Why does this popular plan work? For one thing, it pushes wildly healthy staples to the forefront (think: nuts, vegetables, fruit, olive oil). For another, it's simply delicious, thanks to it's focus on fresh, simply prepared dishes like grilled fish with lemon and whole wheat pita with hummus. Science agrees: One meta-review of 16 studies, found the eating M.O. helped those on it lose an average of 8.5 pounds.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re getting enough protein, adds Dr. Keith Ayoob, an associate clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He says most people after the age of 50 do typically eat a decent amount of protein, but not always early in the day when they most need it. The same is true for calcium and vitamin D, so he recommends loading up with a balanced breakfast each day and enjoying items like Greek yogurt and milk to make up the difference. Some research even indicates that a high-protein breakfast can directly impact weight management or weight loss, too.
“A study published in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate foods high in monounsaturated fats for lunch (in this case, half an avocado) reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. Monounsaturated fats from sources like olive oil, nuts and avocados can reduce cholesterol, promote weight loss, even boost memory.” — David Zinczenko, author of the Zero Belly Cookbook
About: Who is Kristin? It can be tough to tell. The “about” section of her blog is empty, and finding her name so we could peg an author involved a deep dive into the blog archives. But one thing we do know...Kristin’s blog is deep. Very deep. It’s her innermost feelings, struggles, emotions with how her weight makes her feel, her low self confidence and her constant highs and lows. It’s the kind of blog that sucks you in from the moment you start reading, the kind of blog that tells you, “whoa, this person is really pouring her heart out.” And it’s Kristen’s level of vulnerability that makes her so appealing, that makes her one of the most powerful weight loss bloggers on our list. Whatever pain your weight loss struggles have caused you, you’re sure to relate to Kristen.
On top of exercise, it’s nutrition. I believe they go hand in hand. In the beginning, improving nutrition was just as hard as improving fitness, except for sometimes now I think nutrition is more challenging. Exercising was just 1 - 1.5 hours a day of busting your butt, but nutrition was the remaining 22 hours, so there were way more opportunities to fall short or not eat as well as I could. However, because I think it is important to be optimistic, I will say that there were 22 hours a day to nourish my body with good and healthy foods. It just took me a long time to figure out the best way to do that (and just to clarify, I'm still figuring it out.)
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, beans, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.
Authors’ Contribution:Study concept and design: Damoon Ashtary-Larky; field, experimental, and clinical work, and data collection: Damoon Ashtary-Larky, Nasrin Lamuchi-Deli, Mehdi Boustaninejad, Seyedeh Arefeh Payami, and Sara Alavi-Rad; data analysis and interpretation: Matin Ghanavati and Amir Abbasnezhad; preparation of the draft, revisions or providing critique: Meysam Alipour; overall and/or sectional scientific management: Reza Afrisham.
What’s one poor decision that David sees people over the age of 50 making all the time? Skipping meals, most likely because of a decreased metabolism. “As we age, our hormones change,” she says. “Estrogen and testosterone gradually decrease over time, which leads to fat accumulation due to the body not processing sugar, as well. We also lose more muscle mass as we age, causing our resting metabolic rate to decrease. However, skipping meals can cause you to be deficient in important key nutrients needed as we age, such as overall calories and protein. Eating regularly throughout the day and getting enough calories/protein will help with higher energy levels and maintain muscle mass, which means a higher metabolism.”
About: Jade’s 6+ years of experience blogging means, at first glance, we would have passed right over her for this list. But it’s her recent debut into weight loss and healthy living blogging that caught our eye. Jade lives in Singapore, and just looking at Jade’s photos, it’s hard to imagine her as ever being overweight. But in 2012, she was unhappy with the way she looked, a feeling she’d had her whole life. Then the thought occurred to her that she had the power to change it. A total lifestyle overhaul and 44 pounds later, and Jade’s story is a success we can all admire.
After a cancer diagnosis sent her normally healthy lifestyle off-course, flight attendant Tracey Z. Dickson was heavier than she had ever been. When she was declared cancer-free, she hopped back on the treadmill and got her diet in order—and went from 158 pounds to 117. One of her diet secrets? "Instead of dessert, I'll have a baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon," she says. "It tastes like I'm eating sweet potato pie, but for a ton less calories." For more healthy ideas on how to get your sugar fix, check out these desserts with 150 calories (or less).
Amselem tells her clients to strive for a combination of aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, or dancing for 45 minutes each day with strength training exercises three times a week. She also likes yoga (for balance), stretching, and relaxation. Dr. Ayoob concurs and wishes more people would prioritize daily activity—like low-impact cardio workouts on the stair climber or elliptical machines—in order to send their bodies a message to keep moving. (Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.)
Most women will need to eat and drink fewer calories and get the right amount of healthy foods to lose weight. Increasing exercise or physical activity may help with weight loss, but choosing healthy foods (lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits) is what works best for many people to achieve a healthy weight.1 Combining healthy eating with increased physical activity is best. Talk to your doctor or nurse before starting any weight-loss program. He or she can work with you to find the best way for you to lose weight.