Adapting To Keto - 7 Tips For Seniors To Look And Feel Better
By Wen Liu • August 11, 2019
Because of its many health benefits, a keto diet is an exciting option for seniors.
This article will show you how to get the most out of it.
No matter your age, the keto diet has proven to be an effective way of losing weight and improving vitality. With a few tweaks, you can adapt the diet to meet your exact needs.
We all know the toll of aging. It’s more pronounced in some than others, but there’s no escaping the passage of time. But, this doesn’t mean that you should give in to it.
In fact, it’s the last thing you’ll want to do, considering the number of lifestyle changes that can make you feel better.
The keto diet is among the best changes available. It tackles some of the biggest health concerns that seniors face, such as gaining weight and cholesterol imbalances. What’s more, it offers a host of health improvements that can boost the quality of your everyday life.
However, to reap all these benefits, you need the right approach to this diet.
What Is The Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) way of eating that forces your body to use fats as fuel. You can enter the state of ketosis by depriving your body of carbs. When the levels of sugar are low enough, the body reverts to using stored fats as a part of its failsafe mechanism.
The result is a rapid yet balanced weight loss that doesn’t result in starving. As you eat healthy fats, your body gets a reliable source of energy. This is why many people on this diet feel more alert and energized throughout the day.
Also, the diet can lower the levels of triglycerides, blood glucose, and LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. Conversely, it increases the levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) to aid cardiovascular issues.
For Mary, the keto diet has been a godsend. Struggling with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), she couldn’t enjoy her otherwise good life. At 53, her weight pushed her into prediabetes, and she knew that she needed a change for the better. This is when she discovered the keto diet and turned her life around in a few months. In her own words:
“I’m satiated. I don’t feel one bit deprived. I sleep better. My husband isn’t forced to wear earplugs every night anymore as I’ve ceased to snore. My blood pressure is better. I can wear my engagement ring again. My waistbands don’t roll.”
The good news is that everyone can enjoy the same dietary benefits as Mary. This applies to seniors as well, with minor modifications. The following are seven tips with a focus on seniors, though some of them apply to all.
1 - Control Protein And Fat
As mentioned, the keto diet revolves around getting most of your calories from fats. Protein comes second, and you should eat as little carbs as possible (around 5-10% of your calories).
But this doesn’t mean that you can eat lots of fats and protein with indiscrimination. It can not only prevent you from losing weight but the other way round.
When it comes to protein, a good rule of thumb is to eat 0.5-1.5g of protein per your body weight in kilograms. Overeating of it can stop your body from entering ketosis. This is especially true for women since it’s easier for them over consume protein vis-à-vis their weights. As low-carb diet expert Dr. Sarah Hallberg puts it:
“If you and your husband are eating the same size steak, you are consuming too much.”
The same is true for fats. While you need to keep fueling your body with fats, overeating will void the benefits of the keto diet. The key is to make sure that your body is using its fat stores as energy. Once your body has adapted, pay close attention to your fat intake so that you burn more than you eat.
2 - Get Rid Of Carbohydrates
Since your body has to switch to a different way of producing energy, it’s normal to crave carbs every once in a while. This is especially true in the beginning while your body is in transition.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to do some kitchen spring cleaning before you start the keto diet. It will be much easier for you to not give in to your cravings when non-keto-friendly food isn’t in your house. You’ll have time to think about the consequences before you binge. It will make it much easier to stick to the keto lifestyle.
At the same time, you’ll want to make sure to take keto-friendly meals with you when you go out. When you’re hungry and away from your kitchen, you might not be able to resist taking a trip to the nearest bakery. But not if you take your Keto meals with you.
3 - Limit Alcohol And Sweeteners
Most alcoholic drinks are a significant source of carbs. This includes beers, coolers, and most cocktails. But, you’ll be happy to know that you can still enjoy a glass of red or white wine every once in a while.
But keep in mind that this is only true if you’re able to lose weight while drinking it. If you notice a period of stagnation, you might want to stop drinking until you start losing weight again.
As for artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame, they’re a trap that you might want to avoid. The anecdotal evidence shows that people who avoid artificial sweeteners see better results.
4. Try MCT Oil For Faster Results
Your liver produces ketone bodies out of fats, which your body uses as fuel. Most fats first go to the lymphatic system before they reach the liver. This isn’t the most efficient pathway.
One notable exception is medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats enter your liver directly for a much more efficient source of ketone bodies. For this reason, MCT oil can do wonders for those wishing to achieve ketosis fast.
As your liver can turn these fats into ketone bodies quite quickly, adding MCT oil to your diet can help. So if you’re struggling to keep up with the keto diet, MCT oil can add some variety to your meals.
5 - Drink Plenty Of Water
No matter your diet, hydration is essential for maintaining good health. However, the keto diet requires you to drink more water than many other diets. This is because carbs are in charge of retaining water and sodium. When you rob your body of them, water leaves your body much faster.
As a result, you put yourself at risk of dehydration. Aside from slowing down weight loss, this can also result in many health concerns.
The key here is to focus on cellular hydration. This requires more than drinking more water. Your body needs electrolytes to make sure your cells get the proper hydration. Since the keto diet doesn’t allow salty carbs, you need to find a way of replenishing your body’s sodium reserves.
6 - Get Enough Sleep
The quality of your sleep has a much bigger impact on your weight loss than you might think. How so? Because a good night’s sleep gives you the energy you need and reduces stress. It lowers the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone famous for abdominal fat.
Many menopausal women have trouble getting high sleep quality. This is due to night sweats and hot flashes that they feel. Luckily, there are many things you can do to improve your sleep. These include:
Sleeping in a cool, blacked-out room
Wearing earplugs to eliminate noises or trying a white noise machine
Not drinking coffee afternoon
Avoiding alcohol before bed
Exposing yourself to natural light during the day
7 - Have Patience
The keto diet is an excellent way of losing weight, but you need to be realistic when it comes to your expectations. Not everyone will lose weight at the same pace, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see any results right way.
Like Atkins RN Jackie Eberstein puts it:
“Remember that you are in this for the long haul. It is an investment in your health as you get older. Have patience. Your long-term goal is to make a permanent lifestyle change as well as lose the excess fat.”
Need Help To Reach Your Health Goals?
The keto diet is among the most effective ways of losing weight for seniors. If you follow the above tips, you should have no problems getting into the state of ketosis. And once you do, it’s all about sticking to the plan and a balanced lifestyle.
A great thing about the keto diet is that it’s not as complicated as some people make it out to be. With a few lifestyle changes, it can be a simple and enjoyable experience.
Are you ready to learn more about the keto diet and try it yourself? Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with a certified health coach. We’ll review your current lifestyle, help you set some goals, and come up with a plan to achieve them.