Allow me to cut to the chase: Going on a heart-healthy diet isn’t nearly as grim as you probably think it will be. Think it’s all chicken breasts and broccoli? Think again. According to leading nutritionists and the latest studies, you can eat chocolate, pasta, and wash it all down with some wine. (That is, of course, if you’re springing for the healthy options of all these so-called “bad” foods. More on that later.) What follows is a comprehensive compendium of all the mouthwatering cuisine—whether it’s a new dietary addition or a simple swap for an existing staple—you should eat to build a ticker as strong as steel. And for more ways to keep your heart safe, learn the 30 Best Ways to Lower Your Heart Attack Risk.
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"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.
Buying organic fruits and veggies might cost a little bit more, but it's worth it for your waistline. Researchers in Canada found those with the most organochlorines — AKA pollutants found in pesticides that are stored in fat cells — are more likely to experience a halt in metabolism opposed to those who eat pesticide-free organic produce. To avoid letting what you eat get in the way of burning more calories, try to at least buy organic produce when it comes to the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen": strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and potatoes. Best Ways to Lose Fat for Women Over 40 - The truth
Getting the recommended 30 minutes of daily activity is a good start, but now's the time to ramp things up even more by also working in at least 10,000 daily steps. Adding in four to five weekly resistance training sessions can help you maintain your muscle mass and burn even more calories, Largeman-Roth says. (Here's why weightlifting is the best workout if you're 40+.)
These days, Yolanda Foster is the Master Cleanse’s biggest fan. But before the Housewives fan jumped on the lemon juice bandwagon, Beyonce sucked it down. She needed a plan that was fast — like 20 pounds in two weeks fast — for her dream role in Dreamgirls. “Normally they’d just change your makeup or your clothes but I wanted to go the extra mile,” Beyonce told China Daily. “Back in the sixties, models like Twiggy were popular and I knew Deena would have been thin then, so even though I love eating, it was necessary to lose weight really fast because we shot Deena at 36 and then Deena at 16 two weeks later.”
Flash back to the summer of 2014 when the baller slimmed down his 6-foot-8-inch-tall frame. When James showed off a six-pack in a series of Instagram posts, everyone got buzzing about what changes he’d been making. Dozens of news stories revealed the keto diet was the major reason. He told Sports Illustrated in September 2014 that he didn’t eat dairy, sugar, or carbohydrates for 67 days. The reasoning? To “test his mental fortitude.” Some outlets, including Business Insider, speculated he was trying to follow Kobe Bryant, who lost weight in his mid-thirties and ended up giving his career a second wind.
With her flowing, untamed blonde locks, piercing blue eyes and perfectly defined cheekbones, Michelle Pfeiffer is truly genetically blessed. Known for her tendency to portray strong women with intense sex appeal, the 60-year old is credited as one of the most talented actresses of her generation. She has received countless accolades and awards and is universally recognised as one of the most beautiful women of all time.
Elle Macpherson needs no introduction. One of the world’s most successful supermodels, the Aussie born beauty has gone on to conquer more than just the runway. Nicknamed the body by Time magazine in 1989, the 54-year-old now owns her lingerie and skincare label as well as a modelling agency. She has also hosted and produced Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model from 2010 to 2013. She is an executive producer of NBC’s Fashion Star and has two sons aged 20 and 15.
It may sound like another trendy low-carb diet, but a number of celebrities swear by the quick weight-loss effects from the keto diet. Everyday Health explains in essence, the plan is simple: 75% of your food should be fats, and only 20% should be from protein, and the remaining 5% should be from carbs. After a few days, the body enters a state of ketosis, which is when it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.
Experts agree that including a weekly cheat meal into your healthy-eating plan can actually help you reach your weight loss goals. Having a strategy is key: “By planning your cheat meal, you know what you’ll be eating and can cut a few extra calories earlier in the day,” says Jim White, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios. “This also allows you to really pick a favorite food instead of wasting calories on something you didn’t enjoy.” Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, Real Nutrition NYC, gives similar advice. “Pick your poison. If you’re going out, pick your splurge. Are you going to dig into carbs like a bread basket or pasta or dessert? Or are you planning on tossing back a few cocktails?” She urges cheaters to avoid consuming all three of those common categories in one sitting. “Focus only on one,” she says, adding that by saving the others for another time you can “enjoy without going overboard.”
This diet, created by trainer-to-the-stars Tracy Anderson, has reportedly been tried by the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga. The gist of the 7-day eating plan? Eat jarred baby food for breakfast and lunch, followed by a low-calorie dinner. Anderson cites this as a way to “eliminate toxins”—a red flag because the body naturally expels toxins. This is nothing more than a short-term crash diet that is very low in calories and nutrients.
Have a few cups of java for a metabolism boost, but if you’re never seen without a mug at your lips, that could work against you, says nutritionist Amy Shapiro. Caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant. If you’re constantly consuming it, you may not eat much—or realize how hungry you really are—until you get home for dinner. “Not eating enough throughout the day can make your metabolism sluggish,” she says. “By the time you eat dinner, instead of immediately using that food for energy, your body is aggressively storing it as fat, just in case it will be deprived again.” 5 best abdominal exercises for beginners over 40 from home
A natural way of stimulating hGH (human growth hormone) production is getting enough shuteye. “During sleep, the brain releases human growth hormone (hGH) into the bloodstream,” explains Lisa Jubilee, MS, CDN, founder of Living Proof NYC. “This occurs during the first stage of sleep, but during middle age the body produces less hGH. So if you’re in that age bracket and not sleeping well, your efforts to maintain a healthy weight will be compromised. Don’t skimp on sleep!” Even more reason: these 20 Surprising Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep!
Good news: Age and weight don’t have to be correlated. Even though many people gain weight as they creep past 40, that doesn’t mean everyone has to. In fact, you don't even have to resurrect all those hardcore diets you tried in your 20s and 30s to keep the pounds from packing on, because even in an age full of hormonal and metabolic changes, all it takes is a few key diet modifications to stay looking and feeling your best.
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A calorie deficit is still the surest route to losing weight. Quick weight-loss fads may tempt you, but they often provide you with such a low calorie intake that you may feel hungry much of the time, which may discourage you. Even if you can manage it for a while, you may end up missing out on important nutrients. Quick weight loss only expedites muscle loss, leaving you with an even stodgier metabolism that makes weight loss harder and weight gain almost inevitable. Any diet that has you consuming fewer than 1,200 calories per day is too low.
Australia’s sweetheart, Kylie Minogue is still as stunning as the day she charmed her way into our hearts as tomboy mechanic, Charlene Robinson. The Neighbours alumni went on to become one of the country’s top-selling artists, and one of the most successful women in music. With her string of pop hits, Kylie is recognised as the highest-selling Australian artist of all time.