If you're like many women over 40, you've probably noticed that it's become a lot easier to gain a few pounds than to lose them. The foods that you ate without care in your 20s and 30s now stick to your body like glue, adding bulk to your midsection. The good news: The solution to a slim, firm body at 40-plus is no farther than your fridge. Research shows that, when combined with a little regular exercise, what you eat and when you eat it are your metabolic secret weapons for building muscle mass, the body's prime calorie-burning tissue and a key driver of your metabolism. What Men Over 40 Need To Eat In Order To Get Six Pack Abs
According to the American Heart Association, individuals who get merely 2 percent of their total calorie intake from yogurt reduce their risk of developing hypertension by 31 percent. That amount to one six-ounce cup every three days. For our money, spring for protein-rich Greek yogurt. You’ll experience higher energy levels and stronger muscle function.
Another original supermodel, Christy Turlington Burns, was one of three models the media nicknamed the Trinity. Along with Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista, the three were arguably the most influential models of their time. The 49-year-old has featured in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Prada. She has now founded a charity and is an activist, campaigner, and filmmaker.
The older, wiser, less-bendy sister of yoga, meditation is an amazing activity that people can reap major rewards from. Studies show that people who regularly practice mindfulness meditation have more activity in their left prefrontal cortexes, which makes you calm and happy. Plus, a 2014 study found that individuals who meditate are less likely to overeat or give in to emotional eating. To get started, unroll a yoga mat or sit on a carpet in a sunny room (east-facing if possible) and take five uninterrupted minutes thinking about something that you’re grateful for. You’re supposed to lose a few LBs, but even if you don’t, we guarantee you’ll still be glad you made meditation part of your life.

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According to the American Heart Association, individuals who get merely 2 percent of their total calorie intake from yogurt reduce their risk of developing hypertension by 31 percent. That amount to one six-ounce cup every three days. For our money, spring for protein-rich Greek yogurt. You’ll experience higher energy levels and stronger muscle function.

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“Women over 40 have a very strong sense of self,” says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “They know what they believe in, and why they believe in it. Their confidence often comes from years of living with integrity of their values, and fighting relentlessly to make the world a better place. They know that the smallest things can make the biggest impact.”

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Unless you’re spiking your home-baked goods with hidden veggies and swapping sugar for stevia, you should actively avoid these sweets. Store-bought muffins and cupcakes make our list of foods that age you because they can contain a full day’s worth of added sugar—and the effects of the sweet stuff on aging are quite bitter. A report in Clinics in Dermatology states that glucose and fructose can compromise the collagen and elastin that support your skin’s elasticity, so avoiding baked goods with added sugars is a sure-fire way to keep wrinkles at bay.
Your bones are constantly renewing themselves; old bone is broken down and new bone is made all the time. Up until about age 30, your bones are built up and broken down at a fairly even pace, but after that point, your bones start to break down at a slightly faster pace than your body can rebuild them. Calcium is essential for building new bone, so getting enough is important for boosting bone regrowth as you age. You also need to get enough vitamin D to make sure you’re absorbing calcium. 

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So, when you have alcohol in your system, your body immediately starts working to get break it down and get rid of it, so you’re not metabolizing food as quickly or efficiently. [LET'S TRY TO FUN THIS UP A BIT...SO IT'S NOT FOCUSED ON BREAKING DOWN AND DIGESTING THE PIZZA YOU ATE AFTERWARD OR S/S] “Chronic recreational alcohol over-consumption (including alcoholism ,which is an illness) can certainly impact caloric expenditure,” he says.

Leave it to Madonna to come up with an attention-grabbing diet that has been right in front of our faces, literally, all along. When following the Air Diet, she goes through all the motions of eating: having someone plate the food, put it in front of her, stab it with a fork, and hold it up to her (you don’t think she does that stuff herself, do you??). That’s where it stops.  There is no actual eating involved, unless it's a "soup" of water and salt. We always called that a gargle.

Your go-to fast food joints achieve perfectly crispy fries by frying the spuds in oil that has been reused over and over again. A study in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research found that heating oil to the smoking point during stir-frying may decrease the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids because of oxidative degradation. Those are the heart-healthy fats that nourish your skin and joints. Instead of grabbing a bag of fries at the drive-thru, opt for baking your own at home with a brush of olive oil and fresh herbs. Nutrition for Women After 40
High amounts of sodium can lead to belly bloating and there’s a good chance you are already getting more sodium than you need. (Psst! Get rid of bloating, fast, with these 24 Ways to Shrink Your Belly in 24 Hours.) To cut back on salt intake, Alexandra Miller, RDN, LDN, Corporate Dietitian at Medifast says to eat fewer processed foods like bread, pizza, and condiments. “Read the Nutrition Facts label to find how much sodium is in each serving,” she says. “Very Low Sodium is 35 milligrams or less per serving; Low-Sodium is 140 milligrams or less per serving; Reduced (or less) sodium is at least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level.”
Being over 40 doesn't automatically mean that you now have to cut out certain foods to get (or stay) slim—unless you know deep down that a food is truly getting in the way of your goals. "If having a square of chocolate leads to eating an entire bag of chocolate, having a square of chocolate does not work for you," Cederquist says. (Regain control with these 6 tips to stop overeating.)
It's tougher than ever for celebrities to live and age under the scrutiny of public pressure, if their continual body-shaming is any evidence. And while some claim to eat cheeseburgers and work out whenever they feel like it, others are taking...unconventional means to trim their waists. Japanese potatoes? Baby food? Whiskey? Ahead, some of the strangest fad diets and anti-aging hacks stars have ever tried.

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Suzanne Somers. Marilu Henner. Dr. Phil. Sylvester Stallone. You name the celebrity and odds are they've got a diet program complete with a book, a DVD, infomercial, and maybe even a line of supplements. And those that don't have their own diet, yet, may be outspoken advocates of the latest and greatest in fad diets from South Beach and Atkins to the new Hamptons diet.

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Push-ups, sit-ups, lunges -- your choice. The biggest factor for succeeding with your weight-loss plan once you've reached age 40 is strength training. If you've tried my easy workout, you know that strength training builds lean muscle, which, in turn, can burn 50 calories per pound every day. So push yourself a little: Each morning, between the time you roll out of bed and the moment you hit the shower, string together 20 sit-ups, 20 squats, 20 leg lifts, and as many push-ups as you can manage. It won't take more than five minutes, but over the next year, it can trim five pounds from your frame.
Case in point: In a 10-week preliminary study led by Dr. Apovian and Dr. Westcott, baby boomers who exercised regularly and followed a moderate-calorie diet (1,200 to 1,500 calories for women; 1,500 to 1,800 for men), while simultaneously increasing their protein intake to 1.5 g/kg of ideal body weight, lost nearly 5 times more weight than participants who exercised without changing their diets. They also lost 4 more pounds than exercisers who increased protein intake but didn't keep calories in check. Even better: The calorie- and protein-conscious group gained more muscle, reduced their blood pressure, and dropped 2 inches from their waists.
Over the years, you’ve probably had moments where being able to get by on very little sleep was almost like a badge of honor. But as sleep medicine progresses and people are learning more about sleep health, the ties between your Zzzs and your LBs on the scale are becoming clearer. Losing just an hour of sleep each night for three days can prompt a surge in the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and a slump in the hormone leptin, which tells us when we’re full, says Norfolk, Va.-based clinical psychologist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., coauthor of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan. Deep sleep, on the other hand, fuels production of the fat-burning human growth hormone (HGH). 

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Ideally, we sleep about eight hours for every 24. Most people spend another seven to ten hours sitting at their desk. That means most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our time sedentary. Our bodies weren’t designed for this level of inactivity—most of humans’ evolutionary history involved being active, searching for food and fuel. Nutritionist Lisa Jubilee says that one way to burn more calories daily is to stand more and sit less. She cites a British study which found that standing at work burned 50 more calories per hour than sitting. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider this: If you stand for just three hours of your day, in one year you’d expend more than 30,000 extra calories—which amounts to about 8 lbs of fat!
Boosting metabolism is the holy grail of weight watchers everywhere, but how fast your body burns calories depends on several things. Some people inherit a speedy metabolism. Men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting. And for most people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. Although you can't control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to improve your metabolism. Here are 10 of them.
1.  Eat less added sugar, processed food and refined grains (white bread, bagels, pasta, white rice, you know the drill). A lot less.  According to the sugar science department at UCSF, added sugar is hiding in 74% of all packaged food.  And, the majority of carbohydrates in the typical American diet is made of refined grains.  This means reading labels folks and knowing how many different names there are for sugar.  Just because it’s called “agave nectar” or “cane juice crystals” doesn’t mean it’s any better for you than the white granulated stuff.  Your body doesn’t know the difference and once you eat it, it’s all the same to your pancreas (the organ that produces insulin in response to sugar).  Click this link to see 61 different names of sugar then run to your pantry and read the ingredients on your packaged food.  Prepare for a rude awakening!
Brenda stated exactly what so many women have struggled with in the past, including me. As a doctor of gynecology, I frequently get 40-something women in my office working through self-sabotaging menopausal issues including hot flashes, low energy, near-zero libido, weight gain, and weight loss resistance. Hormonal imbalances contribute to many of these problems. When hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) nose dive, you’ve got the perfect storm for menopausal miseries. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Thinking about having a cocktail — or two — before dinner? Think again. Having a drink before a meal causes people to eat around 200 calories more, several studies show. Drinking with dinner isn't such a good idea either: Other research has found that the body burns off alcohol first, meaning that the calories in the rest of the meal are more likely to be stored as fat. If you do have a cocktail craving, stick to wine, which packs only 80 calories a glass — or minimize the calories by drinking a white-wine spritzer (two ounces of wine mixed with two ounces of seltzer).

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On game day, dinner is always the same in the Curry household. “We have pasta, and I make the same sauce every time,” Ayesha said of her go-to gravy from her cookbook, The Seasoned Life, made with San Marzano tomatoes and her own herbs and seasonings. “We’ll switch out the protein sometimes—ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, sometimes straight-up vegetarian—but, for Stephen, it’s all about the carbs. It’s just getting that pasta in.”


If you’re having trouble losing weight after your 40th, it’s time to ask your doctor about a thyroid screening. Women are more likely to develop thyroid health issues than their male counterparts, which can lead to symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, and depression. Fortunately, for many people, the problem can be fixed with medication and dietary modification, getting you back on track to the body you want in no time.
Madonna will always be one of the sexiest women alive no matter her age. The 59-year-old musical artist practically invented her own brand of sex appeal. She has it all, brains, beauty and boatloads of talent. The mother of six is considered one of the greatest songwriters of all time and is one of the most successful female recording artists in history.
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. 40 EFFECTIVE DAILY EXERCISES FOR WOMEN AFTER 40
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and also a surprisingly effective means of slimming down. The results of the Nurses’ Health Study reveal that, among a group of 60,000 women studied for 16 years, those who got 5 hours of sleep or less at night increased their risk of becoming obese by 15 percent. Getting adequate rest can also reduce your risk of dementia, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Luckily, you’ll be heading off to the Land of Nod in no time once you learn the 20 Ways to Double Your Sleep Quality!
I am not an expert but have been where you are. My doctor told me that due to stress my cortisol hormone was quite high and this can make it difficult to lose weight. I was told to do more soothing exercise (long walks), yoga, and strength exercises. I also was told to eliminate sugar, flour, no red meat etc. it is working. I also have to watch my calories and it is working. You can conquer this Barbara, I wish you all the best.
19. You’re eating too many ready meals – it’s so easy to get home from a busy day at work and pop a ready meal in the microwave. Trouble is, this won’t help you lose weight. Why? Because a/ processed foods are mostly made with vegetable oils that turn in to trans fats in the manufacturing process (trans fats encourage weight gain) and b/ the nutrient value is likely to be much lower than a meal cooked with food from scratch (see no. 12).
Losing weight requires you to burn more calories than you consume. For 1 pound, you have to expend an excess of 3,500 calories. For a safe, one-pound-per-week loss, reduce your caloric intake by 250 and burn 250 calories through exercise. If you can’t exercise every day, that number still has to be achieved through what you eat every day, and how much you exercise on workout days.

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1.  Eat less added sugar, processed food and refined grains (white bread, bagels, pasta, white rice, you know the drill). A lot less.  According to the sugar science department at UCSF, added sugar is hiding in 74% of all packaged food.  And, the majority of carbohydrates in the typical American diet is made of refined grains.  This means reading labels folks and knowing how many different names there are for sugar.  Just because it’s called “agave nectar” or “cane juice crystals” doesn’t mean it’s any better for you than the white granulated stuff.  Your body doesn’t know the difference and once you eat it, it’s all the same to your pancreas (the organ that produces insulin in response to sugar).  Click this link to see 61 different names of sugar then run to your pantry and read the ingredients on your packaged food.  Prepare for a rude awakening!


Make sure you eat breakfast. Eating a nutrient-rich morning meal (like oatmeal with almonds and berries, or a spinach-and-feta omelet with a slice of whole-grain toast) shortly after getting out of bed literally wakes up your metabolism. "Eating breakfast gets the engine going and keeps it going," Hyman explains. It's hard to argue with these results: According to the National Weight Control Registry (an ongoing study that tracks 5,000 people who lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off more than five years), 78% of those who keep it off eat an a.m. meal every day.

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While meat packs a lot of protein in one shot, getting your protein only from animal sources could actually speed muscle loss, according to a 2012 review by the International Osteoporosis Foundation Nutrition Working Group. Why? Meats, as well as grains like wheat and corn, are acid-producing foods that stunt muscle-protein synthesis. The good news: Fruits and vegetables are alkalizing and can help offset some of the muscle-robbing effects of meaty, starchy meals. "Plus, there are a lot of delicious vegetarian sources of protein," says Dr. Gerbstadt. "Try experimenting with tofu, lentils, or beans. They taste great and tend to be lower in calories." When you opt for animal protein, avoid high-fat sources such as regular ground beef, bacon, whole milk, or full-fat cheese.
It was actually the Cookie Diet (see below) that prompted Lüc Carl, Lady Gaga’s ex-boyfriend, to write The Drunk Diet. It’s a plan that fits in perfectly with the pop star’s lifestyle and she’s happy to admit it. "I am on the drunk diet," Gaga said. "I live my life as I want to, creatively. I like to drink whiskey and stuff while I am working. But the deal is I've got to work out every day, and I work out hung over if I am hung over. And it's about the cross training and keeping yourself inspired. I have to say, I do a ton of yoga."

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The editor and all-around fashion powerplayer says she avoids dieting in general (spoken like a true French woman), but does have a couple of preferred beverages for keeping her svelte, couture-ready figure. "I'm very lowkey with my body," she told StyleCaster recently. "I drink green tea all day long, and at night I drink vodka." As for fitness, she prefers ballet.

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While most Americans consume plenty of protein, research shows that some women begin skimping on the muscle-sustaining nutrient as they age, consuming less than the RDA. Calorie-conscious dieters also tend to cut back on protein, when they should be doing the opposite. "Cutting back causes your body to rob your muscles for energy, leaving you thinner but also flabbier and weaker," says Dr. Apovian. "Not only does losing muscle make your clothing fit poorly, but you begin to burn fewer calories, so even if you're eating the same amount, you can easily regain the weight you shed." Having less muscle mass also makes you weaker, making it harder to do simple activities, so you become more inclined to crash on the couch. Eventually, the scale climbs back up and you start all over again, chipping away at muscle mass and putting the chill on your metabolism with each diet you try.


Hormones: One of the main culprits for weight gain is, of course, our hormones, which start to change right around the mid-30s and into the 40s. This change in hormones, less estrogen for women and less testosterone for men, cause the fat in our bodies fat to shift to the middle of the body while abandoning other areas of the body you could care less about. That's one reason you may get a little fluffier around the middle while other parts of you actually get smaller.
That mom of three who also teaches spin class and always looks fanfreakintastic? Awesome. But that’s not attainable for everyone, which can leave you feeling frustrated that you can’t be a workout god or goddess, too. The good news: You only need 2 ½ minutes to boost your metabolism and start burning calories, too. Research printed in the journal Physiological Reports showed that people who did five 30-second bursts of max-effort cycling, followed by 4 minutes of rest, burned 200 extra calories that day and boosted their metabolism for the next 24-48 hours. It’s highly unlikely you have a stationary bike handy at your place of work, but a similar result could be achieved by running up the stairs and doing jumping jacks. And while we’re talking work, check out these 21 Ways Your Job Is Making You Fat.

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For new moms, it’s a win just to slip in a shower and brush your teeth. And though it seems impossible, you can make working out work. Ansels says that finding a gym with child care or subscribing to online workouts that you can do during naps can be a big help. For an active recovery, take long walks with your baby in his or her stroller—and you might be surprised how quickly you can bounce back into shape, says Ansel.
Do you remember when the only person you had to feed was yourself? Those days are gone. For many women over 40, the main concern is getting enough food on the table to satisfy one husband and two or three children -- fast. And more often than not, those meals are composed of what you know the kids will eat. The trouble is, many of these are unhappy meals for an adult on a diet. Cheeseburgers? Pizza? Macaroni and cheese? Don't get me started. Rather than tailoring your dinners to your children's whims, maybe it's time they started eating more like adults. Pasta primavera. Broiled scallops. Grilled salmon. Or just add a big bowl of steamed vegetables as the first course. If these menu changes feel drastic, try alternating kid days with grown-up days. It'll be healthier for all of you.
We all know sitting around too much is really bad for our health: One meta-analysis reported that prolonged sedentary time was associated with harmful health outcomes, and many other studies have shown it can (obviously!) lead to weight gain. Limiting your time in front of the TV at night and even trying to stand more while you're at work — perhaps with a standing desk — can increase your metabolism, helping you lose weight with minimal effort.

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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.

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Bodybuilders have known for years that strategically placed ‘cheat meals’ can help prevent the metabolic slowdown mentioned above. One meal every five to seven days that contains as many carbs and calories as desired can work. Just make sure not to make a habit out of cheat meals. In fact, you could also just as easily eat clean each day and meet your calorie needs, rather than consistently depriving yourself, then occasionally indulging.   7 Best Ways To Lose Weight After Menopause

Justin Timberlake trains in the morning, and thus, he eats two daily breakfasts, according to Bon Appétit. “I’ll have waffles with flax seed and almond butter and one egg scrambled. Then I’ll work out and have a second breakfast–another egg or a protein shake. Within a half-hour to 40 minutes after a workout, that’s when you want to load up on protein. I mostly work out so I can eat religiously.”


Funny how as your waistline expands, your interest in tracking the numbers wanes. Don't let it. It's no longer advisable to guesstimate your weight by the way your favorite jeans fit (or don't fit). Headlines that scream, "Stop Being a Slave to Your Scale!" are missing the point: Post-40 weight gain sneaks up on you. If the plane symbolizes your body, then its instrument panel is your scale -- it provides you with important data. Once a week, same time, same scale, weigh yourself and see with your own eyes what's happening with your body. 

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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.
After a week or two, your body will adjust to a more active lifestyle. That's when it's time to add workouts that increase metabolism. If you are healthy enough for vigorous exercise add one HIIT or Tabata session per week. Then gradually add one or two more. You can also add up to 3 strength training workouts per week to increase your metabolism with lean muscle mass. 
Sound a bit extreme? That's because it is extreme. The Master Cleanse is really more of a fast than a diet. Most people, if they stick to the plan, will lose a bit of weight, largely due to the fact that they are taking in exponentially fewer calories on this diet than they would if they were eating normally. Also probably because mixing all of those things into the same glass is more than a little disgusting. What's more? Once a dieter who has done the Master Cleanse goes back to a normal eating pattern, he or she is likely going to gain the weight right back again. 
Brenda swapped out her adrenal-zapping cardio (which she hated anyway!) for weight resistance and high-intensity interval training. Studies show HIIT helps you lose weight, lower blood pressure, and reduce oxidative stress (all big problems during menopause). Another study found menopausal women who combined a ketogenic diet with resistance training became leaner than those who didn’t.

The freezer aisle is stocked with appetizing frozen dinners that make busy weeknight suppers a breeze, but these convenient and inexpensive foods may cost you your health in the long run. Many of these meals are jam-packed with sodium and preservatives and are void of sufficient fiber, which will help keep you full and less prone to midnight munchies.


Our obligations to our families, jobs, and community tend to increase along with our age, making it harder to find time to attend in-person weight loss groups. Luckily, research published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics suggests that online social support can encourage weight loss every bit as much as in-person meetings, making it easier to shed the pounds, even if factors like your schedule or mobility issues are making it hard to leave the house.
Organic, local, gluten-free and vegan, the Sakara food plan delivers meals straight to your home or office. It's up to you to decide if you want a one-day cleanse, a five- or 20-day plan, or a three-month subscription. Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise founded the company in 2011 to "promote balance in all areas of life...true health means you're making the right choices for your body because you want to, not because you have to." Customer Iman says of the program, "Danielle and Whitney make quite a pair and all they want is for women to feel good in their bodies. They are sharing their passion for great food, and great style, with the rest of the world."

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