi! To be eligible, make sure to opt-in to the challenge by tapping on the in-app message or News Feed card within the NuMi app to join in.
NuMi is our easy-to-use online food journal that provides a great place to stay organized and keep track of your daily exercise. You can find it on Google Play or the App Store. If you don”;t have an iPhone or Android, you can still access NuMi by visiting numi.com.
New to NuMi? Follow these simple instructions for logging activity:
Open the NuMi app on your phone.
Click on the plus sign in the orange circle at the bottom of your screen.
You can then click on “;Walking”; and enter your information.
Tap “Log it.”
If you”;re using a desktop, you”;ll find the “Activity” section to the right of your Journal.
Ready to get moving? Check out the four-week schedule below for each Facebook live date and weekly task. Then give us a follow on Facebook to tune in! >
Step It Up Walking Challenge Schedule:
July 13th: Walk 3 times this week.
July 20th: Walk 4 times this week.
July 27th: Walk 5 times this week.
August 3rd: Walk 6 times this week.
Join our Nutrisystem community and improve your health this month with the power of walking! Before you get started, make sure to check out the link below for some must-follow safety rules for walking. Then head on over to our Facebook page for more fun and fresh content! > We’re always coming up with new fun challenges and live events to help you become the healthiest and happiest version of you.
Walking for Weight Loss: The Benefits of Taking a Walk on National Walking Day
The post Step It Up! Join Our 4-Week Walking Challenge appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
What”;s the best time to exercise? When you can fit it in–;even if that”;s right before bed. You may have heard that exercising at night can make it harder to fall asleep, but that claim doesn”;t add up: According to the National Sleep Foundation, a study of 1,000 people found that there were no significant differences in sleep quality between people who exercised within four hours of going to sleep versus those who had worked out earlier in the day.
No matter what time of day you exercise, you”;ll likely sleep better: In the National Sleep Foundation study, 83 percent of “;vigorous exercisers”; got “;very good”; or “;fairly good”; quality of sleep, compared to just 56 percent of non-exercisers. And working out before bed could actually improve your sleep quality further: In a review of 23 different studies, published in Sports Medicine, people who exercised within four hours of bedtime had more hours of deep sleep than those who didn”;t do those workouts, says RunnersWorld.com.
Getting quality sleep is a big deal to your risk of early death, risk of disease and also your weight loss efforts. When you sleep less, you eat more…; and not quality, nutrient dense foods. One study, published in Clinical Nutritional and Metabolism Care, found that when people got fewer than seven hours of sleep, their daily calorie intake increased by 14 percent, with most of those extra calories coming from high-carbohydrate foods.
Burn more calories with a before bed workout and get better sleep to control your appetite. Our fitness experts at The Leaf have created this quick workout before bed to help you on your wellness and weight loss journey! Just remember to give yourself a one-hour break after the exercise. This will help your body cool down and prepare for slumber–;just as you would after a warm bath.
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Get started with some strength training.
Strength training at any time of the day improves your sleep. However, a before-bed strength session can mean you”;ll sleep more soundly, waking up less frequently during the night. Of course, it can also help with your weight loss goals: According to The Harvard Gazette, scientists found that men who performed 20 minutes of “daily weight training” experienced less age-related belly fat gains than those who did the same amount of cardio work.
This short before bed workout is lower intensity, so you won”;t get too amped up–;or too sweaty–;in the hours before bed. Perform all sets of each exercise before moving to the next exercise. Rest for one minute between each exercise and set.
Exercise 1: Squat to Chair (or Bed)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out from parallel. Push your hips back to initiate the squat, controlling your descent as you bend your knees to descend until you sit in the chair. As you descend, keep your chest up and your weight on your heels. Keep the weight of your body in your heels and press back to standing without using your hands. If this is too hard, perform only the lowering portion of the squat–;sitting down–;then use your hands to stand back up and repeat. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the repetitions.
Exercise 2: Elevated Push-up
Place your hands on the seat of chair or on the fourth step of a staircase. Assume the classic push-up position: Arms perpendicular to your torso, your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Maintaining this rigid body line, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the seat. To protect your shoulders from pain and injury, keep your elbows relatively tight to your sides rather than flaring them out at a 90-degree angle. Press back to start. If this is too hard, try a wall push-up instead. Perform four sets of four or more repetitions each.
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Exercise 3: Supine Glute Bridge
Lie face-up on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides, palms up. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips forcefully off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. As you”;re lifting, keep your knees and thighs parallel–;don”;t let them pull together. This will engage your hip musculature. Pause for a second at the top of the exercise, then slowly return to the start position. As you”;re raising up, don”;t let your heels come off the floor. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the number of repetitions in each set.
Exercise 4: Wall Stick Up
Stand facing away from a wall, with your feet about six inches away from the wall. Your head, upper back and butt should all be in contact with the wall–;and they should stay in contact with it throughout the exercise. Put your arms straight up overhead, with the backs of your hands, elbows and forearms in contact with the wall. Now slide your arms down the wall by bending your elbows, keeping your hands, forearms and shoulders in contact with the wall. Keep lowering until your elbows come as close as you can bring them to your sides. (You should feel a strong contraction between your shoulder blades.) Pause, then slide your arms back up the wall until your arms are overhead. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the number of repetitions in each set, aiming for eight repetitions.
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Finish up with some calming stretches in bed.
When people with insomnia do yoga, they become more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, says The National Sleep Foundation. Calm your own body down with this six-pack of restorative stretches after your strength workout, and help put yourself on the path to dreamland. Sit on the edge of the bed for the first three stretches, then lie on the bed for the last three.
Stretch 1: Circle Your Ankles
Sit on the edge of the bed with both feet on the ground. Lift one foot off the floor and circle your ankle 10 to 15 times in each direction. Repeat with the other foot.
Stretch 2: Lift Your Heels
Place both feet back on the floor. Press the balls of both feet into the floor and lift your heels off the ground, stretching the midfoot. Perform 10 to 15 lifts.
Stretch 3: Stretch Your Side
Sit up tall. Place your right hand on the bed by your side and lift your left arm to the ceiling. Arc the left arm up and over the head until you feel a slight stretch in your side. Reverse the movement to the starting position. Repeat six to eight times per side.
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Stretch 4: Rock with Your Knees at Your Chest
Lie on your back on the bed. Bring your knees towards your chest, and grab your legs just below your knees. Rock back and forth gently a few times.
Stretch 5: Single Knee to Chest
Still on your back, straighten your legs. Now bring just one knee up to your chest while the other remains outstretched on the bed. Hug the lifted knee to your chest, then switch legs. Hug each knee three times.
Stretch 6: Lying Arm Circles
Let your legs go straight again on the bed. Spread your arms out so your body forms a “;T”; shape. Keeping your arms straight, perform 10 arm circles forward, then 10 back. Repeat one more time.
Learn more helpful sleep tips and fitness routines from our wellness experts at the Leaf! We”;re here to help you achieve your wellness goals along your weight loss journey.
Pair your workout routine with a healthy meal delivery service! Learn more about the Nutrisystem program >
*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
5 Reasons You Can”;t Fall Asleep at Night
The post Boost Weight Loss and Improve Sleep with this Before-Bed Workout Routine appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
If you could only choose one, should you strength train or do cardio? Trick question! You don”;t have to choose, and you shouldn”;t. Both types of exercise are important not just for maintaining a healthy weight, but for your overall health. That”;s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio each week, plus two strength-training sessions.
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Here”;s a rundown of why both strength training and cardio work benefit your health and your weight loss goals, with easy ways to fit both into your busy life.
Why you need cardio:
Almost 80 percent of Americans don”;t achieve the CDC”;s 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week, meaning they miss out on a ton of benefits: Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, of course, but also decreased risks for diabetes, osetoporosis and premature death.
If you vary the pace of your cardio work, it can be supercharged: Interval training, where short bursts of harder work are alternated with easier work or total rest have been found in multiple studies, according to Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, to burn more fat and increase cardiovascular function better than steady-state, medium-paced work.
Why cardio alone isn”;t good enough:
Some studies seem to suggest that cardiovascular exercise, by itself, is better for weight loss than combining it with strength training. In an eight-month study of 234 overweight people conducted by Duke University Medical Center, researchers found that those who did cardio alone lost 1.76 kilograms, while those who did a combination of cardio and strength lost slightly less, 1.63 kilograms. Members of a third group, who did just strength training, actually gained about 2 pounds during the study.
But if you look a little deeper, the cardio-only group lost weight, but they didn”;t lose lean body mass–;meaning they lost muscle, not fat. The combo group gained .81 kilograms of muscle, and the strength-only group tacked on more than two pounds of muscle–;meaning they lost fat overall. And a body with less fat and more muscle not only looks good, but burns more calories at rest and can help protect against disease, reduce fall risk and lower your overall risk of death.
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An easy way to do it:
Walk! You may think you have to sprint or jog to get all these benefits, but walking does a lot of good. While your watch may be telling you that 10,000 steps is somehow magical, you don”;t need that many to get benefits: For every 1,000 steps you take each day, you can reduce your risk of “;functional limitation”; in the future due to arthritis by 16 to 18 percent (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140612085120.htm).
And walking can help keep weight off: One study conducted by Hopkins Medicine found that “;moderately active”; people lowered their levels of dangerous visceral fat by 7.4 percent compared with inactive subjects . And you can even get the fat-burning benefits of interval training while walking: Try changing your pace by as little as five inches per second for bursts of one minute, followed by one minute of slower walking. According to Biology Letters, when study participants did this, they burned 20 percent more calories than when they walked the same pace throughout their walk.
Why you need strength:
Having muscular strength means you can do more than just pick up a barbell. The American Heart Association recommends strength training because it improves cardiovascular function, lowers your heart disease risk, increases resting metabolism and improves your “;psychosocial well-being.”; But that”;s not all! Strength training improves cognitive function, according to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and even works productivity.
And, of course, it can help stave off weight gain: In a Harvard study, researchers found that men who did 20 minutes of daily weight training had less age-related belly fat gains than those who did the same amount of cardio work.
Why strength training alone isn”;t enough:
It”;s possible to increase your heart rate while performing strength work so that you”;re “;doing cardio”; while lifting weights, but for many of us, it”;s unlikely that we”;ll elevate our heart rate enough during strength training to match the 150 cumulative weekly minutes needed to realize the cardio benefits described above. And if you do, it”;s possible you”;re sacrificing strength work–;that is, your strength training isn”;t challenging your strength enough, and has “;turned into”; cardio. You need both!
An easy way to do it:
If you”;re going to the gym, lift light weights. Studies have found that lifting weights to failure–;continuing the movement until you can”;t do another repetition–;is the most important factor in building muscle strength and size, whether the load is heavy or light. One study of this kind showed that men who lifted 30 to 50 percent of their maximum weight for sets of 20 to 25 repetitions gained as much strength and size as others who lifted 75 to 80 percent of their maximum for eight repetitions per set. So if big, heavy weights make you nervous, stick to the smaller stuff. And if training to failure, be safe: Consider using a machine or a really light dumbbell so that if you truly fail, the weight isn”;t putting you in danger.
No gym membership? No problem! Your body weight provides plenty of resistance. The act of getting in and out of a chair without using your hands for assistance is a strength training exercise–;and it helps build muscle power, which can increase your ability to avoid a fall as you age. Try these five simple power-building exercises to start.
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OK, which should I do first?:
If you”;re going to perform cardio and strength work in the same day, studies vary on which you should do first. One study published by Ace Fitness found that if you perform weight training first, your cardio workout can be harder than it would normally–;resulting in an increase in pulse of 12 beats per minute compared to when the cardio”;s done first. In that case, it would seem that the answer is cardio first is better.
But other studies have shown the opposite: Performing cardio first can use up the fuel you”;ll need for strength training so you won”;t get the same benefits. Doing weight training first can also mean you burn more fat while doing cardio, since weight training can use up the carbohydrates in your body in advance of your aerobic work.
So the real answer is: It depends on your goals, and more importantly, your preferences. If you find you prefer cardio work first and it”;s the only way you have enough energy to also do your strength work–;stick with that. If when you do strength traninig first, you feel like you have more zip to finish your aerobic session, do that. If all things are equal and weight loss is your goal, do your strength work first.
The post Cardio vs. Strength Training: What”;s Better? appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
June is the bridge between spring and summer, bringing along hot weather, beach vacations and outdoor fun. However, with this entrance also comes sneaky temptations trying to sabotage your weight loss. With a little extra guidance, motivation and support, you can stick to your healthy diet this summer and avoid falling off the wagon. Our health and wellness experts are back this month with even more Facebook Live events to keep you on track with your Nutrisystem program.
As things slowly return to normal after a stressful and scary spring, it is time focus on ourselves and get healthier. Here at Nutrisystem, we’re all about making weight loss fun and easier for our beloved members. These live events are designed to help you get motivated, get moving and get healthy. Tune in this June for fun and fresh advice for the summer season!
Our June Facebook Live Events will be hosted by our nutrition experts, LeeAnn and Mandi, every Monday and Thursday at 5:30 pm EST. They will brush up on some Nutrisystem basics while also providing you with motivation, weight loss tips and nutrition education.
Check out the topics we are covering during the month of June below, then come on over to our Facebook page so that you can tune in! >
June Facebook Live Events:
June 1st: 10 Reasons to Go for a Walk Today
June 4th: 5 Things to Do Every Day to Lose Weight Faster
June 8th: A Review of SmartCarbs
June 11th: A Review of PowerFuels
June 15th: First Shipment Overview
June 18th: 8 Weight Loss Tips that Have Nothing to Do with Diet or Exercise
June 22nd: Unhealthy Diet Mistakes
June 25th: 5 Superfoods to Add to Your Diet
June 29th: 5 More Superfoods to Add to Your Diet
No matter where you are on your path to weight loss, we’re here to help you reach your goals and provide support. Continue your journey this summer with a little help from our Facebook Live events. Tune in this June and follow along for tips and tricks to help you succeed. >
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The post Tune in This June! Lose Weight This Summer With Our Live Events appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com