Meal Plan Ideas for Men Over 40
Do you need meal plan ideas to kick start your health journey? We will clue you in on the things you need to know to create your meal plan.
Healthy Meal Plan Ideas All Men Need to Know
Meal Plan Ideas | Where to Begin
Many believe that the lower the calorie count, the better, but this is not necessarily true. If your goal is to lose weight, then you may need to lessen how many calories you consume in a day. But for a healthy man that does not need to lose weight, this may not be true.
The goal is to choose healthful, nutrient-dense foods within your calorie limit, making each bite count.
When drawing up your meal plan, prioritize adding food rich in nutrients first. Only approximately 15% of your total calorie count should come from saturated fats, added sugars, and alcohol (if any).
Steer clear of empty calories. These are foods that are high in calories but have little to no nutrients in them. These include fast food, sugary sweets and beverages, and store-bought pastries.
- 41-60 years old, 2200 calories per day
- 61 years old and up, 2000 calories per day
For men that have a moderately active lifestyle:
- 41-65 years old, 2400 calories per day
- 66 years old and up, 2200 calories per day
For men that have a moderately active lifestyle:
- 41-55 years old, 2800 calories per day
- 56-75 years old, 2200 calories per day
- 76 years old and up, 2000 calories per day
What Your Plate Looks Like
Your meal will be a combination of delicious and nutritious:
- whole grains
- protein (fish, lean meat, poultry, eggs)
- cheese, non-fat or low-fat milk
Whole grains are a type of grain where the germ, bran, and endosperm are intact. Refined grains are milled to remove the bran and germ, removing the B vitamins, dietary fiber, and iron from the grains. Because of this, nutritionists often recommend choosing whole grain products.
Fruits are low in sugar, salt, and fat and are rich in potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins. Furthermore, they have no cholesterol. Diets with nutrients and vitamins vital to our health and bodily functions. The minerals and dietary fiber in fruits could keep chronic diseases at bay, improve blood pressure, and lower your risk of a heart attack.
Vegetables are essential sources of vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and dietary fiber. Like fruits, vegetables are low in fat and calories, granted your salad is not drowning in dressing. The nutrients in vegetables may help protect you from some chronic diseases.
Protein foods include lean meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs. Vegetarian alternatives include soy products, lentils, beans, peas, seeds, and nuts. Choose meat products low in fat like skinless chicken, pork loin, or 93% lean ground beef. Protein foods contain several vitamins and minerals, including protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
Opt for fresh meat over processed meats, which are high in sodium.
Dairy products are essential for building bones maintaining bone health. They contain vitamin A, vitamin B12, choline, magnesium, selenium, potassium, protein, and zinc. Some dairy products are fortified with vitamin D for total bone support. If you are lactose intolerant, you may choose soy milk or almond milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Essential Nutrients for Older Adults
When you age, certain minerals become all the more essential. Unfortunately, many older adults do not get enough of these nutrients. These are bone-, heart-, and brain-healthy nutrients that may address certain age-related conditions.
Look for foods that are rich in dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.
Limit foods that contain sodium (salt), saturated fats, and added sugars.
- Dietary fiber is a carb that improves digestive health by promoting good bacteria in the gut. It may also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart attack.
- Calcium and vitamin D team together to keep your bones strong. Calcium plays an essential role in building and maintaining your bones, while vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Around 50% to 90% of our vitamin D supply comes from the sun, but you will also find dairy products fortified with vitamin D.
- Potassium is vital for heart health. Increasing your potassium intake alongside lowering sodium intake may help lower your blood pressure. It also plays a key role in muscle movement and brain function.
It turns out it does not matter how many meals you have in a day. You can have three square meals or six small meals a day. What matters is that you stick to your daily calorie limit and do not skip meals.
Food is fuel for your body, so make sure to enjoy a hearty and healthy breakfast in the morning. Timing your dinner right may also help your stomach digest at night and give your body enough time to use up energy.
A general rule of thumb—eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full.
RELATED: 9 Best Ways to Lose Weight After 40
Meal Plan Ideas for Breakfast
- Strawberry smoothie
- a whole-wheat bagel topped with smoked salmon.
- one banana
- blueberry banana smoothie
Meal Plan Ideas for Morning Snack
- one apple
- coffee with a splash of low-fat milk
Meal Plan Ideas for Lunch
- Wholegrain sandwich with roast beef filling with reduced-fat cheese and polyunsaturated margarine
- garden salad
- tuna salad sandwich with whole wheat bread and celery
- one cup milk
Meal Plan Ideas for Afternoon Snack
- pack of mixed nuts
- coffee with a splash of milk
Meal Plan Ideas for Dinner
- Salmon baked with olive oil
- brown rice
- potatoes, carrots, and steamed broccoli on the side
- greek turkey wrap with two bell peppers and reduced-fat feta cheese
- Optional: tzatziki sauce with cucumber, greek yogurt, garlic
Meal Plan Ideas for Nighttime Snack
- Greek yogurt topped with berries
Check out this video for more meal plan ideas for body-building:
Your meal plan should reflect your activity levels and goals. If you are an active person, then your meal plan could include more calories. Fitness buffs could incorporate more protein into their diet.
Your sense of taste and smell may change as you age, so design a meal plan that includes flavors that appeal to you the most. The meal plan could also depend on your budget and lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many healthful budget foods, and we have included snacks and meals ideal for those with a fast-paced lifestyle.
Eating healthily may will you to cook your own food. We've whipped up easy meal plan ideas that even novice chefs can make.
The ultimate goal of a dietary pattern is to improve your eating behavior instead of making individual healthy choices. Eating healthy becomes ingrained in your lifestyle.
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