By: CJ Johnson | September 20, 2018 |

6 Habits Fit People Over 50 Use to Stay Healthy

6 habits fit people over 50 use to stay healthyThere are six basic habits that are a cornerstone of fitness for people over 50.

But before we begin, remember that it is all based on clean eating. All that simply means is eating less processed food and more whole foods. Choose foods that are closer to their natural form. Processed foods are full of fats, preservatives and additives to make the food taste better and last longer on the shelf. Whenever you make healthy eating choices, begin with clean eating and then apply these six habits that fit people over 50 use to stay healthy.

Don’t Skip Your Breakfast

That’s a big one. Most studies highlight the correlation between eating breakfast and healthy weight management. Eating fires up our metabolism and our fat burning genes. If we don’t eat until lunchtime, our metabolism doesn’t fire up the way it should, so make sure that you have a well-rounded breakfast.

As a society, we want to throw a piece of toast or bagel in our mouth for convenience sake. That is a start but is not enough. You want to make sure that you get protein. Shoot for 30 grams of protein inside of each meal and don’t forget healthy carbohydrates. Diets or a change that cuts out any one food group may help you to lose weight in the short term but may not be healthy in the long run for our bodies. Even throw in some vegetables at breakfast time. Avocado toast is a big these days, so try a little avocado toast with some eggs. Yogurt is also a great alternative, but make sure that you read the label since we have taken yogurt to entirely unhealthy levels by adding tons of sugar and tons of aspartame. Instead, eat plain yogurt and add fruit.

Portion Control

It is critical that you know what a portion is. Some say a deck of cards or the palm of your hand as a gauge, and that’s better than nothing. In the long run, if you want to get good at knowing portions, there is no substitute for measuring things out. Yes, pull out the measuring cups and spend the time to learn what a portion looks like. Once you have portion control, you can probably eat just about anything if you do it in moderation.

Make Snacking Easy

Chances are, if you’re a snacker, you’re always going to be a snacker. You’re not going to eliminate that habit completely. The trick is to become a healthy snacker.

Major food companies came up with those hundred calorie snack packs, and they are very convenient. We know exactly how many calories, we know the what we’re eating, and we know the ingredients.  The problem is most of those are processed food. Copy this concept but use cleaner foods, such as nuts.

Nuts are also a great example of a healthier snack and an additional protein source. A handful of mixed nuts probably in the 200 calories area, depending on the nuts. Eighteen pistachios are right around 100 calories. Make sure that you also portion those out. If you eat nuts out of the bag or by the handful, you will overeat in calories, and that reverts to number two, which is mastering portion control.

Have healthy whole snacks available, have fruits, have vegetables available, and stay away from the snack aisle with all the chips and dips!

Change It Up

Try a new recipe. Do something different!

We eat emotionally far too often in this country, and one of the reasons is that we get bored, so therefore we eat. Don’t allow yourself to get bored with the food you cook. Continue to rotate and make different choices.  How, how about a little steak and eggs for breakfast with some fresh asparagus? Change things up so you don’t get bored and you won’t give in to emotional eating.

Look for Other Sources of Protein

Too often we only think of beef, chicken, turkey. Those are excellent sources of protein, but there are so many other sources of protein out there, too. Yogurts, especially plain Greek yogurts are fantastic. Nuts, legumes, beans, eggs are some others. Low-calorie string cheese has about seven grams of protein in it, and it’s only about 70 calories. Certainly fish. Fish also gives you Omega vitamins which are for essential to your body. For the vegans out there try tempeh, which is fermented soy. It has a very nutty flavor. You can put it right on top of salads and a lot of different foods. Be creative!

Water, Water, Water

Whenever we don’t give our bodies enough water, we become dehydrated, and dehydration can mask itself as hunger.  If you feel hungry and it’s less than three hours since the last time you ate, it might be that you’re thirsty. Our brain interprets thirsty as I’m hungry. Drink a glass of water before you eat.

Optimally we want to drink 1/3 of our body weight in ounces daily (weight in pounds/3). That can seem like a lot, and you might have to create a challenge to achieve it.

I love carbonated water. Unfortunately, the cost and the environmental damage from the plastic bottles kept me from purchasing it. That’s when I got a soda stream. One of the selling points from the company is that the average person will drink 40% more water after purchasing a soda stream. It is environmentally friendly and makes a serving for just pennies.

Another trick is when you reach for your morning coffee pour a glass of water too. We’ve been asleep for six to eight hours during that time we become dehydrated. When you grab your cup coffee, grab a glass of water at the same time. It will help your organs work much better.

Diets don’t work! They are temporary. If you want real lasting change, you need to modify your habits. Pick one of these and do it daily for three weeks. Then pick another and another, you get the picture. Pretty soon you will have enough healthy habits to efficiently manage your fitness and weight for the rest of your life.

Want to learn more?

In the comments below tell me, how what healthy habits do you utilize to stay fit? 

CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)