Retirement Weekly: Dieting is a young person’s game, right? Not really.

by | Jan 6, 2023 | Stock Market

Ads for weight-loss programs usually feature the young. They rarely show smiling seniors telling us how they lost 50 pounds. Yet staying reasonably slim is a challenge for many retirees. Certain affects of aging, such as changes in metabolism and loss of bone and muscle mass, increase the odds of weight gain.

Older people may not exercise regularly. And depression or boredom can lead them to overeat. “Your metabolism starts to slow down as you age,” said Randi Weissberger, a Maryland-based registered dietitian. That means the rate at which we break down food steadily declines. Read: Walking can help you lose weight and get fit — if you do it right. Here’s how to reap rewards from your rambles. Weight gain poses a particular threat to older women. Because women of any age have a slower metabolism than men, they’re more at risk for losing muscle and gaining fat in retirement. Some seniors are well aware of the risk. They track the latest diet trends and may try intermittent fasting or other weight-loss regimens, especially if they have an adult child—or other family member—prodding them to slim down. Research shows that fasting can reduce inflammation and improve longevity. But drastic caloric restriction can slow metabolism even more and spur muscle loss. As an experiment, you may want to try fasting for 12 hours after dinner—going from, say, 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. without food. This helps with digestion and gives your body a chance to bur …

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