It’s perfectly natural to see a change in weight as you age, but according to experts, people should take age and height into consideration when determining a healthy weight. A previous Gallup poll showed that 60% of Americans believed their weight was just about right. The same percentage of people are actually overweight or obese.
Some people may not notice they are gaining extra pounds as they age. This excess weight could increase the risk of developing diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and even cancer. In women, a single increase in skirt size between mid-20s and mid-50s could make them three times more likely to have breast cancer after menopause, according to WebMD.
These are diseases you have to manage for a lifetime, impacting your health, wallet and day-to-day activities.
To achieve the best weight for your age, here are simple ways to understand your body and what it needs:
Check your BMI and waist size… properly
The body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight to measure body fat. However, for older adults, BMI in some cases can understate body fat. This then leads us to properly checking waist size. It can give a clear picture of overall health.
Get a tape measure, put it around your waist, right above the belly button and look at the number. If the waist size appears more than 35 inches for a woman or 40 inches for a man, a person can be considered obese, according to Rush University Medical Center.
Seek small weight loss
Experts say older people should aim to lose small amounts of weight for better health. Cutting weight by about 7 to 10% could improve metabolism and promote better health over time.
Monitor your muscles and body fat
As people get older, muscle mass shrinks. However, even people in their 80s can develop lean muscle and keep body fat down through exercise and a healthy diet.