Looking after your health is important throughout your life, but becomes something of a priority in your senior years. A balanced and healthy lifestyle is key to reducing potential medical problems, and maintaining a good quality of life, and can be achieved through a combination of diet, exercise, and general wellbeing. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin, or how to keep up the motivation once you’ve started - so try out these tips for a healthy diet and see what works for you.
Healthy Tips for Seniors
As you get older, your daily calorie needs decrease. Eating smaller portions can be challenging, but research shows that one easy way to combat this is to use smaller plates and bowls to make your meal look fuller.
Seniors still need a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and nutrients, and one of the best ways to get these is in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. You’re more likely to eat something if you like the taste, so a good way to up your fruit and vegetable intake is to find out which ones are your favourites.
Search for recipes to have a go with and get creative in the kitchen with some new and exciting flavours. Cooking your own meals is a really important component of eating healthily, as you know exactly what is going in to your body.
Plan your meals in advance and shop with a list - this gives you something to stick to when trying to avoid temptation.
Try substituting ingredients or condiments for healthier versions with less sugar and fat. Olive oil is a good alternative for butter, and applesauce can replace sugar in lots of recipes.
Drinking plenty of water is also very important - it is essential for many bodily functions like regulating temperature and moving nutrients around. Seniors are more likely to be hospitalised for dehydration than younger adults, so drink up and make sure you’re not part of the statistic.
Tricks to Make It Easier
Drumming up the motivation to start and continue a healthy eating plan might seem hard, so try different tricks designed to keep you on track to see which one works for you.
Mark up a water bottle with times of the day to make sure you’re drinking enough.
Use apps on your smartphone to track your exercise or medication.
Set up a ‘come dine with me’ healthy eating group with your friends to motivate and involve others.
Set a healthy eating goal - such as daily portions of fruit and veg - and Promise or Pay.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.