Healthy Eating As You Age

by Lisa BurbageGuest Blogger

As you age it is important to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Eating healthy has many benefits that will leave you feeling vibrant and healthier than ever.

Did you know that eating healthy can help you live longer and stronger? Good nutrition keeps your muscles, bones and organs in tip top shape. A proper diet can reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Also, eating healthy leads to consuming fewer calories and more nutrient rich foods that will keep your weight under control.

Eating healthy and maintaining a healthy diet can sharpen your mind. Nutrients are essential for the brain to function properly and do its job. Those who eat colorful foods and consume nuts that are packed with omega-3 fatty acids can improve focus and decrease their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods enhances memory and mental alertness as you age.

Consuming wholesome meals that are rich in nutrients will give you more energy and help you look better. Looking better will in turn boost your self-esteem. The way you eat and the way you feel are connected; if you eat well you feel good.

Eating healthy is not about counting the calories that you take in, but it is important to base your calorie consumption on your activity level. Use the following as a personal guideline for your calorie consumption:

  • Women over 50 who are:
    • Not physically active need about 1600 calories a day
    • Somewhat physically active need about 1800 calories a day
    • Very active need about 2000 calories a day
  • Men over 50 who are:
    • Not physically active need about 2000 calories a day
    • Somewhat physically active need about 2200-2400 calories a day
    • Very active need about 2400-2800 calories a day

At holidays and times of celebration, eating healthy can be very challenging. The holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions and spread the love. They also bring many opportunities for socializing, eating and drinking. Holiday and celebration eating and the consumption of alcoholic beverages can result in adding an extra pound or two every year. The holidays do not always have to result in weight gain as long as you focus on eating healthy and staying physically active. Here are some tips for healthy holiday or party-time eating:

  • Reduce sodium intake
  • Avoid “bad” carbs – White flour, refined sugar and white rice
  • Look for hidden sugar
  • Put five colors on your plate – Fruits and veggies rich in color correspond to rich nutrients
  • Eat until you are satisfied
  • Be mindful of beverage consumption – Alcohol can induce overeating
  • Make time for exercise – Exercise relieves stress and helps prevent weight gain

Eating healthy is an ongoing commitment and it can be tough when the parties and holidays roll around. Don’t restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite treats – just keep in mind how much you are consuming. Enjoy yourself, incorporate healthy recipes into your meals and make time for physical activity. Give the gift of health to yourself this year.

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We are very pleased that Lisa Burbage will be teaching the workshop Staying the Course – Going Beyond “Trying” and Actually “Being” at Women At Woodstock 2016.

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