The struggle to maintain weight affects many of us. This struggle is particularly important to baby boomers who potentially face a mountain of healthcare problems and their associated costs in retirement. The U.S. has the most expensive healthcare system in the world (but sadly not the best care) and the tide has still not turned.
Why is this a problem? If I get any thinner, I will start to lose lean muscle mass which is not good. Also, even the smaller clothes I recently purchased to accommodate my target weight will be too big. My family will no doubt begin to comment on me looking unhealthy, even though I feel great.
I think I am struggling to maintain this weight because I am still eating 100% paleo, meaning no grains or foods with added sugar. The only “processed” food I eat is an occasional slice of bread made from almond flour.
According to the LoseIt fitness app I use, I should be eating about 2300 calories each day to maintain my current weight, not including any exercise. If I exercise (I do something almost every day), I need even more calories.
When you don’t eat bread, pasta, or added sugar, packing in 2300 calories each day is not as easy as it may seem.
I do not intend to stop eating paleo because I believe it provides numerous other benefits, including improving the health of my knees and other joints.
I don’t intend to reduce my exercise because that has obvious benefits. In fact, I recently joined a gym in the building where I work and my middle son (a professional fitness coach) has customized a new workout plan for me. (I’m actually starting that today.)
My younger brother (also a paleo eater and healthy exerciser) will probably tell me to quit whining and “just eat more bacon.” (Scott – I saved you the trouble.)
I like bacon and definitely need to input more protein but I think I will do that by increasing the amount of nuts, seeds and fish that I eat. (I rarely eat beef and pork and occasionally will eat chicken.) That will be easier to do because two months ago our office began a “healthy living” effort (which I helped initiate.) This includes eliminating the pretzels, Goldfish and animal crackers we made available to our employees as snacks and replacing them with nuts, seeds, and fruit. We also pay for most of the membership fees if our staff wants to join the gym in the building.
I don’t mean to whine about something that is a good problem to have compared to the alternative. I find myself observing my fellow baby boomers who are obviously overweight, as I was for many years. I do not judge them. I have empathy for them because I know that the excess weight will increasingly interfere with their ability to enjoy life and their retirement. I want to show them a photograph of me from 2007 when I was 58 pounds heavier and tell them that you can do what I have done.
I will end here – it’s time to eat some almonds. Good luck and good health to all of you!