This weekend I had a chance to visit with several women that I haven’t seen in about a year, and during the course of the day diet came up. I don’t remember how it came up, but I felt that, even though I talk about these topics every day online, it was difficult to convey the message that I do here, when doing it with a group of people.
Everyone has their own idea about how their body works, and by the time you are over fifty, you are pretty sure you have it all figured out. For women, though, their bodies change radically at about that time. Apparently, lots of women think that growing heavy after fifty is almost a given. I did not realize this. I know, and Karen knows, that as we age we cannot keep eating like we were still twenty years old. As our lives progress we end up doing less and less work instead of more and more. When I was thirty I was finally a civilian, but we had small children that were active. We ran a lot to keep up with them.
Now that we are only chasing the grand kids every now and then, and we have finished all of the hard physical labor around the house, we have time for more cerebral activities, like blogging. Our diet has changed to compensate for the lowering of our daily energy expenses.
I can see where a person might just keep on eating like they are used to. Eating is a habit like any other. Shopping for food is also a habit that a person might not realize that they need to change. Reading the labels on the items you are selecting at the market is work that you may not realize you need to do. Take almond milk, for instance. When I make my own almond milk I put one tablespoon of table sugar in a quart of milk. That works out to less than one teaspoon of sugar per cup of milk, but I rarely eat one cup of almond milk in my morning muesli. Silk original almond milk contains 7 grams of sugar in each cup, which is twice as much as I use. The chocolate almond milk contains four times as much sugar as I use. If you are getting almond milk because you want low fat, you are getting high sugar in exchange. Sugar is much worse for older people like me than fats are. You should never choose high sugar just to marginally lower the fat in your food.
What do you tell a friend that thinks their weight gain is something completely out of their control, if you think that it really is something they can do something about? Menopause for fifty-plus ladies is likely the cause for a lot of things, but two out of three US residents are overweight, which means that the problem is much bigger than the change-of-life. Drinking sodas, drinking beer, eating low-fat, high sugar foods is a major contributor to everyone’s weight gain. For people that are entering a period in their lives where there is less physical work required of them, continuing to eat like and average american is a recipe for health disaster. If grade school kids are getting diabetes and liver damage from eating out of boxes and bags, what are the chances that the grandmas and grandpas of the world can avoid it?
Well, this weekend, I just tried to relay my constant message of ‘shop different’ if you want to eat different. I don’t know that I was effective at all, but at least that message is easy to get across in a limited time. Tell me what you tell people that think they have a medical reason why they can’t lose weight.