Why do women over 50 have a slower metabolism? As we age, we lose lean muscle mass, which slows down our metabolism. We also tend to decrease our activity and burn fewer calories, which leads to weight gain. It is a common problem even for women who are really fit. The process of slowing down our metabolism is gradual. Around age 40 to 50, that is the time when women tend to notice the weight gain and the slowing down of their metabolism. Maybe in the past, they could cut out a snack and lose weight. But now when they do that, the scale shows that their weight is stagnant and sometimes they even gain more weight. But do not lose hope women over 50 can benefit from eating certain food that can increase their metabolism and also make them lose weight. The majority of them are delicious and widely available.
Delicious foods that help you lose weight? It sounds too good to be true. Weight loss comes down to simple mathematics. You have to eat fewer calories than your body can burn. But not all calories are created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in our bodies. They can have different effects on your hunger, hormones, and the number of calories you burn.
“Certain foods can help you shed bodyweight,” says Heather Mangieri, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “because they help you feel full longer and help curb cravings.”
Some food even speeds up your metabolism. We gathered the 24 best foods for weight loss that are supported by science. You can take this list next time you go to your local market to buy groceries.
1. Unprocessed Red Meat
Meats have a bad reputation. It has been blamed for several health problems despite a lack of concrete evidence to back up these negative claims. Though processed meat is obviously unhealthy, studies show that unprocessed red meat does not raise the risk of diabetes or heart disease. According to two review studies, red meat has only a very weak correlation with cancer in men and no correlation at all in women.
The truth is, meat is a weight-loss-friendly food because of its high protein content. Protein is by far the most satiating nutrient, and eating a high-protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day.
Studies have shown that increasing your protein consumption to 25% of daily calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce your desire for midnight snacking by half and cause weight loss of almost one pound or 0.45 kg per week.
If you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet like a ketogenic or paleo diet, feel free to eat fatty meats. However, if you’re on a moderate to a high-carbohydrate diet, choosing lean meats may be more appropriate for you.
Starting a meal with a bowl of soup may make you end up eating less. It does not matter if the soup is chunky or pureed, as long as it is broth-based. Remember to keep the soup from 100 to 150 calories per serving.
3. Dark Chocolate
Choosing dark chocolate as a dessert over the milky and sweet version can help you lose weight. In one study, chocolate lovers who were given dark chocolate ate 15% less pizza a few hours later than those who had eaten the milk chocolate type.
4. Pureed Vegetables
You can add more vegetables to your diet and cut back on the calories you are eating, all at the same time. When Penn State researchers added pureed cauliflower and zucchini to regular mac and cheese, people seemed to enjoy the dish just as much. But they ate 200 to 350 fewer calories. Those healthy vegetables added low-calorie bulk to the delicious dish.
5. Whole Eggs
Once earned a bad reputation for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback. Although a high intake of eggs raises the levels of “bad” LDL-cholesterol in some people, whole eggs are one of the best foods to eat if you need to lose weight. They are high in protein and fat and are very filling.
One study in 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased feelings of fullness or satiety and made participants eat less for the next 36 hours. Another eight-week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie-restricted diet, compared to bagels.
Eggs are also amazingly nutrient-dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need if you are on a calorie-restricted diet. Interestingly, almost all the nutrients are found in the egg yolk.
For a good snack when you are busy, take a small handful of almonds, walnuts, pecans, or peanuts. Research shows that when people eat nuts as a snack, they automatically eat less at later meals.
Avoid apple juice and applesauce and choose a crunchy apple instead. Whole fruit blunts appetite in a way that fruit juices and sauces can’t do. One reason is that raw fruits have more fiber than fruit juices. Plus, the chewing sensation sends signals to your brain that you’ve eaten something substantial.
Whether you prefer Greek or traditional, yogurt can be good for weight loss. A Harvard study followed more than 120,000 people for a decade or longer. Yogurt, of all the foods that were tracked, was most closely linked to weight loss. That does not prove that yogurt caused weight loss, but it stood out among other foods.
Grapefruit can help you shed pounds, especially if you are at risk for diabetes. Researchers at Scripps Clinic in San Diego California found that when obese people ate half a grapefruit before each meal, they dropped an average of 3 ½ pounds over 12 weeks. Drinking grapefruit juice had the same results as well. But grapefruit juice does not have any proven “fat-burning” properties, it may just have helped people feel full and satiated.
Just a warning, you cannot have grapefruit or grapefruit juice if you are on certain medications, so check the label on all your prescriptions. For better understanding ask your pharmacist or your physician.
10. Oats and Quinoa
Oats are one of the popular options when it comes to losing weight. Not only it is a healthy grain but oats are filled with lots of fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Besides weight loss, oats have other health benefits too like lowering blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of heart disease. If you are bored of eating oats every day then have quinoa alternatively. Similar to oats, quinoa will help in weight loss.
Sprouts with no doubt can help in weight loss. Sprouts are highly nutritious, with very few calories. Sprouts have high fiber content to keep you full for a long period of time. You can have sprouts as a light dinner.
Fatty fish like salmon is super healthy and very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with just a few calories. Salmon is loaded with high-quality protein, healthy fats, and several important nutrients.
Fish and seafood in general may also supply a significant amount of iodine. Iodine is necessary for proper thyroid function, which is important to keep your metabolism running optimally.
Salmon is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to aid to reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease. Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, and other types of fatty fish are also excellent choices.
13. Green Tea
Green tea can speed up your metabolism which in turn helps you burn body fat quickly. Green tea has a lot of health benefits. You can have green tea twice a day to have proper weight loss results.
14. Fruit Infused Water
Water is really beneficial in weight loss. If you do not like normal water every time then you can start having fruit-infused water instead. Infused water helps you to keep your stomach full so in turn, you will tend to snack less.
15. Green Vegetables
Spinach, broccoli, kale, cucumber are the go-to vegetables for weight loss. Though any kind of vegetables are good for our health as they provide the fibers that aid the passage of food and waste products through the gut. Green vegetables are good metabolism boosters and they also help our body to digest the food we eat.
16. Coconut Oil
Like any other oil, coconut oil contains saturated fats. So what makes coconut oil good for weight loss? Well, it is said a spoonful of coconut oil a day can actually curb off your hunger which in turn helps you lose weight. The best time to consume coconut oil is 20 minutes before your meals.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or cranberries are both healthy and delicious. Any berries are good for health. Get rid of unhealthy snacks and eat a handful of berries instead. Berries are rich in antioxidants and they are good metabolism boosters. You can also make berry smoothies which are very delicious and nutritious.
Inexpensive, filling, and versatile, beans are a great source of protein. Beans are also high in fiber and slow to digest. That means you will feel full longer, which may stop you from eating more than usual.
Tuna is a low-calorie, high-protein food. It is a lean fish, meaning it is low in fat. Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models. Eating tuna is a great way to increase protein intake while keeping total calories and fat at a lower level.
20. Cottage Cheese
Dairy products tend to be high in protein. One of the best ones is cottage cheese, which is mostly protein with very few carbs and little fat. Eating cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake. It is also very satiating, making you feel full longer, and it contains low calories. Dairy products like cottage cheese are also high in calcium, which may aid fat burning.
While the majority of fruits are high in carbohydrates, avocados are loaded with healthy fats. They are particularly high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of healthy fat found in olive oil. Despite being mostly fat, avocados also contain a lot of water and fiber, making them less calorie-dense than you may think.
Avocados are the perfect addition to vegetable salads, as studies show that their fat content can increase carotenoid antioxidant absorption from the vegetables 2.6- to 15-fold. They also contain many important nutrients, including fiber and potassium.
22. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is incredibly popular in the natural health and weight loss community. ACV is often used as condiments like dressings or vinaigrettes, and some people even dilute it in water and drink it.
Several human-based studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for weight loss. Taking apple cider vinegar at the same time as a high-carb meal can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200 to 275 fewer calories for the rest of the day. One 12-week study in obese individuals also showed that 15 or 30 ml of vinegar per day caused a weight loss of 2.6 to 3.7 pounds or 1.2 to 1.7 kilograms.
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which may have various beneficial health effects in the long term such as improving insulin sensitivity.
23. Chili Pepper
Eating chili peppers is beneficial for weight loss. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in some studies. Capsaicin is even sold in supplement form and a usual ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements available nowadays.
One study showed that eating 1 gram of red chili pepper reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who did not regularly eat chili peppers. However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that a certain level of tolerance can build up over time.
24. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on Earth. Chia seeds contain 12 grams of carbohydrates per ounce (28 grams), which is quite high, but 11 of these grams are composed of fiber. This makes chia seeds a low-carb-friendly food and one of the best sources of fiber in the world.
Because of its high fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 11 to 12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like, and expanding in your stomach. It will make you feel full for several hours. Some studies have also shown that chia seeds can help reduce appetite and have a significant effect on weight loss.
However, given their nutrient composition, it makes sense that chia seeds could be a useful part of your weight loss diet.
Even if you are over 50 years old, weight loss and increased metabolism are still possible. You can lose weight and stay healthy by choosing the right food. Load your shopping cart with mainly whole foods like fish, lean meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Several processed foods, such as probiotic yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and oatmeal are also excellent choices. Make sure to choose healthy foods every time and avoid foods that are fried or foods that contain unhealthy fats.
Choose a diet that will suit your lifestyle and you can sustain. You can always go for a keto diet, paleo diet, or any low-calorie diet to stay fit. Along with portion control and regular exercise, eating these nutritious foods should pave your way to success in your weight loss journey. These are also sustainable food choices that can lead to a healthier life.
I hope that the list we provided above gave you an idea of how you can plan your healthy weight loss meals. If you find this article to be useful for you, kindly share this with other women over 50 so they can also achieve faster metabolism, safe weight loss, and a healthier lifestyle. Thank you and best of luck!