While losing weight usually gets all the media attention, there are instances where people want to gain it instead. To help seniors gain weight there are a number of methods you’ll want to employ to ensure their weight increase is healthy rather than unhealthy.
Become More Physically Active
While many aging adults dismiss physical fitness, choosing to spend most of their time living a sedentary lifestyle, becoming physically active will boost appetite. This will increase your hunger which in turn will help you eat more. However, because many retirees haven’t exercised in decades, it is recommended to speak with a doctor to determine which activities are most suitable, as you don’t want to injure yourself.
Eat More Smaller Rather Than Larger Meals
Did you know that the digestive systems of aging adults work slower than younger people? This is one of the reasons why many experts recommend eating smaller meals more frequently rather than two or three large meals each day. This will make it easier for your body to process the food and you’ll feel more nourished. You should also eat foods that are high in both proteins and calories. Examples of this include poultry, meat, nut butter, fish, yogurt, and cheese.
Consume Healthy Oils and Fats with High Calories
The foods you eat should be rich in both healthy oils and fats. Once you’re done eating, you’ll want to wash your food down with beverages that are high in proteins and calories. Examples of this include milkshakes and whole milk that have milk powder to further boost their caloric content.
Eat Foods with the Proper Texture
The texture is an important factor to be considered when meal planning for aging adults. The reason for this is that those who have missing teeth or dentures find it difficult to consume certain foods, especially those which have a harder texture. Using food processing to grind down the food or cooking it longer to further soften it is a great solution, as is adding ingredients such as eggs, avocado, meatloaf, and yogurt.
Why Are Some Aging Adults Too Frail?
Aging has different effects on different people, which is partly the result of genetics. While some have a tendency to put on weight, putting them at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, others may appear thin or frail. Being underweight can result from:
- Not eating enough
- Not chewing and digesting food correctly
- The onset of an illness like gall bladder disease, heart conditions, cancer, or ulcers
- The usage of medications lead to reduced appetite
- Consuming too many alcoholic beverages
When Does Weight Loss Become a Cause for Concern?
It is important to remember that some people are naturally ectomorph and thin and will remain so for much of their lives. However, if you notice that you or someone you’re caring for has lost four or five percent of their body weight within the previous twelve months without trying, or ten percent over a five to ten year period, they should be taken to a doctor for evaluation.