There’s nothing better than meeting up with an old friend over drinks and delicious appetizers. I adore preparing my son’s favorite meals when he comes home for a visit. And don’t even get me started on how I feel about all the treats that come with the holiday season. Food is an integral and happy part of life that brings people together. However, it’s important that women – especially those of us in our 60’s and older – are fully in the know as to how much food and what types of food our bodies need for optimal performance and health. It’s important to know how to count calories in your sixties.
I’ve gone through most of my life as a very mindful eater. After overcoming my battle with weight issues in my childhood and early adulthood, I kept tabs on how many calories I was consuming on a daily basis. This was by no means about restricting myself – instead, it was about allowing myself to understand my body and what I need to eat when I was hungry vs. what to eat when I need energy. Furthermore, I also grew to understand what empty calories are – which is not to say I don’t ever indulge, it just means I am more informed on what that means for my body when I choose to do so.
If you’re a groovy gal like me, you’ve likely noticed changes in your metabolism. This is to be expected at our age. I’m here to share some tips and tricks to help you eat right! This is how you count calories in your sixties:
follow along with me...
ONE: Make sure your health allows for you to count calories. Most people will benefit from this practice, but as I always suggest when starting something new, touch base with your doctor to ensure that you don’t have any health restrictions that you should be aware of.
TWO: Research how many calories you should be eating. Each person will have a different recommended number based on things like their weight, height, level of activity, etc. There are dozens of online tools and calculators that you can use to help you figure out your magic number. For that reason I like this easy table that allows you to break it down by your gender, age and level of fitness. For most women who are in their 60’s, it’s often recommended that they consume a daily average of 1,600 calories.
THREE: If you’re not doing so already, start participating in consistent physical activity. It doesn’t have to be kickboxing or aerobics – 30 minutes of speed walking a day is just as effective of a means of burning calories. If you start limiting your caloric intake to 1,600 calories a day, you cannot rely on that alone to help you keep the extra weight off. You have to marry your mindful eating habits with a mindful fitness routine. Consistency is key.
FOUR: Choose your foods wisely. On most days, you shouldn’t just be looking at calories on food labels. Make sure that what you’re eating is nutrient-dense. For that reason, don’t pick something to snack on just because it’s under a hundred calories. Do pick something to snack on if it’s within your daily calorie limit AND offers nutritional value. My blog post How to Snack Like a Pro has lots of great suggestions!
FIVE: Practice portion control. Eating smaller, more frequent meals is better for digestion. Additionally, by eating smaller portions, you’re more likely to stay within your daily calorie limit.
Staying at a good weight is not magic. The tips listed above is how I stay on top of my eating habits. However, my biggest piece of advice is to eat the birthday cake, drink the wine on girl’s night out and never regret a handful of french fries – food is a beautiful part of life, and the key to success is to do everything in moderation. Once in a while, we can stray from our daily limits to enjoy a treat or two!
If you’re looking for ways to stay at a good weight, these posts are must reads:
WEIGHT LOSS STRATEGIES FOR WOMEN OVER SIXTY