Need some meal inspo to help you lose weight over forty? Here are our tried and tested best quick meal tips to help you finally reach your goals.
One of the most common questions we get asked about how to lose weight over forty is: “What are the best quick meals to lose weight?”
We’ve worked with thousands of women in their 40s and 50s who’ve felt stuck because they didn’t know what to cook. With so much information out there on what recipes and diets to follow, they didn’t know which were the best quick meals to get the scales moving…
They’d tried all the normal things; keto, low carb, shake diets, “clean eating”, meal plans, slimming groups, online programmes, plant based, vegan… the list goes on! Yet, they all felt too difficult and time consuming – and didn’t give great results!
When you’re not seeing results it’s very hard to stay motivated, which is why a lot of women end up giving up. This leaves them stuck and unable to get their weight under control. They’re choosing clothes to cover up “problem areas” rather than wearing what they like – which is never a nice situation to be in!
Plus, these women are often worrying that this is just a part of the “ageing” process which they’ll have to accept. In our experience, this isn’t true.
The reason this happens is simple. Women’s bodies and hormones start to change as they get older, which can make it easier to gain weight (especially around the middle) and harder to lose it again with the “normal” methods of exercise.
But if you know the right nutrition approach? If you have a list of go-to, best quick meals to lose weight over forty, you can quickly and easily get the scales moving! Most of our clients drop 2 stone in as little as 12 weeks!
In our recent podcast episode, we reveal the best quick meals to lose weight for women over 40… so you can do exactly that!
What’s right for women over forty?
There are a couple of basic necessities for women over forty when it comes to proper nutrition. Here are our recommendations to base your quick meals around to lose weight over forty.
Your calories need to not be too high, as if you eat more than your body needs each day, you will gain weight. Equally, they need to not be too low! This will over-stress the body and stop you from losing weight. You can read more in our blog about cortisol here.
Essentially, your calories need to be just right for you, taking into consideration your age, hormonal situation and activity level. For most clients, this is around 300-450kcal per meal (plus 300-600 calories of snacks)!
Protein is essential for a healthy diet, especially as you get older; you need more of it, not less!
Studies actually had a look at people who ate a normal (low amount of protein) vs. those who ate double (not excessively high, a moderate amount). They found that those who ate double actually lost twice as much fat!
Protein digests very slowly, keeping you energised and full for hours. Plus, 25-30% of protein calories are also burned during digestion, meaning 100 calories of protein actually ends up being only 70-75 calories in your body!
Common protein sources include meat, fish, eggs, tofu, quorn, low fat cheese, beans and pulses. We recommend you aim to get a protein source with every meal! For most clients in our program, this is around 25-35g per meal
Like protein, fibre digests very slowly, keeping you energised and full for much longer. It also helps keep you regular, and usually helps with good gut health!
Fibre sources include colourful vegetables, avocado, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. We recommend you aim to get some source of fibre with every meal!
So, how do you translate this into the best quick meals that are right for women over forty?
Well, this will be unique to you. You can use a tool called the Iron Triangle to find out the right approach for you:
Healthy, Fast, Cheap
In project management, the Iron Triangle = Good, Fast, Cheap. And the same applies to diet! People want all three, however this is often impossible; leaving them stuck and confused about what to eat.
You can only pick two! So we recommend picking the two that are right for you…
Fast & Cheap:
Often, fast and cheap meals are unhealthy. Examples include takeaways, fast food, snacks & comfort food, high calorie ready meals, not filling meals e.g. soup.
As a result, it’s easy to eat too many calories – ultimately leading to weight gain. Additionally, you’ll eat too much processed food, which will shorten your healthy lifespan and ruin energy levels! Plus, when you don’t feel full, then you’ll likely overeat on snacks.
This method is best for people who don’t want to lose weight or don’t mind gaining weight!
Healthy & Cheap:
On the flip side, healthy and cheap meals are not fast. More time and higher cooking skills are required, which makes this selection great for those who like cooking (or are willing to learn)!
- Meal prepping: set aside time one day per week to cook a large batch of meals you can reheat during the week.
- Leftovers: always try to cook extra portions with whatever meal you make. This starts at the supermarket, so buy a pack of 8 chicken breasts if you only actually need 4!
This method is best for those with less disposable income or those who are trying to save money.
Healthy & Fast:
This option is not as cheap, and is great for those who don’t like cooking! Often, it needs an “investment” mindset with food and your body.
- Healthy ready meals e.g. M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s My Goodness, Morrisons Nourish
- Combine a quick pre-made option (e.g. grains sachet or salad) with a pre-cooked protein source (e.g. salmon, chicken, tofu bites) and vegetables (frozen veg, pre-mixed salad)
- A meal prep delivery service e.g. prep kitchen
This option is best for those who are short on time but have some disposable income.
The best quick meal option for you depends on your priorities and what’s right for you, but it must contain the right calories, protein and fibre!
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!