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The Medicare Diet: Best Diet for Weight Loss in Seniors

best diet for weight loss in seniors

Posted on April 11, 2023 by Larry Johnson

Finding foods for the best diet for weight loss can be expensive, but did you know that certain Medicare plans offer stipends that can help offset the cost? Find out if plans including grocery benefits are available in your area today - give us a call at (800) 950-0608!

There’s No Magic Pill for Obesity

In America, rates for obesity and morbid obesity are higher than ever. This has left many adults, many who remain overweight or obese going into their senior years, looking for an easy solution to melt off the pounds. As a result, of course, numerous companies have developed “magic pills” or fad diets, like intermittent fasting, the DASH diet, or the Mediterranean diet, for quick weight loss.

From the latest and greatest diet for weight loss to overpriced, and often unsafe, supplements, adults dealing with weight loss issues may find themselves easily swayed by the promises made by new weight loss treatments on the market. These products often advertise such claims as:

In reality, there is no real “magic pill” or foolproof fad diet, like intermittent fasting, the DASH diet, or the Mediterranean diet, that can help you lose weight. Losing weight is an uphill battle at any age. However, once you reach your senior years, it gets harder to keep it off. For one, you’re less mobile than you likely were when you were younger. Your body also doesn’t burn fat as quickly as it used to at a resting rate.

If you want to fight back against high weights in your golden years, a healthy diet is key. Devising a weight loss diet for seniors is the first step your doctor will take to help you lose weight if you’re a senior dealing with being overweight or obese. However, you can come up with a great diet for weight loss for yourself before your condition gets out of control.

Today, we’re going to help you uncover your own diet strategy for weight loss. From finding the best foods for weight loss to coming up with a weight loss diet plan, we’ll have you back on the road to good health in no time!

best diet for senior weight loss

Can’t I Just Find Some Kind of Treatment to Control My Weight?

Many individuals, especially seniors, who are desperate to shed extra weight quickly turn to supplements and other methods to do so. Many companies sell mixed vitamins, appetite suppressants, and OTC testosterone to provide energy for workouts and lower calorie intake. Others may promote fad diets, like intermittent fasting, the DASH diet, or the Mediterranean diet. They promise quick results, but do they actually deliver?

To be honest, usually not. Fad diets or supplements, shakes, and other OTC pseudo-medications that promote rapid weight loss are often nothing more than typical multivitamins or meal replacements. Some of these items, such as meal replacement shakes, can actually cause weight gain if not consumed in moderation. Supplements can also be very dangerous to seniors with existing health issues, such as heart or lung conditions, as ingredients in them can cause the heart to beat at faster rates.

Another option that seniors may look to for quick weight loss treatment is bariatric surgery. While bariatric surgery can help you successfully lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, it’s important to note that it isn’t a cure for being overweight or obese. You must follow an extremely controlled diet, with the amount of calories you can consume in a given day post-op being around 1,200 or less. The post-surgery weight loss diet plan for bariatric patients is very restrictive, and can lead to a relapse to overeating if you aren’t prepared for it. This makes it incredibly easy to reverse your surgery and gain weight.

If you feel that bariatric surgery and the diet that is provided after may be a solution for you, be sure that you plan for it thoroughly. You will be required to see a counselor for extensive therapy sessions some months prior to the operation, and your doctor will likely start you on the restrictive diet you’ll be consuming after your surgery. If you’re a Medicare recipient, you’ll also need to find a way to pay for the operation: Medicare does not typically cover the cost for bariatric surgery.

In the end, nothing helps seniors lose weight better than a good weight loss diet plan. Let’s take a look at how to create a weight loss diet plan that inspires steady, healthy weight loss in seniors.

Creating a Weight Loss Diet for Seniors

If you’re carrying extra weight in your senior years, but you’re otherwise healthy, dropping that weight can help you avoid serious health issues later on. Older adults who are going into their senior years overweight or obese run a greater risk of developing severe medical complications over time. Some of the complications that can show up in overweight or obese seniors include:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Heart conditions
  • Lung issues
  • Incontinence
  • Issues with the eyes, such as cataracts or glaucoma
  • Cancer

Even if you never develop some of the conditions listed above, your quality of life, mobility, and mental health will be affected greatly. This is why it’s important to you or your loved ones to help you create an effective weight loss diet for seniors.

Weight loss in seniors should be steady. The bodies of older adults do not react to sudden changes as easily as younger bodies tend to, and rapid weight loss in seniors can be very dangerous. A proper weight loss diet plan for seniors will help you lose weight at a pace that’s suitable for you.

To start creating the best diet for senior weight loss, you’ll need to incorporate the best foods for weight loss. Let’s take a look at some of the foods that can help you, as a senior, lose weight in a healthy way.

best foods for weight loss in seniors

Best Foods for Senior Weight Loss

The best foods for weight loss have properties that make them essential for any weight loss diet for seniors. You’ll want to find foods that are high in protein and fiber, and have little, if any, sugar in them. Organic animal products are a good source of protein, which is essential as it’ll help you retain muscle mass. Dehydration is also a common issue for seniors, so getting plenty of water is important! As always, so too is regular physical activity.

Here are some of the foods to incorporate into your diet for weight loss as a senior:

  • Lean poultry (chicken breast, turkey breast, etc.)
  • Whole eggs
  • Fish, such as wild salmon or trout (good source of healthy fat)
  • Beans or Legumes
  • Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats)
  • Mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Citrus fruit (lemons, grapefruit, oranges)
  • Cherries
  • Leafy green vegetables (kale, cabbage, greens, lettuce, swiss chard)
  • Other vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower

A registered dietitian or nutritionist may also recommend consuming organic whey protein as a way to meet your recommended daily intake of protein. 

Now that we have a list of the best foods for weight loss, let’s put some of them together in a tasty recipe. We’ve found one for you that’s quick, easy, and delicious!

Recipe: 7-Minute Chicken and Pear Salad

Who says dinner has to take hours of prep and cooking? This quick chicken and pear salad recipe from SilverSneakers will have you enjoying a nice, healthy dinner in 7 minutes or less.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A small ripe pear
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. salt-free Italian seasoning
  • A cup of baby spinach leaves
  • 3 oz. cooked chicken breast, either sliced or diced
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ¼ cup minced red bell pepper

This recipe moves quickly if your chicken is already cooked! To prep your salad, dice your pear and set it aside. Combine your olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, and seasoning in a bowl, then whisk them together. Arrange your baby spinach in a bowl, then top with your chicken, dressing, pear, onion, and bell pepper.

weight loss diet plan for seniors

Weight Loss Doesn’t Have to Feel Impossible

Weight loss isn’t always the easiest task for seniors. Your body is working against you, and it’s hard to break certain food habits. However, finding your own diet for weight loss can help you lose weight a little easier. It’ll take some time, but all good things do!

Regular preventive health care is also vital to keeping pesky pounds away. There are Medicare plans out there that can help you get the preventive care you need. Some of them even offer stipends for healthy groceries! To learn more about Medicare plans near you that may carry these benefits, call (800) 950-0608 today to chat with one of our knowledgeable licensed insurance agents.

About the Author

Larry Johnson

Larry is a content writer with several years of experience in creating informative content for a variety of industries on topics that matter. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

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