12 Weight Loss Foods To Eat if You’re Over 50

Over 50 and looking for an easy way to lose those stubborn extra pounds? It all starts in the kitchen with these 10 weight loss foods everyone over 50 should be incorporating into their diet. Eat This, Not That! talk to experts who share their top recommendations for weight loss foods to incorporate into your regular menu rotation as you age. With a few tweaks to your weekly shopping list, you’ll be well on your way to complete success. Read on to find out what registered dietitians have to say about the best weight loss foods, and next, don’t miss 4 Healthy Smoothies To Maximize Weight Loss This Winter, Experts Say.

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We chat with Melissa Mitri, MS, RD from Melissa Mitri Nutrition, who recommends leafy green vegetables as one of the top weight loss foods if you’re over 50. Examples include collard greens, spinach and kale, which happen to be low in calories and full of water and fiber that will keep you feeling full.

“Eating more of these vegetables can help you reduce your daily calorie intake, making it easier to lose weight,” says Mitri, adding, “They’re also very quick to cook so can easily be enjoyed with your meals in a pinch.”

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Another amazing suggestion from Mitri? fatty fish! Great options include cod, tuna and salmon. Not only is it a good source of protein, but it is also low in calories.

Mitri tells us, “Getting enough lean protein is important over 50 to maintain muscle mass and support a faster metabolism, and fish is one of the best sources. Research shows maintaining muscle as you age can promote a healthier weight. .”

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Marissa Meshulam, RDN supports how great salmon is for weight loss, saying, “Salmon is a nutrient powerhouse. It’s high in protein and omega-3s, both of which help promote satiety and keep us satisfied. The specific fats in salmon (omega-3s) are very good for keeping our minds healthy as we age.”

RELATED: Food Is Keeping You From Losing Weight After 50, Says Dietitian

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Avocados—aka the “green goddess” of fruits—are full of fiber, healthy fats, and over 20 vitamins and minerals, Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, registered dietitian and owner of Shaw Simple Swaps, says. Recent research reveals that adding avocado to your diet can even promote weight loss.

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“Focusing on bone health with aging is key to longevity,” says Shaw. Research even reveals that eating prunes can help reduce your chances of developing age-related bone loss. You can have four prunes for a total of 400 calories, according to Shaw, and this fruit works well in both savory and sweet recipes.

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Research shows that the majority of Americans—around 90%, in fact—don’t consume enough choline, which Shaw explains is “concentrated in your egg yolk.” B vitamins like these are beneficial for your brain and muscle function. This is especially important to be aware of as you get older!

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Plain Greek yogurt is an excellent breakfast option. Just one small container can provide as much as 15 to 17 grams of protein, according to Lainey Younkin, MS, RD, LDN, weight loss dietitian at Lainey Younkin Nutrition. Protein is important for boosting your metabolism. Your body burns double the number of calories when it digests protein, as opposed to fat and carbohydrates, says Younkin.

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“Plus, if you’re lifting weights (which also changes your metabolism), protein helps rebuild muscle mass,” he adds. “The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. Mix nuts or seeds, along with some fruit, into fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt for a balanced breakfast that supports weight loss and keeps you full for hours— hours. Eating enough protein early in the day also prevents mindless late-night snacking.”

Meshulam also loves the goodness of plain Greek yogurt, telling us, “For weight loss, make sure you choose the plain variety to limit added sugar and sweeten it yourself with fruit.”

RELATED: 4 Yogurt Habits That Promote Weight Loss, Dietitians Say

barley cooked in a wooden bowl, weight loss food
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For a highly nutritious dose of protein and fiber, whip up some barley! These whole grains will help promote satiety and lower your blood sugar levels.

Younkin explains, “[Barley] contains soluble fibre, particularly beta-glucan, which can help lower LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. It may be tempting to skip whole grains for fear of carbs, but this usually backfires. No whole grains means less fiber, which leads to feeling hungry an hour or two later.”

Younkin recommends starting things off with 1/2 cup of cooked barley. Enjoy it as is, or mix it into your favorite soup or salad.

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Meshulam believes that to achieve weight loss success, you need to follow a diet that is still “flexible and fun.” This makes perfect sense because if you like what you eat, you’re more likely to stick to it!

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She specifically recommends “intentional, more nutritious sweets,” like That’s it Truffles. “They only have one extra gram of sugar/serving, which means you can feel like you’re getting a sweet treat and still stay on track with your weight goals,” explains Meshulam.

cauliflower on the cutting board, one of the best weight loss foods
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Cruciferous vegetables, such as arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and watercress, are rich in nutrients and fiber, making them very filling. “Adding cruciferous vegetables to your diet can aid in weight loss and help manage constipation that can occur as we age,” says Meshulam.

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Berries are excellent when you are on a weight loss regimen. They are packed with fiber and antioxidants. Meshulam explains, “The fiber in berries helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, which is beneficial for our weight.”

a bowl of white beans, the best weight loss food
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Slow, fiber-rich carbs are key when you’re focusing on weight loss. Nuts and legumes are packed with protein and fiber, which make them a very filling addition to your plate, according to Meshulam.

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Above all, don’t forget to stay hydrated! Meshulam points out, “While water isn’t necessarily ‘food’ per se, adequate water is essential for weight loss. The symptoms of dehydration and hunger tend to mimic each other, meaning many of us tend to eat when we’re actually just thirsty. Studies show that as we age, dehydration tends to increase, so increasing your water intake is important! We need a minimum of our body weight in pounds divided by two (so a 140-pound person needs 70 ounces of water minimum).”

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