Fighting Fat

Fighting fat is on many people's minds – including the 70 percent of seniors, the older-adult segment of the American populace that is overweight or even obese.

Is it a losing battle or is there hope?

You may be one who thinks that it's all about calories in, calories out. This means that you have to burn more calories than you take in through your food and drink.

You may be one who believes battling overweight is, at this stage in life, a matter of popping diet pills to reduce the feelings of hunger or kill the appetite.

Obese people may look into stomach stapling (gastric bypass) as a solution.

Some go from one starvation diet to another similarly senseless one.

Or, you simply may have given up the "fight."

Wait A Minute. There Is Hope…

For a 65 year old American (or whatever your age) giving up on fighting fat and living with overweight or obesity is NOT normal. It is NOT unavoidable or irreversible.

Let me assure you – it certainly is anything but "natural (or expected) for a senior in our society at this time" – as some doctors in their ignorance may tell you.

There is hope if you –

  • Don't shy away from the hard truth
  • Realize time is running
  • Stop looking for excuses

There is hope if you stop making poor food choices, start to exercise regularly (and frequently) -- and decide to have fun with it all.

Let me help you with this.

You can begin fighting fat by first leaning into and then adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet.

I call this a healthy nutritional lifestyle instead of a diet.

How about starting by cutting out one bad food habit at a time? It works wonders.

Smaller, more frequent meals will fight the extra weight.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Caffeine (coffee or tea - not sodas) in moderation is a stimulant that increases the calorie-burning effect.

I'm doing all this. Successfully. I'll show you why and how to go about it.

Skip breakfast? Please, don't.

Here is my typical breakfast. Just look at all the fat-fighting ingredients:

In my bowl you'll find

  • uncooked (soaked in homemade brown rice milk or water) rolled oats 
  • chia seeds, hemp hearts, ground flaxseeds, walnuts
  • raisins or cranberries
  • fresh and frozen fruit (banana, blueberries, etc.)
  • cinnamon and turmeric
  • popped amaranth

Green tea or coffee are my choice of drink.

These are ingredients that offer many benefits:

  • high in fiber and healthy fats (think omega-3)
  • keep blood sugar stable and lower triglycerides and cholesterol
  • keep you fuller longer
  • antioxidants
  • plenty of sweetness without the added sugar

Some of your other daily meals should include such fat-fighting ingredients as dark green leafy vegetables like Romaine lettuce (see my Vegan Food Pyramid).

Why these vegetables?

They're filling - while trimming your overall calorie intake by about 10 percent. And, they're nutrient-dense to boot.

As a senior, you may be taking medications. So you may think that citrus fruits such as grapefruit could negatively affect your meds.

Well, turns out this was all about commercially processed juice which interferes with enzymes that break down medications. Science has it now that eating the actual whole fruit doesn't result in the same problems.

In fact, it comes with vitamins A, B5, B9, potassium, lycopene, fat-burning naringenin, and of course, lots of fiber. Have your grapefruit and enjoy its nutritional goodness.

Sweet potatoes (with some cinnamon sprinkled on them) are another blood sugar regulating food that is fighting fat. They taste absolutely delicious.

Besides cinnamon, all kinds of spices and fresh herbs are lowering blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Make sure you use all these - basil, black pepper, cardamom, chives, cilantro, cloves, garlic, ginger, parsley, turmeric.

Some, like me, love to eat whole chilies or chili powder for the capsaicin, which is fighting fat by suppressing appetite.

How Active Are You?

You can also step up your metabolism through exercise (moderate and/or vigorous) and burn excess calories.

Strength training builds muscle, thus helping with the change in metabolism.

Not only will exercise help fighting fat, but it will make an increase in your power, endurance and flexibility noticeable in just a few weeks.

These are tremendously important benefits at any age – and even more so for seniors who want to maintain physical independence.

Let's hear it for a healthy diet and independence…

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