So I formulate a plan to really buckle down and get serious: I will eat my burgers on lettuce leaves instead of buns, spiralize zucchini in place of pasta, and abstain when we take the boys to the ice cream shop. I will give up cheese. I will stop making homemade bread. And pie. I will strip my diet of all starches and sugar. Maybe I will go Paleo. Or vegan. I'll do that Gwyneth Paltrow cleanse. And start recording every morsel that passes my lips with one of those calorie-tracking apps.
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An apple a day does keep the doctor away, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Research published in Nutrition reveals that eating three apples a day was associated with significantly more weight loss than eating a similarly-caloric oat-based snack. And when you want to discover the fountain of youth, start with the 25 Foods That’ll Keep You Young Forever.
The Deal: This one is more of a tip/trick than a full-fledged diet. Every morning when you wake up, have a cup of warm water with fresh lemon juice. That’s right. No Pop-Tarts. No coffee. Lemon juice and hot water first thing. Apparently, the mixture helps with digestion; the acid in lemon juice “works with the body to nourish and to enhance proper function,” Roxanne Sukol, MD, a preventive medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, told Yahoo Health.
"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.
It's tempting to curl up on the couch the minute PMS mood swings and bloat strike, but you'll lose more weight if you exercise during those two weeks before your period, according to a recent study at the University of Adelaide in Australia. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruating," says study coauthor Leanne Redman. Here's why: The reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their peak then — and because they promote the body's use of fat as energy, more fat is burned off when you exercise during this time.
Instead of ditching carbs or going low-fat, try a diet that's rich in veggies, beans, and legumes to increase your metabolism — and keep your blood sugar from spiking. "Many people think weight is all about calories in, calories out, but quality also matters," says Aunna Pourang, M.D. "[In a 2012 study], low-carb diets showed the most increase in metabolism, but also showed an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This is why scientists concluded that the low-glycemic diet worked the best."
“While younger folks can get away with skipping breakfast or simply eating a starchy ‘weight loss’ cereal or bar, research suggests that eating 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is ideal—especially as we age,” Chris Mohr, former sports nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals tells us. What’s more, many of these commercial bars sneak in a ton of unneeded ingredients such as artificial sugars and inflammatory palm oil.
Hudgens doesn’t shy away from bacon. It’s all part of the High School Musical actress and singer’s keto diet plan, which she says helped her drop 20 lbs from of her 5-foot-2-inch-tall frame in 2017 (in addition to the twice-a-day SoulCycle sessions, that is). Her advice? She told People News in April 2017 that it’s best to view food as fuel. She advises eating the things that give you long-lasting energy, and don’t stress about counting calories.
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If you were very active in your younger years, you may have had some injuries. Like a spicy pepperoni pizza does after dinner, those injuries from your carefree days can come back to haunt you. These ghosts of injuries past show up in the form of early arthritis, bone spurs, tighter muscles, pinched nerves, etc. After our 30’s, new injuries also take longer heal. No wonder we slow down.
Bodybuilders have long sworn by eating every few hours to keep their muscles fueled, but don’t discount the weight loss potential of three squares a day. A study in the journal Hepatology put two groups of men on weight-gain diets. One group divided the calories among three small meals with snacks in between while the second group ate the same number of calories in three square meals. While both groups gained weight, researchers found that belly fat—the dangerous kind that increases heart-disease risk—only increased in the high-meal frequency group.
Down a large Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Milkshake from Baskin-Robbins and you’ll devour 42 Chips Ahoy cookies worth of sugar and almost a half-pound worth of calories. Instead, you can make a protein shake at home with wholesome add-ins such as dates, cacao nibs, and a rich protein powder that can help you feel satiated without adding weight onto your waistline.
If there’s one supplement most Americans should be taking, it’s vitamin D. It’s essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue, but researchers estimate that a measly 20 percent of Americans take in enough via their diet. While you can nail 90 percent of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon, popping a daily supplement is pretty convenient. Other good dietary sources: tuna, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs. Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 40 and 50 - Learn How to FIX Your Metabolism
If you drink, try opting for red wine instead of white and you might just find yourself a few pounds —and inches— smaller in no time. Red wine is a good source of resveratrol, which has been deemed effective at reducing belly fat and improving memory retention in the aging brain. Even better, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine reveals that resveratrol supplementation was effective at improving hormonal issues in overweight postmenopausal women, potentially bolstering your weight loss efforts.
16. You’re eating on the run and bolting down your food – when you’re busy it’s easy to just scoff something at your desk or in your car. But when you eat too fast, you’re not chewing your food and it can pass through undigested. And stress can add to that by inhibiting your production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Not only are you missing the nutrients from the food, but undigested foods can damage your gut lining and seriously hamper your weight loss goals!
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Load up on low-fat dairy: Women who consumed milk, yogurt, and cheese three to four times a day lost 70 percent more body fat than women who didn't eat dairy in a study published in the January 2003 American Society for Nutritional Sciences Journal of Nutrition. The reason: Calcium, along with other substances in dairy, actually revs up your metabolism, telling your body to burn excess fat faster, according to study author Michael Zemel, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. And no, fortified o.j. won't do the trick. The best results come from dairy products instead of from other calcium-rich foods (like broccoli), calcium-fortified products (such as orange juice) or supplements. Women reap the largest fat-burning benefit when they consume three servings of dairy and 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, Zemel's research shows.
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You might want to think twice before ditching dairy if you’re trying to lose weight—despite what your Paleo-preaching CrossFit friends tell you. Cheese is a satisfying, portable, and inexpensive food that’s packed with calcium, vitamin D, and protein. “Calcium can also promote weight loss because it helps maintain muscle mass, which boosts and helps maintain metabolism, helping you burn calories more efficiently throughout the day,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories & Fat Disappear—With Fiber! That doesn’t mean you can help yourself to a cheese-drenched casserole, though. Work cheese into fiber-rich snacks to make them more satiating.