Diet by Decade

Joan Salge Blake offers the following tips for ensuring that you are doing what you can to ensure optimal nutrition and overall health at midlife and beyond.

Forties: Watch Your Weight

Your forties are the time to be sure you are at a healthy weight, Salge Blake says: “Now is the time to get a handle on your weight because it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight than to lose weight.” If you are over­weight, do what you can to lose the excess pounds through healthy diet and exercise, and work to create a long-term strategy to maintain your weight. “Anything you can do in your forties to get your weight under control will be helpful,” Salge Blake says, “because when you get to 50, your metabolism will slow even more.”

Fifties: The Big Picture

In your fifties, Salge Blake says, aim to maintain or improve your overall healthy-living plan, which means paying attention to sleep, exercise, and nutrition: “Ask yourself, Am I sleeping well? Am I getting enough exercise? Am I getting the nutrients I need?” If not, now is the time to hone in on these key components of a healthy lifestyle to help maintain long-term well-being.

Sixty and Beyond: Move More

Your metabolism will continue to decline as you age, so you will need even fewer calories in your sixth decade. Be aware of the quality and the quantity of the calories you consume, aiming for nutrient-rich foods in smaller amounts. And make sure those calories are fueling more movement. “Now is the time to recognize that it’s important to be moving even more during the day to burn calories and avoid weight gain,” Salge Blake says, as well as to maintain mobility, strength, and flexibility.