Overeating is common among the elderly, and it can lead to serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, poor digestion, obesity, and decreased bone health. To help seniors maintain good mental and physical health, caregivers need to encourage healthy eating habits and effective exercise routines. Below are some tips you can use to prevent your senior loved one from overeating.
1. Commit to Meal Planning
Hunger is one of the most significant factors associated with overeating. Many seniors wait until they’re hungry to fix their meals, as opposed to eating regular meals and occasional snacks. As a result, they experience more cravings and often overeat. By having meals planned out, your parent can avoid going through long periods of hunger, decreasing the risk of overeating. Help your loved one plan out the meals for each week, including healthy snacks.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Winnipeg, MB, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
2. Serve More Protein
Protein can make your loved one feel fuller for longer, which prevents overeating. It’s best to have a high-protein breakfast, such as oatmeal and berries, egg whites and veggies, or Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit. Protein-rich foods increase satiety and reduce hunger throughout the day. Eating more protein can also help your loved one lose weight, preventing obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.
3. Control Portions
Instead of depriving him or herself of eating, your loved one needs to eat smaller portions at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If there’s a large amount of food on the plate, your loved one will likely eat all the food, even if he or she is full. You can prevent overindulging by controlling the portion sizes. Practicing portion control also reduces the risk of binge eating.
Some of the best ways to help your loved one practice portion control are:
• Serving meals on smaller plates
• Providing a glass of water before meals
• Determining the appropriate serving size based on age and weight
• Asking for a smaller portion size when dining out
In Winnipeg, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
4. Encourage Drinking More Water
Overeating and extreme snacking can result when the body confuses hunger with thirst, which happens because hydration is vital for the body to function normally. Therefore, aging adults need to drink water throughout the day. Each time your loved one feels like eating a snack, encourage drinking a glass of water instead. Drinking water reduces the urge to overeat and indulge in periodic snacking, and it can also prevent your loved one from consuming sugary beverages and high-calorie foods.
5. Promote Good Sleep Hygiene
A lack of sleep can lead to fluctuating hormones, which can negatively affect the appetite throughout the day. When your loved one doesn’t get enough rest at night, he or she could experience poor appetite regulation and overeat as a result. In addition to overeating, sleep deprivation could lead to stronger cravings for unhealthy foods, such as cakes, cookies, chips, and soda. Getting at least eight hours of sleep each night can prevent these unhealthy cravings and lower the risk of overeating.
Professional caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for seniors who need help eating less. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Winnipeg families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call us today at (204) 489 6000 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.