Common eating mistakes women over 50 make
We want to share with you some common eating mistakes that we see women make in our community. We are big on increasing awareness so that once you know about these mistakes, you can do something about them.
If you have friends who would benefit please share as well!
So what are these common eating mistakes? To hear all the details, view the video below!
Lets get started…
- Not eating enough in general. So many women come to us eating such low calories. When they do this, not only do they negatively affect their metabolism (the body goes into starvation mode) but when you eat too little it is hard to get enough nutrients in to support our aging bodies. We never advocate eating less than 1200 calories a day, and closer to 1400-1500 for weight loss can be more effective long term.
- Being too restrictive. This goes along with not eating enough. However when we are being too restrictive–such as “I am giving up all sugar or never eating dessert again”–it’s usually only a matter of time before our brain (or as we like to say your inner rebel) says “I’m done with this, I’m going to eat what I want!”, which can lead to binging. Make sure you are including a variety of foods that you love, maybe just eat less of them if they aren’t very healthy.
- Too much sugar and refined carbs. We could go on and on about this. Chances are you know that we need to limit them, especially as we get older and are more susceptible to insulin resistance. However, there are so many hidden sugars in things like yogurt, salad dressings, granola bars, cereals, and even bread.
- Using artificial sweeteners. Aside from the chemical aspect, studies show artificial sweeteners can still be addictive like natural sugars, and may have unknown long term side effects. Using sugar substitutes keeps the taste of sugar “alive” in your system.
While you are not actually eating sugar, it tastes like sugar to your body. Studies have shown this can actually increase your cravings for sugar and sweets. When we eat refined sugar or artificial sweeteners, our brains believe that we’re getting the nutrients we need. Instead, we don’t get any real nutrients, so appetite and food cravings are re-triggered.
- Not enough protein. During menopause, the natural decline in estrogen levels causes a loss of muscle mass and strength. A good dose of protein has been shown to help prevent the muscle loss that occurs with aging (if you don’t get enough protein, your body will break down its own muscle tissue, making matters worse). Protein has also been shown to boost weight loss and maintain long term steady blood sugar levels. It is especially helpful if you are prone to cravings. Aim for 15-25 grams/meal.
- Eating diet foods. for the most part, products labeled as diet or lite (spelled lite) involves chemicals we want to avoid. They can actually disrupt metabolism and negatively affect cells, so stay away from diet foods and eat real food instead!
- Discounting the weekends. We see this common mistake – women eat so well during the week and then on the weekend, when it is more common to go out and there is less of a routine. While we don’t subscribe to a strict eating plan, it is still important to take notice and pay attention to what we eat on the weekends. It might mean saving food from dining out to bring home rather than clean your plate (and feel stuffed) or incorporate a healthier version of Saturday morning pancakes. Take some steps to pay attention to your weekend eating!
- Eating while distracted. This is a big one and one we have to keep reminding ourselves not to do. When you do other things while eating, you won’t digest as well, you won’t enjoy the food, and often overeat because you aren’t paying attention.
- Not enough veggies. Vegetables are the ultimate superfood! They are so important, especially as we get older and have a higher need for minerals to support our bones, and phytonutrients and fiber to ward off disease. They also fill you up without filling you out. You want to aim for at least 7 servings a day for optimal health.
- Dealing with our emotions in the kitchen – emotional eating is a huge topic. We cover it in our Simply Nourished program, and we will be talking about it more in the future. Chances are you know that if you are upset or stressed about something, treating yourself with food will at best be a very short term solution.
- Not getting enough fat. Healthy fats help fill you up and absorb nutrients, increase taste/satisfaction, balance hormones, enhance weight loss, AND nourish your brain.
As we age, we produce less estrogen. Unfortunately, estrogen helps combat spikes in insulin which drives fat into the fat cells. One way to counteract insulin spikes is with healthy fats including avocados, olive oil, nuts/seeds, nut butters, flax/chia/hemp seeds, and fatty fish. Small amounts of grass-fed butter or ghee can also help fill your healthy fat quota.
- Skimping on fiber. Fiber helps promote fullness AND protects against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer, diverticulosis and constipation. Most women don’t get nearly enough fiber. Whole food, unprocessed carbs are your best bet for sources which can be found in vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts, sweet potatoes, and small amounts of whole grains such as wild rice, oatmeal and quinoa. We like to see our clients get at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
- Drinking calories. Even though we are not calorie counters, it is so easy to not notice how many calories you are taking in when it is through drinks (and the solution is not 0 calorie soda!).
- Too much coffee. First off, we want to acknowledge that coffee does have some benefits (yea)! While we aren’t saying you have to give up your morning cup, first it is good to know how your body runs on your own natural energy. Also, too much caffeine has been linked to hot flashes, sleep issues and an increase in cortisol, our stress hormone. We strongly suggest limiting it to 1 or at most 2 cups per day. In addition, coffee can be very acidifying which is not good for our bones.
- Eating to please. This is another one we feel is so common with women in our age group. What is eating to please? It is when you eat something you don’t want to eat because you feel bad telling someone no, which usually occurs in social situations.
- Picking throughout the day. It is so easy to underestimate how much you are eating when you are constantly picking at food during the day. Even though it might be healthy foods, and you are picking at a small amount each time, it really adds up. We’ve had clients track every bite and they were shocked when they realized how much they were taking in.
- Not drinking enough water. This will make you thirsty and confuse hunger for thirst.
Do you make any of these common mistakes? These are common mistakes so don’t beat yourself up if you resonate with these, just work on turning them around one by one.
THE NOURISHING GURUS
Jane and Stephanie, creators of The Simply Nourished Solution™, are nutritionists who help women over 50 go from overweight, frustrated, and inflamed to lighter and healthier so they can be more active, feel good in their bodies, and live the second half of life with energy and confidence. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.
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