You can't turn back the clock and become young again, but gaining unwanted weight as you age doesn't need to be inevitable if you put forth the effort to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Here's what you can do about it:
Stay active (or get active). Increased physical activity can help you maintain your weight. Resistance exercises like weight lifting can increase your muscle mass, which may increase your metabolism so you burn some extra calories every day. It also increases your strength and over all fitness. Aerobic activities such as running or walking burn calories while you're moving, and they're good for your heart.
Count your calories. Calculate your daily calorie need with my calorie calculator for men or my calorie calculator for women. Remember to go back and recalculate your calorie need every so often as you get older and as your weight changes. Keep track of the calories you consume by joining Calorie Count or by keeping a food diary. You may also want to invest in a kitchen scale until you become comfortable with estimating the serving sizes of the foods you eat.
Watch what you eat. Although you may need fewer calories, you still need to get your daily vitamin and mineral needs met. Choose nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and green and colorful vegetables that are low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. Lean protein sources such as fish and seafood are low in calories and contain omega-3 fatty acids that many diets are lacking. Make sure you get plenty of high fiber foods (non-starchy vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, and 100-percent whole grain products).
Watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol has more calories per ounce than carbohydrates or proteins, but has no other nutritional value. And it's often combined with sweetened mixers that add even more calories.
More About Nutrition and AgingSome foods may give women relief from menopausal discomfort, and it's important to know that most fears about soy aren't well-founded. Eating a Mediterranean diet may help you live longer and there are certain things you may need to know about dietary supplements. And if you need a new set of teeth, I've also got some tips for getting used eating with dentures.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Nutrition and Active Living for Healthy Aging." Accessed November 23, 2011. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=3300.
United States Department of Agriculture. "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010." Acccessed November 23, 2011. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm.
United States Department of Agriculture. "Lift Weights to Lift Aging Metabolism, Lower Weight Gain." Accessed November 23, 2011. http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2001/010111.htm.
United States Natural Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. "MedlinePLus: Aging Changes in Body Shape. Accessed November 23, 2011. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm.