Last week I shared a few thoughts on what fitness looks like for me at age 60. I think the biggest takeaways are finding physical activities you enjoy, making sure you schedule time for them, stay consistent and keep upping your game.
When it comes to diet, things can get a bit complicated. I have found success on a low carb diet—it’s been 12 years since I lost weight and have kept it off, so for me, a low carb diet works. Diets can be so very personal. I have friends who, though they may not lose weight, are steadfast in their beliefs about their diets. I’m not here to argue or push a specific diet, however if you are on a diet, and you are following it properly, the result should be a loss of weight. If you are not losing weight, either you are not following the diet properly, the plan itself is flawed or just plain doesn’t work.
Here are some things to avoid when choosing a diet plan:
A diet high in sugars or foods that convert to sugar when metabolized.
A diet is too high in calories.
And finally, a diet can be too low in calories.
Part of the diet process is recalibration of the metabolism. Losing weight requires a lowered caloric intake, and involves ensuring the proper amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats are consumed. This is why I ultimately chose to go to a doctor for help with my weight loss.
Confession: I ate donuts on weight watchers and lost weight. I was on the point system, and figured out how to consume completely unhealthy foods while staying within the number of points I needed to loose weight. I felt totally horrible and ultimately made the decision to revisit my approach. I began making healthy choices, and lost 25 pounds before plateauing.
If you are looking to experiment a little and tweak a few things, I have a few ideas.
- Eliminate one thing. I used to drink soft drinks…all the time. As I hit my middle years, my soft drink intake increased—as soon as I dropped Brooke off at school, I’d hightail it through the Macdonald’s drive through for a large coke. My dentist noticed immediately; I had more little cavities. My skin was always mildly broken out, and well, you already know I was over weight. I decided to drop soft drinks. I switched to iced green tea with stevia, water or water with lemon and stevia. I lost ten pounds in thirty days making that one minor change. I haven’t had a soft drink in 14 years and haven’t given it a thought. It stuck because I found a couple replacements I enjoyed. I chose low hanging fruit. And it was just one simple change. When we look at our diets, we can often identify one item we can easily do without. After you’ve achieved success, pick another unhealthy item. For me it was sweets. I immediately chose a few healthy things I enjoyed eating to replace sweets in my diet.
- Intermittent Fasting: I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting for a year now; my doctor recommended it. I did’t do it to loose weight, though I did loose a pound or two the first month. Intermittent fasting is said to improve our health in many ways. I found an increase in vitality, and a decrease in mental fog. I am an early riser, and am looking forward to eating in the morning, so I eat my meals early in the day; a small breakfast, a larger lunch and a snack in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes I drink an Unjury protein shake, sometimes I eat a small plate of cheese and sausage, or some nuts.
- Choosing a food plan you can live with. Years ago, when I lost the 50 lbs, I had gone to a doctor specializing in weight loss. As I sat in the waiting room, I’d hear people chatting about the diet and how they were doing. Most of what I heard were ways to “cheat” and how people couldn’t wait to get back to their old diets again. Needless to say, a very high percentage of them regained their weight immediately.
Developing and maintaining good health, especially in our middle years and beyond is an important building block to living your best life.