If you’re an older adult struggling with your weight, you’re not alone. People of all ages have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight. But seniors have additional challenges, such a slower metabolism, less muscle tone, and additional health issues.
While it can be difficult, maintaining a healthy weight as you age plays a key role in your health. Our board-certified physicians at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, are here to help. Our practice offers personalized medical weight loss to patients in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida.
Here’s a closer look at why it’s important to maintain a healthy weight as you age and how our medical weight-loss program can help.
The dangers of gaining weight as you age
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight as you get older. When you were younger and gained a few pounds, your body was more resilient, and you had more time before chronic conditions set in.
Your weight is healthy when it falls into the normal range on the body mass index (BMI) scale (18.5-24.9). Having a BMI of 25-29.9 designates you as overweight, a BMI of 30 or higher means you’re obese, and a BMI of 40 or more classifies you as morbidly obese.
The health risks of being overweight or obese are real at every age, but as an older adult, weighing more than you should sharply increases your risk of developing medical and health complications, including:
- Urinary incontinence
- Most kinds of cancer
- Coronary artery disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Hypoventilation syndrome
- Venous diseases
- Mental health disorders
This is only a partial list. Weighing more than a healthy body weight also increases your risk of developing a condition called metabolic syndrome. This describes groups of health conditions related to being overweight that occur together, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
Benefits of losing weight as a senior
The good news is that if you’re a senior who is overweight or obese, losing even just a few pounds benefits your overall health. Even more promising, with sustained weight loss, you can stop and sometimes reverse many complications associated with having a high BMI.
Studies show that losing as little as 5-10% of your body mass delivers immediate health benefits, including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Better muscle mass
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Improved mobility
- Enhanced mental health
- Less joint pain
- Decreased risk of most cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke
- Decreased risk or improvement in osteoarthritis and sleep apnea
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced inflammation
We provide tailored information customized to your current health regarding the specific and immediate benefits you can expect when you lose weight.
How our medical weight loss program can help
At Beth and Howard Braver, MD, we know a one-size-fits-all weight loss program doesn’t exist, and seniors have additional needs. That’s why we design personalized weight loss plans based on your current and goal weight, family history, and any existing chronic conditions or diseases you have.
At your weight loss consultation, we ask you to tell us about your weight history and which diets or programs you’ve used to try to lose weight. This helps us better understand the approaches that may or may not work for you at this time.
After an evaluation of your medical history and a physical exam, we design a personalized weight loss plan using our comprehensive approach, which may combine:
- Medications that promote weight loss and control appetite
- Nutrition planning to improve metabolism and ensure your nutritional needs are met
- Exercise planning to help you incorporate regular physical activity safely
- Other lifestyle modifications that may incorporate healthy stress management or limiting alcohol and sugar intake
Every step of the way, we give you the support you need to safely lose weight and enjoy the many benefits it brings.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy weight as you age or to schedule a consultation with a weight loss expert, book an appointment at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, today.