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A Healthy, High-Protein, Weight-Loss Diet for Adults Over 50

by
author image Holly Alastra
Holly Alastra is a registered dietitian with a Master of Science in counseling. She has worked in the nutrition field since 1996, writing and editing nutrition newsletters for schools and health-care facilities. Alastra has expertise in the areas of general nutrition, weight management and eating disorders.
A Healthy, High-Protein, Weight-Loss Diet for Adults Over 50
A healthy entree of salmon, potatoes and broccoli on the dinner table. Photo Credit martinturzak/iStock/Getty Images

A high-protein diet for weight loss can work for some people over 50 years old, but it’s not for everyone. High-protein diets typically restrict carbohydrates. You may lose more weight on these types of diets during the first six months than conventional low-calorie diets. However, there is no significant difference in weight loss after one year.

Proceed at Your Own Risk

The American Dietetic Association suggests caution in following high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets even for short periods of time if you have osteoporosis, kidney disease or elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, commonly called "bad" cholesterol. A high-protein diet can exacerbate these conditions, all of which tend to occur more often in people over 50 than in younger populations.

Consider a Modified High-protein Diet

Include a few more carbohydrates than traditional high-protein diets allow. Men over 50 should eat at least 130 grams of carbohydrates each day, which is the minimum amount needed for proper brain function. This amount of carbohydrates allows for a well-balanced diet while still keeping your total calories low. You cannot eat as much as you did when you were younger, so no matter what you eat, you will need to reduce your serving sizes in order to lose weight.

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Choose Lean Meat

Men over 50 have a higher risk of suffering a heart attack than the general population. Eating a lot of high-fat meat can increase your risk even further. The fat in meat is primarily saturated fat, a less healthy type of fat that contributes to high cholesterol. Choose meats like poultry without the skin and lean cuts of beef or pork. Unlike meat, the fattier the fish, the better for your heart. Eat fish like salmon or trout a couple of times a week for a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Get Your Fiber

Men older than 50 need 30 g of fiber per day. Fiber may reduce your risk for certain types of cancer, helps prevent constipation, is good for your heart and aids in feelings of fullness after you eat, which can help you lose weight. Good sources of fiber are whole grains, fruit, vegetables and dried beans. These foods are also high in phytochemicals, components that can help humans fight off disease. This is especially important for men over 50, as your risk for many chronic diseases increases with advancing age.

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References

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