By Charlotte Latvala
At 50, it has probably started to dawn on you: You can no longer start the day with a hearty breakfast of cheese curls and Mountain Dew.
Late middle age is when all your eating habits catch up with you – your fondness for Taco Bell, your weakness for any dish with “triple cheese” in the name, your addiction to strawberry Twizzlers. You’re more likely to binge on acid-blockers than chocolate cheesecake.
But that doesn’t mean you can never enjoy food again. Here’s how:
- Sadly, you may have to start counting calories. There are many online tools to help, but who needs complicated apps and web sites? You’re probably in the healthy zone if you simply stay hungry all day – around 7 or 8 on a 10-point scale. (9 being “ravenous,” 10 being “I would devour this iPad if it had chocolate icing.”)
- If a certain food makes you feel instantly lethargic – i.e., lasagna, pizza, Ho-Ho’s – the common wisdom is that you must stop eating it. Nonsense. Simply work it into your sleep routine. (See “How to Nap.”)
- Start shopping at Whole Foods. You can’t afford much there, which will lead to smaller meals, and eventually a healthier you.
- Decide: Movie theater popcorn or an early death? Some things are worth a few years of your life.
- Binge healthfully. Everyone knows that you can’t eat too many vegetables. Likewise, veggie crisps are veggies, French fries are French, and the French know a thing or two about healthy food, what with all those baguettes.
- Become familiar with the diet du jour. You don’t have to follow it (Paleo? Yuck.) Just learn about it, so you can avoid it completely.
- Continue eating unhealthy food in the hopes that your favorite items will soon be deemed nutritionally sound. Butter and eggs have made a comeback in recent years – why not triple pepperoni pizza and Yoo-hoo?
- Start eating your kids’ food. Budding hipsters seem to exist on a diet of lemongrass smoothies and organic beets, and they’re too busy Snapchatting each other to notice if any of their food goes missing.
- Don’t eat late at night. Drink instead, like every other self-respecting person your age. And keep the acid blockers handy.