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Every body has a different size, shape and weight. And despite popular belief, your weight isn’t always an indicator of your health. This is especially true as you age and experience more natural weight fluctuations.

When it comes to weight, it’s more important to look for a type of fat called visceral fat, which is found around your stomach. This is called the “dangerous” type of fat because it grows around your organs and can increase your risk of certain diseases. For this reason, managing your visceral fat as you age can be an important part of preventing age-related diseases.

Find out how changing some of your eating habits can help you lose that belly fat and slow the aging process, and for more healthy eating tips, check out 5 Best Low-Sodium Recipes to Reduce Heart Disease Risk .

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Drinking enough water is key to all aspects of your health. If you don’t consume enough of it, you may experience symptoms like irritability, a much greater feeling of hunger, bladder problems, heart and kidney problems, and lack of energy, to name a few. some. So when looking to adopt healthier habits, start with your water intake.

“Drinking water can help fill you up so you eat less overall, and it also helps keep your skin young and healthy by flushing toxins from your body,” says Janet Coleman, Dt.P. with The Consumer Magazine.

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When it comes to healthy eating to slow aging, you can’t go wrong with vegetables.

“Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber, all of which help you stay young and healthy,” says Coleman. “You should include vegetables with every meal when possible as they are low in calories but high in nutrients. I also suggest eating a wide variety of vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots and onions instead of just one type of vegetable at a time.”

don't skip breakfast
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Although some people may unintentionally skip it when they’re busy, breakfast is one of the most important parts of your day.

“Eating a meal in the morning helps fuel your body, so you’re less likely to binge on junk food later in the day,” says Coleman. “If you have the time, be sure to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up, as this will give your body plenty of time to digest before your first encounter.”

intermittent fasting
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The only time “skipping breakfast” should be practiced is if you intentionally try an intermittent fasting approach after getting approval from a doctor or dietitian.

“This approach to eating is less of a diet and more of a lifestyle that can improve both your weight and your longevity,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD to Balance One Supplements. “Intermittent fasting helps reduce inflammation in the body, which is known to cause and exacerbate chronic diseases common in the West. Longer periods of fasting are believed to have effects at the cellular level that improve inflammation, the response immunity and longevity.

Assorted diet foods
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Whole foods are essentially the opposite of processed foods, and according to Best, it’s crucial to limit your intake of processed foods and replace them with whole foods whenever you can.

“Processed foods are a food product, which means they are not a whole food. Processed foods are those made from refined carbohydrates, stabilizers, emulsifiers and other ingredients to improve shelf stability, flavor and texture,” says Best. “When we eat foods like this in large amounts, they can irritate the gut, cause an imbalance in gut bacteria, and ultimately lead to chronic low-grade inflammation. In contrast, whole foods have only been modified in any way to add or take away from their nutritional quality.”

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Although red meat in moderation is fine, eating it in large quantities over time can dramatically speed up the aging process.

“Red meat contains saturated fats that raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer if eaten regularly over time,” Coleman says. “Instead of red meat, try chicken or fish, which are leaner sources of protein than red meat. Eating less red meat will also significantly reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.”

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Finally, if you think eating three meals a day isn’t right for you, you can try changing when and how much you eat at each meal.

“Instead of eating three big meals a day, try eating six small meals throughout the day. This helps keep your metabolism going so you burn more calories throughout the day,” says Coleman.