Sometimes, even healthy eating isn’t enough to shift those unwanted pounds. Our Mindful Eater, Sam Rice, shares her top three nutrition tips for healthy midlife weight loss…

Ageing gracefully involves a certain acceptance that your body is changing and that you don’t have the same physiology that you did in your 20s. Many women find weight creeping on around the middle as a result of declining oestrogen levels and a slowing metabolism. But rather than resort to restrictive diets, there are a few simple, healthy habits that can help…

1. Focus on protein for healthy weight loss

Ensuring adequate lean protein throughout the day will not only regulate your appetite, but will help maintain muscle mass, which in turn supports your metabolism.

Eating protein at breakfast is particularly important because if the first thing you eat is satisfying and nourishing, you are more likely to make better food choices for the rest of the day. Great sources of protein are eggs, oats, yoghurt and cottage cheese.

2. Reduce portion sizes by 20 per cent

The truth is, you can overeat through sheer force of habit. Portion sizes rarely reflect your actual hunger levels. Studies have shown that it’s possible to retrain your stomach to expect less food – it’s called the appetite thermostat. If you slowly turn down the dial, then you will be satiated with less food.

Start off by reducing your portion size by 20 per cent at each meal. You’ll hardly notice a difference and will be saving yourself around 400 calories a day.

3. Drink before eating to reduce hunger

It’s a well-known fact that thirst is often mistaken for hunger. When the munchies hit, drink a glass of water first and see if it passes.

It’s also a good idea to have a glass of water before eating a meal as this will reduce hunger levels and make you less likely to overeat.

3 protein-packed breakfast ideas for healthy weight loss

EGGS

These contain a little of every single nutrient the body needs. Omelettes are an easy, simple way to eat eggs. My favourite combo is spring onion, spinach and cheese.

OVERNIGHT OATS

Having a container of overnight oats in the fridge is an easy way to ensure a protein-rich breakfast. Try a bircher muesli of oats, apple juice, raisins, yoghurt and cinnamon.

PANCAKES

To make a protein pancake, whizz up an egg, a banana, oats and spinach in a blender and dry-fry for a few mins on each side. Enjoy with yoghurt for an extra protein hit.

Looking for more nutrition advice for healthy weight loss? The Midlife Method: How to lose weight and feel great after 40, by Sam Rice (£14.99) is available now and is packed with further information, advice and recipes.

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