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How Can Elderly People Gain Weight in a Healthy Way?
Once you reach a certain age, it can start to seem like you hardly know your own body anymore. Between the changes in hormone levels, shifts in metabolism, loss of muscle mass, and various other ailments that tend to befall the elderly, staying healthy is a challenge – one that leaves many seniors feeling like they have to navigate an endless array of obstacles. One problem that affects a significant portion of older adults is unwanted weight loss, both in the form of muscle wasting and the loss of body fat. While weight loss may seem like a minor issue to some, it can leave seniors without the resources their bodies need to recover from illness or injury. For this reason, many older adults and their families want to know, “How can elderly people gain weight in a healthy way?” To find out, keep reading as the team at ENU – makers of nutrition shakes for seniors – explain.
Tips on How Elderly People Can Gain Healthy Weight
Although there are lots of easy ways for elderly people to gain weight, including with well-rounded weight gain protein shakes, most of them are unhealthy, even if you start out underweight and in need of gaining a few pounds. To help ensure that you don’t put yourself at risk when gaining weight, consider the following tips:
Go for Steady Weight Gain
While you may hope to see a change in your weight fairly quickly, remember that gaining weight in a healthy way is something that takes time. Once you figure out your weight gain diet, stick to it, even if you have yet to see results after a week or two. And if you have concerns about the diet’s effectiveness, don’t be afraid to bring them up with your doctor or nutritionist; they may be able to help you improve the results.
Don’t Gain Weight Too Quickly
In most cases, gaining weight too quickly is a health risk, as it encourages the formation of visceral fat – the kind that sits around your belly. To avoid this problem, experts suggest that elderly people gain weight at a rate of no more than 1-2 pounds per week, though the best person to advise you on this point is your primary care doctor.
The Source of Calories Matters
Another point to consider is the source of your calories. Maintaining a calorie surplus (consuming more calories than you use) is generally the key to gaining weight, and it’s important to get those calories from healthy foods and drinks. Steer clear of saturated or trans fats as much as possible, as well as sources of sugar or other simple carbs that could cause a spike in blood sugar.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
Even if you could stick to your diet without help, coming up with a meal plan can offer a number of benefits for elderly people. You could figure out the number of calories you get in each meal, for example, or track which nutrients are part of your diet. These plans can also create a sense of accountability, which is helpful for many people when dieting for weight gain.
Build Muscle, Not Just Fat
Perhaps the best way to ensure that your weight gain is healthy is to build muscle as part of your diet. Doing so will require that elderly people get plenty of protein, though, so include lean sources like poultry, fish, nuts, and beans as part of a well-rounded diet plan. You’ll also need to use some form of resistance exercise, even if it means starting out with little or no weight.
Foods Elderly People Can Eat to Gain Weight in a Healthy Way
Whether planning meals ahead of time or choosing food on the fly, picking certain dishes or ingredients can be a great way to promote healthy weight gain in elderly people. If you or someone you know is looking to gain weight in a healthy way, consider the following options:
Nuts and Seeds
As sources of both protein and heart-healthy fats, nuts and seeds can be great additions to a healthy weight gain diet for elderly people. They make for convenient snacks, too.
As long as they come with significant amounts of calories, nutrition shakes can offer a convenient and nutritious way to improve your weight gain efforts.
Whether in the form of milk, cheese, yogurt, or any number of other products, dairy foods are excellent choices for elderly people looking to gain weight in a healthy way because they’re high in protein and calories.
Because they’re high in both calories and carbs, potatoes, squash, and other starchy foods can be helpful additions to a healthy weight gain diet for seniors; they’re generally very affordable, as well.
Not only is fish a great source of lean protein for elderly people, but it offers lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which carry significant health benefits of their own.
Try ENU Shakes or Powders for Healthy Weight Gain in Elderly People
Gaining weight in a healthy way may sound like a complicated process, but ENU shakes and nutritional powders can offer easy and convenient ways to get more calories, protein, fats, and carbs whenever you need them. Mix some Pro3+ powder into your favorite drink to up the calorie count without changing the taste, or add a 340-calorie ENU shake after a meal. Learn more about how ENU can help you reach your weight and health goals by visiting us online or calling (855) 266-6733 today.