Weight Loss for Seniors

The Cell Metabolism report provides an effective weight loss strategy for seniors with obesity. It shows aerobic plus resistance exercise while dieting preserves muscle mass in obese older adults. The study is significant because seniors often lose muscle mass during weight loss, leading to adverse health outcomes. For example, muscle loss can lead to functional decline and disability. Moreover, obesity makes it worse.

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Research shows “diet and exercise in obese elderly improve outcomes of frailty.” In other words, seniors can lose weight on a diet and preserve muscle mass through resistance exercise. Moreover, older adults can improve physical function with both aerobic and resistance training.

Senior Hispanic man and woman riding bicycles for weight loss
Bicycle riding provides resistance and aerobic exercise.

Exercise Improves Insulin Sensitivity

This randomized control trial of 47 obese seniors shows exercise improves insulin sensitivity. All exercise groups improved their insulin sensitivity. After six months of diet and exercise, the following group’s insulin resistance decreased while fasting:

  • Aerobic (41% less)
  • Resistance (36% less)
  • Aerobic and Resistance (41% less)

Thus, combining aerobic and resistance training is an effective way to increase insulin sensitivity. The more insulin sensitive you are, the more effective your body is at using blood glucose and reducing blood sugar. Conversely, low insulin sensitivity (aka insulin resistance) could lead to high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes.

Senior Woman Hispanic Overweight resistance training for weight loss
Lifting weights is a type of resistance exercise.

Preserving Your Muscle Mass

After six months of diet and exercise, exercise groups with resistance training preserved lean muscle mass. The research indicates resistance exercises are critical in Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). Seniors were fed “a small meal, comparable to a typical American breakfast, containing about 15 grams of protein.” This meal after exercise stimulated the repair of muscles (MPS).

Therefore, make sure you eat a meal after resistance training that contains enough protein to repair your muscles. In conclusion, the data supports resistance plus aerobic training exercises to preserve muscle mass in dieting obese seniors. For example, eating eggs is a good protein source for seniors to preserve muscle mass during weight loss dieting.

Senior Man eats eggs for breakfast
Eggs are an excellent source of protein.


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