The White House recently announced that President Trump, like 40% of other Americans, is obese. He weighs 243 pounds. (Photo: Inverse.com)
At age 72, the president faces the same dilemma as other seniors who carry too much weight…
They need to slim down. But a traditional low-calorie diet can be dangerous for them. That’s because along with the fat they also lose muscle and bone.
This can lead to loss of strength, which can be worse than obesity for older people.
It leaves them vulnerable to injury-causing falls and less able to perform simple tasks like climbing stairs or getting up out of chairs.
But a new study points to a solution. It’s a different kind of diet.
The Best Weight Loss Diet for Seniors
The research was led by Professor Kristen Beavers of Wake Forest University. There were 96 subjects, all over 65. They were randomly split into two groups.
The control group was put on a traditional, low-calorie diet. It had the government recommended daily allowance of protein: 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight. For a man of Donald Trump’s weight, that would be 88 grams of protein a day.
The other group was put on a high-protein diet. It contained more than one gram of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. For President Trump, that would mean at least 110 grams of protein a day.
After six months:
- The high-protein group lost an average of 18 pounds. Eighty-seven percent of that was fat. They didn’t lose any muscle mass. The control group lost just half a pound.
- The high-protein group lost no bone mass.
- The high-protein group lost fat in the belly, hips, thighs, and rear. Fat in these areas is linked to stroke and diabetes.
Professor Beavers said that, when it comes to seniors, “doctors hesitate to recommend weight loss for fear that losing muscle and bone could cause mobility issues or increase risk of injury.”
But her study shows that a high-protein, low-calorie diet “can give seniors the health benefits of weight loss while keeping the muscle and bone they need for better quality of life as they age.”
6 Best Sources of Protein
If you want to lose weight while preserving muscle and bone strength, aim to get the same amount of daily protein as subjects in the study…at least a gram for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.
Great sources of protein include:
- Organic turkey and chicken
- Grass-fed beef and pork
- Wild-caught fish and shellfish
- Raw nuts and seeds, including almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts
- Pastured eggs
- Full-fat organic dairy
Protein drinks made with whey powder are also excellent. Look for grass-fed varieties that are soy-free.
Editor’s Note: There are other things you should know about weight loss…
Like the secret “switch” you can flip that tells your body to burn fat instead of store it… The little-known chemical one doctor says makes your body demand unhealthy high-calorie foods… And how to shed pounds of body fat—without cutting back on the foods you love.