Women have plenty to say, and these mellowed voices of women with a few years behind them and many years ahead of them speak into so many areas of my life. From the joy of adoption to the trials (and laughter) of menopause to the beauty of aging gracefully, I found well-written essays that made me laugh and cry and those speak to my heart. This is the perfect Mother's Day gift and I'm giving several away to friends "of an age". 3 Simple Steps That Shrink & Incinerate "Over 40" Belly Fat
If you’ve gained girth after 40, it may be a sign that your liver isn’t functioning optimally. Avoiding toxins will help it work more efficiently — and slim your middle. Cut down on sugar, artificial sweeteners and trans fatty acids. Re-evaluate your need for over-the-counter pain relievers and limit your alcohol consumption to just two servings (preferably of red wine) a couple of times a week.

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The gorgeous actress' top tip is actually a hair and body twofer: "When I'm showering, I'll turn the water to cold for the last couple minutes," she told Into the Gloss. "A hairstylist friend told me [it] closes the hair cuticle...and I always feel like it makes you a little bit skinnier." We can get on board with shinier locks, but the latter? Um...


Having a salad for lunch or dinner fills you up with belly-flattening fiber and nutrients, and adding one more ingredient will really stoke your metabolism: salmon. You already learned the metabolism-boosting effects of protein, but with salmon in particular you'll also get a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. In a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, supplementing diets with fish oil for six weeks increased lean muscle and decreased fat. Other studies have shown similar effects. Scientists speculate this reaction may be due to fish oil's ability to reduce levels of fat-storage enzymes in the body.

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“Solitude sparks creativity,” Cozias says. Women over 40 aren’t afraid to be alone, in their leisure time or even in life. “Being alone often allows you time to get back to the hobbies and activities you enjoyed doing as a child. You can also get out into nature, absorb, and observe. When you take time for yourself, you get the chance to connect with emotions and your inner voice. This helps bring a quiet repose to your day which can actually make you a much better a partner in relationships.”
We all should’ve cut back on sugar a long time ago, but after 40, it’s especially important. “Lowering your sugar intake can lower the production of harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGES) that can deplete the body of antioxidant stores and age us,” explains LeVeque. “AGEs are produced when proteins or fats combine with sugar, and the best way to keep internal production low is to keep blood sugar under control.”

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But, Bustillo cautions against hanging too much hope on this: “Many companies that sell the ‘after burn’ or ‘metabolic workouts’ are just utilizing a marketing strategy with [a grain of science behind it],” he says. “They're not technically lying, because training can increase BMR [in the 24 hours post-workout], but it's not by more than 200-300 calories on average.” [IS THAT NOT SIGNIFICANT THOUGH? THAT GETS YOU AT LEAST HALFWAY TO THE 500-CAL DEFECIT YOU NEED PER DAY TO LOSE 1-2 LBS PER WEEK. I DON'T THINK WE TOTALLY WANT TO TRASH THE PROMISE THAT HIIT CAN CREATE AFTERBURN]
We know, we know: It’s flu season. But we’re sorry to say that, after our research team here at Eat This, Not That! dug into the science, we have some bad news for you: Your hand sanitizer could be making you fat. Triclosan is a synthetic antibacterial agent frequently added to soap. It’s referred to by researchers as an “obesogen”—a compound that can potentially cause weight gain by disrupting the body’s endocrine (hormone) system. Studies suggest that triclosan can negatively affect the thyroid. As thyroid hormones control metabolism, any hit to the organ’s functionally could cause you to gain weight. The evidence is of particular concern for hospital workers, researchers say, as they’re exposed to the antibacterial agent on a regular basis and often show significantly higher levels of triclosan in their urine. A study in the journal PLOS One found a detectable level was associated with a 0.9-point increase in body mass index (BMI). If you’re a frequent hand-washer, experts recommend sticking to good ol’ soap—not the antibacterial kind—and to buy organic cleansers when possible.
It can get overwhelming to keep up with all the superfoods out there, we know. But if there’s one amazing food you should be getting more of (and that we know you’re not), it’s seaweed. The sea plant is a great source of iodine and you can enjoy seaweed in sushi, broth-based soups, as chips or snacks, and more. “Without sufficient levels of iodine, your thyroid function becomes impaired and it’s harder for your body to burn fat,” says nutritionist Dana James of Food Coach NYC, who suggests sneaking sea vegetables into your diet at least three times a week. Seaweed also contains a compound called alginate, which has been shown to significantly cut fat absorption, says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear–with Fiber.

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I’m 64 and was in the same boat, Barbara. Stressed, long hours at work, family obligations, with no time for the gym or to go on weekend bike rides with my friends. I started walking the 3 miles to and from work as the most efficient way to get daily exercise. As a bonus, the walking helped relieve my mental stress, to some degree. (I am lucky to have a pleasant and safe 3 mile route to work, and realize not everyone is so lucky.) Despite all that walking, though, I gained 15-20 pounds over 2 years. This year, I got a little more time to take up weekend biking again, but still the weight did not budge. So, I decided to try Weight Watchers when I found that there is an on-line only option (who needs another weekly meeting to go to when she is already stressed for time?). It turned out to be the key for me. I have lost 37 pounds in 4.5 months and am now only 6 pounds from my target (what I think is my ideal) weight. You can have your Fitbit feed into the WW app on your phone, making it easy to track your walking and biking contributions to “fitpoints”, which help to determine how much you can eat and still lose weight. What WW really does is make you mindful of everything you eat (because you log it all on an easy to use phone app), and guides you to making better choices (basically, avoid processed foods, white flour, white rice, sweets, etc most of the time, though you can have all of these once in a while and still stick to the plan). For me, the plan has been easy to follow; I rarely feel deprived on it. There are no special foods or supplements to buy, I can go to restaurants or to meals at the homes of friends and relatives and either choose the most suitable items available to eat, or make up for excesses pretty easily either before or after the fact. I don’t know if my plan will work for you or others, but wanted to throw it out as an option in case it might.
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.

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More commonly known as Liz Hurley, the English actress and model got her first modelling job at 29 years old. Now, the 52-year-old is widely considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. After playing major and minor roles in a number of films like Austin Powers, she now stars in the E! original series The Royals and regularly appears in Estée Lauder campaigns.

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If you're someone who loves being cold while they sleep, you might already be doing your metabolism some good. A small study looked at how lowering the temperature while you're catching some zzzs may increase your levels of "brown fat" — the "good" fat that keeps you warm in cold temps by burning calories to generate heat. When the participants in the study slept at 66 degrees opposed to warmer temperatures, their amount of brown fat increased, while the opposite occurred during the months their sleeping areas were warmer. Turns out blasting the AC can really do you some good.

Even when you’re at rest, your body is constantly burning calories. In fact, 75 percent of the calories that you burn each day are being used up just keeping you alive. “Resting metabolic rate” is much higher in people with more muscle, because every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself. If you can pack on just five pounds of muscle and sustain it, you’ll burn the caloric equivalent of three pounds of fat over the course of a year. Workout Advice for Older Men (STARTING AT AGE 15!!)

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."
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. Weight Loss Tips For Age Forty Plus (40+)
It’s no surprise that Victoria Secret models follow some strict diets, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is no exception. She follows a plan by Dr. Nigma Talib, who practices naturopathy, which is a system of treatment that focuses on diets, herbs, vitamins, and natural agents to heal, rather than surgery and prescription drugs. Dr. Talib doesn’t let you have sugar, dairy, gluten, or alcohol.

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If you're scratching your head wondering why your husband can lose 25 pounds in two months by making some simple lifestyle changes, here's why. “Women naturally have a higher percentage of body fat and lower muscle mass than men do,” explains Gillian Mueller Goddard, M.D., endocrinologist at Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition PLLC in New York City. “Muscle is more metabolically active than fat is, it utilizes more energy in the form of calories. The average man is also just larger than the average woman, so it takes more calories to maintain a larger body mass. Between these two differences, men can consume more calories to maintain or lose weight than women can.”

Like the true Italian siren she is, the iconic actress loves pasta so much, she even famously published a cookbook devoted to her native country's cuisine (1971's In the Kitchen with Love). Here's the catch: According to celebrity diet guinea pig and author of I'll Have What She's Having, Rebecca Harrington, the portion sizes are very, very small—the size of a balled-up fist. Still, it's not a bad practice to scale down refined carbohydrates, and in the end, you get your spaghetti fix. How to Fight Fat Over 40 - Fitness with PJ Webinar Exclusive


Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but it uses more energy, too. The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That means you're resetting your thermostat to keep running at that rate even on the days when you don't make it to the gym, Hunter explains.
If there’s any kind of fat to avoid, it’s trans fats. These fatty acids have been shown to raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol — that’s the opposite of what you want your dietary fats to do for your body. Butter and oil, on the other hand, can help reduce your cholesterol and encourage the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.
“The 50s come as a shock to many people,” warns Larson. “People who have never had trouble losing or maintaining their weight suddenly find it’s a real struggle.” You might have better life balance at this point, but your body is downshifting to a different gear, and getting super efficient at storing fat. “That doesn’t mean you give up, now or ever!” says Larson. “But you have to adjust your mindset, expect changes to come slowly, and set a new weight goal.” Larson recommends tapping up your activity and reducing your calories by 300 to 400 per day, in order to maintain.

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Tired of your usual workout? Try adding some yoga to your lineup and you might just find those pounds melting off easier than you ever thought possible. A 160-pound woman can expect to burn approximately 477 calories per hour of hot yoga; if you’re up for power yoga, that number jumps to 594. Fortunately, yoga is also low-impact and great for improving muscle tone, reducing stress on your joints and providing support for your bones that may reduce your risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.
In their quests to get trim, many dieters think that refraining from a few olive oil drizzles will help cut calories and boost overall weight loss; meanwhile, it’s actually the complete opposite. The heart-healthy oil helps unlock the nutritional benefits of fat-soluble vitamins’ (vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are found in many veggies like salad greens). Olive oil is also linked to reducing weight circumference and preventing heart disease, giving you the green light to dress that spinach salad.

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"At age 40 to maintain your weight, that is to not gain weight, you're going to have to eat 100 calories less a day, and that has nothing to do with anything other than the natural course of aging. That means your resting metabolic rate," Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and associate director of the UPMC Nutrition Center in Pittsburgh, tells WebMD.

It’s a simple truth that most women don’t look forward to getting older. Shocker, I know. Considering society’s general attitude toward aging, it’s easy to understand why. And yet, there are some really amazing things about reaching your fifth, sixth, seventh decade and beyond. One of the biggest? Knowledge based on life experience—something no twenty-something can claim.


In order to gain more muscle weight for the job, he toldEntertainment Weekly that he packed on the protein (unsalted chicken and spinach), though his eating schedule was more...unorthodox. Called the "16-8 Diet," Jackman would fast for 16 hours of the day and then eat 5,000 calories in eight hours (about twice the recommended daily amount for men).

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Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but it uses more energy, too. The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That means you're resetting your thermostat to keep running at that rate even on the days when you don't make it to the gym, Hunter explains.

If you're cutting calories to lose weight, add 200-300 to your daily intake once in a while, says Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham, a senior Yoga Medicine instructor. "The body will get used to a calorie deficit diet, adjusting by slowing the metabolic rate. By allowing yourself a day of indulgence (not overindulgence!), you're creating a healthy balance," she explains. "The extra calories raise leptin production, a hormone that regulates appetite and energy. This rise triggers thermogenesis, the body's natural tendency to create heat, which results in burning calories." Pass the dessert menu!
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.

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The truth: As with any eating plan, if you can stick with the lifestyle changes it advises for a long time, it might be worth a shot. Experts also advise people transitioning to a vegan diet to replace meat and dairy with foods that have a similar nutritional profile, like tofu, beans, and dark, leafy greens to ward off nutrient deficiencies. Also, instead of Bey and Jay Z's plan, which costs about $600 for 22 days, you might want to simply try going vegan with a friend.

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Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, fresh herbs and spices provide the proteins, carbohydrates and fats that give you energy and even blood sugar levels. Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, fish oils, seeds, nuts, soybeans) promote longer-lasting, stable energy levels. Lean proteins (fish, soy foods, white meat poultry, lean meats and low-fat dairy) offer essential proteins for better digestion and muscle building.

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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.
Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Cooking foods with a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate. The effect is probably temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits may add up. For a quick boost, spice up pasta dishes, chili, and stews with red pepper flakes.
Scarfing breakfast while checking email, working through lunch, and scrolling through your phone during dinner: Sound familiar? “When we eat in front of a computer or any screen, we eat more and feel less satisfied than when we eat in a tech-free zone,” says Ansel. Breaking the habit isn’t easy (we get it, a girl's got to multitask), but consuming fewer mindless calories is worth the struggle. If you can’t get out to eat lunch during the workday, visit the office break room for a few minutes to chow down. Then, attempt to eat dinner without the TV on or your phone in front of you. You might find that you actually like focusing on your food. 
“Hormones dictate how our body utilizes the energy we give it,” says nutritionist Lisa Jubilee. “Between our reproductive, thyroid and growth hormones, appetite, insulin, and hunger hormone leptin and ghrelin, our bodies have to perform a tricky balancing act to keep us lean, energized and viable reproductive beings.” Those tasks have become much more difficult because of the hormone residues we consume via cage-raised foods. If you want to give your metabolism a leg up, Jubilee says, switch to organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, eggs, and dairy products, thereby avoiding those nasty hormones at mealtime.
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.
An ancient remedy for obnoxious tummy troubles, ginger is a natural miracle worker when it comes to your gut. But its powers aren’t limited to ridding your body of nausea and bloat—this root spice has also been linked to slashing cancer risk and reducing arthritis symptoms. Researchers attribute ginger’s health benefits to its gingerols, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-disease compounds.

Keeping a journal is great for preserving more than just memories; it’s an amazing tool for maintaining your weight loss, too. As we get older, our memories tend to become a bit less sharp than they were in our younger years, making it easy to forget those little bites of dessert we took, and making it even easier for them to show up as unwanted pounds on the scale. Fortunately, a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center For Health Research reveals that individuals who consistently tracked their eating habits enjoyed a nearly 50 percent greater weight loss than those who skipped the journaling.
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.) How to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat After 40

Tired of your usual workout? Try adding some yoga to your lineup and you might just find those pounds melting off easier than you ever thought possible. A 160-pound woman can expect to burn approximately 477 calories per hour of hot yoga; if you’re up for power yoga, that number jumps to 594. Fortunately, yoga is also low-impact and great for improving muscle tone, reducing stress on your joints and providing support for your bones that may reduce your risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.


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.

Swap out your traditional add-ons for a dash of cinnamon. According to a study in Diabetes Care, a mere half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can set your blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels straight—and will reduce your calorie intake by 70 calories per cup. Small wonder that this simple swap is one of the 15 Best 60-Second Health Hacks.
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.”

At this point, you’ve spent around 20 or more years in the workforce. You’ve paid your dues and ran circles around your competition—resulting in your own office, possibly. So, why aren’t you owning that space like the boss you are? The first tweak for your office makeover: Invest in a height-adjustable stand-up desk; the crew at Eat This, Not That! uses Veridesk and swears by them. Here’s why this can be such a game changer for your waistline: A British study 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 work day, you’ll expend more than 30,000 extra calories per year—which amounts to about 8 pounds of fat!

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What does that mean for you? That the weight loss process naturally becomes harder as you get older...that's just a fact and accepting it means you can stop punishing yourself or feeling ashamed about your body. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the things you can control: Your workouts, activity levels, diet, stress management, sleep management and, most important, your attitude.

4. You’ve got some unwelcome guests living in your gut – our gut flora (our micro-organism friends) outnumber our own cells by 10 to 1! You could say we are just providing a home for the billions of them. I’m talking bacteria, yeast, fungus, viruses and parasites. We all have good and bad types and generally they all live happily together, but if you have too many of the bad guys through either too many antibiotics, poor diet, infection or other reasons, then they can hugely impact your weight loss efforts.
The smoothie revolution is here, and lots of people are swilling down bushels of leafy greens. Believe it or not, there’s a downside to this ingenious delivery method. A big part of the body’s job—breaking down food so that the body can absorb nutrients—has been outsourced to our Nutribullets and Vitamixes. That means that the body is expending much less energy than it would if we were eating kale, spinach, and bananas in their solid form. Smoothies are great for weight loss, but by prioritizing lean meats, fish, fibrous vegetables and fruit, you are driving up TEF (the Thermic Effect of Food, or your metabolic rate after eating) and expending more calories on digestion.

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By now, you should know that weight and health problems are often the result of an accumulation from what you’re consuming. With that in mind, take a moment to think about how you’ve had at least four decades to accumulate toxins from food and drink—some seriously bad stuff that can lead to obesity. Many of those come from pesticides and hormones in your meat and produce. So start choosing organic fruits and vegetables and hormone-free meat. If the sticker prices seem silly to you, at least get started with these 17 Cheap Organic Foods You Should Be Buying!
Each time you eat, enzymes in your body's cells break down the food and turn it into energy that keeps your heart beating, your mind thinking and your legs churning during a grueling workout. The faster your metabolism runs, the more calories you burn. The more you burn, the easier it is to drop pounds. And get this—you can make your metabolism work harder, a lot harder, 24 hours a day.
In a study conducted by Swiss and German researchers, lucky participants ate about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks. Ultimately, these chocolate nibblers had lower stress-hormone levels and a more regulated metabolism than a control group. Scientists speculate that chemicals in cocoa, such as flavonoids, play a role in regulating metabolism by alleviating stress that can cause your fat-burning engines to go on the fritz. Should you think this is a license to go wild, take heed: We’re talking small amounts of high-quality dark chocolate. Researchers say 1.5 ounces is enough.

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