Eat Your Age
What your age does to your need for calories and how you can help
your body respond appropriately.
When you were a kid, you only ate when you were hungry. Everyone said you
ate like a bird until you became a teenager. Then you couldn't eat enough.
By the time you hit your 30s you stopped listening to your stomach and
started listening to your eyes. But you were working out enough to keep off
unwanted pounds. But now you're starting to see the effects of eating too
So how can you avoid age-related
By keeping these three age-appropriate tips in mind the next time you decide
to grab your favorite fattening treat.
1. Age Changes Everything
You may feel like a teenager, but when you're out of your teens and into your
20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond, your body tells a different story. Whether you'll
admit it or not, you realize that you can't move quite as quick in your 50s as
you could in your 20s. Likewise, your body can't burn through calories like it
could a few years ago. With that in mind, the need to curb your calorie intake
as you age makes sense. Because if your body can't use all the calories you're
eating, consuming excessive calories only leads to excessive
2. Activity Takes More Effort
When you were a kid, getting out and about for a two-hour game of neighborhood
football was no problem. Ever since you started working at an office, stuck
behind a large oak desk, getting physical activity has become more and more
difficult. Thanks to this increased difficulty of getting a
work out, your
body's metabolism has dropped dramatically since your skinny high school days.
Ideally, you should get at least 30 to 60 minutes of
days a week. Since this isn't always possible, you'll need to chop even more
calories from your
diet to make sure the calories you eat are being used rather than stored
3. You Have to Cut
Regardless of how much
get, you'll probably need to reduce the amount of calories you consume as you
age. A good guide to help you understand your calorie need is to start with
1,600 calories for women age 31 to 50 and 2,000 for men of the same age. If
you're younger than 31, add another 200 calories. The over 50 crowd should
subtract 200. With certain levels of activity, you can also add calories to
However, since every person's caloric needs are different at every stage in
life, you should consult with your physician before making any minor or major
changes in your diet. To get a more precise idea of how many calories you
should eat each day, a number of calorie calculators are available on the
Internet. Using your age, height, weight, gender, and level of activity, these
calculators help you have an idea of how many calories it will take for you to
maintain a healthy
weight. If you find the amount of calories you're eating isn't helping you
meet your weight
goals, modify your
Junk It Up
Along with all those healthy calories that you chow down on each day, you may
be wondering how many of the delectable and not-so-healthy calories you can
eat on a daily basis.
An easy way to keep your bad calorie consumption in check is to have less than
one-eighth of your calories come from foods that offer no nutritional value.
This includes cookies and cakes, potato chips and bonbons, and those
sugar-filled drinks that you can't live without in the morning and afternoon.
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