- A 60-year-old man submitted an average day of eating to be examined The Insider’s Nutrition Clinic.
- A nutritionist said to eat more carbs, fat and food in general.
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Victor, 60, submitted his eating routine to Insider’s Nutrition Clinic, where qualified dietitians and registered nutritionists offer advice on readers’ eating habits.
He told Insider that his goals are to build muscle and lose fat around the waist. Victor has a sedentary desk job, but he lifts weights and does it cardio twice a week each.
He said that while he had previously lost some weight on keto diethe found it too restrictive. Victor now counts his calories and tries to eat low-fat meals to keep them down, he said.
Registered Nutritionist Jamie Wright told Insider that Victor could benefit from changing his focus from aesthetics to athletics.
“If you’re chasing ‘looks,’ you’re much more likely to hinder your exercise performance and possibly end up in a situation where you risk inadequate nutrient, micronutrient and mineral intake,” Wright said. “If you want to look and feel like an athlete, then you have to perform and rock like one.”
As Insider previously reported, it’s also not possible to “train” and intentionally lose fat in one area of the body, such as the stomach.
Wright advised Victor to increase his caloric intake to a maintenance level, which can take some trial and error to find and often leads to a small initial weight gain due to the water weight that comes with eating more.
The slightly higher calories will reduce Victor’s risk of malnutrition, give him the energy to be more active and help him retain his hard-earned muscle mass, which decreases with age.
“While physical activity is a critical factor in combating this, insufficient fuel can accelerate the loss of lean mass,” Wright said. “The more lean muscle mass we have, the leaner we’ll look anyway.”
If possible, Victor should try to fit in one or two more strength sessions each week, Wright said.
“The difference this will make to your health (never mind your physique) in the short and long term will be drastic and will do much more to achieve your leaner body composition and develop more muscle mass than it will lack fuel,” Wright said.
Eat less processed meat
For breakfast, Victor aims to eat no more than 400 calories and usually has Special K cereal or oatmeal with two turkey sausages or two slices of bacon.
Wright said it’s great that Victor is getting protein for breakfast, but to make sure he doesn’t consume too much processed meat, he might consider substituting egg whites or whole eggs for a while.
Regular eating processed meatsuch as sausages, ham, bacon and cured meats are associated with an increased risk of developing major cardiovascular diseases, as well as conditions such as colon and stomach cancer, and high blood pressure.
Eat fruits and vegetables at lunch
For lunch, Victor eats a turkey burger or a low-fat frozen meal, plus a protein bar, he said.
Given that preparing a nutritious lunch can be a chore on a busy day, Victor’s lunch isn’t bad by any means and it’s great to get another proteins hit, Wright said. However, adding fruit or vegetables at lunch will provide more micronutrients and fibers.
Add carbohydrates to dinner for more energy
For dinner, Victor eats chicken, lean beef, or pork with vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower rice, or carrots.
Wright said this is a great, nutritious dinner and it’s good to eat a variety of foods, but if Victor increases his calories, he can add some carbs to his meal, which will give him more energy and benefit from his training.
Protein is important
Twice a day, Victor snacks on a piece of fruit (like a banana, an apple, or some cantaloupe) and some nuts (like cashews or walnuts).
Fruit and nuts are nutritious foods and nuts contain some protein, but not as much as most people think, and Victor could benefit from having more protein in his snacks, Wright said. He suggested a protein shake, scrambled, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt with berries.
Regular protein consumption throughout the day it helps build and maintain muscle and also helps you feel full. Overall, Victor distributes his protein well, so it’s not much of a cause for concern, but adding a little more to snacks can help, Wright said.
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