Question:

I am a member at LA Fitness in San Antonio Texas, just signed up! Ever since I turned 50 I have been gaining weight with the same diet. I don’t drink sodas and I eat at home most of the time; lean poultry, tilapia, quinoa and sometimes rice. I try not to add too much salt to food. I have a busy life and I don’t have time to cook complicated meals or eat 8 times a day. Even though I hardly eat bread, I do like corn tortillas. Obviously, my metabolism has slowed down. 

– Rosa T.

Answer:

Sounds like the “same diet” you’ve followed isn’t working for you now. From what you describe, the lean protein and plain grains are okay if the volume is appropriate. Check your portions as you should target 3-4 oz. poultry/fish and ½-1 C quinoa/rice (or 2-3 corn tortillas) per meal. Look at all the other foods that make up your diet and compare to recommended serving sizes.

Consider filling up on fruits and vegetables which provide bulk with fewer calories. Great that you avoid soda, but make sure other beverages aren’t loaded with sugar either – particularly coffee drinks or juices/smoothies. Regarding your metabolism, remember that reductions in activity and lean body mass are usually to blame. Use your new membership by getting in both calorie-burning aerobic exercise and muscle-retaining strength workouts.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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