10 Ways Your Diet Should Change After 40, According To Nutritionists

This is key for both meals and snacks; basically, you want to have protein on your plate whenever you eat—no excuses. You lose muscle mass as you get older, and protein (along with weight lifting) helps you preserve and enhance lean muscle, making it a particularly key nutrient. “Interestingly, research suggests your body can use protein more effectively for muscle-building when you include protein-rich foods throughout your day,” explains nutritionist Christy Brissette, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition. As a general rule of thumb, make a protein-rich food a component in every snack and strive for 30 grams of protein at every meal. That means you'll need about four ounces of chicken, fish, lean meat, or plant-based protein like lentils, beans, or soy. “For snacks, include an ounce of nuts, two tablespoons hummus or nut or seed butter to meet your protein needs,” adds Brissette