The Best Diet Plan for Men Over 50

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If you are a man over 50 who is overweight, you're risking high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and certain cancers--especially if you carry belly fat. You may require a different exercise and dietary plan than a younger man or a woman your age.

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Consume fewer than 2,000 calories if you are sedentary, more if you are active, to maintain your weight. "Sedentary" is defined as everyday light activities such as laundry or dishes or sitting for long periods. Increase activity levels or decrease calorie consumption--or, best, do both--to lose weight.

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Eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nonfat dairy products. Consume 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables daily to lose weight and maintain health. Thirty percent or fewer of your calories should come from fat, and only 5 percent to 10 percent of that should be saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in butter, processed foods, fatty meat and whole dairy foods. Give up those thick steaks and substitute healthy fats like fish, nuts, olive oil and sunflower oil. Choose lean cuts of meat and nonfat dairy.

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Aging slows metabolism. Age-related muscle wasting, or sarcopenia, decreases the number of calories you burn because muscle burns fat. Men, on average, have a higher muscle-to-fat ratio than women, but you lose this edge as you age. To increase metabolism after 50 and lose weight, eat smaller meals more often during the day. This keeps your metabolism high throughout the day and helps burn fat.

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Increase weight-training exercises to increase musculature. Because muscle mass decreases over your lifetime, you must counteract it with exercise. Work out at least 30 to 60 minutes four or more times weekly. Perform upper- and lower-body strength-training exercises such as yoga, isometrics or weight training to increase muscle mass.

Include cardio/aerobic in your workout plan as well to burn fat. Aerobic exercise will help you to burn calories up to an hour after working out. Join a sports club or team to keep you active and healthy and get cardiovascular exercise that will lead to weight loss.

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