Family caregivers have a hectic schedule and eating healthy may not always be at the top of their to-do list. A busy day can make it difficult for home caregivers to eat healthy meals and nutritional snacks, causing pounds to add up quickly. And, holiday meals and parties can make it doubly difficult to stay on track, which makes healthy eating for caregivers an even higher priority!
If you are a caregiver, check out the tips below to discover ways of eating right and managing weight.
- Watch empty calories. It’s easy to reach for a quick “pick me up” source of energy, but try to avoid this temptation. Yes, a bottle of calorie-filled soda may provide a temporary surge, but that energy boost doesn’t last – and the more of such beverages one drinks, the greater the risk of adding unwanted weight. As an alternative to empty-calorie snacks, eat healthy snacks, such as fruits or vegetables, or mixes of nuts and raisins.
- Get milk. Getting plenty of calcium to keep bones healthy is crucial; getting plenty of fat is not. Low-fat or fat-free yogurts, cheeses, and milks are much better alternatives than the high-fat versions– and in some cases actually carry more calcium.
- Get more sleep. Yes, getting enough sleep is often easier said than done for overworked home caregivers, but it is nevertheless important. The more rested one is, the less likely he or she is to lack energy or to engage in eating behaviors that have a negative impact on health. If sleeplessness is an issue, talk with a doctor and other family members about how to resolve this problem.
- Load up on protein. Protein is a valuable diet component; eating low-fat sources of protein helps keep weight off. For example, lean meats, nuts, and fish are fine ways to get protein while shaving off fat content.
- Change your scenery. Many home caregivers may still feel hungry after having a meal, even though the amount they’ve had is sufficient. This may be influenced by environment. Leaving the kitchen or dining room and going into a location not associated with food may make one feel “fuller.”
Caregivers must take care of both others and themselves; taking steps to watch weight and eat healthy allows caregivers to do this more effectively.
- Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work (thecellfitness.com.au)
- Ten 100 Calorie Snacks to Beat Hunger (dailytwocents.com)
- Today’s consumer tip: How to keep from gaining weight at Thanksgiving dinner (boomersurvive-thriveguide.typepad.com)