We all know that a big part of living a healthy lifestyle is eating healthy. Many of you have probably spent a good amount of time and energy trying to get your kids to eat their vegetables and curb their consumption of junk food. But just because boomers are more mature in terms of age doesn’t necessarily mean they always act maturely.
Studies have shown that obesity and diabetes is on the rise among boomers and a big contributor to that could be their unhealthy eating habits. Anyone who has tried to lose weight or put a stop to their food indulgences knows that it’s easier said than done. But for the sake of your health, it’s important to put in your best effort to doing away with those bad eating habits. Here are a few tips that will hopefully prove helpful, and as always, consult a doctor for any concerns about your health.
Don’t buy junk “for others”.
One of the first things you’ll tell yourself when trying to cut out unhealthy food is that you’ll simply stop buying it. Seems easy enough. However, you then have to stick to that promise no matter what, which means ignoring that little voice in your head that tells you you’ll just buy some snacks for when company comes over. This can be an especially convenient and dangerous exception to take since it’s the holiday season. But the sacks don’t end up getting eaten and then you have them in your house, tempting you everyday. Avoid the problem and just keep the grocery list healthy no matter the occaison.
Make smaller meals.
One of the biggest problems that people face when trying to lose weight is the overeating. We can get used to a certain portion size for our meals which are larger than they need to be. Even if the meal is not necessarily unhealthy, overeating can still cause weight problems if it becomes part of your routine. To avoid this, start making smaller meals and take your time eating. It might seem like it’s not enough food at first, but you’ll find that you get full faster than you thought.
Not knowing what to eat can often lead to eating the wrong thing. You spend time thinking and looking for something healthy to eat that you eventually get fed up and just do the easiest thing, which is often the unhealthy choice. That’s why planning out your healthy meals in advance is the best option. You can make pre-made meals for the week, or just know what you will eat in advance so there’s not that big question come mealtime.
Stop telling yourself you deserve to eat whatever.
Bad food can be an indulgence for many of us, but the problem comes when we keep going out of our way to find reasons why we “deserve” to indulge. It’s the weekend? Time to order a pizza. It’s the holidays? I can have Christmas cookies all day. Bad day at work? I need some comfort food. Good day at work? Have a treat to celebrate. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional “cheat day” but that has to be balanced with healthy eating and exercise and only be done in a reasonable way.
Remove those food/activity pairings.
I love watching movies. I find it a great way to unwind after a long day, but the problem is that I’ve linked watching movies with snacking. I’ve convinced myself that since I’m watching a movie, I should have a snack too so that I’ll enjoy it more. Lots of people pair food and activities like this and it’s a habit that needs to be broken. Your enjoyment of your favourite activity does not depend on what you’re eating at the time. You can keep up all your favourite activities, but start removing the necessary food items that to which they are linked.
Don’t skip meals to make up for bad ones.
Compromise can be a dangerous method of living a healthy lifestyle. How many times have you justified eating a greasy fast food meal by telling yourself that you’ll just skip supper? Not only does that not do away with the damage caused by the bad meal choice, it also will slow your metabolism and make it harder for your body to burn off those fast food calories. Stick to a number of small, healthy meals throughout the day instead of trying to find cheats.
Keep the kitchen clean.
This is one that might not seem as obvious or as impactful, but you’d be surprised. Many times, I have walked into my kitchen ready to make dinner, seen the mess I left it in and decided I didn’t want to deal with that. This inevitably means I stick something easy in the over, which we’ve established is rarely the healthy option. So what I’ve started doing is cleaning up as I cook or just after I eat to avoid those awful moments of the pre-cooking cleanup and thus robbing myself of yet another excuse to eat unhealthy.
Find a reason to eat healthy.
As with any difficult or personally challenging undertaking, motivation helps a lot. In terms of eating healthier, finding a good reason to do it and keeping that reason in mind can work as a very effective motivator. And trust men, it won’t be hard to find a reason. It could be something as simple as wanting to lose weight before a big event, or it could be something much deeper like wanting to be healthy enough to see your grandkids grow up. Whatever your motivation, keep it in your mind and those struggles will be worth it in the end.