Achieving your weight loss goals in a healthy and sustainable way at any age can present challenges, but this is especially true for people in their 50s or older. Aging can lead to hormonal changes, loss of muscle mass, and slower metabolism, which can make it difficult to lose weight after age 50.
Luckily, there are still ways to achieve your goals while making sure you’re taking care of your body and providing it with the nutrients it needs every day. To learn more about healthy weight loss, we spoke with a few expert dietitians to get their tips on eating habits that can help you lose belly fat in your 50s.
Next, for more healthy eating tips, check out 5 Belly Fat Diet Secrets That Actually Work.
One of the best nutrients you can eat to lose weight and maintain your overall health is protein. And because of protein’s ability to help you build muscle, it’s also crucial in the aging process when your muscle mass begins to decline.
“Protein has many health benefits, but most people don’t know it can speed up weight loss if you hit your daily protein goals,” says Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RD, author on go wellness. “One of the main reasons for this is that protein helps you feel fuller for longer periods throughout the day. So automatically you’re going to cut calories because you won’t feel like eating. extra snacks or junk foods.Protein is also great for building lean muscle, and when you add in daily exercise to hit your protein goals, you’ll be able to cut fat and build the lean body that you are looking for. “
Another suggestion our dietitians have for those wanting to lose weight after age 50 is to try intermittent fasting. If this interests you, talk to your doctor or dietitian to see if it might work for you and your goals!
“This approach to eating is better called a diet than an actual diet. It is a form of eating that restricts calories for a period of time, between 16 and 24 hours, with the aim of allowing the body to burn fat and repair cells,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements. “People over 50 may begin to experience a slower metabolism and difficulty losing weight, particularly around the abdominal region, so incorporating an intermittent fasting routine 2-3 times per week could help accelerate their weight loss efforts.”
“Another benefit of intermittent fasting is its ability to improve longevity, which people over 50 may also be interested in achieving, and longer periods of fasting are believed to have cellular-level effects that also improve inflammation. and the immune response. The best continues.
Whole grains can be a healthy and necessary part of your daily diet because they are nutrient dense and high in fiber. D’Angelo notes, however, that some whole grains are better than others for weight loss.
“The best whole grains for belly fat loss are those such as brown rice, whole oats, and buckwheat. This is because these types of whole grains have not undergone the grinding or processing of their grains. flour, which means they won’t be full of calories,” D’Angelo says. “So you can eat these types of foods until you feel good and full, without overdoing it. in calories. Whole grains to limit are those whose grains have been ground into flour, such as whole grain bread, whole grains in bagels and whole grain crackers. »
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be a healthy way to eat for your heart health and longevity, and Best says it can also be a great way to lose weight after 50.
“This approach to eating is an alternative diet pattern rather than a fad diet,” says Best. “The traditional Mediterranean diet is devoid of processed foods like refined carbohydrates and incorporates many healthy fats. Although it primarily focuses on fish and seafood as a source of protein, it also allows for meat consumption. This diet may be more intriguing for those who still prefer to eat red meat but want to lose belly fat.The Mediterranean diet’s lack of processed foods and refined carbohydrates, as well as its integration of whole grains and healthy fats make this an anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense diet.”
“Those on this diet plan eat flowery, high-calorie foods and also eat foods that will reduce their inflammation, which will help reduce weight and abdominal fat,” Best continues. “And by getting rid of chronic inflammation in the body, the metabolism can work more efficiently and burn belly fat.”