4 Eating Tips For Women Over 40 to Feel Your Best
Feel like you are in a slump? Can’t lose weight? Struggle to stay awake through the afternoon? Lacking motivation and time for exercise? You are not alone!
These are complaints I hear daily from patients. It’s true, our body at 40, 50, 60 and beyond is much different than our body at 25. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to achieve your health and wellness goals. Unfortunately, many women are going about this the wrong way. Fad diets, inappropriate supplementation and costly programs are just some of the strategies I hear. There is hope – here’s what you can try.
1. Find a Provider You Trust and Schedule a Physical
If you want to make changes, you need some data to learn where your body is at. Low vitamin D, adrenal issues, hormone changes? You need to know what is going before you try to change it with diet and lifestyle changes.
2. Approach Fad Diets or Supplement Pyramid Schemes With a Cautious Eye
Don’t be swayed by fancy marketing tactics and do your research on the products you put into your body. It is important to discuss diet changes, especially elimination of food groups, and supplements with your provider. Your provider knows your health history and can check for contradictions.
3. Get Enough Protein
Hormone changes lead to a decrease in lean body mass and muscle, especially in those who are not active. Incorporate protein into each meal and snack. Think meat, nuts & seeds, nut butters, beans, Greek yogurt or cheese.
4. There is No One-Size-Fits-All Nutrition Plan
Each person comes with their own health history, beliefs, financial situation, accessibility to food and more. Here’s what you can do now:
- Eat whole foods. Think baked sweet potato instead of sweet potato chips.
- Drink more water. I repeat, drink more water.
- Balance your blood sugar with quality carbohydrates. Whole fruits, starchy vegetables, beans and no added sugar yogurt.
- Keep a journal. Note your food, exercise, energy, sleep and side effects. You can learn more about your body and discuss concerns with your provider.
Finally, a word about weight loss. I try to remind patients that extra 20 pounds didn’t come on overnight, so you can’t expect it to come off in two weeks. Try these tips and start appreciating your body and everything it does for you.
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.