When you’re over 40, weight loss can be difficult due to a slower metabolism and hormone changes – but it’s still possible when using the best diet plan for women over 40.
The trick is to choose a weight loss plan specifically designed for woman over 40 (such as the Fit Mother Project), eat the right foods, and take supplements as needed to meet daily nutritional needs. With the right diet plan in place, weight loss over 40 might be easier than you ever thought possible!
What is Special about the Fit Mother Project?
The goal of the Fit Mother Project is to build a community of healthy women over 40 for a fitter future. The following components of the Fit Mother Project make it special:
It Offers Social Support
A strong social support network significantly boosts your chance at weight loss success, according to numerous studies. Having someone motivate you and keep you accountable helps you stay on track with weight loss and avoid returning to old habits. This drastically reduces your chance of regaining lost weight.
With the Fit Mother Project, you’ll receive the support you need, and Q & A sessions with medical experts to guide you through your weight loss journey and boost your chance at success.
It Provides Meal Plans, Menus, and Recipes
Also included in the Fit Mother Project program are meal plans, weekly newsletters, and much more! Reducing your calorie intake is easy with the right recipes and diet plans for women over 40 in place.
You’ll learn how to create your own menus, and properly divide your plate to achieve a good balance of the nutrients your body requires to keep energy levels high and look your best. To get started, sign up for the Fit Mother Project free 1-day meal plan today!
You’ll Receive Fat-Burning Workouts
Not all weight loss programs provide you with fat-burning workouts, but the Fit Mother Project does! You’ll receive numerous metabolism-boosting workouts that involve cardiovascular exercise plus strength training, circuit training, and much more to increase muscle definition.
You’ll receive a wide variety of workouts with the Fit Mother Project and are encouraged to change up your workout routine regularly to enhance fat-loss results.
It’s Designed for Women Over 40
Women over 40 have unique weight loss needs, which is why choosing a program specifically designed for this population group offers the best chance at success for women over 40 and beyond. The Fit Mother Project has helped thousand of adults over 40 achieve and maintain their goal weight for life.It’s Sustainable Long Term
Unlike many other weight loss diets, the Fit Mother Project is a diet plan for women over 40 you can stick with long term. It’s well-balanced, easy to follow, and leads to a slow, steady weight loss you can maintain for life.
The Fit Mother Project helps you make the right food choices, but you won’t feel deprived. It even allows for cheat days every now and then to make your meal plan something you can stick with long term.
Creating a Diet Plan for Women Over 40
Creating an effective diet plan for women over 40 is a step toward optimal health, but it can be overwhelming if you’re doing it on your own. Following a few simple tips and tricks can help.
How Many Calories Should I Consume?
You don’t have to count calories when trying to lose weight, but knowing about calorie requirements is helpful when creating a diet plan for women over 40.
First, determine your weight management goals. Are you trying to lose weight, maintain your weight, tighten and tone up, or gain weight if you’re underweight? Use the following general calorie guidelines when choosing the best diet plan for women over 40:
- Weight loss in most women: 1,200 – 1,500 calories
- Weight maintenance in sedentary women over 40: 1,600 – 1,800 calories
- Weight maintenance in moderately active women over 40: 1,800 – 2,000 calories
- Weight maintenance in active women over 40: 2,000 – 2,200 calories
Individual calorie needs vary, as the calorie recommendations above are simply general guidelines. If weight gain is your goal, add an extra 350 calories a day to weight maintenance calorie requirements.
Which Foods Should I Eat?
Weight loss foods have a few things in common. They may be:
- High in fiber
- Rich in protein
- A good source of heart-healthy fats
Examples of food groups to include in a nutritious diet plan for women over 40 are:
- Fruits: melons, berries, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, bananas, apples, etc.
- Vegetables(non-starchy): leafy greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, celery, zucchini, green beans, etc.
- Vegetables (starchy): potatoes, corn, peas, black beans, etc.
- Protein foods: lean meat, poultry, fish, seafood, tofu, eggs, etc.
- Whole grains: quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, etc.
- Calcium-rich dairy foods orplant alternatives: low-fat milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, protein powder, plant-milks, reduced-fat cheese, etc.
- Heart-healthy fats: avocados, plant oils, nuts, seeds, nut butters, olives, etc.
Choose a wide variety of foods from each group. When planning menus, aim to fill each plate:
- 1/2 full of non-starchy vegetables (plus some fruits if desired)
- 1/4 full of grains or starchy vegetables
- 1/4 full of protein foods
Add some healthy fats to each plate and consume two to three servings of calcium-rich dairy foods or plant alternatives daily for extra calcium, vitamin D, and satiating protein.
Healthy Menus for Women Over 40
Examples of nutritious meals in a diet plan for women over 40 may look like this:
Sample Menu #1
- 3/4 your plate: an omelet made with bell peppers, olives, and asparagus
- 1/4 your plate: cooked oatmeal topped with sliced almonds
- Coffee or tea
- A protein powder smoothie made with almond or soy milk plus blueberries
- A leafy green salad with grilled chicken or tofu plus whole-grain croutons, sliced avocadoes, and Italian dressing
- Plain Greek yogurt topped with banana slices and pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 your plate: salmon or cod
- 1/4 your plate: brown rice mixed with pinto beans (prepared with olive oil)
- 1/2 your plate: broccoli or cauliflower
Sample Menu #2
- 1/4 your plate: meatless breakfast sausage or meatless veggie bacon
- 1/4 your plate: cooked quinoa topped with walnuts
- 1/2 your plate (1 large glass): vegetable juice blend
- Coffee or tea
- Low-fat cottage cheese with kiwi fruit
- A greens salad topped with taco-seasoned very lean ground turkey (prepared with olive oil), black beans, sliced avocados, and olives
- A protein powder shake made with almond or soy milk plus cherries or raspberries
- 1/4 your plate: tempeh or tofu
- 1/4 your plate: wild rice (prepared with olive oil)
- 1/2 your plate: green beans or asparagus
Sample Menu #3
- 1/4 your plate: scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu
- 1/4 your plate: whole-grain toast topped with avocado
- 1/2 your plate: sautéed mushrooms and spinach (or other veggies)
- One orange plus reduced-fat cheese
- A turkey or veggie burger on a whole-grain bun topped with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and avocado slices
- A protein powder shake made with almond or soy milk plus greens powder and banana slices
- 1/4 your plate: shrimp or crab
- 1/4 your plate: whole-grain pasta plus olive oil
- 1/2 your plate: Grilled zucchini or other non-starchy veggies
Which Nutrients are Important in Women Over 40?
There are several important nutrients every woman over 40 should get plenty of to achieve optional health and an ideal body weight. Examples include:
Most Americans lack sufficient vitamin D, according to the Vitamin D council. Vitamin D is especially important for adults over 40, as this essential nutrient helps your body absorb calcium and is necessary for strong teeth and bones. It’s also needed for proper immune function, your nervous system, and your muscles. Vitamin D is abundant in the following foods:
- Some fortified breakfast cereals
- Some fortified orange juices
You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure, multivitamin supplements, and vitamin D supplements.
As you get older, your bones might become less dense due to normal aging and hormone fluctuations associated with menopause. Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, and proper muscle and nerve function.
Aim to consume two to three servings of calcium-rich foods daily and take a multivitamin supplement containing calcium (or an additional calcium supplement if your doctor recommends it). Foods rich in calcium include:
- Cow’s milk and plant milks
- Some fortified orange juices
- Some fortified breakfast cereals
One serving of dairy foods generally provides about 30% of your calcium daily value.
Getting enough omega-3s in your diet daily is important for proper heart and brain health. Plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in:
- Flax seeds and flax oil
- Walnuts and walnut oil
- Soy beans and soybean oil
- Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil
- Canola oil
Omega-3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are also important for heart and brain health, and may minimize cognitive decline associated with aging. These omega-3s are abundant in fish, fish oil, algae, and algae oil.
Your body can convert ALA (in small amounts) to DHA/EPA, but if you’re not eating at least two 3.5-ounce portions of fatty fish – such as tuna and salmon – weekly, ask your doctor about taking omega-3 supplements.
The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) and the National Heart Foundation of Australia recommend adult women consume at least 500 milligrams of DHA plus EPA daily for optimal heart health.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that inhibit your digestive tract. They are associated with:
- Better digestive health
- Improvements in mental health
- A stronger immune system
Harvard Health Publishing reports that probiotics are linked with improvements in mood, decreases in stress and anxiety, and better overall cognitive function. Foods rich in probiotics include:
You can also take probiotic supplements containing at least 1 billion CFUs (colony forming units) per dosage daily.
Protein helps diminish muscle loss associated with aging, keeps your metabolism high, and helps boost satiety – which is extremely beneficial if you’re trying to shed pounds.
Older adults and athletes have protein needs higher than that of the general population, to effectively maintain or build lean muscle. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein in women is 46 grams per day, but many women over 40 benefit from consuming additional protein.
For example, active adults often require 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, which equates to about 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of your weight each day. Choose protein-rich:
- Fish and seafood
- Tofu and other soy products
- Plant milks
- Protein powder smoothies
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butters
Choose foods rich in protein at each meal and snack to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
Fiber is an essential nutrient needed to optimize digestive health, and it boosts satiety just like protein.
Fiber is abundant in nutritious plant foods – such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Aim to ingest at least 25 grams of fiber daily by eating a well-balanced diet. Ask your doctor about taking fiber supplements to enhance weight loss as needed.
Some of the richest food sources of fiber are peas, dried beans (such as black and pinto beans), broccoli, turnip greens, chia seeds, pears, raspberries, quinoa, oatmeal, and cooked barley, just to name a few. Each of these foods provides about 5 to 16 grams of fiber per serving.
Following the Road to Better Health
Whether your goal is weight loss or healthy weight maintenance, follow a diet plan for women over 40 to:
- Achieve optimal health
- Meet your body’s nutritional needs
- Lower your risk of chronic disease
- Look young as you age
The Fit Mother Project isn’t just a weight loss program – it’s a lifestyle that has helped thousands of busy adults lose weight and keep it off for good. Give it a try today or sign up for the Fit Mother Project free 1-day meal plan or free fat-burning workout to begin your journey toward a happier, healthier, life!
Writer, The Fit Father Project
A 15-year freelance writing veteran, Erin is registered dietitian and health educator who is passionate about health, fitness and disease prevention. Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife and mom of two beautiful children.