We often need to make many life changes once we enter retirement. We can start to think about moving, vacationing, and moving in with family. However, we also need to spend some time thinking about making some life changes that will positively impact our overall well-being and health. Even if we choose to stay active during our retirement years, it remains important to focus on making healthy living choices to ensure that we are able to enjoy our retirement years to the fullest.
Eating healthy is just one step in making lifestyle changes and is not exclusive to retirees. However, as you get older, you may find that your appetite changes and you want to eat less. Of course, this could be attributed to the fact that you may not be quite as active as you were while you were working. What is important to keep in mind as your appetitive evolves is that you still need to make the right food choices. It may be easier to eat quickly during your retirement but quick eating often means eating very poorly and not giving your body the energy and fuel it needs. Unfortunately, people beyond retirement age can very easily enter a vicious circle, whereby the wrong foods and amounts are eaten and this inevitably leads to lower energy levels. It is not just energy that can be impacted by poor eating. These lower energy levels can also lead to an increase in the overall feeling of depression. Nutritionally, however, there are simple steps that can be taken to help overcome this cycle.
First and foremost, if you find that your appetite has been suppressed, it is even more vital for you to ensure that you eat the right kinds of food to maximise your health and well-being. If you are eating less, you need to make sure that the foods you are eating are going to be able to give you all of the nutrients and energy that your body needs. For example, you do not want to increase the amount of saturated fats in your diet. You want to try and stay away from fast food as much as possible. You can still include a healthy amount of fat in your diet but you want to ensure that it is the right kind of fat. Some great examples here include oily fish, avocadoes, vegetable oils and even peanut butter. These foods aren’t necessarily low in caloric intake or fat but will help you to keep your energy levels high. They are often considered the ‘good’ fats to include in your diet. These different foods will definitely increase your levels of energy as they contain the right number of calories to keep you going throughout the day. They are also well-known for the fact that they release their energy slowly and over longer periods of time. Saturated fats, on the other hand, give you sudden bursts of energy and these are never good for your general health and wellbeing. These saturated fats will fill you up quickly but will end up leaving you with lower energy levels.
The next important nutrient to keep in your diet is fibre. Maintaining the right amount of fibre can ensure that your gastrointestinal system stays healthy. Fibre can be best found in foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice, brown bread, and certain breakfast cereals. Next, you should ensure that you keep a healthy amount of protein in your diet. This can also help keep your energy levels of up. The best foods in which to find protein include lean meats and several different dairy items. Protein won’t only keep your energy levels up but will also aid in rebuilding and repairing body tissue in your body. This can be especially important if you do any exercising or mild weight lifting. Protein will keep your energy levels up while you exercise while also helping to rebuild those muscles after you work them out. Lastly, you want to ensure that you keep a healthy amount of carbohydrates in your everyday diet. There are always different viewpoints when it comes to how many carbohydrates you should keep in your diet. However, carbohydrates can be good for you as they provide a significant amount of energy. Carbohydrates can be found in many of the same foods that contain a significant amount of fibre. However, there are some carbohydrates that you should try to avoid as much as possible. These are the carbs that you will find in white breads. You will also find the wrong carbs in many of the foods that also have a very high sugar content.
People beyond retirement age also need to ensure they are receiving a good dose of what are known as the micro-nutrients. These are the essential vitamins and minerals that must be included in your diet and are found in vegetables, fruits and certain breakfast cereals. The nutrients that are especially important as we get older are the ‘B’ Vitamins, Vitamin C, Zinc, Calcium, Potassium and Iron.
Once you know which ingredients, nutrients, and vitamins to include in your diet, you should be diligent about checking nutritional information. This can help ensure that you keep your energy levels high, enabling you to enjoy your retirement to the fullest extent while also staying healthy and fit.