Five Wrong-Way Diet Habits (and How to Fix Them!)

Healthy eating tips from Deacon Suzanne.

Dieting can become a challenge as we age. The older we get, the less balanced our eating habits become! We can sometimes feel pushed to extremes, like fasting, to try to lose weight. We may become addicted to certain foods, especially sweets or unhealthy fats. We may even lose interested in cooking and preparing meals. But it’s never too late to get on the path to better health!

Here are 5 Wrong-Way Diet Habits you may be familiar with…as well as tips to turn those habits around!

The Wrong Way: Eating the same way you did 20 years ago.

Calorie requirements drop as we get older, which means we have less room for unnecessary calories, like those from sweets or high-fat foods.

The Right Way: Balancing your diet!

A good diet is balanced and includes nutrient-dense foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like fish and grilled chicken.

The Wrong Way: Not snacking (seriously!)

Many people focus their grocery list around meals, but they don’t keep healthy snacks on hand! This can lead to unplanned snacking on any food available, including sweets. You don’t have to be a Dietician to realize that a freezer full of ice cream and a meat drawer stacked with hot dogs are not evidence of a healthy diet!

The Right Way: Yummy, healthy snacks!

Munching on filling, delicious healthy snacks throughout the day can actually help you lose weight! Crunchy veggies, mixed nuts, and organic granola bars make excellent midday snacks. Enjoying a snack can keep your metabolism boosted and provide you with energy all day!

The Wrong Way: Underestimating frozen food.

Frozen food gets a bad rap! We may assume that all frozen meals include preservatives, empty calories, and excess grease. But many frozen foods can actually be beneficial!

The Right Way: Finding healthy frozen options!

Frozen vegetables without sauce, frozen fruits without syrup, and frozen meats without preservatives are just as healthy as fresh foods! Seek out frozen meals with no added sodium or sweetener. Keep them on hand for days when you don’t feel like cooking!

The Wrong Way: Fasting or skipping meals.

When you’re struggling to lose weight, you may be tempted to fast for hours on end or skip important meals. But the truth is clear: fasting doesn’t work! Those who skip meals often find themselves overeating later, and older people who fast are more prone to dizziness, fainting, and falling!

The Right Way: Eating balanced, filling meals throughout the day!

Here’s some happy news for you: eating more may help you lose weight! By eating meals and snacks throughout the day, you keep your body happy and your stomach satisfied. Give your metabolism and your taste buds something to smile about; enjoy your favorite healthy foods in moderation throughout the day for a more successful weight loss journey!

The Wrong Way: Following fad diets or believing nutritional myths!

It seems everyone loves a good fad diet. There are no shortage of ‘Pinterest-inspired’ diet trends – from the Paleo Diet, the Keto Diet, the Sugar-Free Diet, and even the Caveman Diet…whatever that is! But these fad diets are typically not approved by Dieticians, and trying to diet on your own can be harmful to your health.

The Right Way: Creating a healthy lifestyle!

For most people, following a lifestyle of healthy eating and moderation can help you maintain a healthy weight. If you feel you need help losing weight, talk to your doctor and a licensed Dietician about healthy ways to drop pounds. Remember that weight loss won’t happen overnight! You’ll need to stick to a healthy lifestyle for several weeks before you start to see results. But by adopting a healthy lifestyle, not just a fad diet, you’ll have a better chance at maintain your weight loss over time.

And remember, your dietary information should always come from a reliable source. Contact a registered Dietician or visit www.eatright.org for more healthy eating tips!

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