Remember these golden rules of weight loss to help you stay fit even in your 40s, 50s, or beyond

People gain weight faster as they age because of different factors. These include stress, hormonal declines, and physical inactivity and muscle loss. To maintain your weight or lose weight even at the age of 40 and above, try to follow these tips:

  1. Eat foods rich in nutrients: Eating nutrient-rich foods will help prevent weight gain and other age-related conditions. Eating natural carbohydrates can help fight age-related insulin resistance and promote steady blood sugar levels; while eating protein-rich foods can prevent age-related muscle loss and stimulates metabolism. An ideal plate for weight loss looks like this: Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, have a palm-sized serving of lean protein, put a serving of complex carbohydrates that’s the size of your closed fist, and add seven to 10 grams of healthy fats. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and water, which means that they can fill you up without taking in too many calories. Some of the best weight loss-friendly foods include whole eggs, leafy greens, salmon, cruciferous vegetables, lean beef and chicken breast, boiled potatoes, tuna, legumes, and soups.
  2. Eat smaller, but frequent meals: Divide your food throughout the day into three moderately-sized meals and one to two small snacks. This will help regulate your blood sugar controls and fight your urge to snack on junk foods. Women should also cut back on their calorie intake, consuming only about 400 to 500 calories.
  3. Do not skip meals: Contrary to popular belief, skipping meals will not help you lose weight. Instead, it will disrupt your metabolism. Skipping breakfast or dinner tells the body to store calories, instead of burning them. Your blood sugar will also more likely drop when you skip meals. As a result, you will crave for sugary carbs.
  4. Avoid snacking on junk foods: Do not eat burgers, chocolate shakes, chips, and other junk foods if you want to lose weight. Instead, snack on healthy, low-calorie treats.
  5. Exercise, exercise, and exercise: Losing weight through diet alone is difficult, especially for people older than 40 because of hormonal declines. At this age, you start to lose muscle mass and the body’s ability to burn calories during exercise also declines. It is time to move more. Although getting the recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity is a good start, you would have to work harder to burn calories. You should aim to work in at least 10,000 steps each day. Doing resistance training four to five times a week can also help you maintain muscle mass and burn even more calories. (Related: Why weight loss requires strength training, even in women and seniors.)
  6. Know your body and be honest: Having discipline and self-control are probably two of the most important things you need when you are trying to lose weight. Once you reach 40, you do not have to cut out certain foods to stay or get slim. However, if you know that eating certain foods, such as chocolates, trigger you to overeat, it is best to avoid them completely. This may be difficult at first, but instead of viewing it as deprivation, let it be your motivation. Acknowledge that these foods are not good for you and your weight. Learn to prioritize your health goals. Additionally, remember that the weight loss techniques that work best for you may change, so it is important to assess what you are doing every year. If you do not progress anymore with your current weight loss strategy, it is probably time to switch up your diet or fitness plan.

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