Losing weight is no easy feat and can take more time and determination after your 30s. Although studies show that your metabolism doesn’t start to slow down significantly until you hit age 60, there are many reasons why it can seem like you’re more likely to gain weight once you hit 30. years: your life becomes more hectic, work gets in the way, you become more sedentary, your eating habits may be affected, and more. “If you’ve never struggled with weight before your 30s and your eating and lifestyle habits are less than desirable, chances are it will catch up with you at some point,” Laura Burak MS, RDfounder of GetNakedNutrition and author of Lose weight with smoothies tells Eat this, not that!.

The good news is that Burak says she doesn’t believe age will get in the way of your efforts to achieve a slimmer, healthier person. With the right positive mindset and a healthy game plan that you know you’ll stick with, you’ll be headed in the right direction when it comes to losing weight after 30.

While diet plays a large and important role in weight loss, which we’ll discuss in a moment, keep in mind that there are other key players that are just as crucial in shedding unwanted pounds. These include movement, adequate hydration, stress management and good quality sleep. “I see clients who are ‘doing everything right’ when it comes to eating, but haven’t addressed these other crucial areas of their lives that can have a major impact,” says Burak.

Diet and exercise go hand in hand. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderately strenuous aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorously strenuous aerobic physical activity per week. Strength training is also important and should be done at least twice a week. This healthy combination can aid you in your weight loss efforts by helping you maintain lean muscle mass and strength.

With that said, let’s move on to the sane part of the equation. Burak outlines some of the best eating habits for rapid weight loss after 30.

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First, Burak recommends establishing a base of primarily quality plant foods. These are foods that grow outdoors, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, heart-healthy oils like avocados and olives, potatoes, corn, lentils, and beans. A 2020 review published in the magazine Nutrients found that increasing fruit and vegetable intake promotes weight loss in women, likely due to the fact that these foods are high in dietary fiber, low in calories, and can help you eat more slowly.

You should also eat plenty of lean proteins such as fish, eggs and poultry to stabilize your blood sugar. “[This] it will in turn keep you balanced and full and less likely to eat all the processed junk food by 4pm,” Burak explains.

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Added sugar is Not your friend especially when you are trying to lose weight. “One of the biggest challenges we face is the abundance of added sugars in our diets, and as you get older, it can have a greater impact on your health and weight,” Burak explains. Consuming excess calories from added sugars has been linked to weight gain and increased belly fat.

It’s a smart habit to limit the amount of added sugar you consume. (Pastries, baked goods, soda, and candy—we’re looking at you!) Also, start reading food labels every time you shop at the grocery store. This can help you identify sneaky sources lurking in many packaged foods.

RELATED: 10 Best Morning Drinks for Fast Weight Loss

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When trying to achieve rapid weight loss, don’t make the mistake of not eating enough during the day and then taking jam at night. Your body needs fuel throughout the day, so depriving yourself of calories all day and then consuming more than you should late at night can cause weight gain and other health problems.

Burak points out: ‘Eat enough food during daylight hours, when you really need it, and lighten up on your evening meal. With a tendency to intermittent fast and/or just being ‘too busy’ to stop to eat or report don’t “be hungry” during the day, people skip meals and skimp on having enough food in general, which then always tends to backfire in a free-for-all of sugary foods or snacks in the afternoon and evening .

RELATED: People Who Lost 10 Pounds in One Month Reveal Their Top Tips

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If you want to lose weight after 30, consider preparing food on Sunday to ensure you’re providing your body with all the nutrients it needs and have control over portion sizes. With all of your meals planned out for the week, you probably won’t feel the need to pick up anything unhealthy on your way to work or on your way home. Also, according to research published on International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, preparing meals at home is linked to an all-round “better diet quality.” In female participants, meal planning was directly related to a lower likelihood of being obese and overweight; in male participants, meal planning played a significant role in reducing obesity.

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It may sound simple, but sit down and slowdown getting off your hectic schedule to enjoy food can make a big difference in sustaining weight loss after 30. Limit any distractions like scrolling through social media and practice mindful eating. “Pay attention to whether you’re actually eating so your mind and body can process the food better and keep you from overeating later, when you most likely won’t need that energy at the end of the day,” explains Burak .

Alexa Melardo

Alexa is the Deputy Mind + Body Director of Eat This, Not That!, who oversees the M+B channel and provides readers with interesting fitness, wellness and self-care topics. Read more about Alexa


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