Are You Making These Diet Mistakes?

If you’re trying to lose weight and having problems getting those last few pounds off, you’re not alone. The metabolism slows down as we get older which can add up to around 40 extra pounds for a great percentage of women by the time they are in their 50’s just by putting on one and a half pounds a year. As we age, hormone changes, loss of muscle and stress all affect metabolism. It’s not hopeless though. By adding metabolism boosting foods to the diet, supporting the digestive process and employing other healthy tips to lose weight we can get those few extra stubborn pounds off. 

Tips to Lose Weight
It only makes sense that if you are trying to lose weight, you have to reduce the number of calories you are eating. That doesn’t mean going on a crash diet though or eating so few calories that you aren’t getting the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy. According to Dan Benardot, PhD, RD, not eating enough for your body to function properly can slow the metabolism down even more. If you are over 40 years of age and having trouble losing that extra weight, eat meals of about 400 calories and eat to satiate hunger rather than stuffing yourself to full. Experts also agree that eating smaller meals every 3 to 4 hours can help you keep from getting hungry and avoid eating too much later. It is also important to get enough exercise to help burn off calories, but too much exercise according to registered dietician, Manuel Villacorta, can end up doing more damage than help. The proper amount of good quality sleep is also important to weight loss as not enough sleep tends to slow metabolism and affect hormones that affect weight loss. Research has shown that not enough sleep can cause people to eat as much as 500 extra calories daily. 

Metabolism Boosting Foods
You may think that if you’re trying to lose weight you have to cut out all fats, but to function properly your body needs protein, carbs and fats. Not the bad saturated and transfats though. Those you can definitely cut out. But don’t skip the good healthy omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that you get from foods such as nuts, fish, avocados, olives and dairy. Your brain needs these type of fats to function well, you need them to fuel the body for energy, to build body cells and hormones. These fats do have calories though so don’t overeat these types of foods, just make sure you get some in every day. High fiber foods are also metabolism boosters. You can get the fiber you need plus lots of good vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals by eating whole grain foods, veggies and fruits. Studies show that eating around 25 grams of high fiber foods a day can help you burn off around 30% fat. Caffeine can also help you burn fat as it boosts your metabolism and can help burn off up to 174 calories daily. Just avoid adding in creamers, flavors and sugars that add more calories into your diet. Many people think the answer to dieting lies in eating salads, but this isn’t necessarily true according to Manuel Villacorta, from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as this doesn’t provide the carbs needed to control the hormones that regulate hunger. Adding some brown rice, lentils or garbanzo beans to your salad can help get some carbs in and be sure to avoid adding fatty dressing or other high calorie ingredients to your salad.

Digestion and Weight Loss
Another consideration when trying to lose weight is your digestive health. Much of the foods we eat are lacking in digestive enzymes causing us to not fully digest them. Undigested foods then build up in the intestines and appear as belly fat. Adding a good quality digestive enzyme supplement and probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus can help support your digestion and keep food moving through the intestines. Another good enzyme supplement has the added bonus of cayenne and other ingredients that can increase metabolism, burn fat, digest a broad spectrum of substances, and clean up waste in the body.

You can take control of your weight and drop those extra pounds even if your aging metabolism is working against you. Make some diet changes, work in a reasonable amount of exercise and most of all keep eating healthy and supporting your digestive process so that your body is able to do the best job it can for you.

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