Unfortunately as you get older your metabolism slows down and your body burns less calories than it used to. The menopause also takes the Estrogen hormone away from your body. Estrogen lays fat deposits on the hips and thighs, but without it, fat accumulates round our middle.
The best way to lose weight after fifty is to cut down on carbohydrates, apart from fruit and vegetables. This means cutting right down on potatoes, pasta and bread.
Forget losing weight quickly too. Weight loss should be gradual over time. Don’t set a deadline because if you don’t reach your target you’ll be more inclined to give up.
The following foods are ideal for the over fifties because they are packed with antioxidents, which prevent cell damage, vitamins, minerals and fibre, which protect heart health and keep you fit. Use these ingredients in your diet and you’ll not only lose weight but you’ll feel a lot better too.
Olive oil is a good fat, so it’s beneficial for women to replace olive oil instead of margarine. For breakfast try drizzling olive oil on a slice of French bread topped with slices of tomato.
Walnuts and pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds can reduce cholesterol. You should only have a handful a day because they are quite fattening. If you really do have a sweet tooth try natural low fat yogurt with some nuts added and a few drops of honey.
Spinach, broccoli, avocado and onions are packed with antioxidants, as are sweet potatoes and artichokes. Try a spinach and avocado salad with warm bacon.
Try not to eat too much fruit if you want to lose weight because they are full of natural sugars. Berries, apples and cherries will be delicious in a fresh fruit salad and they aren’t as high in calories as bananas or figs.
Legumes have a long list of nutrients including fibre, calcium, protein and magnesium to name but a few. They are delicious in stews. Chick peas, kidney beans and green beans make a healthy three bean salad.
Fish is a great source of Omega 3 which is good for heart health. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring are healthy oily fish. Try and eat fish at least three times a week. Leftover tuna or salmon can be made into tasty fishcakes.
Lean cuts of meat especially from animals that have been fed on natural food like grass are fine to eat in moderation, even if you’re dieting. Don’t touch processed meats though, they are full of fats and sugars. Grill your meat and avoid sauces.
Turkey is a low fat alternative to meat, and chicken too can be eaten on a diet as long as it is without the skin. Chicken or turkey salads are delicious and filling. In the winter you can make a low fat chicken soup.
Eggs are great when you’re on a diet. Not only are they good for you, but they don’t have loads of calories and they fill you up. Try an onion and pepper omelette for a filling treat.
Pasta and rice should be eaten in moderation if you are dieting, but you don’t need to cut them out totally. Try wholegrain versions which have more fibre. Studies have recently shown that if you boil pasta, let it cool and then re-heat it in the microwave it has a better effect on your blood glucose. Have a look at the article by Doctor, Michael Moseley on the BBC News website.
Unfortunately, if you do want to lose weight and stay healthy after fifty, then sugar is your enemy. Try and cut it out of tea and coffee and don’t have fizzy drinks. Try not to eat sweets, but if you do want a piece of cake to celebrate an event at work or home, have it. Enjoy it and then carry on eating sensibly.