Quick cheats for healthier eating over 50

We all know that we should be eating healthier and that we’re supposed to have five portions of fruit and veg a day (or is that 10 now?!) but even the words ‘going on a diet’ can sap our enthusiasm for making better food choices. Good nutrition is even more important when you are over 50, so here are Ask Granny’s top cheats and tricks to eat better without radically changing your lifestyle.

1. Drink lots of water

Often when we think we are hungry, we are dehydrated. Instead of snacking, drink lots of water through the day to keep any cravings at bay. The NHS recommends that we should drink a minimum 1.2 litres of water each day. To keep track of your water intake, try this Joseph Joseph Dot Hydration Tracker bottle available from John Lewis. This sleekly designed bottle has a 600ml capacity and its lid adds a dot each time you fill it up. It’s easy to track your hydration level and make sure you’re keeping on top of your intake.

2. Choose high protein breakfasts

A healthy, filling, breakfast that’s high in protein low in carbs will help to keep you full until lunch time. The age-old adage remains true: ‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper.’

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and offer tasty options in a morning. Scrambled boiled or poached with wholegrain toast is a great foundation to start with. Add other ingredients such as avocado, mushrooms or diced peppers to take a simple serving to the next level.

3. Eat from smaller plates

The size of our dinner plates has increased from seven inches in the 1960s to between nine and 12 inches today. With bigger plates come bigger portions – and bigger tummies! Using smaller dinner plates, like these ones available from Tesco will help you to keep portion sizes down and reduce your calorie intake.

4. Be hot drink savvy

While caffeine has been shown to have a positive effect on cognitive health, milky coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos can be particularly bad for your waistline. If you swap a standard, semi-skimmed cafe latte (95 calories) for the same size cup of black tea with semi-skimmed milk (13 calories), over the course of a year you could lose 8lbs in weight.

5. Stay active

You don’t need to join a gym to burn calories. Walking to the shops instead of driving, getting off the bus a stop earlier or playing outdoors with your grandchildren will all help you to stay fit and healthy. Taking 6,000 steps in a day can burn as much as 300 calories. There are several wearable fitness trackers that can help you to achieve this target – and you don’t need to be a computer expert to work them! The FitBit Charge 2 features an on-screen display so you don’t have to hook up to a smart phone or computer to see how you are doing. With activity alerts and reminders, you’ll always know whether you need to do a few laps of the garden or can relax and watch Pointless. Find out more here.