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The Age-Proof Diet

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spinach-quiche

In your 30s: Breakfast

What you need: A jump-start to an already packed schedule.

How to get it: Lean protein (like egg whites) will boost energy, and slow-digesting whole grains will keep you full during marathon mornings.

Recipes you'll love:
• Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
• Spinach-Ricotta Omelet
• Mediterranean Breakfast Couscous

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pizza-whole-wheat-crust

In your 30s: Lunch

What you need: Energy to handle insane hours at the office, young children at home, or any other stress factor.

How to get it: You don't have to eat like a rabbit to get essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidant-rich veggies like tomatoes and bell peppers make great additions to salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. To avoid a mid-afternoon meltdown, choose low-fat dairy products that will keep you satiated.

Recipes you'll love:
• Fontina, Olive, and Tomato Pizza with Basil Whole Wheat Crust
• Grilled Salmon and Spinach Salad
• White Pizza

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black-bean-beef

In your 30s: Dinner

What you need: A filling dinner that is low in calories but high in the nutrients you may have missed during the day.

How to get it: Lean beef is a great source of iron that many women lack, especially when they're menstruating. Get folate (which may lower risk for cervical cancer) through fresh vegetables, such as asparagus.

Recipes you'll love:
• Black Bean Beef With Green Beans
• Pappardelle With Asparagus and Salmon
• Beef Kebabs

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wholesome-morning-granola

In your 40s: Breakfast

What you need: Food that makes you happy. A woman's happiness begins to decline in her 40s, so offset the blues with magnesium, which helps produce serotonin (the chemical that regulates mood).

How to get it: Nuts (such as almonds) and unrefined grains (such as rolled oats) are full of magnesium. Plus, they're both heart healthy.

Recipes you'll love:
• Wholesome Morning Granola
• Chai Oatmeal
• Fuzzy-Navel Smoothies

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avocado-sandwich

In your 40s: Lunch

What you need: Lean lunches full of foods that can battle chronic diseases. Eating the right foods can cut back on your risk.

How to get it: Monounsaturated fat, found in avocados, lowers blood pressure. Make sure to get plenty of antioxidants (aka cancer fighters) through foods like tomatoes, blueberries, and black beans.

Recipes you'll love:
• Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches
• Quick Roasted-Vegetable Fajitas
• Grilled Chicken Salad with Avocado and Mango

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seared-ahi-tuna

In your 40s: Dinner

What you need: High-protein meals that will stop your stomach from growling without wrecking your fight to maintain a healthy weight.

How to get it: Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids are not only helpful in warding off cardiovascular disease, but they're also diet-approved. Try to incorporate whole grains to get figure-friendly fiber.

Recipes you'll love:
• Seared Ahi Tuna With Fresh Snap Peas
• Apple Spinach Chicken
• Mojo Turkey Tacos

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vanilla-lemon-berry-parfaits

In your 50s and beyond: Breakfast

What you need: Filling starter meals that are low in calories but full of bone-density–building calcium.

How to get it: Yogurt is rich in calcium and the perfect mixer for fruits, nuts, and other heart-healthy foods. Try to mix in resistant starch, like green bananas, to ward off menopausal weight gain.

Recipes you'll love:
• Vanilla Lemon Berry Parfaits
• Tropical Fruit Parfaits
• Banana-Oat Muffins

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creamy-caesar-salad

In your 50s and beyond: Lunch

What you need: An energy-rich lunch full of omega-3 fatty acids (thought to boost circulation and mood).

How to get it: Seafood is a great way to get lean protein and omega-3s. Just make sure to avoid the fatty sauces and creams that often come with it.

Recipes you'll love:
• Creamy Caesar Salad With White Beans
• Shrimp and Asparagus Salad
• Baja Fish Tacos

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whole-wheat-pasta

In your 50s and beyond: Dinner

What you need: Nutrient-dense food that fulfills your dietary guidelines without going over your recommended 1,600-calorie limit.

How to get it: Fruits like apricots are rich in potassium, and leafy green veggies contain vitamin K and calcium. And make sure to get plenty of beans—people who eat them may have fewer wrinkles.

Recipes you'll love:
• Whole Wheat Pasta With Spicy Tomato Pesto and Winter Greens
• Winter Salad With Pistachios and Dried Apricots
• Triple Bean Salad

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