Eating Habits That Speed Up Belly Fat Loss In Your 60s, Say Dietitians — Eat This Not That

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Finding healthy, sustainable ways to lose weight can be difficult at any age. With fad diets and “quick” fixes all around us, it can start to feel like those are the only good options for successful weight loss. But regardless of your age, there are safe and long-lasting habits you can adopt in order to meet your goals in a healthy way.

We wanted to learn more about safe and effective weight loss habits for people in their 60s, since this decade brings many bodily changes that can affect weight loss such as metabolism and lifestyle shifts. In order to do this, we talked with a few expert dietitians to get their advice on simple eating habits that can help!

After, for more healthy aging tips, check out 4 Eating Habits of the Oldest People in America.

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People may often assume that eating less is the key to weight loss, but this simply isn’t true. In fact, getting enough calories becomes even more important as you age, regardless of your weight loss goals.

“Eating often is actually a key to weight and fat loss! Think of your metabolism like a fire; in order to get a fire blazing you have to light it. Then, to keep it burning, you add small amounts of wood every few hours. The same is true with metabolism, you need to jumpstart it with breakfast, then keep it burning by eating small, frequent meals every few hours. Eating more often will help you manage hunger and fullness, ultimately helping you manage portion sizes and the amount of calories you consume,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our expert medical board.

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Protein is one of the most important nutrients for healthy weight loss after 60, so getting enough of it on a daily basis can help you reach your goals.

“Protein helps slow down digestion, so it helps you get full faster and stay full longer,” says Goodson.”Eating protein at each of your meals and snacks can help you feel more satiated throughout the day, helping you manage your caloric intake. To lose belly fat, or fat of any kind, there has to be a deficit in calories from what it takes to maintain your weight. So adding more protein can help you feel more full in spite of fewer calories. Consider eggs at breakfast, Greek yogurt and string cheese for snacks, then adding nutrient-rich, high-quality protein like beef, salmon, or poultry to your lunch and dinner.”

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Another important key to healthy weight loss as you age is something called resistant starch, which is a carbohydrate that isn’t digested in your small intestine.

“Incorporating foods with a good amount of resistant starch in your diet is helpful for achieving a flatter belly,” says Kara Landau, RD, founder of Uplift-Good Mood Food. “As resistant starch moves through the digestive tract, it’s fermented by the beneficial bacteria living in your gut. The by-products from this fermentation process help improve the insulin response and decrease fat storage around the waist. Consuming foods high in resistant starch on a daily basis will help you see results in a short period of time and is as simple as enjoying overnight oats in the morning, snacking on cashew nuts or Prebiotic Bliss Bites during the day, or adding legumes and lentils to salads or soups for a light evening meal.”

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Fiber is absolutely necessary for maintaining your overall health, especially as you age. And for those wanting to meet some of their weight loss goals after the age of 60, fiber is going to play an important role.

“Consuming a high-fiber diet can help with achieving a flat stomach for those in their 60’s and beyond because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer so you don’t overeat, and also supports gut health to reduce bloating and keep things moving along the digestive tract,” says Landau. “Although only 50% of Americans meet the recommended daily fiber intake of 25 to 30 grams per day, there are some very simple strategies to incorporate more fiber into your diet so you can meet this target daily.”

“To reach half your daily fiber target by breakfast, crush these Gut Happy Cookies over a probiotic packed greek yogurt or enjoy them as a digestive biscuit,” Landau continues. “If you’re more of a grazer, snacking on fruits, nuts, and seeds is an easy solution, as are these Prebiotic Puffs, which are the highest fiber Puffs on the market, providing a whopping 8 grams per 120 calorie serving.”

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And lastly, consuming fatty fish that is also high in protein can help you age in a healthy way while also helping you meet your weight loss goals.

“Eating foods high in protein is often recommended for those trying to lose belly fat,” says Bianca Tamburello, RDN, with the Chilean Salmon Marketing Council. “The added benefit of choosing a protein like salmon (a fatty fish) is that it’s also high in omega-3s, which are healthy fats associated with satiety and regulation of hunger hormones. In addition, salmon has a good amount of vitamin D, a hard-to-find nutrient that’s linked to decreased belly fat.”

“As a registered dietitian, I recommend choosing salmon from Chile because it’s low in mercury, considered the best choice, and is responsibly raised. Eating more fatty fish and seafood is a great place to start on your weight loss journey because most adults 60 and older do not eat the recommended 2 to 3 servings of seafood per week.”

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