For women, the toughest time is not adolescence or the twenties, not even the thirties. It’s the menopausal speed bumps at the 40s that really test you. Adolescence was just a blur, in the twenties, time telescoped. Thirties was a dovetail of family needs. It only hits you when you cross the 40 line – hey, you’re stepping into middle age. And it’s showing: wrinkles, loose skin, midriff tire, graying hair. More importantly, you’re downshifting internally. Changes in your body’s hormonal systems and slowing down of your metabolism, apart from other changes, are inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you give up on fighting the 40+ blues. Here are top 10 diet tips for 40+ women: use them to keep yourself in shape, as well as to fight off the physiological and psychological challenges that going past the 40 barrier brings.
Eat for yourself.
It was cool when you were young, and single. You didn’t have to worry about what you ate. But life at 40+ is different: you are cooking for demanding children and a choosy husband, in the middle of many other things. Your own choices are almost obliterated. That’s where the trouble begins – you eat what the others in the family eat, forgetting that their body systems function differently. So each time you eat, make something for yourself specifically. Make yourself a bowl of salad, minus the cream or oil dressing. Try to make the family understand your nutritional needs, and build your daily menu around it. Remember, no one else understands your body’s needs other than yourself – so eat for yourself.
Chase out the fat.
It’s time to say goodbye to all those delicious fried stuff dripping with butter or swimming in oil. Yes, the occasional indulgence won’t kill you, but don’t make it a habit to have the high fat stuff that your kids eat. Grilling, roasting or steaming with little or no fat makes real sense to making a healthy meal that’s also tasty and appeals to the entire family.
Snacks are a no-no.
Easy to say, but our lives at 40 are around everyone but ourselves. So we are running around doing so many things that it’s most convenient to just “grab a bite” or “have a cup” and go about our unending chores. That’s what does most of the mischief. If instead of grabbing a bite, you’d had some fruit, and instead of that cuppa, you’d drunk plain water, you’d not be adding rings around your middle. So next time you feel like a snack between meals, drink a lot of water and have an orange or a pear. It works just great for your entire system.
Cut down on your intake.
A lot of us eat like there’s no tomorrow. Hey, don’t you know, as you grow past 35, your metabolism starts slowing down – meaning your body cannot digest and assimilate nutrients as efficiently as 10 years ago. Result is that you may be eating only as much as you did a decade back, but your body is not able to deal with all that stuff. So what do you do? Cut down on your intake, obviously. Serve yourself a portion that just sates your hunger, not one that satisfies your greed. Remember, as your body’s systems slow down, you’re also slowing down, and do not need the same volume of calories when you were jetting through life some time ago!
Keep off the good things.
Yes. That pie looks yummy. Mom’s chocolate mousse is always scrumplicious. A couple of glasses of Californian red will be great with the meal. What about some pizza? One more cup of coffee and I’m ready to go. Hey, stop! Who’re you kidding? You know very well how good they look on the table, and how dangerous they can be inside of you. So yes, they’re good, but they’re not good for you. Stay off.