Expert Nutrition Tips For Your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s | Nutrition | MyFitnessPal

Expert Nutrition Tips For Your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s | Nutrition | MyFitnessPal

Expert Nutrition Tips For Your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s
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Our bodies change  as we age , so our  fitness  and  nutritional habits  should adapt, too. At a younger age, the body naturally holds on to more  lean muscle mass , which supports a  strong metabolism . It’s also the perfect time to  create healthy eating habits  you can carry with you long term. Later in life, the focus shifts toward  maintaining consistency  and preventing muscle mass loss.
A lot of our experiences in our 20s related to food, nutrition and body image can deeply impact health and well-being for decades to come. For example, instead of  focusing on specific foods as good or bad , now is the time to  put them all on a neutral playing field . If you’re struggling with disordered eating , make it a priority to seek help from a  registered dietitian , therapist or other healthcare professional. Doing the hard work to  create a positive relationship with food early on can free years of life without constant thoughts of food and body dissatisfaction.
It’s also important to develop healthy habits to take with you into the next decades. Here are a few suggestions:
Learn to cook: Perhaps you’re living on your own for the first time, and relying too heavily on  takeout  or packaged convenience foods that are often lower in vegetables and  higher in sodium ,  saturated fat , preservatives and  refined carbohydrates . Over time, this can negatively affect health. Learning some  cooking basics , either by taking classes, doing some YouTube investigating, or  cookbook reading  helps  diversify the diet  and  make it fun , too.
Experiment outside your comfort zone: Now is the time to  try new foods  and  cuisines , which can be more challenging as we age and become more set in our ways. Try new-to-you vegetables like  Brussels sprouts ,  squash , collard greens, radishes or  whole grains  like quinoa or farro or teff. Play around with  different cooking methods , like roasting, baking or sauteeing, to make certain veggies more palatable and delicious.
Whether you’re starting or growing a family, advancing in your career, or both, this is the decade when it seems there are never enough hours in the day, and  self-care  (including proper nutrition) can fall by the wayside. Check-in with yourself regularly to make sure you’re prioritizing the following:
Regular meals: Hectic schedules can make it easy to skip meals or grab something unsatisfying on-the-go. This can lead to blood sugar crashes ,  feeling ‘hangry’  and eventually  overeating  or  bingeing  — and  the cycle often repeats itself . Aim to eat a well-balanced meal that includes  protein ,  fiber , carbohydrates and  healthy fat  every 3-4 hours. This may take some planning or  meal prepping  on the weekends, but it’s worth it.
Stress management:  Taking care of your mental health  makes you a better employee, boss, mom, dad, partner, friend, etc. Whatever  stress-management tools  work best for you — like journaling, therapy, exercise, meditation — make time for them on a regular basis.
Vegetables: We can all benefit from  adding more veggies to our meals ; research  shows plant-based diets can decrease the risk of both heart disease and cancer. Other research also shows plant-based eating may help prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes, which is on the rise. For women who are trying to become pregnant (or are pregnant), vegetables like broccoli , leafy greens  and  Brussels sprouts  are good sources of folate, which is key for a baby’s growth and development.
Starting in your late 30s and early 40s, when the body’s bone mass peaks, women slowly start to lose calcium from their bones. This, combined with the reduction of estrogen that starts with perimenopause, increases risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis. Women in this age category should consider taking a vitamin D supplement because  vitamin D is in so few foods , and consume plenty of bone-building calcium. Good sources include:
Cheese
Canned salmon or sardines (due to the edible bones)
Beans and lentils