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Losing Weight for Seniors Requires a Lot of Effort

Often the process of losing weight also includes displays of affection. Beyond the cliches, nutritionist Monica Souza has managed to forge a loving and affectionate relationship with her mother-in-law, the 80-year-old housewife Ana Regina Souza, which involves her professional knowledge.

Monica says that Anna Regina has always had to deal with being overweight. However, after the age of 50, obesity has become a reality for housewives. But at the age of 64, with 103 kilograms spread over 1.52 meters, Anna Regina sounded the “alarm” with a hospitalization for hyperglycemia and a small heart attack, says her dietitian.

Faced with a list of comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, etc.), which had grown as a result of obesity, there was no escape: Anna Regina enlisted the help of her daughter-in-law and her children to adhere to a nutritional regimen. educational diet. This epidemic has made it easier for housewives to combat excess weight. As she is part of a group at high risk of contracting the coronavirus, the elderly woman was placed in home quarantine and the supermarket purchases were left to the family.

The result of this walk, which began with fear and heart disease, is now revealed in 20 kilos less, a controlled blood glucose level and other health benefits that only a healthy diet can provide. “She is a different person. Mobility has improved. The march was slow and today he gets up without the help of a cane”, celebrates Monica.

Retired design professor Aphrodite Aguiar Pinter, 66, enjoys a good conversation. She recounts in great detail when losing weight became a problem in her life. Her struggles began after menopause, at the age of 51, when she had to live with another ghost in her life.


From a very young age, her obesity always haunted her because of her mother’s examples of her in her family. Due to anxiety controlled by the treatment, Aphrodite reported that she gained 18 pounds after menopause, which she admits was difficult to lose. “I have ‘flat feet’ and my feet have been in a lot of pain from this extra weight.”

Her life taught her to be sober, Aphrodite says, and that after retirement she sharpened her manual skills and became a potter. She has always been her goal in life for her to have “very normal aging”.

The ceramist says she also sought help from health professionals to take better care of herself. “With psychotherapy to better control myself, I’ve learned that sometimes I eat and don’t realize I’m eating,” she says. The way out of this neglect, she says, was recovery through therapy. Among the techniques developed by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the resource Writing down what you do. It was then that she realized that she was eating more and therefore gaining weight.

Today, she claims to have learned to avoid excesses, and she has reached the point of knowing how to dose without sacrificing the quantity and quality of what she eats in order to feel full and nourished.

“Obesity is doing things that you can’t stand. You are not happy with what you live and you start eating without seeing it,” she reviews.

Motivation is “trainable”

The psychiatrist and cognitive-behavioral therapist Rodrigo de Almeida Ferreira, 38, assures that motivation is something “trainable”. Therefore, it is suggested that, in the first instance, a person should identify the cause(s) of the weight loss. In the case of an elderly person, for example, it may be related to the vivacity of playing with the grandson. Another example of this is eating while seated without distractions. Recognizing the type of thoughts you are feeding is another hypothesis that, according to the psychiatrist, can be confirmed by recognizing “disruptive thoughts.”

For an overweight or obese senior, another tip from the specialist: How about interfering with the environment through the pattern of food supply? For all those who have difficulty losing weight, the doctor advises his patients, through the techniques developed by TCC, to be satisfied when they feel hungry. It is also important to learn about “emotional eating.”

He draws attention to the loss of lean mass in diets aimed at the elderly, particularly those without professional weight loss help.

Rodrigo points out that it is always recommended that physical exercises include strength training, which is nothing more than a strengthening of the muscles, the so-called lean mass, which is very common in people of this age group, over 60 years of age. This loss means decreased mobility, autonomy and autonomy.

The psychiatrist also addresses some of the myths about weight in old age. The first is that older people who are overweight are less healthy. not always. Another myth is that obese older people need to lose weight at all costs. Within this erroneous perspective, he warns, another caveat is needed: the indiscriminate use of weight-loss .

Rodrigo is not against the appeal, but as long as specialists point it out, it is a fact that does not always happen, given the ease with which over-the-counter medicines are sold in pharmacies and online.

He also explains that the ideal weight is the one in which a person enjoys good health, without greater risks of disease, that does not impair the quality of life and without risk of death.

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