Fad diets may work in the short-term, but only if you work really hard at it. In the end, it’s usually impossible to stay on a prescribed diet forever, and the minute you go off and go back to your former eating habits, the weight comes right back on in spades.
The best way to lose weight, and keep it off, is to make lifestyle changes that become a habit. Small changes can add up to big changes. Each week you can adopt one of these new lifestyle habits, and in six months, you’re all but guaranteed to be lighter on your feet, feeling and looking amazing.
1. Reduce processed foods. One of the worst culprits for weight gain is processed foods. Try to stick with whole foods like fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and lean proteins.
2. Lift weights. The more muscle you build, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn. Lift at least twice a week for the best results.
3. Do intervals. A huge body of research shows that intervals–alternating between easy cardio and high-intensity cardio–burn more calories and fat than straight cardio.
4. Eat more protein. Protein makes you feel fuller, and it also revs up your metabolism. Eat protein regularly throughout the day. Think eggs, nuts and seeds, cheese, and yogurt.
5. Supplement with krill oil. Studies show that mice fed diets high in omega-3 fats accumulate significantly less body fat. Stonehenge Health’s Antarctic Krill Oil is a powerful omega-3 supplement and contains free radical-fighting antioxidants.
6. Start your meals with a salad. Fill up on a little bulk ahead of eating the main course, and you’ll eat fewer calories at each meal and get the benefits of all those extra vitamins and minerals.
7. Ditch the soda. If you normally drink two sodas a day, quitting soda alone will net you a loss of almost a pound each week. It’s an easy way to lose 10-20 lbs. Try unsweetened tea, water, or low sugar kombucha as alternatives to soda.
8. Eat breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast–even if it’s just a handful of nuts and a slice of cheese–revs up your metabolism and helps fill you up until lunch time and can prevent morning unhealth snack cravings.
9. Stand more. Standing desks are becoming increasingly popular as research shows that those who sit all day are at higher risk of obesity and a wide range of diseases. If you don’t stand, at least get up every hour and move for three to five minutes to keep the blood flowing. A tracking devices like an Apple Watch or Fitbit can help keep you on track.
10. Sneak in exercise. The more you move, the more you lose, period. Park far away, take the stairs, take the long way at home and at work, and whenever you think about it, move your body a little. It all adds up.
11. Replace the starch with veggies. Swapping the rice or potatoes with some steamed, roasted, or otherwise prepared vegetables can save you quite a few calories and carbs.
12. Eschew the fryer. Instead of frying food, bake or roast it whenever possible. Fried foods are categorically unhealthy, and they can quickly sabotage your weight loss efforts. Indulge now and then, but for everyday purposes, baking is the way to go.
13. Ditch the designer coffees. Those fancy coffee drinks do more than put a dent in your wallet: They also add lots of calories to your week. Develop a taste for plain coffee, maybe add a little half and half, but avoid coffee with loads of extra added sugar.
14. Split a meal. When you go out to eat, split a meal with your date. Portion control is important when you’re looking to lose weight, and huge restaurant portions can do you in if you eat out a lot, plus you’ll save money while you’re at it.
15. Eat more slowly. Eating quickly fills you up before your brain gets the “full” signal. Eat more slowly so that you’ll get the full signal sooner, saving lots of calories.
16. Take a probiotic. Probiotics like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics are good for gut health, and they impact your overall health, too. Research shows that probiotics may increase levels of a protein that leads to decreased fat storage, and they may reduce inflammation to protect against obesity.
17. Don’t buy junk food. Shop when you’re full so that you won’t be tempted by your favorite junk foods. Indulge on special occasions, but most of the time, avoid the chips, candy, soda, and pastries.
18. Exercise for a half hour most days. Try to get at least a half hour of exercise five days a week for optimal weight loss. You can break your time up into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions and get the same benefits.
19. Sleep. Adequate, healthy sleep is crucial for having the energy and mindfulness to exercise and eat healthy food. Strive for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
20. Cut yourself some slack. Feeling bad about your food choices can lead to stress eating and other bad habits. Be kind to yourself. Try to make each day healthier than the day before. When you don’t, forgive yourself. There’s always tomorrow.
Weight loss after 50 isn’t as easy as it was in our younger days. Set reasonable weight loss goals for your body’s age, type and size. Consider your weight loss journey a series of small lifestyle changes that will, over time, add up to a healthier, slimmer you.