By Bob Rossilli, President, Fitness Over Fifty Inc., Certified Fitness Trainer
Check out our website at fitnessoverfiftyinc.com, follow us on twitter at FitOverFiftyInc and like us on Facebook at Fitness Over Fifty Inc.
There is no shortage of advice and recommendations on diet and exercise so I thought it might be helpful to summarize what I have found to work. These points have been researched, reported and repeated in countless articles. Try pinning this up on the refrigerator, in your office and on your bathroom mirror. Let me know how you are doing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BE ACTIVE EVERY DAY
Join clubs or activity groups. Get into habits that require total body movement such as walking the neighborhood, around the high school track or the mall. Take out the garbage. Weed the garden.Do a strength workout three days a week. Do an aerobic activity on the days alternating with your strength training days.
LEARN HOW TO EAT HEALTHY
Activity alone will not burn enough calories to keep you at a fit body weight if you do not eat the right amount and the right kind of foods. Learn how many calories you need to achieve your weight goals. Find your maintenance calorie level then subtract 500 calories a day to lose one pound a week. A high activity level will help you lose more. Strength training will help you build muscle and lose fat.
Your body needs fuel after going the whole night with no food. Your muscles need protein. Your brain systems need a regular nutrition schedule to help you avoid extreme eating urges. This is why it is important to start your day with a good health practice by eating breakfast. If you have to, start with a small breakfast such as a piece of whole wheat toast and an egg or a slice of cheese. Eat a second small breakfast later if that suits you better.
EAT FIBER AND WHOLE GRAINS
Fiber helps fill you up, move waste and fat out of the system and helps avoid glucose spikes. Hungry? Eat an orange instead of cookies. a sweet orange taste like candy. Microwave a portion of oatmeal. It is low in calories, healthful and you can add a tablespoonful of peanut butter to add great flavor and protein.
EAT PROTEIN WITH MEALS AND SNACKS
This helps build muscle and replace muscle loss. It helps fill you up and reduce hunger. Your body actually uses more calories to burn high protein foods than high fat food.
DON'T EAT 'ADDED SUGAR' FOODS
Many foods such as cereal add many teaspoonfuls of sugar to make it taste better but make it bad for you at many levels (more calories, surging blood glucose). Read labels and pick the cereal with low sugar levels. Do the same study for all packaged foods such as peanut butter, waffles, bread etc.
AVOID PROCESSED FOODS
Check labels for statements such as “processed cheese product” or “enriched flour”. Enriched usually equates to surge in blood glucose, stripped out fiber and stripped out nutrients.
SAY NO TO JUNK FOOD
Goodbye french fries hello to weight loss and better health. You just have to draw the line and give up certain greasy or sweat comfort junk foods. Bite the bullet and get healthier.
STOP EATING AT SOME POINT
There has to be a time each evening when you say “stop” to yourself. There is no magic food that you can keep eating and eating without it making you heavier. So at some point you have to draw another line and stop eating ‘til morning. Hopefully it's before you hit your calorie "break even" level.