One of the first things a senior or elderly individual should do in trying to gain weight is to eat more often. Aim for five or six small meals interspersed throughout the day, with no more than three or four hours apart. Take breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the normal times, but work in high-energy snacks like cheese and crackers, nut butter spread on fruit, granola or protein bars, smoothies, ready-to-eat cereal with milk or seeds like sunflower seeds in-between meals. Losing weight for most elderly can be dangerous. It is important to keep a steady (normal) weight during aging.
Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods
It’s not a good idea trying to gain weight by eating high-calorie, high-fat foods. Fast food and processed or prepackaged foods like chips or pizza contain a large amount of saturated fat, trans fats, sodium, and cholesterol. Instead, fill the meals with whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins like poultry, seafood, lean meat cuts or beans and legumes.
Make Drinks Count
It’s good for a senior or elderly individual to drink plenty of liquid every day, beverages are an easy way to add more calories to an underweight person’s diet. Juice, low- or non-fat milk, smoothies, and shakes are all good ways to increase the caloric intake without adding in too much fat. Try adding ground flaxseed, nut butter, wheat germ or protein powder into smoothies and shakes. Be sure to not drink any of these calorie-dense beverages with a meal since they may fill up and keep from eating as much as needed.
Most people probably think of regular exercise as a way to lose weight, not to gain it. But exercise can help seniors and elderly individuals gain weight by building up lean muscle mass and stimulating appetite. Any physical activity is good, but strength training in particular help to build muscles and lead to weight gain. Aim to exercise for three to five days each week, but talk to the doctor before starting an exercise plan if being a senior or elderly person with any type of health condition
There are many reasons for wanting to build muscle while getting older, but four stand out.
More muscle in the legs and hips gives a better balance, which reduces the chances of falling
If falling down, the more muscle surrounding the bones, the less likely they break
The more muscle the stronger the bones are. The very existence of muscle in the body puts tension on the bones, which causes them to strengthen.
Lack of strength compromises the quality of life while aging. Having sufficient muscle and strength keeps without assistance and a happy healthy life.
While aging muscle is lost in an accelerated rate, through a process known as sarcopenia. This is part of the aging process all have to go through, but factors such reduced levels of physical activity, poor diet, lower protein intake and poor anabolic response to food and exercise increases the speed and severity of this muscle loss.
The loss of muscle from sarcopenia, and in turn the corresponding loss of strength has a strong effect on quality of life making daily tasks more difficult, resulting in even less physical activity and the cycle continues. A reduction in strength increases the risk of falls and in turn, increases the mortality rate. Two factors that are associated with increased risk of mortality are:
1) Length of time spent sat down each day.
2) A person’s ability to help them self-off the floor unaided.
Maintaining muscle as while aging is a hugely important aspect of health that often goes un-talked about, but the health and social benefits to maintaining strength and muscle as while getting older are priceless.
Sarcopenia affects both of these, preventing muscle loss and increasing muscle mass as while aging increases life expectancy and quality. It is said that when young the training is to look big and ripped, but it is also going to keep personal life for longer, healthier and happier as getting older.
Sarcobesity (or sarcopenic obesity) is a similar process to sarcopenia and involves losing muscle and gaining fat. This is a real problem, not only for the way of the looks only but to health too.
Background and aim
Older people with hip fractures are often malnourished at the time of their fracture and many have poor food intake while in hospital. Malnutrition may hinder recovery after hip fracture.
Use less salt
Everyone requires a certain amount of salt, but too much can increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Building strength takes years, not weeks or months. It is an act of discipline and must be earned through a commitment to hard training and a good diet.