Weight loss begins to seem like a laborious upwards trek when you cross 30. As tedious as it may sound, losing weight for women over 30 is entirely possible, and incorporating a high-protein diet may yield the results you want to see. Pairing this diet with thirty minutes of physical activity can lead to surprising results.
- Benefits of a high protein diet for women over 30
- High protein food options for women over 30
- Meal planning and preparation
Benefits of a high protein diet for women over 30
At this point, you’ve either read too much about dieting, or you’re going into this without much information. Either way, a protein-rich diet is extremely beneficial for a plethora of reasons:
- Protein helps to preserve muscle mass:
As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass, which can slow down our metabolism. Eating a diet that is high in protein can help preserve muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and make it easier to lose weight.
- Protein helps to keep you feeling full:
Protein is known to be more satiating than carbohydrates or fats, which can help reduce feelings of hunger and prevent overeating.
- Protein may boost weight loss:
Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates or fats, which means that it takes more energy to digest it. This can help to boost weight loss.
- Protein may help to decrease body fat:
A high-protein diet may help to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass, which can improve overall body composition.
- Women over 30 may have less muscle mass and more body fat than younger women:
Eating a diet that is high in protein may help to preserve muscle mass and decrease body fat, which can make it easier to lose weight.
It’s important to keep in mind that a high protein diet alone may not be enough for weight loss, it’s also important to focus on portion control, incorporating strength training, staying hydrated, and being mindful of additional calorie intake. It’s always best to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new diet, especially if you have any health conditions or concerns.
High protein food options for women over 30
As a woman over 30, you’re probably looking for protein sources that are compatible with your lifestyle. The following is a list of sources of protein that you can add to your diet, alongside some tips on how the incorporation could work as a meal:
- Lean meats:
Chicken, turkey, lean beef, pork tenderloin, and fish like salmon or tuna are good sources of protein.
Eggs are a great source of protein and can be enjoyed in many different ways, such as scrambled, boiled, or made into an omelet.
Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and skim milk are good sources of protein that are also low in fat.
Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are good sources of protein and are also high in fiber, which can help keep you feeling full.
- Nuts and seeds:
Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds are good sources of protein and healthy fats.
- Tofu and tempeh:
These are good sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
It’s essential to keep in mind that a high-protein diet should be balanced with other nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.
You can also use the Healthi app for guidance. Not only can you enter your specific details to get tailor-made plans, but you can also use the app to count your calories, track your progress, and utilize the BITE system to better understand which food items are the most beneficial for you.
Meal planning and preparation
Meal prepping is a great way for you to ensure you’re getting enough protein in your diet, while also keeping your schedule in mind. For instance, a sample meal plan for a high-protein diet for women over 30 who want to lose weight could include Greek yogurt with berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds for breakfast, a turkey salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a sprinkle of nuts for lunch, grilled chicken breast with roasted vegetables, a side of quinoa and salad for dinner, and hard-boiled eggs, a small serving of nuts, or a protein shake for snacking. Other ways to keep your prep air-tight are as follows:
- Pre-plan your meals:
Before you go grocery shopping, plan out your meals for the week ahead of time. This will help you make sure you have all the ingredients you need and that you’re getting a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats (and don’t forget those fruits and veggies!).
- Cook in bulk:
Cooking in bulk can save you time and make it easier to stick to your diet. Try cooking a large batch of chicken, fish, or beef, and then divide it into portions for the week.
- Use a slow cooker:
Slow cookers are a great way to make large batches of food, like stews, soups, and chili, that can be easily divided into portions for the week.
- Make hard-boiled eggs:
As mentioned before, hard-boiled eggs are a great protein-packed snack and can be made in advance.
- Pre-cut vegetables:
Cut up vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery so they’re ready to grab as a snack or add to a salad.
- Make protein-packed snacks:
Make a batch of protein balls or bars, or make a big jar of protein-packed trail mix that you can grab on the go.
- Utilize leftovers:
If you find yourself with leftovers, try to get creative with how you use them. For example, you can make a frittata with leftover vegetables and eggs, or make a wrap with leftover chicken or turkey.
- Turn to the Healthi app for help:
The Healthi app has many easy recipes that you can try out, alongside an extremely helpful community that can come to your aid in times of doubt.
Undoubtedly, weight loss is a multifaceted process, where factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and overall calorie intake play a role in your overall journey. You must also take all necessary precautions before forming a new long-term lifestyle. Consulting with a healthcare provider or a dietitian can be helpful in creating a personalized plan that fits your needs. Other precautions you should keep in mind include:
- Watching your saturated fat intake:
Some protein sources, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, are high in saturated fat. Eating too much-saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease, so it’s important to choose lean protein sources and limit your intake of saturated fat.
- Being mindful of your calcium intake:
If you’re cutting back on dairy products, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough calcium from other sources. Good non-dairy sources of calcium include leafy greens, fortified plant-based milk, and tofu.
- Be mindful of your iron intake:
Some women over 30 may be at risk of iron-deficiency anemia. Make sure to include iron-rich foods in your diet, such as lean red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and leafy greens.
- Keep an eye on your kidney function:
High-protein diets may put extra strain on the kidneys, so it is important to keep an eye on your kidney function if you have any kidney issues.
- Balance your diet:
High protein diets should be balanced with other nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.
There are also a few potential side effects for women over 30 who want to follow a high-protein diet. These may include:
- Kidney strain:
High protein diets can put extra strain on the kidneys, which can be particularly concerning for women over 30 who may already have an increased risk of kidney problems.
- Bone health:
Some studies have suggested that high-protein diets may be associated with decreased bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
- Digestive issues:
Consuming large amounts of protein can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
- Weight gain:
Consuming too many calories from protein can lead to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in saturated fats.
To conclude, a high-protein diet, when balanced overall and paired with a physically active lifestyle, is a wonderful way for women over 30 to begin their weight loss journey. In all of this, do not hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional for guidance, and make sure you’re using the Healthi app and its numerous features that will help make the entire process engaging and rewarding.