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Weight loss for seniors

8/17 9:02:12

I am 64 and in good health. I have never had a problem losing weight before this year. I
retired last May and my activity level dropped significantly. I usually weigh about 120-128
but I am up to 141 lbs...I haven't weighed this much since my daughter was 4 years old. I
understand that older people have a harder tome losing weight, but I have been walking
on a treadmill for 5 weeks now, I do 20-30  min twice a day and eat whole grains, low fat,
low calorie as much as I can. I have not lost an ounce!  I cannot do weight training because
I had polio in my left arm and I can't maneuver it well; it's very weak.  It's very depressing.
I just had blood work done, and all the results were normal, so I don't think I have a
thyroid problem. Help!

Hi, and thanks for your question.

I think you might have nailed the answer yourself, since you seem to have gained the weight after retirement.  Besides your activity level dropping significantly, you may be eating more food, or less regularly as well.  (getting up later?  skipping breakfast?  snacking out of boredom?)
So you've gained about 2 pounds a month, and that's about the rate you can expect to lose it now--just about 1/2 pound a week.

Walking on the treadmill each day can be helpful but it would take a LOT of walking to contribute to weight loss; an hour every day would help you lose up to a pound a week ... are you on it twice a day every day?  If so, that's a huge accomplishment!
Can you increase your speed or your incline, or up it to 40 minutes on one of your sessions?
Another activity you can try is wearing a pedometer--you may find you are moving very little during the day and a pedometer can remind you to get up and get in a few more steps.  The ultimate goal is 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles).  The best way to use it is to track your usual steps for a few days, and then try adding 1,000 steps to that each week (If you walk 3000 a day, shoot for 4000 next week and 5000 the week after that).

It's probably easier for most people to lose weight by reducing their calorie intake, and use the calories burned through exercise to prevent weight gain.  

To that end, keeping a food diary is extremely helpful in identifying what you actually are eating (we usually eat more than we think we are)!  We do things like tell ourselves how "good" we've been by eating so healthy, so we give ourselves a 'treat' like an ice cream cone, cancelling out all the calories we saved eating healthy that day!
A food diary works for most people, easy as it sounds, and people also use it to document how many steps they've walked or how many minutes on the treadmill.  With this method, you can't fool yourself into thinking you are doing better than you actually are.  

Good luck to you--I think that keeping a journal will help you be certain you are actually exercising an hour a day, and eating smart nearly all of the time!
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