Losing body fat as a senior isn’t always easy. There are a variety of bodily changes that occur as you age which can make weight loss difficult to facilitate. However, it is absolutely still possible to lose weight as a senior, and we will be going over seven of the most effective methods to lose body fat as a senior.
Age Changes in Weight Loss
There are various changes that occur to body systems when you age, which can make it harder to lose weight. These include hormonal changes as well as metabolic changes. For example, in men, the levels of testosterone in the body steadily decline as you age past thirty. This can lead to weight gain and depression in some men, and it generally makes it more difficult to maintain lean body mass as well as lose body fat. Additionally, the metabolism tends to slow down as we age, resulting in our body more fiercely holding on to body fat and making weight loss, in general, more difficult. There is additionally some debate in the medical community about whether weight loss in seniors is good in general, as losing weight beyond a certain point has been connected to increased mortality. However, if you have an abnormally high BMI (body mass index) as a senior, then losing some body fat is generally extremely good for you and has life-extending properties. Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. While it does have some shortcomings, particularly with people who have above-average quantities of muscle mass, it is generally an effective tool for seniors to use to determine if they are at a healthy weight. If your BMI is abnormally high, then you should absolutely consider losing some body fat to aid in overall health and longevity.
Best Ways to Lose Body Fat
There are several ways to lose body fat, but just about all of them require some effort and behavioral changes on your part. Some of them are cosmetic procedures that require basically no effort from you. However, dietary and behavioral changes are required to effectively maintain the results of the interventions. However, there is no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of all the resources available to you to lose body fat, so we have prepared an exhaustive list of fat-loss methods for seniors that you can look through.
1. Diet & Exercise
The most reliable fat-loss solution that exists is diet and exercise. You need to intake fewer calories (a calorie is a unit of energy) than you are expending daily in order to be in a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit causes you to be in what is called a negative energy balance, which is when you are intaking fewer calories than you are expending. If you are in a negative energy balance/caloric deficit, you will inevitably lose body fat. The best way to lose body fat with regard to diet and exercise is to track your daily caloric intake. You would typically use your height and weight to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), then multiply that by a constant representing activity level to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is how much energy in calories you spend each day, and if you eat fewer calories than this, you will lose body fat. There are plenty of online calculators that can calculate your BMR and TDEE for you, so all that remains for you to do is to track your daily food intake to make sure it is below your TDEE. There are many apps and online resources that will track your daily food intake for you.
Occasionally weight gain and fat retention are the results of mental health issues. For example, binge eating disorder is a mental disorder that can lead to obesity. Even if a mental condition isn’t necessarily the cause, many people gain weight or are unable to maintain a healthy weight because they have an unhealthy psychological relationship with food. They oftentimes comfort themselves or reward themselves with food. For these reasons, therapy is a viable option for weight loss for many people. A therapist will help you get to the root of the problem and address why you are overeating, and will consequently help you lose body fat. Therapy can be a very helpful tool in your weight loss journey.
3. GLP-1 Agonists
These are a type of medications that can cause increased satiety and fullness when eating. GLP-1 agonist medications imitate a hormone called incretin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiety, thereby increasing fullness and decreasing hunger. This results in weight loss through caloric restriction being far easier, as the person is not as hungry and feels significantly fuller from the same quantity of food. Individuals will be less hungry and remain full for longer while on this medication, though they will still have to adjust their eating habits in order to lose body fat. However, unless the eating issue is purely psychological, this will be far easier to do, as the cravings for food and general hunger will be significantly diminished.
4. Cryolipolysis (Fat Freezing)
Fat freezing, also called cryolipolysis, is a medical procedure in which fat cells in your body are exposed to freezing temperatures in order to kill them and reduce overall body fat. This is done with the use of a cryolipolysis device, which freezes the fat cells in a specific part of your body but leaves the skin cells intact. Fat freezing is an FDA-approved medical technique, and it is typically administered in a doctor’s office or outpatient facility. The purpose of fat freezing is to cause localized fat loss around particular areas of the body for aesthetic reasons. However, there is a known complication called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, in which the amount of fat in the area treated actually increases. For this reason, this treatment is riskier than other cosmetic interventions, such as laser lipolysis.
5. Injection Lipolysis,
The procedure for injection lipolysis is relatively simple. The patient is prepared, and the chosen areas for treatment are marked off. Then a substance called deoxycholate or phosphatidylcholine, or a mixture of the two, is injected into the body fat on the chosen area subcutaneously (under the skin). The deoxycholate or phosphatidylcholine is a lipolytic agent or a chemical that causes fat cell disruption and eventually death. This results in a reduction in adipose tissue in the chosen area. This method of body sculpting, unfortunately, can have some severe side effects. Side effects include but are not limited to scarring, skin discoloration, and knots under the skin. Additionally, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has cautioned against the use of such procedures in the past.
6. Radiofrequency Lipolysis
This cosmetic procedure involves the use of radio waves to heat fat deposits in the body until they are destroyed. The process is similar to other types of cosmetic procedures in that the patient is prepared, and the area to be treated is marked off. Then with the application of a device one centimeter from the body, radio waves are fired into the fat deposit. The radio waves pass through the skin harmlessly and then heat up the fat inside the body, eventually killing the fat cells in the treated area. This is a permanent fat loss solution, as the fat cells are dead and gone afterward. Typically, a cooling device is utilized at the same time to keep the skin at a comfortable temperature during the procedure. This procedure is relatively side effect free, with the most common side effects being redness and heating in the affected area, as well as some tissue tenderness.
7. Laser Lipolysis
This procedure, also referred to as “laser lipo,” involves the application of a low-intensity laser to the fat areas you wish to lose. Lasers can generate singular-directional light and heat to a minimal area. With laser lipo, the technician will target the cell with the laser. The laser penetrates the skin, reaches the targeted fat cells, and bores a tiny pore into the cellular membrane. In addition to creating the small hole, the laser emulsifies (melts) the lipids inside the cell, which allows them to seep through the pore.
The body’s lymphatic system then naturally disposes of the lipids. Emerald Laser by Erchonia works differently from other laser lipolysis methods. Emerald’s system uses ten 532 nanometer lasers to target fat cells. While the system allows the cells to drain, they remain intact. Other laser systems destroy the fat cells, which can lead to fatty deposits developing in other areas of the body.
Additionally, Emerald Laser is relatively painless when compared to other laser systems. Most patients don’t feel anything at all. Laser lipolysis is a minimally invasive weight loss method that targets body fat exclusively. It is innovative and relatively new. Laser lipolysis by Emerald Laser is the first FDA-approved laser lipolysis process.
Lose some body fat as a senior, after all! Check out Emerald Laser to find a provider near you.