Are you feeling confused about how to lose weight after turning forty? Here are the best foods to eat to lose weight!
One of the most common questions we get asked about weight loss over 40 is: “What are the best foods to lose weight?”
We’ve worked with so many women in their forties and fifties who’ve felt stuck because they didn’t know what they should be eating. They were keen to get the scales moving, so they tried everything in the book. From keto, low carb and shake diets to meal plans and slimming groups… nothing seemed to work for them.
They’d step on the scales after a long week of “dieting” and see zero movement (or maybe even be heavier than before)! And when you’re not seeing results, it’s very hard to stay motivated. This is why a lot of women end up giving up.
This situation can often leave them feeling stuck and unable to get their weight under control. These women end up choosing clothes to cover up ‘problem areas’ rather than wearing what they like. They end up hating shopping for clothes because nothing fits quite right anymore!
A lot of the time, women in this situation end up worrying that this is just a part of the ageing process. However, in our experience this isn’t the case…
The reason this happens is simple: women’s bodies and hormones start to change as they get older. This can make it easier to gain weight (especially around the middle) and harder to lose it again with the “normal” methods of exercise.
But with the right nutrition approach?
By following the best foods to lose weight over forty, you can often make all the difference. By following a diet and lifestyle plan designed to work for women over forty… you can quickly and easily get the scales moving and drop two stone in as little as 12 weeks!
In our most recent podcast, we revealed the best foods to lose weight for women over forty. This way, you can do exactly that!
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods
This is a common mindset taught by mainstream diets, and it can be of great detriment to progress on the scale.
It can be a very unhealthy mindset to label foods as good or bad, as you end up seeing everything as black or white. In our experience, this can lead to throwing in the towel as soon as you’ve eaten a ‘bad’ food!
Instead, what we find works much better is to learn to read and understand nutrition labels. More specifically, the numbers and NOT just the traffic light system. Portion sizes are manipulated for the traffic light system, and they’re often tiny and unrealistic. Instead, you need to compare like-for-like. For example, comparing 100g of one yoghurt to another.
Start by learning to read the label, and compare calories, protein and sugars.
If you can’t do this, it’s almost like being illiterate; you’re at risk of getting conned by all the marketing on food labels that make it look healthy. In fact, you’d often be much better off with a cheaper option (or even more unhealthy looking option)!
We teach all our clients to do this inside our Fit Over 40 program. This way, they don’t have to rely on diets to lose weight any more! They can make food choices wherever they are which will work for them.
Avoid foods that are naturally high in calories and low in nutrition
These are typically foods that are high in fat AND simple carbs (like sugar or flour). We recommend avoiding:
- Beige foods, such as pastries, biscuits and pizza.
- And sugary foods, like chocolate
These are designed to light up your taste buds! This means it can be very hard to resist, so the more you eat these the more you want to keep munching. They’re not filling, as they digest very rapidly and you quickly want more.
For the high-achieving women over forty we work with, who are often sat down at a desk most of the day working… it doesn’t take eating many of these foods before they’ve undone all the other ‘healthy eating’ from the week.
It’s best to go ‘cold turkey’ for 1-2 weeks on these foods. This is a quick fix to eliminate cravings and break bad habits. We then recommend to reintroduce them in moderation, for example 1-2 times a week or 80% of the time.
We do this with members of our program using a process called the Diet Makeover. This stops them from craving these foods, and gets them into a healthier balance within a couple of weeks!
Eat foods that are higher in protein
Protein is a very filling food. It sends signals to the brain which stop you from feeling hungry, which is ideal for weight loss!
This means that, naturally, you’ll tend to eat less calories over the course of the day. You’ll see more movement on the scales without feeling as hungry.
In addition to this, 30% of the calories eaten from protein are taken up by digestion, so you only actually absorb 70% of the calories you put on your plate!
For women over forty in particular, it’s important to take in enough protein. It’s used by the body for growth and repair of your muscles.
One of the effects of ageing is a decrease in muscle mass. This, in turn decreases metabolism. So getting enough protein, in combination with weight based exercises (like the LIST training our clients do inside Fit Over 40) can help to prevent and reverse this. You’ll likely lose more body fat and feel stronger and more toned!
We recommend our clients get protein with every meal, so that they stay fuller for longer and they’re not tempted to snack.
Stick to foods that you don’t have a tendency to overeat
Some people have certain trigger foods that mean ‘once they pop they just can’t stop’! For example, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, cheese or wine.
These are often foods that are very high in calories, which means it doesn’t take long to have eaten more than you’re going to burn off that day. In essence, this means there’s no way you can lose weight.
If you know there’s a food or drink that’s like this for you… you’ll need to eliminate it from your diet if you really want to get the scales moving. However, to avoid making it totally boring it’s best to find a healthy substitute. For example:
– Instead of wine try a Single Slimline G&T. This is about a quarter of the calories, and you don’t feel drawn to drink the whole bottle!
– Instead of chocolate > low calorie hot chocolate & sugar free marshmallows. This is about 50 calories vs. 200-500 calories for a chocolate bar or sharing bag.
Avoid too much alcohol
Alcohol is very high in calories, and it’s not remotely filling (or nutritious).
Because of this, people don’t generally adjust their food intake to compensate for the extra calories from alcohol. This can quickly lead to gaining a load of extra weight!
For example, if you drink one glass of wine every evening… you’ll take in enough calories to gain around ⅓ of a pound of body fat every week. Over the course of a year, that could add up to more than a stone!
The approach we recommend for our clients inside Fit Over 40 is not to cut out alcohol completely. Instead, just make it fit in with your overall calorie allowance.
So, if they have an evening event coming up, they might have a smaller breakfast and lunch to allow themselves a bit more flexibility in the evening. This means they can have a couple of drinks, without it impacting their results!
If you’re interested in finding a long-term, sustainable diet designed for women over 40, you can find out more about working with us here!