It’s not about waking up, realizing you’re 35 (or 45, or 55, or 65 … ) and modifying a lifetime of habits then and there. According to Dr. Nicole Avena, an assistant professor of Neuroscience and a visiting professor of Health Psychology, implement changes slowly. “Make one small change and then make another and another. Eventually, you will get to where you want to be,” she says. In fact, she discourages us from any immediate shifts. Why? It’s stressful! “Trying to change too much at once will not work because it is overwhelming psychologically and too much to handle,” she asserts.

Understanding how your nutritional needs change as you age is crucial to maintaining your optimal health. So how do we make adjustments to our lifestyle now to maximize our health in the future? Dr. Avena answers that question in her own words: