Maintain Your Weight to Live Longer, Says Study

scaleNew research out of Ohio State University may give you one more reason to watch your weight as you age.  A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology evaluated nearly 10,000 adults aged 51 to 77 years of age.  Researchers found that those who maintained their weight later in life had the highest survival rates.  This was true even when the adults were slightly overweight to begin with.

How to Maintain Your Weight

Trying to maintain your weight is a little bit different than trying to lose weight.  Most people know that changes to your diet and exercise program are necessary for weight loss.  But what steps should you take to make sure you don’t gain weight?  Here are a few tips:

  • Keep track of your numbers.  Know your body mass index (BMI) or weigh yourself on a regular basis.  Small changes on the scale are normal from time to time.  But if you notice that your weight continues to increase, you may need to watch your diet or include more exercise in your daily routine.
  • Stay active.  Face it, most of us get lazier as we age.  We take the stairs less often, we drive to nearby locations when we could easily walk and we might even spend more time sitting on the couch reading or watching television.  This sedentary activity could cause weight gain. If you continue to eat the same number of calories, but you burn fewer calories with less activity each day, you will gain weight.
  • Get creative in the kitchen.  Let go of your old eating ruts.  Take a cooking class, visit the farmer’s market, or get a new cookbook from the local library to learn new ways to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.  Healthy produce will help you to eat more food, stay satisfied throughout the day and get the nutrients you need to stay healthy and active.  
  • Watch portion sizes. If you don’t occasionally check the portion sizes of your meals, it is easy to slowly increase your food intake and gain weight.  Not sure how much food you should eat?  Use the Nutrition Facts label on your food package to find the serving size of each food. You can also download this handy portion size guide to give you an idea of how much food to eat.
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