Aging seems to be one of the biggest fears for so many of us. We definitely live in a world where it seems to be a fraud, and we have to do everything in our power to look as youthful as physically possible. There are many things, when it comes to aging, that cannot be controlled, but we also have a good amount of power to be aging in the way that’s healthy, sustainable and improves our quality of life day to day. If not only aging well but also living longer and being healthier overall is something that you want to focus on, keep on reading. 

Your 30s might seem like a big scary decade, but these days it’s the decade where most growth happens, not in a literal sense, as we stop physically growing by 20, but in a personal and emotional sense. Being in the constant go-go-go mode might be fun in your 20s, but 30s are created to take care of your body and mind.  

Stop following FAD diets

If you don’t know what they are, we’re talking about those popular diets that people are talking about and are popping online. Any diet that offers you amazing and, more importantly, quick results and has you eliminating certain foods or following strict rules on the foods that you are allowed to eat and not allowed to eat will fall into this category. 

There is no magic pill! 
None of those diets tell you what to do after you hit the weight that you want to get to. More likely than not, you’ll go back to your “normal” after having to restrict yourself, and the weight will come back and more. This is what’s known as weight cycling or yo-yo dieting. This can damage your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight in the long run. It can also cause a plethora of different issues, that include diabetes, heart disease and even depression. 

Focusing on making small changes over time, potentially tracking your food and macros, and really understanding what your body needs will come a long way over going all in into a 4-week elimination diet. Taking time to build long-lasting habits around food will be a huge help in all the years to come. 

Build a colorful plate filled with plants and fiber 

Non-starchy veggies and greens are always a great addition to the plate. They provide volume to the meal and have you feeling satiated while keeping the calories lower. Veggies are also a fantastic source of fiber and are filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Research shows that regular consumption of greens and veggies has a positive effect on reducing risks of obesity as well as heart disease, inflammation and even certain cancers. It’s also important to include a variety of plant based foods into your diet. Some of them are fruits, whole grains, seeds and nuts as well as beans and legumes. 

By making sure that you add enough veggies, the chances of you seamlessly hitting the needed fiber amounts are getting high. It is recommended to get about 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 31 grams per day for men. The average person consumes about 10-15 grams per day. Fiber is key when it comes to decreasing risks of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It also aids as a large help with digestion and is one of the highly needed things in your daily diet. 

Optimize your alcohol intake 

This is probably one of the most fascinating subjects to talk about and one of the easiest ways of cutting calories if there’s a need to do so. You can find an in depth post on alcohol on a blog over here To Drink or Not to Drink. However, if you don’t feel like clicking on that, we’re still going to give you a more brief rundown. 
Alcohol has become a part of our lives, whether we want it or not. It’s in every restaurant, bar, venue and for a lot of people weekends are highly connected to going out and drinking. Alcohol is its own macronutrient group, just like protein or carbs. It has 7 calories per gram, and those calories can easily creep up on you if you’re having a fun night out. A shot of vodka is only 97 calories, but 4, 5, 6 shots, and it’s already a meal worth of calories. Alcohol, unfortunately, also has detrimental effects on the brain, heart, liver, pancreas and immune system, and while in small amounts that effect is minimal, if your intake is high it can cause health risks. 

Unlike protein and carbs though, alcohol is very low in nutritional value, so it ends up being what is called “empty calories”. In the blog post, we give you some ideas on how to drink smarter and still have fun. Making swaps for mixers or choosing one alcohol over the other. By no means we are telling you to stop drinking altogether, but to really analyze your goals and priorities and consume alcohol in accordance with those. 

Keep an eye on highly processed foods 

We live in a world where processed foods are not only easily accessible but also a lot of times cheaper than getting a cart full of produce. Also, when we’re talking about highly processed foods, we’re talking about sodas, candy, chips, different baked products, fast food and heavily fried things. 

Research done by the National Cancer Institute shows growth in colorectal cancers (cancers of the colon and rectum) doubling in adults under 50 in the past 30 years. You can read the research here. It is also important to keep in mind that the thermal effect of processed foods on your body is different from whole foods, and a lot of times it will leave you feeling hungry not too far after consuming it. 

Make sure you get enough Calcium in your diet

Calcium is a mineral that is primarily responsible for bone formation. However, that’s not the only thing that calcium is used for in the body- it also plays a part in muscle contraction, blood clotting and regulating nerve and heart functions. Majority of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones. By the age of 25-30, our bones are completely done forming, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be taking care of them, and prioritizing calcium in your diet is a great way to do so. 

It is recommended to consume 1000 mg per day for women of ages 19-50 and 1200 mg when over 50 years old. For men, the recommendation is 1000 mg from ages of 19-70 and goes up to 1200 mg per day when over 70. 

Some ideas for where to get your calcium from are: 

– Dairy milks as well as fortified plant-based milks like almond and soy.

– Cheeses

– Regular and Greek yogurt

– Edamame

– Almonds

– Leafy greens

– Canned sardines and salmon (with bones) 

Start your day with a balanced meal

There’s a lot of talk going around intermittent fasting, and while it does work for some people, it is not needed to successfully reach your goals. Having a balanced breakfast can give you the energy that you need for the day, aid in keeping your blood sugar levels balanced, and prevent cravings in the afternoon. 

If you’re not a fan of breakfast food, no worries, you can literally eat anything for your first meal of the day. Breakfast is called that because it’s breaking your fast from the night before, and it doesn’t need to be pancakes or eggs and bacon. As long as whatever you eat has protein, healthy fats and fiber-rich carbs, it’s a well-balanced meal. 

If you want to try some of the breakfast options, here are some links for you to do so: 

Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast Toasts

Simple Breakfasts

Protein Packed Pancakes

Exercise smarter! 

Exercise a lot of times is one of the hardest things to be doing consistently for a lot of people. In the 30s, your body changes and muscle mass can decrease 3-8% each decade. Metabolism also changes the older you get, it tends to slow down and that can also contribute to muscle loss. It doesn’t have to be this way, thought. 
Muscle has the ability to burn calories as it is metabolically active and the more muscle you have the more your body can burn just by simply existing and not doing anything.

Strength training is the best way to build muscle, however it can be intimidating and scary to start, especially if you’ve never done it before. Easing into it slowly can be the way to go. It is also important to really prioritize movement that you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, group classes or spin and running. Walking is also one of the most underrated forms of movement, and it can be as simple as going on walks around the neighborhood or committing to a hike. 

Ideally, you want to get at least 2-4 days of strength training per week and those sessions don’t need to be two hours, anything 40-60 minutes will get you a good amount of progress and results and make sure you’re maintaining the muscle. 

Minimize stress

With constant access to information, stress is at its all-time high these days. The world is moving faster than ever, we set up so many goals for ourselves and try to achieve them, and social media is not helping with a constant and continuous stream of highlights of people’s lives. 

And while you might feel like your life is generally not stressful, it is important to keep tabs on those small stressors-being annoyed in traffic, not getting something done on time, reading the news and feeling a little anxious, or even getting your coffee order wrong. All of those are so small by themselves, but they do add up. And more stressed you are more likely your cortisol levels are high which makes achieving any goals in the gym way more difficult, whether it’s weight loss or muscle building. Not only that, but high levels of cortisol can cause increased appetite and as a result, weight gain.

Here are some of the ways that you can relieve your stress: 

  • Prioritize your meals, that includes breakfast. 
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Add movement into your day to day. 
  • Create mechanisms and different tools for problem-solving, as well as coping when things get a little too out of control. 
  • Prioritize getting enough sleep. Create a bedtime routine to help with evening distressing.
  • Surround yourself with friends and family who support you and encourage you on your endeavors. 
  • Incorporate various stress relief techniques-yoga, stretching, massage, meditating, deep stomach breathing, reading.

P.S. Chris and I recently launched our coaching platform that allows us to help you make sustainable and longterm changes. From personalized meal plans to recipe library to custom workouts all included with a members only app and private facebook community, we’d love to have you on board to make sustainable changes that actually help you feel good from the inside out! Click here to learn more.