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is undereating appropriate for adults?

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  • is undereating appropriate for adults?

    Hi all,
    so my parents eat a majority of their diet very healthy, salads, chicken, some red meat, and then a small amount of chips or treats or popcorn.

    I've noticed my parents don't eat much. I eat a ton more compared to them. My mom snacks through out the day, and then for dinner has a small plate of protein and salad. I think she may be eating 1500 cals or way less most days.

    I've asked them if they are ever hungry or lethargic and they say no. They work hard at their grocery store, wake up at 5-6 am to get off around 6-7pm. My mom takes a daily short nap. They say they don't get that hungry.

    My dad loves to mountain bike and goes for hours with his buddies. So he definitly has a lot of energy.

    I'm just surprised by how little they eat during the day. Maybe I should keep track for a few days their caloric intake to see if they really are undereating.

    My question is, when people get older, do they require less food? I've felt at times that I should recommend them to eat more but it is not in my place.
    My Health and Nutrition Blog

  • #2
    I don't think age has any thing to do with it.
    If I eat high fat, low carb, then I do not need to eat more than 1-2 times a day.


    • #3
      Makes you live longer?
      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

      Griff's cholesterol primer
      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
      bloodorchid is always right


      • #4
        You really have enough time on your hands to follow them both around and record every bite they take?
        *My obligatory intro

        There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo



        • #5
          I would ask them what they had for the day or ask them at lunch and then dinner. Or have them do it themselves if they'd be interested. They eat so simple too it would be very easy. But anyway, I'm not making a big deal out of this, I was just wondering if undereating for adults is okay. My family and I spend a good amount of time together most of the time when I'm back at their house for college break so I get a good idea of what they do and eat
          My Health and Nutrition Blog
          @ VIBRANTE


          • #6
            Lots of people around here eat a lot less due to higher fat.
            Can't say if your parents are higher in fats, but it seems like they might be.


            • #7
              As magicmerl posted, there are some that posit that a lower calorie lifestyle is a factor in longevity.

              Our metabolisms do slow down a small amount as we age, but we can change much of that by staying active and keeping muscle tone.

              Sounds like your mom is eating a normal amount for a woman of about 115-135 pounds depending on activity level, genetics, etc. And it sounds like both of them eat healthfully and are active. And yay, Mom, on the naps!

              The body is also fairly adaptive, and if they've found what works for them, it should all be good. In addition to eating lower calories, there are also some studies that show that regular fasting is good for longevity. Unless one gorged after a fast, this would naturally lower total calories per time period.

              It used to be accepted that people would get a bit heavier as they aged. I think this was due to being more sedentary and not compensating by decreasing the amount they ate from when they were active. Kind of like when you see retired pro football guys who have turned into large mounds of adipose tissue.
              "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


              Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


              • #8
                Good to read thanks for your reply.
                My Health and Nutrition Blog
                @ VIBRANTE


                • #9
                  My parents are in their 60's and they don't eat much either. But they have definitely slowed down since they are both retired now. They eat two meals with a snack type of dinner. My dad is big in keeping logs of his daily intake and I think he is normally in the 1200-1500 calorie per day range. But he sadly does not work out and is pretty sedentary these days.

                  Personally I have a hard time eating more than 2,000 calories per day. I am normally in the 1,700-1,800 calorie range. I am super active and I do some type of workout most days. I am 5'10 160lbs and for some reason I can't eat more than I already do on a daily basis. I agree that if you are eating a lot of fat it keeps you satiated longer and you just don't get hungry. I have been doing a strict paleo diet for over 5 years now and my daily intake is pretty much the same since I started.
                  "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                  People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.


                  • #10
                    Idle minds and bodies obsess over eating.
                    Few but ripe.


                    • #11
                      Are they healthy? Do they get sick often? Do they both have plenty of energy? Different people have different nutritional requirements! If your parents are healthy and are a good weight, I wouldn't worry about it at all.


                      • #12
                        Older people naturally lose appetite and eat less. Your parents seem fine to me from what you describe. Would you rather them overeat and get fat? It's been shown that reducing calorie intake prolongs lifespan anyway.
                        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                        "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


                        • #13
                          I eat a LOT less now at 50 than I did at 30.

                          Lifestyle changes and hormonal shifts have a lot to do with it.
                          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


                          • #14
                            Yes, you need less food as you age.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the info everyone. Makes sense. Needed that clarification.
                              My Health and Nutrition Blog
                              @ VIBRANTE