YOU AND I BOTH HAVE THOSE FRIENDS THAT APPEAR TO BE ABLE TO EAT WHATEVER THEY WANT, YET REMAIN LEAN YEAR-ROUND. HOW DO THEY DO IT? CHANCES ARE THEY’VE MASTERED THE FOUR TIPS BELOW!

Ah…

Life after 30…

You no longer have a job, but a career. You’ve got bills to pay, mouths to feed, and a future to think about. And part of planning for the future means taking care of yourself. Failure to take care of yourself now can lead to a costly future.

After the age of thirty, your metabolism begins to slow down and muscle mass declines. This means working to maintain the lean physique you’ve had since you were in high school will become increasingly difficult (or that weight loss becomes even harder!). Even more, bone health and strength steadily declines with age, too.

Needless to say, if you let your nutrition go, your body will follow.

FORTUNATELY, A FEW CHANGES TO YOUR NUTRITIONAL PRIORITIES CAN KEEP YOU LOOKING AND FEELING AS GOOD AS YOU DID IN YOUR TWENTIES!

EAT MORE PROTEIN

Eating more protein attacks multiple age-related changes head on.

For starters, it’s no secret that protein plays an integral role in building and maintaining muscle mass. Putting more protein on your plate as you age can help you fight back against age-related muscle loss.

Furthermore, eating more protein can also help to combat the age-related decline in your metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn per day). Protein has a high thermic effect of food (TEF), which means that your body has to expend calories just to digest and absorb it. And the TEF of protein is significantly higher compared to that of carbohydrates or fat. Increasing the number of calories that come from protein in your day can raise the number of calories you burn.

And lastly, eating more protein can help keep you trim because of the positive impact it has on your appetite. For every year after 30, your metabolic rate declines by one to two percent, meaning that you need to eat less and less just to maintain your current weight. By shifting your calories in favor of more protein, you will keep your appetite in check and therefore stay within your new age-related maintenance calories. That’s because protein has a strong effect on the release of several appetite hormones that are released from your gut and send satiety signals to your brain.

Need I say more?

How Much Protein: Aim for 25 – 35 grams of low-fat, complete protein at every snack and meal.

Want more protein knowledge? Check out my online video course, “Everything You Need To Know About Protein” and get instant access to 17 short videos (2 – 5 minutes in length) answering all questions you have about protein!

EAT FOR YOUR BONES

By age 30, you reach peak bone mass. From here, it’s a downward spiral in bone health and strength. If you don’t show your bones some extra love with age, you could be at risk for brittle bones and potential breakages, which is a pain in the tailbone.

[Yes, it’s okay to roll your eyes at that joke].

To preserve bone health, it’s important that you focus on calcium and vitamin D-rich foods. Over 99 percent of calcium in your body is stored in your bones, so this should be a no brainer. But vitamin D is crucial, too, because it plays a major role in enhancing calcium absorption and facilitation entry into bones. By prioritizing both calcium and vitamin D, you’ll be able to provide a protective layer that reduces your risk for the consequences mentioned above.

How Much Calcium: Aim for 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. Calcium-rich foods include all dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), as well as broccoli, Bok choy, soy products (tofu, seitan, edamame), and kidney beans.

How Much Vitamin D: Few foods contain vitamin D. Sunlight exposure is your best source. Given vitamin D deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States, it’s likely you’re not getting enough. I recommend having your vitamin D levels tested by your primary care physician and then supplementing with vitamin D3 as appropriate to ensure you have normal levels.

Most people will benefit from 2,000 – 4,000 IU per day. Supplementation is best taken in the morning with a meal, particularly a meal that contains fat to enhance absorption (vitamin D is a “fat-soluble” vitamin). Avoid taking vitamin D before bed/later in the day as it interferes with melatonin production and may increase the length of time it takes you to fall asleep.

THE SECRET WEAPON: EAT MORE DAIRY

Dairy contains a trifecta of high-quality protein, calcium, and even vitamin D. If you can tolerate dairy, I recommend a minimum of three servings per day. There’s even research to support three servings of dairy per day being superior for weight loss and ridding body fat when compared to one serving per day.1 you can learn more about that in this short video: CLICK ME!

How Much Dairy: Aim for three servings per day. A serving of dairy is equivalent to one cup of milk or yogurt, or a slice of cheese.

EAT MORE FIBER

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that’s tough to digest. This is good news because, in turn, it slows digestion, which promotes fullness and long-lasting energy. Focusing on high-fiber foods will help you to stay energized morning through evening, and help keep calories in check by naturally curbing your appetite. Ultimately, you’ll be able to feel full and energyized even when eating less food!

How Much Fiber: Women should aim for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber per day, whereas men should aim for a minimum of 38 grams per day.

High-fiber foods include whole-grain breads and pastas, oats, quinoa, brown and wild rice, fruit, and vegetables.