Skip to content

I'm a Doctor and Here's the #1 Trick to Feel Like You're 20 Again

Doctor explains six ways to feel young again.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Nobody can stop aging from happening, but we can stop the bad health habits that seem harmless enough, but aren't. Whether it's going on lack of sleep or eating too many processed foods, it will eventually catch up and make us look and feel older than what we are. The good news is, with a few healthy lifestyle changes we don't have to feel our age. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a  Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies who revealed a few tricks for feeling like you're in your 20s. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Cutting Out Sugar

woman craving sugar

According to Dr. Mitchell, "Sugar is one of the leading causes of premature aging. It contributes to wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. It also increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. By cutting out sugar from your diet, you can reduce the signs of aging and stay healthy and youthful. Remember, not all sugar is the same! There are sugars naturally occurring in fruit, and I encourage my patients to eat the whole fruit. You should consult with your doctor and nutritionist to help create meal plans that work for your lifestyle."


Getting Enough Sleep

man sleeping in bright room

"One of the biggest secrets to staying young is getting enough sleep," Dr. Mitchell reveals. "Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep to feel refreshed. When you're sleep-deprived, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is linked to aging and weight gain. It's also essential to keep a regular sleep schedule- going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This will help regulate your body's natural clock and improve your overall health. The topic of sleep hygiene is crucial. You might think you are getting plenty of sleep, but what about the quality of the rest? A very simplified approach to this is, as much as possible, to remove electronics from your room. Also, avoid eating a heavy meal a few hours before bed, and interestingly enough, avoid vigorous exercise before bed. Also, as we know, caffeine can affect one's ability to sleep, so I recommend avoiding caffeine in the afternoon or evening. I like to tell my patients that the bedroom should primarily be used for two purposes, and they both begin with S. You get the hint! Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining a youthful appearance. When you don't get enough sleep, your body releases cortisol, which is a hormone that can make you look older. Sleep also helps with your cognitive function, so that's another reason to make your sleep a priority. Try these tips to get a good night's sleep and feel like you're in your 20s again!"


Breaking a Sweat

older couple tracking exercise outside

Dr. Micthell says, "Exercise is another critical factor in staying young. It helps increase energy levels, reduces stress, and improves overall health. A moderate amount of exercise each day is the key to keeping your body healthy and looking young. Regular exercise is another key to staying young. It helps keep your body toned and muscular and increases your energy levels. Exercise also has many other health benefits, including reducing your risk for heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Wear some comfortable workout clothes, crank up your favorite songs, and get moving! You see, you can exercise in your home, using your body weight as resistance. Or one of my favorites is walking or sometimes running laps around my house. Granted, this is a lot easier for me to do, as I have young children that love to play tag."

RELATED: 5 So-Called Medicines That are Usually a "Waste of Money"


Stay Hydrated

woman drinking water

Dr. Mitchell reminds us, "Water is essential for life, and it also plays a significant role in keeping you looking young. Staying hydrated helps keep skin hydrated and elastic, which reduces the signs of aging. Make sure to drink plenty of water each day to stay looking young and healthy. When your body is dehydrated, it will show on your skin and energy levels. Water is essential for the body to function optimally. For example, try to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water per day. For you coffee enthusiasts, you might not like this, but caffeine contributes to dehydration, so please gradually reduce your intake."

RELATED: Most People are Getting Pancreatic Cancer This Way, Experts Say


Eating Healthy Foods

healthy holiday woman making a salad

"Eating healthy foods is one of the most important things you can do for your health and for looking young," Dr. Mitchell states. "Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will give you the antioxidants and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and look young. I like to tell my patients to "eat a rainbow," incorporating different foods into their diet. This will give you all the nutrients you need as well as different colors, which are always pleasing to the eye. I believe it's important to enjoy the experience of eating the meal and take the time to actually sit down and savor your meal. A healthy diet is essential for maintaining a youthful appearance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains will give you the nutrients you need to look and feel your best. Avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks is also important for keeping your skin looking young and healthy."

RELATED: The #1 Sign Your Blood Pressure is "Way Too High"


Stress Reduction

happy older woman sitting on yoga mask

Dr. Mitchell says, "I cannot stress enough how important it is to reduce stress in your life. Stress has been linked to all sorts of health problems, both mental and physical. It's also been shown to cause premature aging. There are many different types of stress; there is "good stress," known as eustress, and "bad stress," known as distress. Also, note continuous "good stress" can be detrimental to your health and make you feel less energized and much older than your actual age. So, it's essential to find a way to reduce stress in your life, whether that be through exercise, yoga, meditation, or whatever works for you. Being mindful of your stress level and risks for burnout is so essential. Also, guarding and supporting your mental health is imperative."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
Filed Under