Women Over 50: Stay Thin with 6 Healthy Habits
A recent study by the University of North Carolina’s Eating Disorders Program (UNC EDP) reveals that adolescent girls may not be the only ones falling victim to eating disorders. Roughly two-thirds of the over 1,800 women surveyed reported an overall unhappiness with their physical appearance. Many of the women age 50 and over are resorting to unhealthy ways to lose weight. On average, eight percent purge, seven and a half percent take diet pills, seven percent exercise excessively, three and a half binge, two and a half take diuretics, two percent take laxatives, and one percent vomit. The key to getting thin and staying thin is to develop healthy habits.
If being thin is the goal for women over 50, then these drastic measures are not the way to do it. According to psychiatrist Cynthia Bulik, lead researcher on the study and director of the UNC EDP, “the body becomes less resilient to the physical insults from starvation, binge eating, and purging as it ages. So these disorders in older women may lead to even more medical complications because the body bounces back less easily as it ages” (Source: U.S. News & World Report).
A better and safer option for women over 50 who are struggling with a negative self-image is to develop healthy habits with good diet, regular exercise, and a strong social support system. Not only will a healthier lifestyle help women look and feel more attractive, but it will also lower the risk of diseases like colon cancer. Beginning at age 50, women should begin having regular screenings for colon cancer.
6 Healthy Habits for Women Over 50
(1) Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables. While it’s tempting to grab a cookie for an instant pick-me-up, eating an apple instead will not only fill you up without adding a lot of empty calories, but also provide important nutrients and fiber that your body needs. Plus, you won’t feel guilty and possibly take unhealthy dietary measures for consuming a plate of raw veggies like you would if you devoured a king-size candy bar. By indulging in more fruits and vegetables, you can watch that bulge around your middle gradually begin to disappear without damaging your health to achieve it. Focus on eating colorful foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, spinach, and tomatoes. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which are known to cause aging, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.
RELATED ARTICLE: Cleaning Out Your Kitchen for a More Colon Friendly Lifestyle
(2) Limit Saturated Fat. Foods high in saturated fats like meat, dairy products, and processed foods are known for clogging arteries. Red meat in particular has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer. Instead, curb your saturated fat consumption by going meatless one day a week. Eat lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish. Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy products for fewer calories and less fat but still containing the protein, vitamins, and minerals your body needs. Opt for healthier proteins like beans, legumes, quinoa, and nuts as good sources of protein. Cut out junk food. If in doubt, check the nutrition labels on the back of products for the amount of saturated fat in a particular food.
(3) Introduce More Whole Grains. Whole grain foods pack more protein and vitamins and minerals, leaving you feeling full quicker and longer than their white flour counterparts. Plus, they have more fiber, which is great for taking the weight off and keeping diseases like colon cancer at bay. Foods made of white flour are highly processed and can cause a spike in your blood sugar, leaving you feeling hungry soon after eating them. If you’re a white bread, pasta, and rice eater, try to gradually incorporate more whole grain foods into your diet. Add a half cup of whole wheat pasta in with a half cup of white pasta. Switch over to brown rice and whole wheat bread for more nutrients and a healthier diet.
RELATED ARTICLE: Wheat! It’s What’s for Dinner…and Fiber-Rich for Good Colon Health
(4) Cut Back on Portions. As a woman ages, her metabolism slows down. This can cause weight gain to increase. Keep fit and thin by lowering your caloric intake to the amount of calories you can burn in a day. If you’re gaining weight, then your body may require fewer calories and less food than you are consuming in order to function (Source: Fitday). Reduce portion sizes by using smaller plates and limiting yourself to one helping. In addition to consulting your doctor, there are many good calorie counters online like Livestrong.com’s MyPlate Calorie Tracker to help you keep track of the calories you consume each day.
(5) Get Active. In addition to creating healthy eating habits, being active is key. Nothing helps keep the weight off like regular cardiovascular exercise. Lose weight, relieve joint pain and arthritis, and decrease your risk of colon cancer by engaging in an active lifestyle. Try activities like walking, swimming, yoga, and dancing that are easy on the body but also quite enjoyable (Source: Fitday). Also, make exercise a regular part of your routine by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at a distance from stores, and participating in activities like gardening that give you a sense of purpose but also exert energy.
RELATED ARTICLE: Phone Apps that Can Aid in Weight Loss and Help Prevent Colon Cancer
(6) Make Time for Friends. Studies have shown a link between social support and health (Source: Mayo Clinic). Having someone to confide in and who supports you not only helps relieve stress, but also minimizes the risk of developing chronic illnesses. According to Bulik, a social support system is especially important for women over 50 who are fighting eating disorders. Having friends to talk to and share problems with can provide the encouragement women need to stay thin in a healthy way. Plus, friendships boost self-esteem and increase your sense of belonging. Even though finding and maintaining friendships is a challenge, it is an investment worth making for your overall health.
Aging comes with a lot of changes. Women over 50 who were once thin may feel extra pressure to maintain their youthful appearance, but that should not mean adopting unhealthy diet behaviors. Unhealthy eating and going to extremes is not the way to fix the problem. Instead eat right, stay active and surround yourself with positive relationships these steps all help lead to success. These six healthy habits will keep you looking and feeling your best and also help prevent colon cancer.aging and eating disorders, avoiding eating disorders, getting thin, healthy eating tips, healthy habits, Healthy Living Tips, healthy living tips, how to control weight after 50, losing weight after 50, over 50, over 50 eating disorders, staying thin, weight loss for older people, women over 50