It’s something everyone dreads and can’t seem to avoid: midlife weight gain. If you’re like most people, this downward spiral begins in your 30s. By the time you hit your 40s and 50s, you feel as if you’ve been robbed of the body you once had. And no matter what diet or exercise you try, you still can’t seem to shed those pounds.
Don’t despair. There are foods that can help you lose weight throughout each decade. You’ll regain that younger-looking body you thought you’d never see again.
Weight Loss for Every Decade
Defy Your 30s
By the time you hit 35, your metabolism – the amount of calories the body converts to energy to maintain itself – starts to slow down. To defy this frustrating reality, you need to eat metabolism-boosting foods.
Button mushrooms are a rich source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a good fat that actually helps to burn other fats off and increase lean body mass. Eat just half a cup every other day.
High in polyunsaturated fats, pine nuts may help you burn calories at a higher rate even when you’re not very being active. Eat 2 tablespoons 3 times a week.
The acetic acid found in balsamic vinegar helps activate genes that burn fat and increases satiety, so you feel fuller. Eat two tablespoons with meals, whenever possible, and mix with a little olive oil to replace other salad dressings.
For a powerful metabolism-boosting drink, try Dr. Oz’s Tangerine Weight-Orade. It contains: green tea, shown to boost metabolism 12% by drinking just one cup; tangerine, with a chemical composition that increases sensitivity to insulin and stimulates genes that help to burn fat; and mint, a calorie-free flavor enhancer.
In a large pitcher, combine:
- 8 cups of brewed green tea
- 1 tangerine, sliced
- A handful of mint leaves
Stir this delicious concoction up at night so all the flavors fuse together. Drink 1 pitcher daily for maximum metabolism-boosting results.
Defy Your 40s
In your 40s, you lose up to 10% of your muscle mass, which means you’re burning about 100 fewer calories a day than you did at age 30. In other words, less muscle mass equals more fat, and that equals more calorie storage. What’s more, after age 40, women lose muscle mass, which is tied to a drop in testosterone levels, twice as fast as men. But here’s the good news: you can eat certain foods to help naturally increase muscle.
To increase muscle mass, eat more protein, the building blocks of muscle. Roman beans are an excellent source, containing more protein than most other legumes. Eat 2-3 cups of these cooked beans each week.
Foods rich in vitamin D are essential for preserving muscle tissue. A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains almost 90% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin D (600 IU). Eat two 3.5 servings each week.
Broccoli rabe, a member of the cabbage family, is rich in iron, which carries oxygen to muscles, giving them energy. Sauté this dark green vegetable and then add lemon juice; the acid content helps speed iron absorption. Eat 1-2 cups of broccoli rabe each week.
Add Weight-bearing Exercise
To optimize the power of these foods, perform just 20-30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise a week.
Click here for a step-by-step guide to boosting your metabolism after 40.
Defy Your 50s
By age 50, you’re burning 200 fewer calories every day than you did at age 30. This is caused by estrogen loss that occurs during menopause. Unfortunately, your body turns to alternative sources, such as fat cells in the belly, which can produce estrogen. Fat cells grow bigger, resulting in an expanding waistline.
Women in their 50s need to consume alternative sources of estrogen, like phyto-estrogens, such as flaxseed. Consume 30 grams of flaxseed each day, which equals 2 teaspoons. Be sure to choose ground flaxseed for better absorption.
Sinless Watermelon Split
Split 2 bananas and top with 3 scoops of watermelon. Rich in water-content, watermelon keeps you feeling full and also contains arginine, an amino acid that helps your body naturally burn calories. Add a dollop of yogurt; a study shows that calcium and milk fat may reduce fat absorption from other foods. Top with a cup of blueberries; rich in polyphenols, blueberries help prevent fat tissue from forming in the body. Sprinkle with low-fat granola, for whole-grain fiber; and dark chocolate chips, which contain caffeine, an appetite suppressant.
- 2 bananas
- 3 scoops of watermelon
- 3 dollops of vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
- Low-fat granola
- Dark chocolate chips
Click here for Dr. Oz's 50s Prevention Guide, and learn what you can do to fight cancer, heart disease, exhaustion and the negative effects of menopause.