Loosing weight is a struggle for most women, but once we turn 60 it often feels impossible. While our bodies change, our eating habits should, too. Join us in discussion with registered dietitian Ashley Koff who will explain what we need to focus on as we journey to be the healthiest versions of ourselves. Enjoy the show!
Over the years, we accumulate a great deal of information about maintaining or improving our health. Some of the information we receive is quite valuable and other information is often incorrect and destructive.
The first thing women over 60 need to do is a digestive assessment. Explained on her website, Ashley says that this is an important first step to understanding how our digestive system is now working differently than it’s ever worked before and how to help it respond healthier to what it’s receiving.
Many women after 60 find that counting calories is no longer effective in terms of weight loss. In fact, drastically decreasing your caloric intake can actually be damaging. What’s important is understanding what your body needs and when it needs it.
Ashley uses the analogy of our bodies being like race cars to help us understand how to make the healthiest choices for ourselves. When a race car begins a race, it has already been assessed. It has been properly cared for and it is primed for maximum output. When we turn 60 we cannot expect our bodies to continue performing as they always have. We need to make ourselves more familiar with the changes we’re experiencing and how we can achieve our best performance.
At the starting line, a race car has been filled with the right kind of gas, the tires have been filled with the right amount of air, and the engine has been filled with the right amount of oil. The car will be stripped down and cleaned out so that it only carries the weight that it needs.
Ashley says that in this analogy, the air in our tires represents protein, the oil in our engine represents healthy fats, and the gas in the car represents our carbohydrates. They are the fuel that gives us energy. However, just as it is dangerous to put too much gas in a car, it is equally as dangerous for us to put too many carbs in our bodies. Instead of over-filling on carbs, Ashley suggests that we should time out our “pit stops” better so we can refuel and add in more carbs 2-3 hours later.
Knowing and understanding the carbs we use to fuel our bodies is also very important. Many women eat what they think is a healthy breakfast consisting of something like a slice of whole wheat toast, an egg, and some fresh blueberries, not realizing that blueberries are carbs and they are therefore taking in more carbs than their body can burn off. For this reason, it’s important for us to educate ourselves on the foods we eat.
The last thing we need to know before that flag drops is to put away any plans to cheat. Cheating in a race might bring a trophy to the driver, but it won’t make him or her the best driver. The same happens to our bodies when we try to cheat by taking in artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and factory processed foods.
These cheat foods may initially help you lose a few pounds while enjoying the foods you crave, but in the end, it will not improve the overall health of your body. In fact, these foods tend to have a negative effect that outweighs their benefits. Just like a cheating race car driver has to deal with the consequences of being caught cutting corners in a race, we too have to deal with the unwelcome outcomes of cutting corners in our diet.
Have you struggled with your weight after turning 60? Do you try to cut corners? Do you feel like you are aware of all the nutritional information in the foods that you eat? What changes can you make to improve your overall health through nutrition? Please join in the conversation below!