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The Best Diet for Women Over 50: Meal Plans, Menus, and Recipes!

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

best diet for women over 50

If you’re looking for the best diet for women over 50, you’re in luck! It might be easier than you think to shed unwanted pounds or maintain a healthy weight and feel great after 50.

The best diet for women over 50 is one that’s healthy, sustainable for life, and considers the special dietary needs of women in this age group.

Try the tips and tricks below and take advantage of the FREE meal plans, menus, and recipes!

Ready to start implementing the best diet for women over 50? Keep reading!

Is the ketogenic diet a good choice for women over 50? Find out here.

Key Components of a Healthy Diet Over 50

There are a few key components the best diet for women over 50 possesses.

A nutritious meal plan should include:

All Major Food Groups

Fad diets, such as the ketogenic and raw food diets, may work well short term.

But don’t eliminate food groups if you’re seeking the best diet for women over 50 you can sustain for a lifetime.

Food groups to include in well-balanced diets are:

  • A variety of fruits
  • Non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, etc.)
  • Starchy veggies (sweet potatoes, corn, peas, beans, lentils, and other legumes)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, Ezekiel bread, etc.)
  • Protein foods (lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, and seitan)
  • Healthy fats (olive oil, fish oil, olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, and nut butters)

A good way to portion these nutritious whole foods is to fill about half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, one-fourth of your plate with protein foods, and one-fourth of each plate with fiber-rich carbohydrates (whole grains, peas, beans, other legumes, etc.).

This video explains basic nutrition for beginners, giving you 4 actionable ways you can eat healthier TODAY!

Controlled Calories

Whether you’re trying to shed pounds or maintain your current weight, controlling calories helps reduce the risk of unwanted weight gain in the future.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 recommend the following calorie needs for women over 50:

  • Sedentary: 1,600 calories per day
  • Moderately active: 1,800 calories daily
  • Active: 2,000-2,200 calories per day

If weight loss is your goal, aim to consume about 1,200 calories daily to drop about 1-2 pounds per week.

A good way to determine how many calories you’re eating daily is to use a fitness tracker or health app.

A Regular Meal Schedule

Eat at regular meal times whenever possible to avoid hunger (and overindulging at the next meal) and keep energy levels going strong throughout the day.

Aim to eat every few hours or so.

You might choose three meals plus two smaller snacks, or 5-6 meals each containing about the same number of calories.

Follow our eating schedule to lose weight fast! These meal timing setups are tested and PROVEN to work.

Dietary Supplements

The best diet for women over 50 probably contains dietary supplements to ensure you’re meeting daily nutritional needs – especially if you’re cutting calories for weight loss.

Supplements to consider for women over 50 include:

  • Protein meal replacement shakes for weight loss
  • Fiber supplements as needed
  • Omega-3 fatty acids for heart and brain health
  • Probiotics supplements for digestive, immune, overall, and mental health
  • Multivitamin supplements containing all essential vitamins and minerals to prevent deficiencies
  • Additional calcium and vitamin D supplements as needed

Always check with your doctor before taking dietary supplements.

Lots of Water

Many women over 50 don't drink enough water.

Everybody is different, but women over 50 generally need at least 12 cups of water or other fluids daily to maintain optimal health.

Drink 2-4 cups of water when you first wake up, 2 cups of water before meals, and lots of water before, during, and after workouts.

Drink water ice cold or add fruit to it to enhance flavor.

Besides water, try these 5 healthy drinks to lose weight at home!

Diet Planning Tips for Women Over 50

When you’re ready to plan your own healthy meal plans and menus, a few simple tips and tricks can help!

Choose a Daily Calorie Allotment

Based on your activity level, weight management goals, and current energy intake, choose your daily calorie goals.

Many women over 50 require 1,200-1,500 calories per day for weight loss, and 1,600-2,200 calories daily to maintain a healthy weight.

Reduce your current intake by 500-1,000 calories per day if weight loss is your goal.

Discover Meal Plans

Based on your calorie goals and daily schedule, create a custom healthy meal plan just for you!

You can use the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meal plans as a guide.

Examples of meal plans at different calorie allotments include:

1,200-Calorie Meal Plan

  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetables
  • 1 cup of fruit
  • 4 ounces of whole grains
  • 2 1/2 cups of dairy foods or plant milk
  • 3 ounces of protein foods
  • 4 teaspoons of oils
  • 100 extra calories

1,400-Calorie Meal Plan

  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups of fruit
  • 5 ounces of whole grains
  • 2 1/2 cups of dairy foods or plant milk
  • 4 ounces of protein foods
  • 4 teaspoons of oils
  • 110 extra calories

1,600-Calorie Meal Plan

  • 2 cups of vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups of fruit
  • 5 ounces of whole grains
  • 3 cups of dairy foods or plant milk
  • 5 ounces of protein foods
  • 5 teaspoons of oils
  • 130 extra calories

1,800-Calorie Meal Plan

  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups of fruit
  • 6 ounces of whole grains
  • 3 cups of dairy foods or plant milk
  • 5 ounces of protein foods
  • 5 teaspoons of oils
  • 170 extra calories

2,000-Calorie Meal Plan

  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetables
  • 2 cups of fruit
  • 6 ounces of whole grains
  • 3 cups of dairy foods or plant milk
  • 5 1/2 ounces of protein foods
  • 6 teaspoons of oils
  • 270 extra calories

2,200-Calorie Meal Plan

  • 3 cups of vegetables
  • 2 cups of fruit
  • 7 ounces of whole grains
  • 3 cups of dairy foods or plant milk
  • 6 ounces of protein foods
  • 6 teaspoons of oils
  • 280 extra calories

Once you know what daily food group allotments should look like, you can begin creating custom meal plans!

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Choose a Custom Meal Plan

Based on USDA guidelines, a 1,600-calorie nutritious meal plan for women over 50 might look like this:

Breakfast

  • 1/2 cup of fruit
  • 1 ounce of whole grains
  • 2 ounces of protein
  • 1 cup of dairy

Snack

  • 1 cup of fruit
  • 1 cup of dairy
  • 1 teaspoon of oils

Lunch

  • 1 cup of vegetables
  • 2 ounces of whole grains
  • 2 ounces of protein
  • 2 teaspoons of oils

Snack

  • 1 cup of dairy
  • 1 ounce of whole grains

Dinner

  • 1 cup of vegetables
  • 1 ounce of whole grains
  • 2 ounces of protein
  • 2 teaspoons of oils

Your individualized meal plan might contain more or fewer calories than this depending on your size, activity level, and weight management goals.

Choose the best weight loss diet plan for women and start succeeding today!

Know Portion Sizes

Use the following USDA serving sizes to portion foods for your meal plan:

1 cup of vegetables =

  • 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables
  • 2 cups of raw leafy greens
  • 1 cup of vegetable juice

1 cup of fruit =

  • 1 cup of fruit
  • 1 cup of 100% fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit

1 ounce of grains =

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, quinoa, or oatmeal

1 cup of dairy foods =

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of plant milk
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1 1/2 ounces of reduced-fat cheese

1 ounce of protein =

  • 1 ounce of meat, fish, seafood, or poultry
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ounce of tempeh
  • 1/4 cup of tofu
  • 1/4 cup of cooked legumes

1 teaspoon of oils =

  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of salad dressing
  • 8 large olives
  • 1/6th of an avocado
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of nut butter
  • 1/3 ounce of nuts or seeds

Now that you know more about portion sizes and have a meal plan in place, it’s time to start planning healthy menus!

These 7 principles of nutrition are always true, no matter what your diet consists of. Find out what you should (and SHOULDN’T) be eating.

Use a Sample Nutritious Menu for Women Over 50

Using the 1,600-calorie meal plan above, a nutritious menu for women over 50 might look like this:

Breakfast

(1/2 cup of fruit, 1 ounce of whole grains, 2 ounces of protein, and 1 cup of dairy)

  • 2 scrambled eggs: 144 calories
  • 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal: 75 calories
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries: 42 calories
  • 1 cup of skim or soy milk: 80 calories

Total calories: 341 calories

Snack

(1 cup of fruit, 1 cup of dairy, and 1 teaspoon of oils)

  • 1 small banana: 90 calories
  • 1 container of non-fat Greek yogurt: 100 calories
  • 1/3 ounce of almonds: 54 calories

Total calories: 244

Lunch

(1 cup of vegetables, 2 ounces of whole grains, 2 ounces of protein, and 2 teaspoons of oils)

  • 1 cup of cooked whole-grain pasta: 181 calories
  • 2 ounces of grilled chicken: 84 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil: 80 calories
  • Seasonings of your choice: NA
  • 1 cup of cooked asparagus: 40 calories

Total calories: 385

Snack

(1 cup of dairy and 1 ounce of grains)

  • 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese: 163 calories
  • 2 large multigrain flax seed crackers: 80 calories

Total calories: 243

Dinner

(1 cup of vegetables, 1 ounce of whole grains, 2 ounces of protein, and 2 teaspoons of oils)

  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa: 111 calories
  • 2 ounces of grilled salmon: 104 calories
  • 1 cup of cooked broccoli: 55 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of oils: 80 calories

Total calories: 350

Grand daily total: 1,563 calories

This video will teach you how to read nutrition labels properly.

Healthy Recipes for Women Over 50

Add simple healthy recipes to the best diet for women over 50 to make eating right as delicious as it is nutritious!

Examples of healthy recipes to try include:

Zucchini Artichoke Summer Salad

This delicious, nutritious zucchini artichoke summer salad recipe is loaded with fiber-rich veggies and healthy fats.

Add it to any diet plan for women over 50, whether you’re trying to shed pounds or simply maintain a healthy weight.

Ingredients include chicken, olive oil, zucchini, garbanzo beans, black olives, artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving is as follows:

  • Calories: 312
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 20 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams

Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon

Add flavor to bland salmon with this walnut-rosemary crusted salmon recipe.

Your entire family will love it!

Ingredients include salmon, garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, fresh rosemary, honey, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, walnuts, and olive oil.

Nutrition facts for each 3-ounce portion include:

  • Calories: 222
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams

Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

This mozzarella, basil, and zucchini frittata recipe makes an excellent breakfast, lunch, or even dinner when you’re tight on time.

Ingredients include eggs, onion, zucchini, olive oil, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper.

Nutrition facts for a 1-slice portion are as follows:

  • Calories: 292
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Protein: 18 grams
  • Fat: 21 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams

Vegetarian Chickpea Salad

If you’re in the mood for meatless sandwich filling or a protein-rich topping for vegetarian salads, try this vegetarian chickpeas recipe that's loaded with fiber.

Ingredients include garbanzo beans, celery, onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition facts per serving are as follows:

  • Calories: 259
  • Carbohydrates: 44 grams
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams

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White Chicken Chili

This white chicken chili recipe is loaded with nutrients and flavor.

Ingredients include chicken breast, red and yellow bell peppers, green onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, olive oil, butter, flour, chicken broth, white beans, and seasonings.

Nutrition facts per serving are as follows:

  • Calories: 396
  • Carbohydrates: 38 grams
  • Protein: 38 grams
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams

Mediterranean Chicken

This healthy Mediterranean chicken recipe is sure to make your mouth water.

Ingredients include chicken, white wine, olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, olives, parsley, and seasonings.

The nutrition breakdown per serving is:

  • Calories: 222
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Protein: 27 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams

Chicken Fiesta Salad Bowl

This nutritious chicken fiesta salad recipe is an excellent choice for weight loss or healthy weight management as it’s loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Ingredients include chicken, vegetable oil, salsa, greens, black beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, and seasonings.

The nutritional breakdown is:

  • Calories: 311
  • Carbohydrates: 42 grams
  • Protein: 23 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 11 grams

You can eliminate the salsa or fajita seasonings, and top your salad with a favorite oil-based dressing instead!

Grilled Cod with Spinach and Tomatoes

You and your family won’t be disappointed with this grilled cod with spinach and tomatoes recipe.

Simple ingredients you'll use are cod, spinach, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella, and seasonings.

The nutritional breakdown per serving is as follows:

  • Calories: 308
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Protein: 28 grams
  • Fat: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram

Improve your lifestyle and nutrition by incorporating healthy meals you can eat every day.

Losing Weight After 50: Tips for Success!

If shedding pounds after 50 is your goal, the health experts at the Fit Mother Project can help!

The Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) weight loss plan has helped thousands of busy moms like you achieve and maintain a healthy weight for life. When you sign up you’ll receive:

  • Health coaching from medical experts
  • Meal plans and menus
  • Nutritious recipes
  • Fat-burning workouts
  • Weekly newsletters
  • Much more

When you’re ready to give FM30X a try, sign up for the fat-loss meal plan and fat-burning workout included in the free Fit Mom 3-Day Weight Loss Jumpstart!

You’ll look and feel healthier, and have the boost of energy needed to stay active and enjoy life to its fullest!

Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

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Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the best diet for women over 50.

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Fit Mother Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Mother Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Mother Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Mother Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
  5. We openly take feedback here on our contact page. We welcome your content suggestions… and even feedback on grammar (we’d like to thing that we’re pretty OK at spelling and “stuff”).
  6. Above all, we are a community of likeminded men and women committed to living healthier. We do not advocate any health advice that we wouldn’t personally implement with our families. Because as far as we’re concerned, you’re our family too.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality.

– The Fit Mother Project Team

 

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