Unlock the Secrets to Effortless Healthy Eating Habits: A Guide for Women Over 60!

Eating a healthy diet can feel like a huge task in today’s world of fast food and social engagements.

Especially after turning 60.

Let’s face it, most of us don’t want to spend our days in the kitchen fixing perfect nutritious meals when takeout is so much easier.  

Not to mention, as women over 60, our family and work commitments have slowed down or stopped, and we now have more time to meet up for lunch or dinner and drinks with friends.

Trust me, I am not saying that this is a bad thing! There is nothing better than getting out to have fun and socialize.

However, we all know the importance of eating nutritious food, especially after we reach our 60s and beyond.  

It can be a real game-changer for our energy and happiness; all of the things that we want as we age. 

We have all felt that energy sucked out of us after a big meal or after eating a greasy hamburger.  

This doesn’t mean that we have to watch every little morsel that goes into our mouths.  

That can be a very daunting task, and trust me, as someone who has done this for years it can add a lot of stress and missed social opportunities. 

See, I’ve found that it’s not about perfection; it’s about consistency. 

Healthy eating shouldn’t be a chore; it should be a way to live healthy and happy and enjoy life. Simple, small changes can make a huge impact. 

I chose to follow an 80-20 diet. 80% of the time, I eat healthy foods, and 20% of the time, I wander off for less-than-healthy options.

This way, I don’t feel guilty, and I can just enjoy myself.    

So, are you ready to unlock the secrets to healthy eating?

healthy eating habits for women over 60

The Cornerstones of Nutrition After 60

A balanced diet with macronutrients, essential vitamins and minerals, and staying hydrated is very important for us older people to stay healthy.   

Together, these pieces help increase our energy levels, support our bone health, and keep our wonderful body functioning in tip-top shape.

Macronutrient Balance

Balancing protein, fats, and carbohydrates is key. 

Healthy fats are important but often get a bad rap, you know – eating fat makes you fat – WRONG! Healthy fats do not make you fat!

Complex carbohydrates are important for keeping our energy levels up and preventing blood sugar spikes.

Protein helps us to keep or increase our muscle mass, which can decline as we age. 

READ MORE: The Surprising Impact Of Protein For Women Over 60 | Simply Aging Healthy


Vitamins and Minerals

As we age, our bodies need certain vitamins and minerals. 

Calcium and Vitamin D are very important for bone health. 

Vitamin B12 is another important nutrient supporting brain health. 

Magnesium is a huge supporter of our muscle and nerve function. 

Untitled design 60

Yes, Hydration Does Matter

Hydration is a big part of staying healthy.  

As we age, our sense of thirst tends to decrease, making it important for us to push ourselves to consciously drink water. 

Shoot for at least 8 cups of water a day.

If you are not a big fan of water, try to include water-rich foods like cucumbers, oranges, and watermelons in your diet to help you stay hydrated. 

These not only help with hydration but provide us with nutrutients that are super important.  

It’s best to try herbal teas and infused waters instead of sugary drinks and caffeinated drinks, which can lead to dehydration. 

READ MORE:  15 Easy Ways To Boost Water Intake For Older Adults | Simply Aging Healthy

Why water is important

Tailoring Your Diet to Your Lifestyle

Finding a balance between diet and lifestyle is so important for our overall physical and mental health.

Adjusting Caloric Intake

As we age, our metabolism tends to slow down, requiring fewer calories to maintain our weight. So, it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes and healthier foods vs empty-calorie options. 

Meals that are rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains are the best options. Think Mediterranean Diet.

It is also best to eat smaller, more frequent meals, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent energy dips.

Using apps or food diaries can help you track your intake and identify areas for improvement. 

Remember, quality over quantity is key.

Including Physical Activity

Staying active is so important for keeping up with the demands of our life.  

Most people, as they grow older, tend not to get as much physical activity.  

Physical activity supports our muscle health, flexibility, and overall energy levels. 

Regular exercise like brisk walking, swimming, tai chi, and yoga can be great for our mental and physical health. 

Even light activities, like gardening or gentle stretching, can make a difference.

Try to get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days. 

Be sure to find activities you enjoy, this will make it easier to stick to a routine. 

Include strength training with aerobic exercises to keep muscle mass. 

Consistency is more important than intensity—listen to your body and adjust as needed.

READ MORE:  Rediscovering Joy: Balancing Exercise And Fun After 60 | Simply Aging Healthy

ways to stay active and for self-care

Mindful Eating Practices

Mindful eating habits can help you to have a more satisfying relationship with food. 

Understanding Hunger Cues

How many of us tend to eat when we are stressed or bored?  I know that I do!

By recognizing the difference between true hunger and emotional hunger, you can limit this from happening. 

True hunger builds gradually and can be satisfied with a variety of foods. 

Emotional hunger is sudden and often tied to specific cravings, like sweets or salty snacks.

Here is a hunger fullness scale:

  • 1: Starving
  • 2-3: Hungry
  • 4-6: Neutral
  • 7-8: Full
  • 9-10: Overstuffed

You should wait to start eating until you are around a 3 and finish at a 7. This can help you avoid overeating.

The Art of Portion Control

Portion control is important in order to keep a healthy weight and prevent overeating. 

Use your hand as a simple guide:

  • Palm: Protein portion
  • Fist: Vegetable serving
  • Cupped hand: Carbohydrate portion
  • Thumb: Fat serving

Eat from smaller plates to give the illusion of a full plate, and take your time to enjoy each bite.

The Benefits of Slow Eating

Eating slowly can help improve digestion and help you feel full with less food. 

A meal should last about 20 minutes to allow your brain time to signal that you’re full. 

can you take a break from intermittent fasting

Navigating Dietary Restrictions

Okay, who else has noticed that we just can’t eat some of the foods that we used to love without experiencing heartburn, gas or bloating??  

It can’t be just me.

Whether it is due to food intolerances, heart health concerns, or other chronic health issues our favorite food options can be limited.    

Understanding how to manage these restrictions can help.

Managing Food Intolerances

As we age, food intolerances can become more common. 

Lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity are very common. 

So, you may want to try lactose-free dairy alternatives like almond or oat milk. 

For gluten issues, try quinoa or rice instead of wheat-based products.

A food diary might be your best friend for finding the foods that cause you problems. Record what you eat and any symptoms you experience. 

This can help you pinpoint what foods to avoid. 

You could also reach out to a nutritionist if you’re unsure what is causing your intolerances.  

Heart-Healthy Choices

Yeah, as we age, this becomes a thing.  

So, you may want to include foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flaxseeds. These foods can help with reducing inflammation and supporting heart function. 

Then there is that salt thing—how many people salt something before they even taste it!

If you have blood pressure issues or are prone to swelling in your feet or hands, you may want to let this go.  

Try to season your meals with herbs and spices instead.  There are so many different options that don’t include salt.  

To manage your cholesterol levels, focus on fiber-rich foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. 

Always check with your doctor before making any big dietary changes.

Heart healthy foods

Bone-Strengthening Foods

Bone health is or should be a huge concern for all women over 60.  

We are in a higher category for osteoporosis, which can cause problems with our mobility and independence. 

Consuming calcium and Vitamin D is a must for strong bones.

Dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified cereals are excellent sources. If you are lactose intolerant, consider calcium-fortified plant milk.

Protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, and lean meats support muscle health, which in turn supports bones. 

You can also increase your vitamin D levels by getting sunlight or taking a supplement.

READ MORE: Balanced Diet: What Is It and How to Achieve It (healthline.com)

Healthy eating - Pre and Post Workout Nutrition is Important

Ways to Help with Meeting Nutritional Needs

Meal Planning and Preparation

The best way for me to stick to a healthy daily diet is by meal planning.  

It just helps me to not obsess about getting the right foods in every day.  

Batch-cooking meals are a lifesaver for me.  

Instead of making one chicken breast and a small amount of rice, I will make 3 to 4 chicken breasts and a lot of rice for other meals throughout the week.  

This not only saves time and energy, but I have a healthy choice available to keep me from reaching for something quick and not so good for me, like a big bag of potato chips.  

Another strategy that my sister, who loves to cook, does is to make a weekly meal plan.  She plans out all of her meals and snacks for the week. 

She feels that it helps her to make healthier choices and avoid impulsive eating. 

Just try different options and see what works the best for you.  

READ MORE: 7-Day Healthy and Balanced Meal Plan Ideas: Recipes & Prep (verywellfit.com)

Meal prepping

Cooking Groups and Classes

This is another great way to try new recipes and exchange ideas. 

You can find new techniques and ingredients to try. 

Cooking classes, both in-person and online, can help you to learn from the pros. 

They can help you find the best way to eat healthy, focusing on balanced meals and nutritious ingredients. 

These classes can be super fun to do with friends or family.  

Why Should Women over 60 Make Healthy Eating a Priority?

Proper nutrition is key for all women over 60 to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. 

By starting healthy eating habits, like including protein, carbs, and healthy fats in our daily diet, we can decrease our risk of age-related health issues. 

Remember, it’s never too late to make positive changes in your diet! 

If you found this blog post helpful or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or share it with some wonderful woman in your life. 

Here’s to thriving in your golden years with a nourished body and a happy heart!

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