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Dieting & exercise

Opinions sought please

(79 Posts)
MargaretinNorthant Wed 20-Jan-21 12:32:03

Could I ask for some opinions please?
I am 83, have two replacement hips, and two crumbling vertebrae in my lower back (4 & 5), one leg and ankle held together by steel rods and screws, which makes walking and standing for long painful. I also have Asthma, started with the menopause, and had to have my Thyroid gland removed 15 years ago, so am on Thyroxine. I am also very overweight, and a picky eater, I cannot bear tomatoes. At present I don’t seem to be gaining any, but it is very, very hard to lose any.
At my age would you?

1.Say “Blow it” and just enjoy what years I have left, however many they may be.

2.Make an effort to lose the weight , in which case how, bearing in mind my age and creaking joints? Getting down on the floor is NOT an option, (I’d never get up again) neither is working out at a Gym or doing five mile walks.

I am not a “foodie” and have always said if the day ever dawned when I could take a pill in the morning and that would be it for the day I would be in heaven. Some live to eat and others eat to live, and I am firmly in the latter category.
I have tried Slimming World, but everyone was years younger than I was, and not being a very sociable sort, I didn’t enjoy the group meetings. I used to just get weighed and leave until it struck me it was ridiculous to pay to be told the same thing my bathroom scales had told me.
I have wondered about getting ready made meals from one of the companies that deliver, that are calorie counted for you. The fuss less approach appealed to me…. Just eat it and forget it!!

Missfoodlove Wed 20-Jan-21 13:01:04

I think given what you have told us then yes you need ready meals.
The quality varies tremendously but M&S do some fairly good ones.
If you get some weight off your mobility should improve, at the moment it sounds as though you’re in a catch 22.
Good luck.

V3ra Wed 20-Jan-21 13:27:54

Joe Wicks does some exercise routines for seniors which I like, although I'm much younger than you!
There's no floor exercises, it's standing up.
40 seconds of a movement, eg marching on the spot, 20 seconds rest.
Five minutes in total, then repeat if you wish.
All through he stresses only to do what you're comfortable with.
He also does a chair exercises routine.
Might be worth a look?

PamelaJ1 Wed 20-Jan-21 13:34:24

That would be a good idea but be sure that the quality is good.
Real food, not low sugar or low fat. They always replace those ingredients with something else that , generally, don’t do you as much good.
You also need to have an idea how many calories you need. If you aren’t moving much you won’t be burning as many as the average recommended total.
I would always be in favour of losing weight because, IMO, I think that the less stress one puts on ones body- knees, heart etc. the better.

Lucca Wed 20-Jan-21 13:34:27

I wonder if you’d enjoy the years you have left more if you could lose a bit of weight ?
Definitely if you’re not interested in food preparation I’d say calorie counted ready meals.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 20-Jan-21 13:35:46

As your weight seems to be causing you day to day issues, then, if you can afford it, I would empty your cupboards and fridge and order in the ready to cook meals and remove temptation.
As you lose weight hopefully you won’t be in such pain.

Best of luck it’s a hard thing to do, but you can do it.

Whiff Wed 20-Jan-21 16:59:26

At your age yes it is worth trying to lose a few pounds especially with the pressure on your joints. Don't bother with meal replacements or ready made low cal meals. 1 they are expensive, 2 they taste awful, 3 full of additives . Use fresh or frozen veg and fruit. Tinned pulses are cheap and filling. Look on the pears sequel thread for ideas. I was a size 32 now 16 . It's been a life style change also not buying foods that I can't control like chocolate,ice cream, cheese. It's taken me since April 2017. If you are after a quick fix there is no such thing. I am happy if I lost quarter pound a week. At the moment have put a bit on and at times my weight can stay the same for weeks. But I will not give up if it takes another year I just want to get to 11st.

This is what I have everyday it works for me but not for everyone.
40g dry porridge oats
Mixed with coconut milk that way I don't need to add honey to sweeten. If I am out of coconut milk I use skimmed milk with 10g honey.
Lunch is my what ever home made soup always use my largest saucepan
5veg Oxo
150g red lentils
Then what fresh or frozen veg I have in.
Made new batch today
193g onion
466g butternut squash
359g carrot
128g leek
204g courgette
Each bowl is only 104cals that's 4 of my ladles full.

Dinner is stew one week it's either chicken or pork next week Quorn chicken pieces or sausages or mince. Chicken stew this week using 3skinned thighs bone in 150g pearl barley lots of veg. Makes 6 dinners . 230cal portion.

Hope this gives you some ideas. But you need to want to change. I was 59 before I decided I needed to change. It's your choice and only your choice. If you decide to do it be kind to yourself don't expect to lose pounds every week. The most important thing is be honest with yourself. Also it's a marathon not a sprint. Read the pears thread . And join us if you want to . I am so glad I did. Lovely bunch of women no one is nasty to eachother unlike some threads.

Ro60 Wed 20-Jan-21 20:09:29

Thanks Whiff that looks delicious not got a weight problem but getting bored with my own cooking.
Breakfast : so simple why didn't I ever think.of that! Coconut milk would go in the casserole too.

Sparkling Wed 20-Jan-21 20:36:30

Just cut out everything that contains sugar, don’t eat white rice, pasta or bread or potatoes, substitute with whole meal. Don’t eat between meals. I wouldn’t calorie count or make my life miserable by doing that just try have realistic portions and you can always find exercises that strengthen muscle, even sitting or lying down.

Tangerine Wed 20-Jan-21 20:52:28

I have found Weightwatchers (now WW) meals very good and I did lose weight eating them. However, if you lived on them every day, you'd soon get bored.

Wiltshire Farm Foods meals are tastier and there is more choice. I don't think they are high in calories although I haven't researched the matter.

NanKate Wed 20-Jan-21 21:03:39

Well said Whiff good sound advice. I’m glad we have you on the thread ‘I’m a pear the sequel part 2’. 👍

Hetty58 Wed 20-Jan-21 21:51:40

I don't think it's an either/or situation. I'd recommend really healthy eating as you'll feel so much better and lose weight naturally.

Be brave and stop buying those unhealthy things you're tempted by - perhaps biscuits, cheese and sugar. Try dried fruit and nuts instead.

Up your intake of fruit and veg, wholegrains and low fat protein. Salads and soups are easy to prepare. If you eat dairy, a little kefir every day improves digestion and mood.

Gentle exercise should be possible, maybe chair exercises, to keep your muscles working and joints supported.

Don't view diet and exercise as deprivation or hard work. Looking after your body is taking good care of yourself, after all. You deserve to do that!

Elusivebutterfly Wed 20-Jan-21 22:04:37

There are chair based exercise routines for seniors on youtube. You can just do as much as you are able and gradually build up.
I lost weight with weight watchers which is mostly just healthy eating. As others said, don't buy any fattening snacks such as crisps, chocolate, desserts, cake. Don't eat "white" carbs such as white rice, pasta or bread.
My simple dinners are grilled/baked fish or chicken with new potatoes and lots of veg. If you have a sandwich or egg on toast, have one slice of bread, not two.
Losing weight is very slow when you get older but it is possible.

M0nica Wed 20-Jan-21 22:12:18

Go and see a sports pysiotherapist at a gym. They will be able to suggest suitable exercise and will have personal trainers to help you build up to an exercise pattern you can cope with.

Jaxjacky Wed 20-Jan-21 22:15:08

MargsretinNirthant as you’ve said you eat to live, then maybe cooking and prepping food would be a route to failure. In which case ready meals would be a good answer, but you need to research, as others have said, sugar and fat content, supplementing with veg and fruit and keep your fluids up, especially water. Sone gentle exercise to get the circulation going, with a bonus of a bit more flexibility, your shoulders, arms and torso could benefit even if your legs are rather more of a challenge to flex. Age UK have a useful Healthy eating guide, good luck!

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 20-Jan-21 22:20:29

Sorry to be blunt but the OP is unmotivated, doesn’t want to go to the gym doesn’t like food, but wants to lose weight (or does she?)

Presumably she doesn’t want or like to cook or prepare healthy food, so surely meal deliveries are the way to go? my neighbour had some very good meals delivered weekly as he was too ill too cook and his wife was disabled and unable to cook. Put into the microwave and there you go.

Maybe the OP wanted to be told to just go for it and not worry about what her weight is? Dangerous at any time but particularly with Covid around.

loopyloo Thu 21-Jan-21 05:31:24

The OP has a lot of things that make life very difficult.
Try to find little ways to help. Little treats like putting on a bit of makeup or putting some flowers in a vase. What things do you enjoy?
Yes, it's still worth doing a bit of exercise, especially a little walk outside even for 10 minutes.
When poss email GP perhaps the thyroxine levels need reviewing.
Small things can make a difference.

M0nica Thu 21-Jan-21 07:39:05

Both Weight Watchers and Slimming World do ready meals (I think Slimming World meals are only aavailable from Iceland)
Several supermarkets have healthy eating ranges.

I always think these meals lack veg, but it isn't much effort to add a portion of veg; fresh, frozen or tinned.

Riverwalk Thu 21-Jan-21 07:59:47

As others have said, in your situation I think ready meals would be a good idea as it would control your intake, presuming you don't compensate by having a lot of fattening snacks.

You have a lot of health & mobility problems which could be helped by losing some weight.

You sound very unmotivated - many 83 year olds are leading fuller lives but you have to want to do it. WW and Slimming World have online membership - it might be worth having a look at that to give you some encouragement and an eating plan.

janeainsworth Thu 21-Jan-21 07:59:57

I agree with Monica about a personal trainer, preferably a qualified physiotherapist, to help you with exercise that you enjoy & is suitable for you, and keep you motivated.
You don’t say how overweight you are but I wouldn’t get too hung up about that. If you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and most importantly avoid snacking, you’ll gradually lose weight and feel better for it.

Food should be enjoyed & any changes you make should be ones that you can sustain long term.

Remember there’s no such thing as an unhealthy food, only an unhealthy diet.
I don’t agree with completely cutting out bread or cheese, for example, unless you have specific intolerances.
Bread, particularly wholemeal, has a significant amount of protein and fibre, both beneficial.
Cheese contains both protein and calcium.

Good luck - I’m sure just small changes to your diet & the amount of exercise you do will make you feel much better.

MargaretinNorthant Thu 21-Jan-21 10:58:57

Thank you for all the replies, some very good suggestions. Perhaps I should make clear that I am not as unmotivated in the rest of my life as I am about food! With four adult children and nine adult grandchildren there is enough going on in the family to keep me going. Plus I am an avid reader, and a genealogist of fifty years standing. It is just that I never could "see" the faffing about with food that some people do only for someone else to chew it!! Married in 1960 all my life I have cooked "from scratch" as they now call it, and have never, ever, enjoyed it. Just think of all that time I could have spent reading!! I think the real problem lies in the fact that I do not want to have to think about what I have/have not to eat. Which is why I thought the ready counted calorie meals might be a way to go.

MissAdventure Thu 21-Jan-21 11:04:09

I would try the weight watchers frozen meals if I were you, with some extra veg, some fruit (and the occasional goody!)

It's best to try and ensure you don't put too much strain on your "bionic" parts, i think, so you stay as mobile as possible. smile

M0nica Thu 21-Jan-21 16:19:26

Some people enjoy food, some enjoy eating. I love food and enjoy eating. I have always enjoyed exploring new cuisines, new foods, new ways of cooking and mixing food items I am familiar with. However I do not particulalry enjoy cooking but I do it in order to be able to indulge my food fascination.

All of us have likes and dislikes that other people do not understand or share. If you have no real interest in food or cooking, then ready meals are your way forward.

lemsip Thu 21-Jan-21 16:42:45

the OP says she is 83 with two new hips and crumbling vertebrae. I don't think there is any way she can get to the Gym as one comment suggested!'

She could go on you tube though and search gentle exercises for the older person. Many on there.
ready meals a good idea!

Suziemarie Sat 23-Jan-21 10:01:53

If you lost weight at slimming world but found it a waste of money, try joining a slimming world at home group on Facebook, they are great for getting recipes (and ready meal ideas) and lots of over 75s on, as well as younger people it can help to motivate you with out the weekly cost or need to be sociable. At seeing other weight lose makes you realise even over 80 it can be done, and no need to exercise. Good look