As we get older, things gradually change. The world around us changes, but so does our body, our mind, and our emotional state. We don’t stay the same. Our bodies get older, they work differently, they need different things, and staying healthy can become harder. For many, these changes start to become clear as they pass 65 or retire from work.
One change that you might notice as you get older is your appetite. Many older people find that their appetites diminish. They can’t eat big meals anymore, they don’t fancy the same things, and they can sometimes struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Many seniors, especially those who live alone struggle with malnutrition, which can make other health conditions more likely. Here’s a look at some effective ways to manage your changing nutritional needs.
Understand Your Changing Needs
Older adults have different nutritional and calorific needs. Once you pass retirement, you might not need as many calories if your lifestyle is becoming more sedentary. But as your body ages, your nutritional needs grow, and your body needs more help to function well. Post 65 you might need more protein to slow the deterioration of muscle tone, and more vitamin B12 as your body loses some of its ability to absorb it as you age. You might also need a diet high in fiber, calcium, and vitamin D. Your specific needs will depend on your health and fitness, any medications that you take, and any healthcare needs that you have. Speak to your doctor for tailored advice.
When we’re young, we rarely eat alone. You’ll have sat down for meals with family at home, dined out with friends, and grabbed lunch on the go with colleagues. As we get older, we can lose touch with people and start to spend more and more time alone. This can affect our relationship with, and craving for, food. Making plans to eat with friends or family can help you to maintain a healthy relationship with food. Many people find that they eat better if they move into a retirement home. Look at this Encino retirement home from Belmont Village Senior Living to learn more about their catering facilities, chef-prepared meals, and opportunities to eat socially.
Experiment with New Flavors and Recipes
Our tastes change as we age, and you might find that you no longer love the same foods. Don’t let this put you off; instead, see it as a chance to try new things.
One of the reasons our appetite drops as we get older is that we move less, and our bodies require less fuel. Try to exercise and get outside into the fresh air and you might find that your body starts to crave sustenance.
Eat Little and Often
If you struggle with big meals, don’t try to force yourself. Instead, try to eat smaller meals and snacks more regularly throughout the day. These will be easier to eat, less boring, and easier on your digestive system.
If you are worried about nutrition, make sure you speak to your doctor to get specific advice and recommendations.