The food we eat . . .
Eating healthily and staying trim is often a challenge many women face in their lives. Qualified Ballito-based dietician Kerryn Wuth has practiced locally and abroad for more than 16 years and helps tailor nutrition solutions for people from all walks of life.
In your 20’s:
A woman’s metabolism starts to drop from the age of 18, and it’s important to become aware of your appetite as you start studying and socialising more. Pay attention to your hunger cues and eat accordingly. It should however be easy to manage your body composition during this time through minor dietary manipulations. You also have more time on your hands to exercise!
In your 30’s:
Women invariably start to have children at this stage, if not sooner and this means exercise levels start to dwindle as babies take over! Many bad habits can start to form at this stage and you often rely on convenience foods due to time constraints. Your metabolism also continues to drop. Take stock of your goals for food and eating and make sure you establish good eating habits for your family. A higher body fat percentage can be harder to remedy later.
In your 40’s:
Life begins at 40! Children get older and you start to feel like you’re getting some of yourself back. You may realise the effect your own eating habits have on your children. Your metabolism is still slowing and you need to work harder than you did in your 30’s to keep it going. Prioritize exercise and be conscious of eating whole ‘real’ foods. Ignore fad diets – they do not work in the long run!
50’s and 60’s:
This is when women start to slow down and priorities shift as life becomes less hectic. We often place less importance on food now and intake tends to go up when it should be going down. Some people start to drink more alcohol than usual and your fat percentage may go up. Try to cap the extra food and drinks to twice a week and maintain a good baseline way of eating. Understanding your relative protein, carb and fat requirement is important at this age. Also, consider supplementation in the form of vitamins, minerals and other nutraceuticals.
70’s and beyond
Eat to your appetite and choose wholesome food, preferably cooked meals. Take supplements regularly and exercise frequently to maintain muscle mass. Don’t spoil your grandchildren with treats and junk food, rather help teach them good eating habits!
Kerryn Wuth: Dietician, Centre for Sports Medicine, Umhlanga and Northcare Medical, Simbithi Office Park, 031 941 1997, 032 815 0630, [email protected]
Text: Leah Shone