Keeping a stable and healthy weight is difficult at any age, but as you get older it gets trickier. So what is the best diet for older women?
That’s because lean muscle mass and metabolism decrease with age. It’s all about keeping these two factors in check so you can avoid the ups and downs of weight cycling.
A healthy diet isn’t only important for maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy diet can also decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases as you get older.
So here are six tips for the healthiest diet after you turn sixty:
1. Ensure your meals are complete with whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits.
Getting a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources including fish will give your body the energy, vitamins and minerals it needs to work efficiently.
Every one of these food groups contains unique benefits that can reduce your risk for many chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and different kinds of cancer.
2. Eat healthy proteins
Protein is key to keeping up with muscle mass. Muscle helps to speed up your metabolism as muscle is more metabolically active than fat tissue. The more muscle, the better the burn.
Protein food choices also keep you satiated longer so you are less likely to be on the prowl looking for a snack after a meal that contains protein.
A great way to get more protein during the day is by incorporating it into your snacks by discovering the variety of nut butters available. Peanut butter isn’t the be-all-end all of nut butter!
Did you know there are others out there like almond and cashew butter?
These nut butters are great with fruits and make a wonderful addition to a small snack. Just a dollop is enough to curb your sweet tooth.
3. Avoid empty calories
Empty calories are the calories derived from foods that do not contain nutrients like vitamins, minerals or phytochemicals.
Empty calories are typically found in processed foods like chips, cookies and candy.
Your body is like a sports car, it may need fuel to function but you want to fuel it with the proper stuff. Think of this when you reach for an extra snack that won’t necessarily contribute to your well-being.
4. Drink plenty of water and avoid other sweetened beverages
Sweetened beverages are an easy way to add empty calories to your day. Liquid calories enter the blood stream more quickly than solid food and can cause you to crash mid-day. Avoid the grogginess induced by these sweet drinks and stick to water.
Water is an essential part of life and getting the right amount is important. For women over 60, the USDA suggests you consume 2.7 liters of water per day – that’s 11 ½ cups!
There are good reasons why drinking enough water can be even more important as you age. First of all, your body begins to lose the capacity to process and store water efficiently.
Therefore, your body requires more from the get-go to carry out important needs. Secondly, after the age of 65, you begin to lose your thirst “trigger” and are more susceptible to dehydration.
Those over 65 should carefully monitor their daily fluid intake. You can make healthy changes by paying attention to your regimen. Start your day with a large 8 ounce glass of water and try to keep up with drinking 8 ounces every two hours until you go to bed.
This will ensure that you’re energized and hydrated.
5. Consume regular meals
As mentioned before, your metabolism slows as you age. The key to maintaining a healthy metabolism is eating more to lose more. That’s right, you need to eat food in order for your body to burn it.
That’s why it’s important not to go longer than three hours without eating.
Keeping yourself satiated throughout the day is the best way to get the appropriate amount of calories and keep your metabolism in check. Set a cell phone timer every three hours to remind yourself to check your senses.
6. Avoid fad dieting at all costs
Fad dieting is your biggest pitfall. Everyone is quick to share their story about how the recent diet they tried worked for them. It’s easy to get wrapped up in this talk but realize that diets are not one-size-fits all.
In fact, diets are designed for failure.
Certain diets recommend cutting out entire food groups, cutting calories dramatically and experimenting with foods that have no scientific evidence for weight loss. Listen to your body and consume the foods that you want when you want.
Becoming in tune with your natural cues and paying attention to your health is how you can avoid the diet scheme.
The key to a healthy life
In addition to the nutrition recommendations above, it is important to consider the following two factors when creating a healthy life:
1. Get some physical activity throughout your week
Physical activity is often overlooked. Yes, it might be difficult to find time to work out but there are ways to find space in your schedule for more activities.
Begin by finding a friend, or friends, who will join you. Design a schedule with specific days and times that you can meet each week. Plan different things that you could do such as, walk around the town, join a yoga class or do Pilates at the park.
2. Practice strength training
Keeping your muscles strong is crucial for so many aspects of your health as you age. Making an effort to begin strength training is so important for withstanding the pressure that is put on your bones.
Your bones get weaker as you age, which is dependent on the amount of calcium you absorbed earlier in life.
By keeping your muscles strong, it will decrease the risk of a bone fracture in the future.
Maintaining muscle strength in your core is also important for decreasing symptoms of constipation by keeping your gut running efficiently.
Strength training also plays a role in your metabolic rate. Types of strength training exercises include lifting weights, resistance bands and toning exercises like pushups and crunches. These can boost your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories throughout the day.
There are ways to stay strong and healthy as you age. Abiding by these health guidelines above will keep you in tip top shape as you age.
Connect with Expert Bonnie Giller