Fit at Any Age: How to Lose 10 Pounds in Your 30s, 40s and 50s

Shave 500 calories a day to lose a pound a week. So, if your weight holds steady at 2,000 calories a day, cut back to 1,500 calories a day to drop 10 pounds in 10 weeks.


In your 30s
Shave 500 calories a day to lose a pound a week. So, if your weight holds steady at 2,000 calories a day, cut back to 1,500 calories a day to drop 10 pounds in 10 weeks.

Your diet dos (and donts):
Dont splurge with the kids. "Maybe you eat cookies every time your child does," says Bernadette Latson, RD, an associate professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. By cutting these calories, she explains, youll lose.

It helps you keep weight and eating top of mind, says Howard J. Eisenson, MD, director of the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina, and co-author of The Duke Diet.

Halve the hunger. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that when people ate apples 15 minutes before lunch, they took in 190 fewer calories than when they didnt.

In your 40s
To adapt to your slowing metabolism, cut 4 percent of your daily calories. (So if youve maintained your 30s weight at 2,000 calories daily, shave 80 calories off now.) To lose a pound a week, cut 500 more.

Your diet dos (and donts):
Sweat the small stuff. "Skip chips at lunch and cut 100 calories," Latson says. Replace soda with water, cut 100 more.

Break out the breakfast. "Make it a third of your calories," Latson says. Combine lean proteins with high-fiber carbs to keep you satisfied all morning long.

Stick with your knitting. "When youre stressed, you have a 'hunger' for something soothing," Eisenson says. Try other ways to unwind, from knitting to meditating.

In your 50s
Your metabolisms still dipping. Shave another 75 off your daily calories to maintain. Cut 500 calories a day to lose a pound weekly.

Your diet dos (and donts):
Sip the bubbly. "Drink wine with seltzer so you can have volume without all the calories," says Deborah Clegg, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Obesity Research Center at the University of Cincinnati.

Celebrate soy. Work in two servings of soy a day. Swapping equal amounts of soy for the milk or meat you usually eat can help you lose weight, according to research recently published in the journal Obesity Reviews.

Eat by the clock. Try to eat meals at regular times. "If you surprise your body with an unscheduled meal, your glucose and insulin rise higher than normal, leading to the storage of extra calories as fat," Clegg says.

Dorothy Foltz-Gray
Last Updated: April 21, 2008

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