Earlier in the week, we talked about the importance of exercising early in the morning for senior living health. And yes, while there are numerous accounts and claims that may say it’s better to exercise in mid-afternoon or night (it’s the internet after all), for healthy senior living lifestyles, the morning is best – that we can say with certainty.
In this article, we’re going to continue with our diatribe on healthy senior living by talking about the proper diet for elders.
Healthy Senior Living: Big to Small Diet
Many argue – and we agree – that before you can even exercise right, you need to be eating the right kinds of foods. After all, if you’re not eating properly then you’re doing more harm than good.
What studies and researchers have shown is that the common practice in America is for people to have small breakfasts or no breakfast at all. This is tragic! Breakfast is undoubtedly, the most important meal of the day. And if you’re exercising in the morning, you NEED to have a big breakfast (a healthy one at that).
Most people (in America) have a big lunch and a bigger dinner. What’s surprising is that studies have proven that this is literally the opposite of how you should eat your meals!
I imagine an average diet for someone is coffee in the morning (which doubles as an appetite suppressant, so no food), salad at lunch, and chicken/mashed potatoes for dinner. See how each one gets bigger? The better way to do this is actually the reverse.
You should eat a big breakfast, followed by a medium lunch, and a small dinner. An example might be having eggs, turkey bacon, orange juice, milk, cup of fruit, and pancakes. Sounds like a lot right? Well, if you exercised in the morning, you’ll probably enjoy it. Then for lunch you can have the salad or maybe a burger, but for dinner, something light like roasted veggies or – and I say this in all honesty – a smoothie.
The reason you want to eat in reverse is because you need that energy and nutrition to get you through the day. The problem is, people who have big meals at night have a slower metabolism as their body is burning it up while they’re sleeping. That’s not good! When you’re asleep, your body needs to refresh, but by having all this food to digest, you’re slowing the process of cell regrowth making you more susceptible to illnesses and injuries.
This will help with healthy senior living… but there is another way.
Healthy Senior Living: Frequent Meals
The other diet that seems to work well for seniors is the frequent meals. Some have said that eating smaller meals, but more frequently throughout the day helps keep your metabolism revved up. There can definitely be some advantages to that as well since, for some people, having three meals that get progressively smaller may be too challenging… THAT being said, some researchers have indicated that there is a correlation between those that eat frequent meals and colon cancer. This doesn’t mean it causes it, but it’s important to note nonetheless.
All this being said, if you find yourself wanting to pursue these kinds of diets, but feel like you’re hungrier more often than they allow, let me include this interesting anecdote.
Oftentimes, when people feel hungry, they’re actually thirsty and a glass of water will satiate their “hunger.” We have a difficult time deciphering the difference between hunger and thirst, so if you haven’t had much water, try a glass next time you’re hungry and it might help.