3 Easy Steps to Better Health at Any Age
Especially as we get older, it gets harder and harder to fight, and win, the “battle of the bulge”. As we age, we typically become less active, and we often acquire tastes that wouldn’t necessarily be listed in the top 10 foods you should eat for good health…Now, I realize, there are also cases where we do not get enough nutrition and sustenance as we age, which causes us to lose too much weight, and that, too, is a problem. The question is, how can we overcome this situation, and find our way to better health? While this post focuses primarily on how it can help you lose unwanted weight with these 3 steps, it is also about becoming healthier, and using the 3 steps as a guide to better health.
Whatever your age, there are literally thousands, if not millions, of books, articles, DVDs, potions, powders, and so-called “magic pills” to help you achieve your weight loss (or gain) goals. According to businesswire.com, the diet industry is worth upwards of $70 billion (yes, billion, with a “b”) annually. That means there is no shortage of advice on how you can reach your goals.
The problem comes when you discover that so much of the advice is contradictory, or changes, or is so complicated that you need an engineering degree, a doctorate, and a personal chef just to follow the plan.
Before we go any further, we have to give a disclaimer. We are not doctors, we are providing this for informational purposes, and you should consult your own physician before starting this, or any other diet or exercise program that falls outside your normal routine. We also understand that there are circumstances that arise, like a heart attack or stroke, a diagnosis of diabetes, cancer, or any number of other medical conditions that do require you to completely change your diet. If any medical condition applies, or was the catalyst to change your diet, then we strongly suggest you follow your doctor’s or medical practitioner’s advice and make whatever changes are necessary to help you heal.
With that said, our goal today is to cut through all of the noise and confusion, and make it super simple to be a healthier, happier version of yourself. We are going to share with you just 3 things to focus on. This is not solely about weight loss (or weight gain), or simply addressing how you look, or how your clothes fit. This is about understanding the basics, so you can easily make the right choices, without feeling deprived, or that you have to upend your entire life to make a difference.
First, before we really dig in, let’s talk about some general information around dieting, and improving your overall health. Today we are talking about diet, defined as what you consume, not the 4 letter word we’ve all come to associate with dieting. Secondly, we feel that exercise, or activity of some sort, is an important part of your daily routine. What that activity or exercise consists of will depend on your mobility, your agility, your doctor’s recommendations, and what activities you enjoy. Lastly, we are not even going to enter the discussion of what type(s) of foods you eat. Some people are “meat and potatoes” folks, others are vegetarian or vegan, others still follow paleo, or ketone, or any of the other thousands of variations of dietary structure. We promised to keep it simple, and that’s just what we’re going to do, keep it simple!
What we’re about to share with you may be the best starting point ever, the best personal plan you’ve ever followed, or the easiest way you’ve ever experienced to shape the way you eat. No matter what, I promise it’s simple, so here we go…
3 Steps to Better Health: When, What, How Much…We use the term “Better Health” because we don’t all have the same goals, nor are we starting from the same place. We can’t be perfect, but we can always be better…
- When You Eat – There are many schools of thought on this topic and, once again, we are not trying to overthink it. The biggest tip we can share here is to listen to your body. One person I know was exercising daily, and making decent food choices, but not losing any weight. He stopped eating after 6pm, about 4 to 5 hours before he he goest to bed, and that small change has resulted in him losing up to 15 pounds within a month. Another friend with the same challenge began skipping breakfast, and eating more, smaller meals through the day, and she has lost as much as 12 pounds within a month. If you pay attention to what your body is telling you, and eat only when you are positive you’re hungry, you will find you’re not eating as much, or as often as you’d been accustomed to. Also, drinking plenty of water will help you feel full and help ward off the false hunger pangs.
- What You Eat – Yes, you do have to pay attention to what you eat, but you can choose how detailed you want to be. This is your chance to be aware of the choices you are making and slowly (or quickly, if that works better for you) shape your eating habits for better health. If you are tech-friendly and own a smartphone, there is a free app you can use to easily track what you eat called MyFitnessPal. What’s really nice about that app is that it has a huge database of foods, so you can search or even scan the barcode of just about any food you run across and it will be found in the database. You can find the app in the App Store or in Google Play. You can also keep track in a food journal or just pen/pencil and a legal pad. There are a few guidelines we suggest you keep in mind as you follow the 3 steps. For example, keep in mind that protein is important, however, it comes from sources other than just meat, and we typically consume more than twice the protein we actually need. Grilled is always healthier than fried. Whole fruit and vegetables contain more, and higher quality, fiber than any processed food. Healthier food options are less calorically dense than processed or “comfort foods” (For example, there are 20 calories in 10 grapes, and 35 calories in 10 regular M&Ms). Mainly, it’s all about balance. You don’t have to skip dessert, however, if you have fried chicken and french fries for dinner and then cake and ice cream, your choices are out of balance. If you want to plan it as a weekly menu, there are many resources for healthy recipes, with varying degrees of difficulty. Without much trouble you can find one that resonates with you. As above, be sure you’re drinking plenty of water!
- How Much You Eat – Last, but not least, you need to pay attention to the quantity you’re eating at any given meal. Yet another friend was eating large portions, primarily for two reasons:
- Over-hungry – Whether or not that’s a “real word”, he was so hungry from waiting too long to eat, that he basically ate anything that wasn’t nailed down. He piled his plate high, mostly with unhealthy foods, and cleaned his plate every time.
- Lack of planning – He rarely planned ahead, instead “foraging for food” when he got hungry. That led to eating mostly heat-and-eat foods that could be quickly microwaved, or snack foods eaten out of the bag. This also meant that there was no limit on his meal, meaning he waited to feel full to stop eating. The problem was, by the time the feeling of being full kicked in, he was actually feeling uncomfortably “stuffed”.
You can combat both of those traps with just a little bit of simple planning. If you plan your food choices ahead of time, when you’re not so hungry, you will make more informed decisions. You can also plan portions based on a more realistic quantity of food. Our stomachs are only about the size of our fist, so eating a giant plate heaped with food could be 4 to 5 times more than we actually need. You can also use the MyFitnessPal app or your food journal (or pen and paper) to track how much you’re eating. I’m willing to bet that if you simply track how much you’re actually eating, you will naturally cut down on the quantity as you become more aware and listen to your body.
These 3 steps to better health are designed to help you tune into your body, what your body is telling you, as well as bring awareness to your current habits and routines, which will reveal opportunities where you can begin making changes for better health. In some cases, these 3 steps may be all you need, in other cases, you may feel you need to really plan your meals from day to day, hour to hour. Whatever you find to be right for you, we sincerely hope these 3 steps provide a starting point, so you can make the changes necessary to, not only enjoy your time with your grandkids, but with your great-grandkids as well.
If you or your loved ones need help at home, whether for simple daily activities, or help with medical needs, please reach out to us, we are here to help. Mention “3 Easy Steps” when you call or write, and we’ll not only offer you a free consultation and review of your current situation, we’ll also provide a complimentary Situational Analysis of your needs, taking into consideration your schedule, budgetary constraints, and other factors that impact the type of in-home care is most beneficial. What is most important to us is that you are not struggling alone with your health and well-being, or that of a loved one. You are not alone. We can help, and we can also provide you numerous additional resources so you will never again feel you have to struggle alone. You can contact us by phone at: (678) 494-8129. You can also email us at info@SilverCompanionsGA.com, or simply Click Here to go to the contact form on our website.