Healthy Eating for Baby Boomers

March 21, 2016 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Attaining a healthy weight as we age can be difficult due to a variety of factors. One of the biggest is metabolic decline. The basal metabolic rate decreases each decade after age 20. The rate accelerates at 40 for men and 50 for women. Since we burn fewer calories as we age, fat tends to accumulate around the abdomen, disrupting glucose and fat metabolism. This can create an energy imbalance when you are not burning enough calories and consuming too much unhealthy food. This imbalance can disrupt your hormones and affect your mood which explains why 72% of men and 67% of women over 65 are overweight or obese.

Nutrition counseling, support, focus and determination are all factors that can help you achieve good health. The first thing you need to do is clean out your pantry of processed and high sodium foods, soda, and snacks. Stock your refrigerator and cabinets with fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, fish, lean meats and cheeses. Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol consumption to a few drinks a week. Consider measuring your portions so you don’t overeat. One important thing to note is that even though calorie requirements diminish with age, the quality of nutrients consumed needs to increase. Basically, you need to get more nutrients with fewer calories. Most importantly, is exercise. Find an activity that you enjoy doing and pursue it. Also, incorporate strength training into your workout. It will help your endurance, build bone strength, increase glucose control, increase your metabolism, and offer relief from arthritis. Taking an active role in improving your life will protect your health into your senior years.

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