As we move through our life, we’ll have greater demands for certain vitamins and minerals, even macronutrients, than we do at other times. Plus there’s a whole cascade of different hormonal responses, and how our body responds to food with those hormones.
So it’s important to have healthy habits throughout all stages of your life. Here are some ways you can incorporate healthy changes that can assist with your mental and physical health, in the long run.
12WBT Nutrition Tips For Every Age Group
Alright, so let’s start with the 20s! While youth is on your side and you may feel invincible, learning how to cook nutritious meals, based on whole foods, is going to serve you well in this decade and long into the future! Excess caffeine consumption can lead to vitamin B deficiencies, so it’s always a good idea to consume in moderation and always reach for your water bottle first!
In your 30s, fertility may be something to consider for some women. Iron is important here – red meat, poultry, fortified bread, cereals, and green leafy vegetables. Folate consumption from dark leafy greens and whole grains is important, while zinc consumption from meat, poultry, and seafood is important for men.
Your 40s and 50s
Going into your 40s and 50s, women have a shift in hormones – thank you menopause! We also change the way we lay down body fat. A Mediterranean diet during this phase of life is heart-healthy, gut-healthy, and balanced – it will also reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. You can try my Fit for Fifty program to help improve the way you age through a combination of cardio and strength training as well as tailored meal plans for 12 weeks.
In this stage of your life, you want to focus on being lean and strong. It’s all about muscle preservation! Increased calcium and protein are essential if you’re looking to minimize muscle wastage, also known as sarcopenia. This condition is very common as we age and can have a great impact on your life. As well as eating more protein, fruits, and vegetables, it’s recommended to do some sort of resistance or strength training if you can.
Moving on to the 70s age bracket, many adults here notice a decrease in appetite. With a lower volume of food being eaten, it’s more important that meals are nutrient-dense to support health and energy levels.
Creating a healthy plate of food is not necessarily following a recipe. Whether it be learning how to cook something or understanding the difference between full-fat and low-fat foods, these are elements that are stepping blocks to building healthier and long-term lifestyle changes. It’s also about learning how to nourish your body and nurture your body as your body changes.
Whatever stage of life you’re in, there is a way to navigate the 12WBT program so that it’s going to fit you as best as possible.
Nutrition Tips For the Majority Of Age Groups
While everyone is on very different life journeys, physically we have very similar, and but also diverse needs amongst us.
- All adults should aim for 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day. Try adding some fruit to your breakfast oats and lunchtime salads, add in veggie sticks and dips for snacks, or even make a veggie-packed bolognese for dinner! There are so many ways to get your fruit to veg in throughout the day.
- Consuming adequate calcium for bone health is really important, especially for women. As bone density starts to decrease from around age 35, calcium will help build and maintain those bones. Sources of calcium include yogurt, milk, cheese, and fortified dairy alternatives.
- Omega 3 is a must as it assists with brain, heart, and eye health! Later in life, it can also assist with inflammation and joint pain. Oily fish is a great source of omega-3, so try to eat it weekly.
For many of my 12WBTers, whether one’s goal is weight loss or increasing their strength, I’ve found that my members have taken away tools that give them so much more control of what their family is eating, they feel more organized and they’ve created better habits and routines that can stick!