My grandparents are amazingly healthy. They have never been overweight. They have good eating habits not because someone told them that they should, but because that is just what they do.
We both (unknowingly) made some great observations about their nutrition habits on this trip. These healthy habits were not things that we had not heard before, but to see it in everyday action with truly healthy people was interesting.
Here are a few things that we observed:
1. EAT REGULARLY
They eat three meals everyday. They rarely snack. Skipping breakfast, or any other meal, is not an option.
2. EAT THE MAJORITY OF YOUR FOOD BEFORE THE AFTERNOON:
Lunch is their largest meal (called "dinner" in Iowa-- crazy confusing). For "supper" they eat a small portion of what is leftover from "dinner".
They do not "restrict" anything, but their portions of everything are small. My dad reports that this has always been the case, therefore it is not due to decreased appetite that sometimes comes with age. My grandfather has a cookie with each meal. And he can.
4. FOOD AS FUEL
When we asked them what their favorite meal was, they could not come up with one. They do not even make a special birthday meal. And not because there were too many foods to choose from. Food for them really seems to be more about necessity than desire.
5. YOUR BODY IS YOUR VESSEL
If you told them that something was unhealthy for them, they would not eat it. Done. No argument.
This is the way of eating for my grandparents. It just is because it is. And it's working.