Registered Dietitian Ginger Bailey says your nutritional needs change as we age. Energy needs decrease, while some vitamin and mineral needs increase. Since our energy needs decrease, it is important that our eating habits also adapt otherwise it can lead to progressive weight gain as we age.
o WOMEN are at increased risk of gaining weight during and after menopause
o MEN often gain weight as their activity level decreases (i.e. after they stop playing competitive sports)
o SET A CALORIE BUDGET
o SIMPLE SUGGESTIONS cut their meals down by 100-200 kcal to prevent weight gain.
Take 2-3 bites less of the starchy portion of the meal (30-50 kcal)
Use light margarine instead of butter (60-70 kcal)
Drink water with meals instead of soda (140-160 kcal)
Use light salad dressing instead of full-fat versions (80-100 kcal)
Use skim milk instead of 2% or whole (40-60 kcal)
Eat on smaller plate (100-200 kcal)
• One of the best ways to prevent unwanted weight gain is to be careful of the refined and processed sugar we take in, particularly in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages
o These beverages don`t really provide our body with good nutrition and are what dietitians refer to as 'empty calories'. As we age we have less room for empty calories because often times our activity level has decreased and we have a smaller calorie budget.
• Many vitamin and mineral requirements increase as we age because our body no longer absorbs nutrients as well.
o Taking in adequate micronutrients throughout our lives can also help prevent diseases, particularly cancers and can keep our bones and joints healthy so we stay functional longer and can enjoy a better quality of life.
Milk instead of soda
Whole fruit instead of fruit juices
Baked potato instead of fries
Yogurt instead of ice cream
Extra lean ground beef instead of lean ground beef