It’s all about moderation and balance! [Dieting after sixty] 109



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I’ve been writing about dieting for StartsAtSixty now for the last couple of months and in my last article about ‘Apples’ I wrote at the end ‘stay with it’.

When I wrote this I realised that what I’d been writing was really only about the changes required to maintain a better balance and moderation with our eating habits. So in this article I wanted to recap some of those changes.




We can’t change our height, our colouring or change that we are aging, but we can improve our mobility and our health and how we look by taking off some of our excess kilos.

As I’ve said before it takes approximately ten weeks to develop a new eating or exercise habit. That’s around 70 days for your brain to reset itself and get used to not indulging in certain foods and alcohol that you know may be responsible for your current BMI (body mass index) number. A healthy BMI number is no higher than 25. Exercise is as important as our food intake even if it’s only a 20 minute walk three or four times a week.

Check out your BMI if you don’t know it.
It can be calculated at:


Then work at devising an eating plan that has reduced kilojoules. You’ll need an uncomplicated plan that can fit in with your lifestyle, and one that you can adapt if necessary for unavoidable social events.


The options you have to reduce your BMI are: exercise, reduce the carbs, reduce the portion size of proteins, increase the portions size of vegetables and salads, eat only fruit or a small amount of nuts between meals, do an audit of the kitchen, make your house a biscuit, cake, chocolate and sweets free zone and don’t ever eat after 7pm at night. Set a start date (not a Monday).


You don’t need any family members or friends sabotaging your goal to reduce your BMI. Mostly it will be your overweight friends that will say things like, ‘Why worry at your age.’ Or, ‘It’s my birthday you have to have a piece of my birthday cake.’ etc. etc.


If you know or can determine the five main reasons you are overweight the task of losing weight and reducing your BMI may not be quite as daunting. You may decide to tackle all five on your list but there is no reason why you can’t work on just two or three items on the list for the first month or so.


This high sugar, high fat processed food is very addictive and it can be hard for many to control the volume they consume. If you have identified chocolate as one of the five main reasons you are overweight your choice is to give it up, reduce the quantity or substitute your craving with other foods that are known to have similar effects on the brain as chocolate. These foods are: strawberries, bananas, grapes, oranges and nuts.


What you eat provides a significant proportion of the fluids you need but for those who are trying to reduce their BMI all the experts say it is beneficial to increase your water intake. Water is kilojoule free and inexpensive so in a way it’s an ideal beverage of choice.


The lemon is rich in vitamin C and a concentrated source of other nutrients. Lemon juice also aids in digestion and assists in detoxification that is vital for those wanting to reduce their BMI. By jesting the lemon peel and adding it to your cereal or yoghurt it can ward off hunger due to the pectin in the peel forming a sticky gel in the stomach when digested.


Apple are on the ‘negative kilojoule foods’ list. An average size apple contains 355 kilojoules (85 calories) and when eaten raw takes 426 kilojoules (105 calories) in energy to digest it. So for every raw apple you eat you are consuming NO kilojoules. And apples are only one of many negative kilojoules fruits and there are also negative kilojoule vegetables. Check them out.

The reason I have reviewed these eight items that I’d written about previously is because in my opinion if you make these changes to what you eat (and increase your exercise) this is all you’ll ever need to consider to control your weight.
You don’t need any fad and clever diets, and you don’t need to buy any packaged and frozen foods from clubs at inflated prices.

Maybe you would like to use my column as a forum if you want to reduce your BMI and get your weight under control. If you are interested please put a comment on this article and as a group we can support each other to reach our goals. All you need to do is enter the date, your BMI and the kilos you would like to lose.
eg: April 2014, Jane BMI 30, 12 kilos.

So stay with it and take one day at a time. xxx CaroleL

If you would like me to cover any particular topic in this column please email me at: [email protected]

Anyone with a BMI over 25 and over the age of 60 should really look seriously at devising an eating plan that has reduced kilojoules. You need an uncomplicated plan that can also fit in with your lifestyle, and one that you can adapt if necessary for unavoidable social events.
Please note that Carole is not a physician, dietician or nutritionist. If a reader has any issues about their weight that are medically related then a professional opinion should always be obtained before embarking on any changes or restrictions to their diets.

What tricks help you to stay healthy and keep the weight off? Tell us in the comments below… 

Carole Lethbridge

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