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Eating Healthier as We Age

Aug 17, 2007
Our bodies' demands change as we age. Although aging is associated with slowing down, we don't have to accept all the downsides, and can fight back by eating properly and controlling our weight.

The first-and most obvious-step is portion control. As you age, you need less food to support your body's metabolism. If you keep your calorie consumption down, you can maintain weight. Just remember that you can't eat as much at fifty or sixty as you did when you were twenty!

What we eat and how much can also impact weight gain. Women and men tend to pack on the pounds as we age. Paying attention to what we eat and our activity level can help us to age more gracefully when it comes to our weight.

The second - and just as important-factor is to eat in a healthy way. Healthy eating requires knowledge of food groups and portion sizes. Physicians and nutritionist can assist us in understanding what our bodies need at whatever age we are at. Normally avoiding fats and sweets or at least limiting the amounts that we consume is a good rule for anyone to follow. Here are some other good healthy eating tips.

Make sure you are choosing from all the food groups during the day. The food groups include: meat and meat substitutes, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grains, and fats and sweets.

Plan your meals around these food groups and make a shopping list around your planned meals. This way the food you have around the house will be the healthy foods you need and not the junk food that you do not need.

Avoid junk food. Junk food, sweets and fats are just extra, empty calories that take the place of healthy nutrients that your body requires to function properly.

Understanding our food habits sometimes requires paying close attention to what we are eating. It helps to keep a food journal and record everything we eat for a period of one week. Take a look at the food audit after a week, and create a healthy eating plan that changes your habits and improves your health.

Don't try to remake your entire diet overnight. Make one change and then when you are used to that change make another. If you slip up and overeat one day, don't stress too much, just make a better effort the next day.

Drink plenty of water. Water is an essential nutrient, and often gets overlooked. At mealtimes, have a glass of water instead of a beverage, it will re-hydrate you and reduce the amount of calories you consume.
Don't go overboard on drinking juice. Most juices contain a lot of added sugar, so read the label. Portion sizes can make or break your healthy intentions so read food labels carefully as they often times will state how much is considered a serving size.

As we age, it may seem that pleasures are being taken away from us one by one. We can still enjoy eating, though. Eating healthy can be fun, if you eat in moderation, and plan to include your favorite foods into your healthy food selections. Having a sweet now and then can brighten your day--chocolate has always put a smile on everyone's face. Just eat responsibly and balance what you eat with other areas of your life. If you know that you really should not have that extra cookie, but it is calling your name, go ahead and splurge, just walk it off with a friend after supper to take off those extra calories.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Nutrition & Health.
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