In our life, the two main elements to control or lose weight are nutrition and physical activities. Despite the fact that good habits must be applied from the earliest age, each phase of life has its own needs.
A common maxim is that “for proper weight control at all stages of life we must adjust the energy we get from food to the amount of energy we burn with activities ” Said Iris de Luna a specialist in Endocrinology and Nutrition Madrid University Hospital Clinic.
Schoolchildren and adolescents
For De Luna, “the main obstacle to lose weight in childhood and adolescence is a sedentary lifestyle. Leisure time spent on low-energy activities – often technology-related – has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Obesity is the world major health problem, since it causes many health problems such as diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, osteoarthritis, etc.
The more years of evolution obesity has, the more serious and the more consequences it will have for health. For this reason, it is necessary to help the youngest to acquire health habits that include performing physical exercise on a regular basis”.
Skip the breakfast to lose weight myth
A common mistake among teenagers is to skip breakfast, believing that skipping a meal will result in lose weight. “In reality, the opposite effect occurs; the body tries to compensate for this lack of energy during the morning with a greater use of nutrients at midday. This causes disproportionate hunger behavior and an appetite for hypercaloric foods in the meal, establishing a hunger-satiation circuit that does not facilitate the return of nutritional balance”, indicates the endocrinologist.
In addition, prolonged fasting hours have been shown to reduce academic and physical performance. it is advisable to consume around 25 percent of calories needed in the morning, if possible it should be distributed between breakfast and lunch in the middle of the morning.
School hours usually concentrate physical and intellectual effort in the morning, so it is essential that the energy supply is adequate for the activity that they are going to carry out.
At age 20
In the 20s “bad habits acquired in adolescence are being weighed down because the perception of one’s own health is still good. But there is a bad habit of eating fast food, with high calories and lack of nutrients, causing overweight problems” said Felipe Isidro, head of the Physical Exercise and Obesity Study Group of the Seedo.
According to this expert, in Spain, at these ages, there is a high prevalence of overweight (up to more than 10 kg over the ideal weight), and this condition will lead to obesity if it is not remedied.
“The social environment at this age (studies, entering the world of work and having a partner) means that physical exercise is not prioritized to lose weight. And when it is practiced, it is more sport, such as soccer or paddle tennis , than exercise as such” says Isidro.
From 20 to 50 years of age, the main complaint of patients with excess weight is the lack of time, both for physical exercise and for planning meals, specifies De Luna.
What to do at this stage?
“You have to change your lifestyle. It‘s not about eating less, but trying to eat better. In the same way, you don’t have to move more, but done it better. In short, do it effectively” highlights Isidro.
The Quironsalud Nutrition expert opens the age range and gives the following guidelines on recommended exercise from 20 to 50 years old: “The indications are going to be very variable and it depends on our physical condition, presence of injuries and the preferences of each person.
In this situation, the key to achieve efficient lose weight is continuity and a progressive increase in the intensity or duration of exercise. A false belief is to think that by doing exactly the same type of exercise we are going to maintain a progressive lose weight”.
Training must be adapted to achieve the goal of body composition as physical condition improves. “We will review what the real time that we have to exercise is and if, in addition, we can do it in company or complement it with another activity on the weekend. Group activities are a good way to enjoy our free time. All this must be accompanied by an active daily life.”
Biologically, the optimum point is reached at 25 years. From the age of 30 a “decline” begins.
Lose weight at age 30
When turning 30, there begins to be a concern about health because some signs of aging begin (such as wrinkles or hair loss). Isidro said that “the good thing is that people become more aware that they have to be care of themselves. Precisely for this reason there is less prevalence of obesity at this stage of life. On the other hand, if the habits are not changed at this stage, it will cost a lot to change in the future.
Nutritionally, the main advice to lose weight is to stay away from fast or junk food and consume natural products instead of processed ones. Consume a little more protein, eat white and lean meat (avoid fat), milk, fish oil and eggs.
“At 30, the loss of muscle mass begins gently, reducing strength,” says Isidro. Osteopenia begins to appear in women in addition. Hence the importance of starting to do physical exercise (cardiovascular, for example) leaving the sport little by little. “Mandatorily they have to practice exercises that work the strength of the muscle mass, such as squats, strides and pushes (or push-ups) against the wall and the ground.
At age 40
In the decade of the 40 years in the woman appear the menopause and the problems derived from the hormonal change that it supposes. Considerably on the condition of each female, they will have to plan a nutritional change, adding calcium into her diet. People with osteopenia don’t have enough vitamins D3so it’s hard for them to assimilate calcium.
You can find D3 vitamin in some foods and also can be found in the sun light. That is why it is recommended to exercise outdoors. If it is not possible, you have to start taking vitamin D” summarizes Isidro.
Type of exercise to lose weight
In this stage you must do any exercises that could strengthen your bones. A good example is walking and jumping. Something in general, is unknown is that “from this age on, women have to reduce cardiovascular exercises to lose weight, since their excess leads to a loss of muscle and bone mass. For example, you can do three days of strength exercises a week and two per week for cardiovascular”.
In men, who at this age already notice andropause due to low testosterone, it is “very important to work on muscle strength , assuming 80 percent of the exercise you do. The rest must be cardiovascular” comments Isidro.
Continuing with nutrition for men and women, the Seedo advises consumption one more point protein. Specifically, in every 10 years, protein consumption must be increased around 0.2 and 0.4 grams per KG of weight. A very high-protein breakfast could be an omelet with whole-grain toast, instead of basing the first meal of the day on carbohydrate.
Without forgetting, as always, the consumption of whole carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and white meats.
Lose weight at age 50
“The energy needed to maintain the right function of the body is highly reduced after 50. Body composition changes and metabolic needs are reduced, making it necessary to adjust calorie consumption to energy expenditure,” says the specialist in Chironsalud.
At this age,many men have already accumulated visceral fat in the abdomen area and apparently, visceral fat increase cardiovascular risk. But this is the first problem that respond to a change of nutrition and body exercise says Isidro.
is already manifest in many women osteoporosis. That is why it is important to consolidate strength exercises and start doing other joint mobility exercises (stretching, water exercises and yoga and taichi).
Obstacle at this phase
“The difficulties for weight loss in this age group are similar to other stages, although other obstacles are added to the performance of physical exercise due to limitation in mobility or the appearance of other additional diseases (respiratory or cardiac pathologies)”, says De Luna, adding that special emphasis should be placed on preventing the loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), which is greatly accelerated during periods of bed rest. Early movement and active body exercise will be essential, as well as ensuring an adjusted protein intake.
From 60 or 65 years
At this stage of life swallowing and chewing problems might appear. In easy-to-chew and mashed diets, the intake of carbohydrates is usually increased and protein consumption is reduced (meat, due to its difficulty in chewing; and fish, due to the risk of choking on thorns). For this reason, dietary adaptations must be made to ensure a correct protein intake.
specifies De Luna. From the age of 60, protein intake should already be at 2 grams per kg of body weight, adds Isidro.
This expert considers it vitally important to “do physical exercise because the loss of muscle mass accelerates, becoming brutal. Therefore, both men and women have to strengthen their muscles.
In women it is essential to do balance exercises, practicing Tai chi or with vibrating platforms, to avoid falls and breakage of the hip or femur.