Regret is terrible.
As a Registered Dietitian, I help women with various aspects of their eating behaviors and I have learned so much from these fabulous ladies by doing so. But sadly, many women expect themselves to be uber-woman and spend so much time worrying about what they don’t have yet they forget to appreciate what they do. That blocks them from living in the now and can impact their lives in a number of ways, including from a nutritional perspective. Instead of confusing having it all with having to do it all, prioritize what you truly want out of life and go for it. Ask yourself: what would your 80 year old self wish you did right now? I would venture to guess that your 80 year-old self really doesn’t want to remember you worrying about being perfect, stressing about your weight, about that irrelevant guy, or about not living your life until you reach your (often unrealistic) idea of perfection. She doesn’t want to look at a photo of you now and see an anxious and worrisome woman, but rather see one who is healthy, happy and living her life to the fullest. Eat, drink and change your relationship with food using these five tips.
1 | Stop dieting.
Diets don’t work and they just drive us crazy by making us super judgmental about our foods and bodies. Women are taught to not trust their bodies or their hunger. Much of the work I do with women is to show them that they can reach a healthy weight without a diet. When I work on healthy eating or weight loss with my clients we focus on eating whole foods 80% of the time and balance in some goodies for the other 20%. I show them how to listen to their bodies and their hunger cues. I teach them to eat mindfully without all the restriction, rules and regulations. Plus going on and off diets creates a yo-yo effect with your metabolism which can get worse as time goes on. Don’t fall for fad diets. Think about it, if fad diets worked, why are there so many? Exactly.
2 | Keep the fat in your dairy.
No more fat-free, skim milk, or 0% yogurt. Yes, you heard me correctly. My clients are shocked when I say this, particularly when the food companies love making fat-free foods. Incidentally, this also keeps you hungrier and buying more of their products. Dairy is a lean protein filled with calcium and fortified with vitamin D. They need each other in order to absorb in the body; vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is better absorbed with fat. Therefore, trade in skim for 1% or 2% milk. The same goes for yogurt. Your 80 year old bones and immune system will be super strong. Plus, the bit of fat keeps you fuller for longer too.
3 | Salmon, walnuts and avocados.
Eat these at least 3 times a week for gorgeous glowing skin! These are easy and tasty foods that will give you the omega 3s that your skin needs to keep it plump and glowing. Also, the good fats in these foods have been known to increase good moods and help with prevention of heart disease as well as high cholesterol. Walnuts are a great snack and addition to top your yogurt. Salmon can be ordered when dining out or eaten from a can during the week. You can even add hummus and make a “salmon salad.” And avocados? Just slip them in everywhere!
4 | Add a vegetable at lunch and dinner.
Adding a fruit (nature’s candy) at snack time can help keep your body full of antioxidants. A body with a variety of vitamins running through it keeps oxidative stress at bay (which can lead to skin aging) and helps heal and regenerate skin faster. By adding fruits and vegetables in a steady stream throughout the day you will keep your defenses against skin damage strong. They also have the added benefit of fiber which keeps you fuller longer and helps to steady weight management.
5 | Watch your alcohol.
Social drinking is fun but only do it for you, not to keep up with your friends or impress anyone. Only you will feel the effects when you drink too much. Don’t forget that alcohol is a depressant and that is why we feel terrible after a night of heavy drinking. Also, alcohol disrupts sleep patterns. While it can put you to sleep at first, it will later wake you up after it is oxidized out of your body. To keep you happily buzzed without overdoing it: chase your alcohol with water, do not drink on a empty stomach, learn to “nurse” a drink and try to be just slightly buzzed by the time you get home, not “drunk.” Your 80 year old self does not want you to waste your time sick or recovering from a night out. You are just as fun without a ton of alcohol.
Bonus Tip: Don’t ever go outside without your sunblock!
What are you doing to be fabulous and fit at 80?