Late-night eats, pregnancy weight that won't budge, and a declining metabolism: No matter how old you are, there's always something that can keep you from your goal weight. But with the right strategy, you can handle any situation life throws at you. To find out how you can tackle each decade's biggest weight-loss traps, we tapped nutrition expert Karen Ansel, R.D., co-author of The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life, to develop a goof-proof navigation plan.

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If you’re cutting carbs or limiting your whole grain intake to a single slice of toast in the morning, you could be doing yourself a disservice when it comes to weight loss. Research conducted on members of the Israeli army found that eating carbs in the evening actually increased weight loss and body fat loss, and consuming whole grains throughout the day can help you fight the bloating and sluggish digestion that often become an issue around menopause. Make healthy carbs a staple in your home by adding the 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes to your routine.
We'd be remiss not to include Madame Goop, who pretty much writes the book (or rather, blog) on whacky detox methods. After a period of indulgence (which could just mean that she had a solitary cigarette and glass of wine), Gwyneth likes to rely on an elimination diet to get her body back to square one. This entails cutting out a laundry list of foods that can potentially aggravate bodily allergies and disturb digestion, ranging from gluten to dairy to orange juice. 3 Simple Steps That Shrink & Incinerate "Over 40" Belly Fat

Adding a daily walk to your routine means you’ve taken the first step toward achieving a healthier weight. Middle-aged and senior women have an increased risk of hip fracture, but staying active can help you burn more calories and lower your chances of suffering an injury. Research suggests that regular exercise can reduce a person’s risk of osteoporosis, and shaving off those extra pounds means you’re putting less strain on your joints, making it easier to prevent a fall that can keep you sidelined. How To Build Muscle After 40 (Best Strategies & Benefits)
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“As we approach 40, our metabolism begins to drop and muscle mass declines,” says Jim White, RD, ACSM, founder of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. He suggests resistance training to help to increase a sluggish metabolism while building muscle mass. “Lift two times a week for maintenance and three times a week to see increases in strength gains,” he says. Lee Priest on Starting Bodybuilding in your 40s

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).
*Note that everyone's metabolism works differently. Though our tips are heart-healthy and can help you burn calories, they may only cause a slight boost in metabolism. "Most individuals don't have a metabolism issue, and there are very few things you can do to significantly increase your metabolism," says Tim Church, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., and endowed chair in health wisdom at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

Also known as the caveman diet, the paleo diet is based on the premise that we should be eating like our prehistoric ancestors if we want to avoid developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. This means you will be eating lots of lean protein, fish, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. As for what you eliminate from your diet, this includes dairy, potatoes, refined sugar, salt, and refined vegetable oils (such as canola). This diet calls for much cooking from scratch, so be prepared to get busy in the kitchen. The payoff? Potentially developing a killer bod.
The gorgeous and exotic Padma Lakshmi is an American actress, author, model and TV personality. Of Indian descent, Padma’s cookbook, Easy Exotic won her the “Best First Book” award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She also hosted Top Chef and won an Emmy for Oustanding reality program. Padma is 47 and has been modelling since she was 21. The mother of one has appeared in campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace and Ralph Lauren.
Whole foods contain an assortment of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that act as metabolic spark plugs, giving you the energy to get up and move around. That’s the theory behind increasingly popular diets like Paleo, which eschews processed foods in favor of lean meat and vegetables. Without preservatives and unnecessary crap in your food, your body will burn clean, and that translates to a faster-moving metabolic engine. How To Build Muscle (40+ years old)
People naturally lose muscle after 40, especially women after menopause. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, this can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to shake those stubborn pounds. Strength-training exercises -- lifting weights or doing body-weight exercises, like push-ups and squats -- at least twice a week can help you keep those muscles.
“Most 40-year-olds can remember the fat-free craze of the ’90s, when Snackwells was king,” says Shapiro. “Well, those days are over.” She advises that you leave the fat-free fake foods behind and enjoy healthy fats that add flavor to your meals and help you fill up with less. “Coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, salmon are rich in vitamins and minerals that will keep you young and fill you up on smaller portions, and therefore fewer calories.” She says. 

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