Linda Melone
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5 Rules for losing weight after 50 – tips from a sports nutritionist (Part 1)

Figuring out what to eat to lose weight after 50 is like doing a Rubik’s cube with your hands behind your back. (Actually someone’s done this – see link at the end of this post). Every time you think you’ve found the magic combination it ends up in one of three ways:

  1. 93-1113tm-vector2-2711You’re so cranky from lack of carbs that you lost your friends and family along with those 10 pounds.
  1. You did great until you came face-to-face with the dessert bar at your friend’s wedding and still can’t get all the icing out of your hair.
  1. You’re so sick of green drinks that the only things you want to whirl into a blender at this point are a slice of pizza, beer and a donut.

Dilemmas abound: 

peeled boiled eggs in colorful cups with rosemary, silverware, bread on white napkin

Eat breakfast or not? 

Full fat or fat-free?

Paleo or Krispy Kreme?

So, in light of other articles I’ve written on the subject, I thought I’d talk to my good friend, author and sports nutritionist for the Dallas Cowboys, Amy Goodson.

(You may also like: What REALLY makes you fat.. and it’s not dessert, gluten or carbs!)

Granted, you can’t eat like a linebacker and expect to lose weight, but Amy works with many women in her private practice and is diligent about her own diet. “I was 11 pounds when I was born, so I’ve always had to be good with my diet,” she told me.

Without further ado, check out my interview from Amy Goodson, MS, RD, co-author of Swim, Bike, Run – Eat (2014)… Part I (check out Part II next week!)

Me: What have you seen in your own practice in women who try to lose weight after 50? Is it different than trying to lose weight earlier in life?

AmySurprisingly, the same rules hold true. You have to eat less and work out hard, there’s simply no way around it. I have a 63-year old client who wanted to lose weight. She started walking 15,000 steps a day and cut back on her food and lost 44 pounds. It proves you can lose weight if you move more and eat less. I see it all the (1)

Me: What are your best tips for weight loss for women over 50 – some of the mistakes?

Amy: Here are my top five suggestions…

  1. Focus on smaller and more frequent meals and eat more earlier in the day (Amy told me her breakfast is often her biggest meal of the day).
  1. Don’t fear fat Healthy fats like omega-3s, found in foods like walnuts, salmon, grass-fed beef, edamame, flaxseed oil and enriched eggs help keep you full longer. You have to use portion control, however. Think of fat as “garnish” for your plate –a slice of avocado, tablespoon or two of peanut butter, a tablespoon of olive oil on your veggies, etc. 
  1. Get your carbs in earlier in the day and around the time you exercise, then switch to more protein, veggies and healthy fats in the evening.
  1. Do extra exercise to counterbalance big weekend dinners, nights/events where you drink alcohol, vacations, etc. 
  1. Be sure to include protein in the morning. In fact, a study from the University of Missouri showed that eating 30 grams of protein at breakfast kept people fuller longer and less hungry throughout the day compared with those who ate a low-protein breakfast (e.g. muffin, pastry or other dessert disguised as breakfast) or who skipped breakfast altogether. 

High-protein breakfast foods that add up to 30 grams:

2 whole eggs + 6 oz. Greek yogurt with berries and honey

Whole-wheat tortilla + 2 egg whites + 1 whole egg + 2 oz. turkey sausage

Me: What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of the Paleo diet? (This diet includes mainly meat, fish, vegetables and fruit and shuns dairy, grains and processed foods.)

Amy: On the upside Paleo is rich in fruits, vegetables and protein, which helps people feel full faster. It also cuts out processed foods and junk food.

But on the negative it’s also low in whole grains, which are rich in nutrients and fiber (which you’d find in oats, brown rice, quinoa, couscous and sweet potato). Since it eliminates dairy it’s also low in calcium, which is essential to maintain bone mineral density in women over 50 who need 1,200 mg daily; this translates to 3 to 4 servings of dairy.

Lastly, it’s often hard to follow long term and people often revert back to what they did before.

Next week Amy and I delve into other nutrition-related tips, so stay tuned!

Like this interview? Let me know in the comments below….

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Look for the second part of my chat with Amy in next week’s newsletter. Until then, stay, fit, fab… and ageless!



Rubik’s Cube puzzle solve

About the Author Linda Melone

Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.

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Leave a Comment:

Brenda Falter says

I do all this already and still have trouble losing. It has taken me over 6 months to lose 17 lbs. I do Paleo and treadmill for 60 min. at least 5x a week.

    Linda Melone says

    Brenda, 17 pounds is progress, though! When you take it off slower you’re more likely to keep it off, so great job! Try switching out your cardio by doing other modalities or including intervals a few days a week. Often that’s enough to get the ball rolling again :).

Carol says

You don’t need to consume dairy to get your calcium.
I hope she has some ideas for those of us who don’t consume animal products.

    Linda Melone says

    You’re right, Carol. The following foods are great non-dairy sources of calcium: collard greens, broccoli, kale, edamame, bok choy, figs, oranges, white beans, almonds, tofu and okra.

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