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Simple Eating Habits For a Lean Body After 50, Say Dietitians

Making these small shifts can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

You're in your 50s now, and you're undergoing plenty of bodily changes each year. If you're trying to lose weight or achieve certain health goals, you may notice that it can seem more difficult with every passing year.

While there are age-related changes that you can't control, there are plenty of things you can do in your daily life to help you in your personal health goals as you get older.

One of the most significant changes that occur when you age is with your metabolism, so eating the right foods and taking on healthy eating habits is crucial for weight loss.

"Your metabolism will change, and because of this, your nutrition needs will be different," says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma.

Here are the healthy eating habits that can help you have a lean body after 50, and for more healthy aging tips, make sure to check out The #1 Best Diet After 50.

Including high-protein foods.

Courtesy Le Creme de la Crumb

One issue that many people have as they get older is that they may not eat as much throughout the day as they're used to. Why you may assume this would naturally result in a "lean body," that's not always the case.

"Many older people do not get enough protein in their diet, which can lead to muscle loss," says Clair. "Muscle naturally burns more calories throughout the day-meaning that more muscle mass equals faster metabolism overall."

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Eat fewer calories at night.

man eating leftover pizza as a late night snack

If you're someone who finds themselves forgetting to eat certain meals throughout the day, or not getting enough essential nutrients through the food you're eating, you may be feeling hungrier in the evening hours. According to Clair, snacking late at night can have negative effects on your health and body weight.

"Studies show time and time again that reducing caloric intake before sleeping can lead to sustained weight loss," says Clair. "As the metabolism changes with age, this can be even more prominent. Have more balanced meals throughout the day and skip heavy nighttime snacks to help the waistline."

Focus on plants and whole foods.

vegetables and fruits

Another simple change to make to your diet after 50 is shifting your focus to eating more whole, plant-based foods. According to Ellen Albertson, PhD, RDN, not only will you feel more satiated because you're getting more nutrients, but "many plants also contain substances known as phytochemicals that can help ease menopause symptoms."

Studies have shown a connection between processed foods and weight gain, so switching your focus toward whole foods and away from processed food is always a good idea, regardless of age.

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Move around when you can.

middle aged couple walking outdoors
Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

Because your metabolism is changing as you age, it's important to pair a healthy diet with plenty of movement throughout the day. However, this can be especially difficult if you spend most of your day sitting.

"Sitting all day negatively impacts your metabolism and weight," says Albertson. "Try getting a standing desk and/or move around throughout the day when you can. You'll burn more calories and improve your energy level and health."

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha