I am sure you know by now that losing weight can also help you control your diabetes, but you may think it’s difficult to lose weight, especially when you are older and don’t feel very well. Here’s good news: This week I came across a study that showed that cutting just 200 calories daily and adding moderate exercise can help older obese adults to lose weight and improve vascular health.
Researchers observed three groups of sedentary adults ranging in ages from 65 to 79 over a period of 20 weeks. One group ate their regular diet and exercised. The second group exercised and restricted calories by about 200 per day. The third group exercised and reduced calories by 600 per day. All participants received supervised aerobic training four days a week. Then the researchers used cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure aortic stiffness.
The group that restricted calories by 200 showed weight loss of nearly 10%, or about 20 pounds, and significant improvements in aortic stiffness. (Aortic stiffness occurs when elastic fibers within the arterial wall begin to fray. This is usually seen with aging and other cardiovascular risk factors). The other two groups showed little change in aortic stiffness, however both of the calorie-restricted groups showed bigger changes in BMI, total fat mass, percent body fat, abdominal fat and waist circumference than the exercise-only group.
Both of the calorie-restricted groups showed bigger changes in BMI, total fat mass, percent body fat, abdominal fat and waist circumference than the exercise-only group.
This study shows the efficacy in cutting calories in order to lose weight and improve cardiovascular health.
So, how do you cut 200 calories a day? Let’s look at the caloric content of some common foods:
- 1 slice white bread 100 cal
- 1 slice wheat bread 115
- 1/4 cup granola 100
- 1 fried egg 105
- 1 plain omlette 190 (2 eggs)
- 1 boiled egg 75
- 1 strip bacon (8gm) 45
- 1 chicken breast w skin 249
- 1 chicken breast no skin 130
- 4 oz lean beef 160
- 4 oz white fish broiled 130
- 3 oz hamburger 240
- a 12oz can of soda 150
This is just a small sampling of foods you probably eat every day. Do you see how you can easily eliminate 200 calories from your diet every day? According to the study above, if you do this and add exercise four days a week —at least 30 mins a day— you should be on your way to sustainable weight loss and improved cardiovascular health. You can search the internet for the caloric content of any of your favorite foods, or you can go to MyPlate.gov by clicking the link on this page.
Listen, your health is your greatest asset. You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have health you would be very unhappy. The good news is that your health is largely under your control. So, I want to challenge you to make some lifestyle changes. Starting next week, I want you to join me in my Weight Loss Lifestyle Challenge, a fun and sustainable way to make those lifestyle changes that will set you on the path to better health. And I will be right there with you. It costs you nothing, except a small segment of your time.
If you think this is something you would like to do, please fill in the form below.