Healthy Eating Checklist for Active Adults

woman smiling and eating a healthy salad

Congratulations on living an active lifestyle! By being moderately active for at least 30-60 minutes a day, you likely already feel great and sleep better. At the same time, you are reducing your risks for osteoporosis, heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes too. 

Healthy eating and physical activity go hand in hand

  • Eating right energizes you for a great workout whether that is an afternoon in the garden, a bike ride with your kids or an hour at the gym. A well fuelled body can work harder at exercise.
  • A healthy heart needs exercise plus a healthy diet to keep on beating strong.
  • If you want to get to a healthy weight or stay there you have to eat right and be active. 
  • Once you start exercising, making other healthy changes like eating right often comes easier.

Healthy eating checklist for active adults

Do your eating habits support your active lifestyle? Use this checklist as a guide.

  • To keep energized throughout the day, I eat 3 meals plus one to two healthy small snacks.
  • For a healthy balance, my meals and snacks are roughly 50% veggies and fruit, 25% whole grains (at least half the time) and 25% lean protein (fish, lean meats, beans, eggs).
  • To stay hydrated, I drink water before, during and after being active. If I’m exercising hard for more than an hour, I have a sports drink or dilute 100% juice in half with water and add a pinch of salt.
  • To keep up my energy for exercising, I exercise one to three hours after eating a meal or I have a small healthy snack one to two hours before being active.
  • I use extra fats such as oil, butter, margarine, salad dressings, gravies and creamy sauces in smaller amounts (30 -45 mL or 2-3 tbsp per day – includes the amounts used for cooking).
  • When eating out, I watch my portion sizes and try to fill up on veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins most often.
  • To avoid over eating, I regularly sit down to enjoy my meals rather than eating while doing other things such watching TV, working or running out the door.
  • I plan ahead. That way I have healthy choices handy such as low fat, high fibre granola bars at work or a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter.
  • I read labels to choose foods higher in fibre, lower in calories, saturated and trans fats and sodium.

Find out more about healthy eating:

Nutrition and active living FAQ’s
How not to be fooled by fads
How do I know if I am doing enough physical activity to stay healthy? Public Health Agency of Canada

Last Update – October 6, 2020

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