Watching the number on the scale go down is such a gratifying feeling when you’re taking all the right steps to lose weight. But when the scale climbs or stays stagnant, it can be incredibly frustrating, to say the least. Having the right foods and healthy meals on deck is key, which is why we spoke to the experts who share their recommended eating habits for quick weight loss after 50.
Preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes after you hit 50 is key, as this can have a major impact on your weight loss efforts, The Nutrition Twins, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFTAND Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFTtell Eat This, not that! “Whether or not you have diabetes, how you eat affects your blood sugar and can trigger the release of neurotransmitters, and when it comes to weight, the belly fat hormone cortisol is one that creates really problems. Excessive cortisol production from the blood and low sugar levels initiate a domino effect for weight gain, particularly around the belly at a crucial time in life when other hormonal changes occur,” they explain.
As if that weren’t the worst already, cortisol can increase inflammation, which makes losing weight a more grueling process. It also puts stress on the body, which triggers the release of even more cortisol, creating a “vicious cycle.” “If you can stop blood sugar spikes, you can start losing weight at a much faster rate,” say The Nutrition Twins.
Below are some ways to eliminate blood sugar spikes and achieve your ideal weight. Read on to learn about the best eating habits for quick weight loss after 50. Besides, be sure to check out You’ll Never Lose Weight If You Eat These 11 Things Again.
Protein is your best friend for weight loss for a few reasons. The Nutrition Twins call it a “satiating macronutrient” that helps keep your blood sugar stable and will keep you feeling full long after you finish a protein-packed meal. Additionally, consuming protein helps maintain lean muscle tissue, which plays a key role in fueling your metabolism since muscle burns substantially more calories than fat. The Nutrition Twins recommend including 20 to 30 grams of protein in each meal.
Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDNauthor of Finally full, finally thin, a nutritionist in private practice and a member of our board of medical experts, agrees that upping your protein intake can help you lose weight quickly. In fact, he explains, “This is one of the most effective ways to lose weight after age 50. That’s because not only does increasing your protein intake help with weight loss, it can also halt or reverse muscle-related muscle gain.” ‘age loss.”
Eating fiber-rich non-starchy vegetables first is a great way to start your meal. Why? As The Nutrition Twins states, “Fibre slows digestion and, when consumed at the beginning of a meal, will help stabilize your blood sugar so that when you eat carbohydrates, the carbohydrate’s ability to raise blood sugar will be blunted.”
Research confirms how beneficial fiber is for your weight loss efforts. For example, according to a study published in The journal of nutritionincreasing fiber intake by four grams per day over a six-month period was associated with 3 extra pounds of weight loss.
There’s nothing quite as rewarding as making a nutritious, home-cooked meal. Plus, you know all the fresh, healthy ingredients that go into it, and you can take control of portion sizes! Young suggests cooking multiple meals at home, as research shows it can help you lose weight. He points out, “Eating out less frequently and cooking more at home is a great way to live a healthier lifestyle and has been linked to weight loss.”
On your next shopping trip, add more fresh produce to your cart. “Produce is one of the best foods to incorporate into your diet for effective weight loss,” Young tells us. “They are high in fiber and nutrients and low in calories. There have been a number of studies paying close attention to participants increasing their produce intake. These studies have shown that people who eat more produce and a variety, have been linked to a lower body weight, reduced waist circumference and less body fat.
Those unwanted blood sugar spikes we talked about earlier? Well, you definitely want to avoid eating mushy ultra-processed and refined carbohydrates like bagels, crackers, cookies and pastries, which may be the culprits for the spike. “Nothing raises blood sugar more than highly refined carbohydrates. The body recognizes them as sugar and responds by putting out a lot of insulin to lower blood sugar, and it typically results in a sugar crash,” explain The Nutrition Twins. So opt for healthy carbohydrates that aren’t processed.
Alexa is the Deputy Mind + Body Director of Eat This, Not That!, who oversees the M+B channel and brings readers interesting topics on fitness, wellness and self-care. Read more about Alexa
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