4 Rules for Healthy Living After Age 50

meals

You wake up one day and realize your clothes fit a little tighter. Every time you step on the scale, that number seems to be going up a little. Maybe you’ve been skipping workouts. Or maybe that neighborhood walk is harder than you remember.

As you age, metabolism slows, muscle mass decreases, and shifting priorities may change the way you eat and exercise. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit back in a rocker and let yourself go.

If you want to manage your weight and maintain your health after age 50, here are five things that need to be a regular part of your life:

1. Eat fiber-rich foods.

Try fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. These are nutrient-dense foods that are lower in calories than pizza, burgers, and french fries. Eating fiber-rich foods will help you feel fuller, support weight management, and improve heart health, digestion, and blood sugar levels. Men over 50 need about 30g of fiber per day. Women over 50 need about 21g of fiber per day.
Try these Portion-Control meals high in fiber:

2. Get adequate protein

How much protein do you need? Aim for at least 0.8 grams of protein per 2 pounds of bodyweight. For example, a 150 pound adult should eat about 60g of protein per day or more. What foods are good sources of protein? Try chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, eggs, legumes, and low-fat dairy products.

Try these Portion-Control meals high in protein:

3. Drink plenty of water

Six to eight (8-ounce) glasses of water per day is a good goal. You may need to drink more depending on your exercise level, or if you live in a hot climate. And you may not have to drink as much if you’re eating foods that contain water like watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, leafy greens, and celery.

4. Exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes a day.

This should include cardiovascular exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. Resistance training should also be part of your exercise routine. This includes exercises like weight lifting or body weight exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, squats and planks. Regular exercise helps strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles, burns calories, and supports weight management.

Want more meal-planning ideas to keep your weight in check as you age? Check out the complete Portion-Control menu here.