So I suppose this is “Fit Friends Advice Part 2 – Diet Version.”
While there are many different ways to curb appetite and tricks to keep weight from creeping up, sometimes all it takes is one person giving a tidbit of advice that really helps.
I believe it takes us a few years of living to see what works for us. As we age, we finally figure out what to eat, what not to eat and how our bodies react to certain foods. And then it happens: We start to age and our metabolism decides to retire.
After all, it must be tired from running full speed ahead from the time we are born till we are in our 20s and even 30s. But then it decides to take a LONG vacation. So we have to be more creative in how we keep the pounds from piling on. Not to mention we have to learn to embrace exercise, whether we want to or not.
One of my very fit instructor friends, whom I really admire, has more willpower than me. She is a lacto-ovo vegetarian, meaning that she eats eggs and dairy but no meat. She eats small, frequent nutritious meals. These meals include high quality carbohydrates with no white flour or sugar! (OK, she lost me on that last part. How does she do that?)
She also says that, on the few occasions when she eats fatty foods, she feels fatty. That is a great way to compare how foods make us feel. It is true that we are what we eat. When we eat sugary foods, we feel less energetic.
If only we could get that word out, people might just try to eat a little cleaner and see if it affects the way they feel and function. They may be surprised.
Another friend said that working as a teacher sabotaged her diet. When she retired from teaching, she made better decisions about her diet. We all face these decisions about how to balance work with our family responsibilities and taking the best care of ourselves. Sound familiar?
From several friends I heard the trick of cooking at home instead of eating out. When we eat out, we have no idea of what they do to make that food taste so good. If you are the chef, you know what the ingredients are. You can use fresh herbs for seasoning and olive oil for health.
For snacking, go for a handful of almonds or a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter on an apple. This type of snack will keep you energized and get you through the afternoon.
Smoothies are another trick that worked for my fit friends. Using fruit with Greek yogurt or even almond milk is a great way to get servings of fruit as well as the calcium that we need as we age. Not to mention it’s pretty filling for the low amount of calories.
Don’t forget the protein. Many people do not realize that we need a certain amount of protein to function properly. We need around .8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. That means a woman who weights 135 pounds would need 49 grams of protein a day. You need more if you exercise more than an hour a day or if you lift heavy weights.
Just because our metabolism is on vacation doesn’t mean we can’t try to get it to return by lifting weights, getting stronger and supporting that by eating enough protein.
Keep trying the tricks that make it work for you. The key is to eat a cleaner diet full of healthful foods that fuel your life.