It’s no secret that your body experiences many changes as you age. It’s not a fun fact to hear, but according to ACE Fitness, it’s common for people to be less active, burn fewer calories, and therefore put on additional pounds as they get older. This makes staying fit at 50 and beyond pretty challenging. How do you get around it? Daily exercise is key, along with eating at a calorie deficit. The formula for gaining and losing body weight is pretty simple. You will gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you cut back on calories and burn more than you consume, you’ll lose those excess pounds. But that’s not all. There are some foods preventing you from losing weight after 50. If you want to see the scale move in your favor, learn what to keep off of your shopping list.
Cut back on foods that are high in sodium and saturated fats.
A study performed by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of individuals between 24 to 44 years of age reveals some discouraging news. The research found that men increase their body weight by 3.4% every 10 years, and women put on 5.2% of their body weight for the same time span. Want an example of just how much weight this is? According to ACE Fitness, a male weighing 170 pounds at 25 years old will typically weigh 182 pounds by the time he reaches 45 years of age. A 25-year-old female weighing 120 pounds will presumably weigh in around 133 pounds at 45 years of age. These weight gains, of course, assume no substantial improvements are made in diet or exercise over the 20-year period.
When it comes to eating, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests the optimum eating rule for older adults is to cut back on foods that are high in sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars, and opt for more whole grains, fruits, veggies, and dairy to boost the overall quality of your diet.
For more specifics, we spoke with Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who sits on our Medical Expert Board, and Keri Gans, RDN, podcast host of The Keri Report, Tate & Lyle Brand Ambassador, for some helpful information regarding the foods preventing you from losing weight after 50. It’s time to cut the following items from your diet pronto. You’ll start to see changes pretty quickly if you are consistent!
Ditch fruit drinks with added sugars.
Manaker points out, “Sure, starting your day with a sweet drink is delish. But drinking fruity drinks with added sugars can result in consuming empty calories and little nutrients. Instead, if you are a juice lover, leaning on 100% fruit juice, like 100% orange juice made from only squeezed oranges, can be a better solution.” She adds, “Studies report that children or adults who consume 100% orange juice are no more likely to be overweight or obese compared to those who do not consume orange juice. Observational data also has shown adults who consume 100% orange juice tend to have significantly lower body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, or body fat when compared to those who don’t drink orange juice.”
Stay away from baked goods.
Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious cake or freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for a snack? And how convenient is it to grab a quick muffin for breakfast when you’re in a rush? These carbs are not your friends, though, and including them in your daily rotation will cause you to gain weight.
Manaker has a great suggestion. “One easy way to cut back on the added sugar or fat in recipes is using prune puree. By combining 16 ounces of pitted prunes with 1/2 cup of hot water and blending them in a blender, you will have a nice substitute to include in recipes. Use prune purée to replace anywhere from one-third to half of the sugar in a recipe. To cut down on fat, replace up to half of the butter or oil with an equal amount of prune purée.”
Don’t slather your morning toast with jam or jelly.
According to Gans, most individuals in their 50s don’t realize that slathering jam or jelly on morning toast or an English muffin is essentially one or two big tablespoons of added calories at the start of your day. She says, “One easy way to keep things in check would be to buy a jam or jelly that contains sucralose which would add zero extra calories to the meal, but one could still enjoy the sweet taste.”