As we age (yes, unfortunately we all have to!), the needs of our bodies change and we have to make suitable changes to our diet, lifestyle, health and fitness in order to stay as fit and healthy as possible.
So we have all heard about the middle aged spread, the ol' spare tyre effect and how gravity takes its toll after a certain age, but did you know that you can actually support your body through the aging process so that all those typical things don't have so much of an effect?
Here's how to eat right for your age, at every age...
In your twenties, you are in your peak health physically but you might be taking your body for granted: drinking too much, eating junk food, skipping meals, losing sleep, partying all night and overdosing on caffeine.
The intensive bone growth that happens in your teenage years continues on through your twenties, making these years your last chance to lay down new bone before the un-avoidable bone thinning process starts in your thirties. Try to get 700mg of calcium daily (from a pint of milk or 100g cheese). But don’t ruin this with too many fizzy drinks because they leech calcium from your bones.
‘Alchorexia’ is all too common among women in their twenties...this is a condition where young women restrict their food intake to allow for calories in alcohol. Alcohol is actually empty calories so you end with a very poor nutritional balance and give yourself bad hair, skin and nails. Binge drinking can also cause internal weight gain that you can’t see with visceral fat being laid down around the vital organs. This is the most dangerous type of fat.
During your thirties, you are often juggling work, a relationship, possibly young children and regardless of your best intentions, you always tend to end up grabbing fast food on the go, picking food off your kids' plates and never properly getting enough nutrients. Sleep also tends to be a problem during these years.
Eat More...Dried Apricots
If you’re tired, don’t seek a pick-me-up from caffeine, pack your diet full of low-GI, slow-release carbs, including protein in every meal. Also try dried apricots because they release energy very slowly, keeping you going for longer.
Hectic lifestyles often mean you run the risk of grazing on high fat, high salt, high sugar snacks to get you through the day. This means you'll put on weight easily and run your system down, making you more prone to viruses and illnesses. Restrict snacking to mixed nuts, an oatcake with a scrape of peanut butter, or carrot sticks dipped in hummus.
At this age, our metabolism, for both men and women, is lower by 10% than it was in your 30s so the middle-aged spread is a risk! As are weight related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Women experience some of the hormonal upheaval of the menopausal years: mood swings, hot flushes, and anxiety can be a problem.Eat More...Steak
If your periods become irregular and erratic, you could run the risk of becoming anaemic. Signs of this include intense tiredness, being unable to concentrate and have pale inner eyelids. But you can boost your iron levels (the cause of anaemia) through diet. Eat lean red meat three to four times a week, along with plenty of eggs, beans, pulses and whole grains and take some vitamin C (orange juice, kiwi fruit, tomato) at the same time to increase your absorption of iron.
Avoid...The Cookie Jar
With a slower metabolism, you will need to cut back by around 200 calories a day to avoid weight gain. This can come from small cutbacks like one less KitKat, no extra glass of wine, no bread roll with dinner and be sure to avoid the cookie jar! These tips will keep your body in balance.