Which 50 Plus Diet Plan is Best for You? Five Nutritious Eating Plans

Last Updated on June 8, 2024 by Candi Randolph

It’s no secret to any woman over the age of 50 that maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge. Our metabolism is slowing as we’re getting older, and that plus the loss of muscle mass and decline in hormones makes us quite susceptible to weight gain.

As I’m traveling through my 60’s I can attest to the fact that maintaining a steady weight as the years go by requires commitment and effort on a daily basis, with what I call the BIG 3: aerobic exercise, strength training, and nutritious, healthy eating.

50 plus diet plan - nutritious eating plans

So I’m not just writing about the challenge of discovering which 50 plus diet plan is best, and what kind of nutritious eating plans will work, I’m living it every single day. Some days are better than others, for sure, but on the whole my efforts have paid off with a relatively stable weight over the years.

In this article we’ll look at five nutritious eating plans that may include weight loss for women over the age of 50. If you find it a challenge to keep the clothes fitting comfortably, see which eating plan might fit your health and lifestyle needs.

You’ll also find helpful books and resources to follow up with any of the eating plans that you want to learn more about.

Keep in mind that these 50 plus diet plans are recommendations based on research, and it is always best to consult your physician before making any significant lifestyle decisions, including diet.

If you click on a link and then make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

If you click on a link and then make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Five 50 Plus Diet Plans

nutritious eating plans for women over 50

1 | Mediterranean Diet Plan

If your philosophy is similar to mine, the ‘everything in moderation’ approach of the highly rated, popular Mediterranean Diet plan may work very well for you.

Food groups are not restricted, and the emphasis is on obtaining carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You’ll get more fiber from whole grains and will feel fuller longer.

As women over 50 we’re looking for ways to combat the muscle loss that is a natural part of the aging process. The emphasis on omega-3 fats found in fish and olive oil will help us with hormone production as well as keep us feeling full and satisfied.

Here are the basic elements of the Mediterranean Diet:

  • Base every meal on fruits, vegetables, whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur), olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes (lentils, dried peas, and beans), seeds, herbs, and spices.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week.
  • Eat moderate portions of cheese and yogurt daily to weekly.
  • Eat moderate portions of poultry and eggs every two days or weekly.
  • Eat red meat sparingly or limit to three-ounce portions.
  • Drink plenty of water each day, and drink wine in moderation—no more than one (5-ounce) glass a day for women, two glasses per day for men.

Other helpful tips for this nutritious eating plan:

  1. Sauté food in olive oil, not butter.
  2. Eat more fruits and vegetables by having them as a snack or adding them to other recipes
  3. Choose whole grains instead of refined bread and pasta
  4. Substitute a fish meal for red meat at least twice per week
  5. Limit high-fat dairy by switching to skim or 1% milk from 2% or whole.
SaleBestseller No. 1
The Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Solution: The 28-Day Kickstart Plan for Lasting Weight Loss
  • Stassou MS RD, Julene (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages – 08/22/2017 (Publication Date) – Callisto (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
The Mediterranean Diet for Beginners: The Complete Guide – 40 Delicious Recipes, 7-Day Diet Meal Plan, and 10 Tips for Success
  • Rockridge Press (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 80 Pages – 04/05/2013 (Publication Date) – Callisto (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
The 5 Ingredients Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners: 125 Budget-Friendly, Mouthwatering recipes for a Happier and Healthier life (Incl. 30 day meal plan &shopping list)
  • Santos, Lisa (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 95 Pages – 04/22/2024 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
The DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution: The Best Eating Plan to Control Your Weight and Improve Your Health for Life (A DASH Diet Book)
  • Heller, Marla (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 12/22/2020 (Publication Date) – Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)

2 | Paleo Diet Plan

Another popular 50 plus diet plan is the Paleo Plan. It’s a high-protein, low carbohydrate meal plan that can be helpful if you’re dealing with insulin resistance and are not able to process carbs as effectively.

The name ‘Paleo’ was given to this eating plan because the foods eaten are similar to what might have been eaten in the Paleolithic era, dating from about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. Fun fact. 🙂

So it’s no surprise that the goal of this diet is to return to a way of eating that more closely matches how the human body is genetically made – not necessarily the modern diet choices we find ourselves making today.

You might choose to follow this nutritious eating plan in order to lose weight or to find meal-planning assistance. Some paleo diets have more restrictions than others, but in general, you’ll find these foods are included:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
  • Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
  • Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil

You won’t find these foods offered on the Paleo Diet:

  • Grains, such as wheat, oats, and barley
  • Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
  • Dairy products
  • Refined sugar
  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Highly processed foods in general

You might find the Paleo Diet worthwhile if you’re goal is to lose weight, improve glucose tolerance, control your blood pressure, lower your triglycerides, or in general manage your appetite more effectively.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition (Updated And Expanded): A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
  • Sanfilippo, Diane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages – 09/06/2016 (Publication Date) – Victory Belt Publishing (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
The Paleo Diet Revised: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
  • Cordain, Loren (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 12/07/2010 (Publication Date) – Harvest (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started
  • Chatham, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 190 Pages – 10/23/2013 (Publication Date) – Callisto (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen-Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness (US Version)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Mickey Trescott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 314 Pages – 09/13/2016 (Publication Date) – Trescott, LLC (Publisher)

3 | Whole Foods Diet Plan

Another name for the Whole Food plan is a clean eating plan. This philosophy and style of eating avoid all processed foods. It is also referred to as a whole-foods, plant-based diet (WFPB).

Benefits to a whole foods eating plan can be the prevention of inflammation and the ability to manage hormones more effectively (no antibiotics or preservatives in the food consumed).

As the name implies, real food products are on the list of what to eat and generally looks something like this:

  • Emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods.
  • Limits or avoids animal products.
  • Focuses on plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts, which should make up the majority of what you eat.
  • Excludes refined foods, like added sugars, white flour, and processed oils.
  • Pays special attention to food quality, with many proponents of the WFPB diet promoting locally sourced, organic food whenever possible.

There are some similarities between this eating plan and a vegan or vegetarian diet, with less restrictions as well as different interpretations of what to eliminate from the diet.

A whole food eating plan has a number of benefits as shown be studies that have been conducted:

  • facilitate weight loss with the high fiber and exclusion of processed foods
  • can help keep weight off for a long period of time
  • can lower the risk of heart disease
  • may help or slow the onset of cognitive decline
  • may help manage and reduce the risk of developing diabetes
Bestseller No. 1
The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity
  • Mackey, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 02/04/2020 (Publication Date) – Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
  • Pulde M.D., Alona (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 01/17/2017 (Publication Date) – Atria Books (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
The Plan A Diet: Combining Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition with the Timeless Wisdom of Scripture
  • Notter, Cyd (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 280 Pages – 10/01/2019 (Publication Date) – Morgan James Publishing (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
30-Day Whole Foods Cookbook and Meal Plan: Eliminate Processed Foods and Revitalize Your Health
  • Nedescu MS RDN CSSD, Lori (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 216 Pages – 12/25/2018 (Publication Date) – Callisto (Publisher)

4 | New American Diet Plan

The AARP New American Diet plan emphsizes healthy, whole foods over unhealthy, processed ones. Do you see the pattern emerging here with these 50 plus diet plans?

The principles of the New American Diet plan are as follows:

Don’t skip breakfast. And when you eat the first meal of the day, include protein, whole grains, and fruit. This will help keep your insulin level steady all morning and prevent overeating later.

Drink more water. Many empty calories are consumed through juice, soda, alcohol, etc. It is suggested that we drink only coffee and water (no diet soda) for two weeks and see how the weight comes off.

Eat fish. Fish provides the omega-3 fatty acids we need for brain health. Plus, the calories are low and also provides us with essential nutrients. Along with the consumption of fish is the reduction of red and processed meats.

Bring on the fruits and veggies. AARP’s study found that incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet can help with weight loss and even help you live longer.

Enjoy whole grains. They’re a major source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Regular consumption of foods like whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice can cut your risk of heart disease, respiratory illness and some cancers. And, they can help you lose weight.

Include low-fat dairy foods. As women over 50 we may be deficient in calcium and vitamin D. Dairy foods are a rich source of both, and the low-fat variety can aid in weight loss.

Stay away from ‘diet’ foods. Be wary of foods labeled ‘low fat’ or ‘fat free’, as they can often contain more sugar and ultimately cause weight gain.

Read and understand food labels. Scan them for calories and nutrients, then make a wise decision.

Eat snacks. Consume one snack between breakfast and lunch, and another between lunch and dinner. No snacking after dinner. Make sure it’s a healthy snack like a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.

Chew gum. It can reduce mindless snacking (I call it grazing), and, chewing gum releases hormones that signal your brain that you’re full. How cool is that? I’m going to buy some gum.

SaleBestseller No. 1
The New American Diet: How secret obesogens are making us fat, and the 6-week plan that will flatten your belly for good!
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 12/22/2009 (Publication Date) – Rodale Books (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 2
The New American Diet: Paleo and Mediterranean Inspired Classics for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Desserts, and Snacks
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Swartz, Emily (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/29/2024 (Publication Date)
SaleBestseller No. 3
The New American Diet
  • Hardcover Book
  • Connor, Sonja L. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 410 Pages – 07/18/1986 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
AARP New American Diet: Lose Weight, Live Longer
  • Hardcover Book
  • Whyte MD, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages – 12/01/2012 (Publication Date) – Trade Paper Press (Publisher)

5 | Weight Watchers Diet Plan

It’s been around for years, and Weight Watchers is still one of the most popular and recommended diet and eating plans. The US News and World Report has ranked Weight Watchers the #1 Best Diet for Weight Loss in their annual ranking for the last ten years (2011-2020).

Today, WW is used to not only lose weight, but also to inspire overall healthy living and improve well-being, through the myWW program.

Launched in late 2019, it’s the most customized and flexible program to be introduced, using the SmartPoints system, then leveraging details about a person’s food preferences and lifestyle to match them to one of three comprehensive ways to follow the program. It’s a popular 50 plus diet plan.

Overall, the SmartPoints WW system guides members toward an overall eating pattern that is lower in calories, saturated fat and sugar, and higher in protein. And, no foods are off-limits.

Flexibility is key with the points system used in Weight Watchers. Once your personal daily points are calculated, stay within them to lose weight.

Membership is not free, although there are several options when joining. And, members can access thousands of free recipes on the company’s website or mobile app.

Use the WW app when dining out and get all the details when ordering your meal.

My past experience with Weight Watchers was positive. I like being in control, of course, so choosing my meals and allocating the points as I desired worked well for me.

Learn more about joining Weight Watchers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, Smartpoints™ Edition: Over 500 Delicious Recipes for the Healthy Cook’s Kitchen
  • Hardcover Book
  • Weight Watchers (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages – 12/13/2016 (Publication Date) – Harvest (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook (Weight Watchers Cooking)
  • Weight Watchers Cook Book
  • Hardcover Book
  • Weight Watchers (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
SaleBestseller No. 3
Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites: Over 200 Best-Ever Recipes from the Weight Watchers Test Kitchens (Weight Watchers Cooking)
  • Weight Watchers (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 312 Pages – 11/05/2007 (Publication Date) – Harvest (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 4
Weight Watchers Easy Meal Planning
  • The Editors of Weight Watchers (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages – 03/27/2020 (Publication Date) – Weight Watchers (Publisher)

Maintaining a healthy approach to eating is one essential part of a healthy lifestyle as women over 50. If you’re searching for the 50 plus diet plan that will help you control your weight and stay healthy, hopefully, one of these nutritious eating plans will hit the mark!

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Five nutritious eating plans for women over 50

10 thoughts on “Which 50 Plus Diet Plan is Best for You? Five Nutritious Eating Plans”

  1. Hi Candi. Thanks for sharing all these well-researched eating plans. Since our travel lifestyle began, over 10 years ago, Tim and I have been eating a much healthier diet. When we worked in the States, and had such crazy schedules, we tended to eat more processed foods. Now we make everything from scratch. We eat a lot of fruits and veggies and lean meats. We could do better and one thing that all the plans have in common is fish. I knew we needed to eat more fish, but it’s a bit pricey here. You’ve reminded me that we should make health a priority and as soon as we can go back to shopping in Tbilisi, we will focus on eating more fish. Sharing to FB. Stay Well, dear friend. xx

    1. Hi Christina, I love to eat fish and try to include it in my diet regularly. Since moving from FL to MI I haven’t found a source that fits my taste (picky) and budget (tiny)! But I agree that it needs to be there, and am working on keeping my diet mostly clean. I wish you well and good health, my friend. xo

  2. Hi Candi – I’ve never been good at sticking to a particular plan or fad – instead I just aim to eat as healthily as possible – lots of fruit and veg, chicken, a bit of red meat, and too much coffee! I still sneak in the occasional snack (more since I’ve been self-isolating – and that’s what I’m planning on working on next – less snacking and more intentional eating!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    1. Hi Leanne, I think we can all relate to that extra bit of snacking while sheltering in our homes. I’m enjoying preparing new recipes and doing some baking, but as I’m the only person in my home, guess who eats it all?! So I have to be careful and try to maintain the balance of healthy eating and tasty treats. Thanks so much for sharing. Stay well.

  3. Great information Candi, thanks for the reminders. It seems to be a difficult time in lots of ways at the moment and eating is one area I’m having trouble with and I need all the help I can get! Have shared for #mlstl

  4. Hi Candi, thank you as always for taking the time to research and provide us with information to help us lead healthier lives. There are so many ‘diets’ out there and it can become confusing. I’m not a fan of the quick fix diets but eating a sensible well balanced diet such as the Mediterranean one suits me. It is a matter of finding what suits you and your lifestyle isn’t it? Thanks for being part of #MLSTL and hope you are keeping well. xx

  5. Hi Sue, yes, there is a lot of noise out there when it comes to eating plans. I continue to hear that a plan like the Mediterranean is one of the top-rated for health and well-being, so wanted to include it in the post. You’re right…we are all unique and finding the balance with diet and lifestyle is so important. Stay well, my friend. xo

  6. Nancy Vuetibau

    Kia Ora! Hi Candy you fabulous lady. I have created a cook book journal for Ataahua Kuini & Kingi 50+ Golden Years with budgets and plan and places to shop in Kiwi Land Aotearoa New Zealand. I find your website awesome inspiring.

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