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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Green tea blasts away the sort of flab we get more of as we age. Researchers attribute the fat-burning properties of green tea to catechins, specifically EGCG — the name of a group of antioxidative compounds that fry adipose tissue by revving the metabolism, increasing the release of flab from fat cells (particularly in the belly), then speeding up the liver’s fat-burning capacity. Green tea is so powerful for weight loss that we made it the centerpiece of our new 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost 4 inches from their waists! 

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The former Victoria's Secret Angel is hardly secretive about how she stays so fit, not that we're complaining. One of her top tips for beating bloat? A spoonful of unrefined coconut oil, consumed daily. Believe it or not, it's actually a practice many of our go-to nutrition experts swear by to get digestion moving and flush out the system first thing in the morning. (Try stirring a teaspoon into your coffee—it's amazing.)
A striking new study published in the journal Diabetes suggests that simply turning on the AC may subtly transform a person’s stores of brown fat, the “good” fat stimulated by cold temperatures, that serves to keep us warm by burning through “bad” fat stores. Participants spent a few weeks sleeping in bedrooms with varying temperatures: a neutral 75 degrees, a cool 66 degrees, and a balmy 81 degrees. After four weeks of sleeping at 66 degrees, the men had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. Cool! (In fact, your bedroom is an often-overlooked weight loss booster. We found 20 Surprising Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep.)

You lose muscle mass as you age, which decreases your metabolism, but you can offset that decline by strength training every major muscle group at least two times per week. Putting these habits into place now, in your 40s, means you'll not only lose the weight at a reasonably quick rate, but you'll stay healthy, strong and lean into your later years, too.
Christine Taylor is probably better known as Marcia Brady. That’s right; your 90s teen crush is now 46. But with her bouncy blonde hair and blue eyes, she is still as stunning as she ever was. The mother of two and ex-wife of Ben Stiller starred in Zoolander, The Wedding Singer and Dodgeball. She also appeared on Saved By The Bell and Arrested Development. 

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“Always be prepared for a busy or unpredictable day by keeping healthy snacks on you, at your desk, in your car,” says nutritionist Amy Shapiro. She suggests keeping almonds or other unsalted nuts, apples, bananas, chia bars, protein bars, or other fruit and nut bars close at hand. Shapiro says that if you have to skip breakfast, lunch, or even dinner during your quest to look your best, you can keep your energy levels up while making healthy choices. “You’ll have no reason to run to the vending machine for chips or stick your hand in the candy bowl,” she says. For the healthiest ideas on the planet, check out our list of the 50 Best Snack Ideas for Weight Loss!
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.
While it may seem like a small change, taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a big difference when it comes to your weight loss. According to research conducted at McMaster University, short bursts of stair climbing significantly improved study subjects’ cardiovascular health. Better yet, an average-weight person can expect to burn more than 10 calories per flight of stairs—not an insignificant number over the course of a week or month. Need more incentive to break a sweat? The 7 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Exercise will have you convinced.
According to a review published in the journal Obesity, legumes—including beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas—could keep you from the snack drawer until dinner. Researchers found that subjects who consumed between ¾ and 1 cup of legumes daily felt as much as 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t! But there’s a catch: Although participants felt fuller when they ate legumes, they didn’t always eat less throughout the day. It’s still up to you to tune out the call of cravings—a completely different beast than hunger. But when it comes to willpower boosters, beans are a great way to get a jumpstart. They’re also one of the 30 Best Food for 6-Pack Abs.

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Although you shouldn’t go to bed starving (that presents its own sleepytime problems), you also shouldn’t hit the sack completely stuffed. When you eat a large meal before bed, your body works to digest it long into the night — and if your body is still worked up, so are you. The later you fall asleep, the less rest you’ll get, and you’ll wake up feeling groggy and more likely to reach for calorie-dense items. We know that you’re still cool, and you’d like to eat dinner at a more fashionable hour, but supping on the earlier side could be a huge boost to your weight-loss goals. (And avoid these 30 Bad Habits That Lead to a Fat Belly!) 3 Secrets to Burn Stubborn Belly Fat Faster

The secret to Katy Perry's "California Gurl" body? Mushrooms. With the M-Plan diet, Perry eats a mushroom-packed lunch or dinner every day for 14 days, then watches the pounds slip off. Great for removing unwanted bulk from problem areas like the stomach and thighs, the program still allows the dieter to retain her womanly shape—the mushroom meal plan won't effect the bust. How I lost 50 lbs at 47 years old | My Weight Loss Journey
Paltrow has been known to dole out pretty wacky health advice through her wellness lifestyle brand Goop, like recommending body stickers to ease anxiety, as People reported in August 2017. According to a 2017 Bravo story, the actress and business mogul is a fan of the keto diet, which has a lot more research backing it up than some of her other claims. An article on Goop explains what the diet is all about and how to determine if it’s the right one for you.

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Another gluten-free grain, quinoa is loaded with protein as well as all nine essential amino acids that we need for energy and growth. What’s more, “Whole grains give us fiber, which is key to helping digestion and satiety,” Carrillo explains. “They allow you to stay satisfied for longer. Whole grains prevent the rise in blood sugar as well and help to regulate blood sugar. They also work to reduce cholesterol, which is heart healthy.”
They say that idle hands are the devil’s playthings, and that’s certainly true when it comes to weight loss. Keeping your hands busy with activities like knitting, origami, or even those dreaded fidget spinners, can help you from reaching for the closest fatty or sugary snack. Research also suggests that using your hands to fidget throughout the day can burn upwards of 300 calories, making it easier to slim down in an expeditious manner.
Colette Heimowitz, Kardashian's nutritionist, explained to Elle, "The beauty about Atkins is that it meets all the nutritional requirements you need post-pregnancy and for pregnancy, because you're eating adequate protein, you're eating healthy fats, and high-fiber carbohydrates, and some fruits and nuts, and a wide variety of protein. You don't have to do low-calorie." How To Lose Weight Fast For Women Over 40 - Diet Plan To Lose Weight Fast
It’s well reported that fiery capsaicin (think: hot sauce, cayenne, chili) can rev up the metabolism, but study findings presented at the Experimental Biology meeting in Anaheim, California, showed similar weight loss potential in dihydrocapsiate (DCT), the non-spicy cousin of hot peppers. Participants who ate the most DCT experienced a metabolic boost that was nearly double the placebo group! Bottom line: Pile on the poblanos!

After suffering for many years with everything from bullying to bulimia, Lady Gaga dropped 25 to 30 pounds with a low-glycemic index diet. Gaga is said to have followed the 5-Factor Diet, only eating healthy foods from five categories – healthy fats, fiber, "low-glycemic" carbohydrates, protein and sugarless drinks. (The glycemic index ranks foods by the speed at which they raise blood sugar levels as they get digested.) She avoided highly-processed meats, fried foods, foods high in saturated fat (like butter, ice cream and desserts), simple carbohydrates (including white bread and white rice) and sugary treats. Her plan included eating five times per day, usually broken down into two meals and three light snacks.

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You already know to keep calories and fat in check, but you'll fan the flames of your metabolism by putting another nutrient on your radar: protein, the building block of lean muscle mass. Each time you eat a protein-rich food—say, a piece of fish or cheese—your body goes to work, breaking it down into smaller particles called amino acids. "The amino acids enter your bloodstream and are then absorbed by your muscle tissues and other cells," says Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, director of exercise studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch. "Once the amino acids end up in your muscles, your body starts putting them back together—sort of like Legos—into your muscle tissue." This is called muscle-protein synthesis, and it's the process your body uses to build and maintain muscle mass.
Swap that Netflix binge for a more active date and you might just find the pounds melting away, even if your metabolism seems sluggish after 40. According to researchers at Brigham Young University, binge-watching is linked to the consumption of fewer fruits and vegetables and a lower likelihood of getting the recommended amount of physical activity.
Loss of muscle: Like our metabolisms, we also start to lose muscle when we hit our 40s, experiencing a steady decline each decade. Part of this, scientists believe, is that the motor units that make up our muscles decline as we age and that those motor units don't always fire with the same regularity. However, the important takeaway here is this: The biggest factor in losing muscle is the lack of physical activity, which makes exercise a crucial component when it comes to preventing muscle loss.

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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.

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At her home in Bedford, N.Y., the lifestyle guru treats all of the staff who tend to her estate to cappuccinos and breakfast every morning. The meals tend to vary—on one recent morning, Stewart made poached salmon with lemon juice—but the one constant is her signature drink. “We have green juice every morning, everybody drinks green juice because it’s like power,” Stewart told Katie Couric for her self-titled podcast.” In it she uses spinach, celery, parsley, mint, and a piece of fruit—either pears, mango or papaya. “It’s very good juice, everybody loves the juice,” she says. 
Cardio will help burn the most calories, and this can be anything from walking around the neighborhood to riding your bike to jogging on the treadmill. Whatever you choose for your cardio, keep it challenging by increasing duration, distance or intensity so that you continue to burn as many calories as you can. Writing down a plan can help keep you motivated and goal-oriented, and it can also help you track your progress.
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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Research shows that getting plenty of protein can boost your metabolism, causing you to burn an extra 150 to 200 calories a day, says Jeff Hampl, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. "Protein is made up mainly of amino acids, which are harder for your body to break down [than fat and carbs], so you burn more calories getting rid of them," he explains.
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Thank you for your brilliant post. I’m now 40 and have been fasting almost everyday for 2 years. It worked wonders in the early days and like everything, I feel that my body adapted to it and I seem to now not get as much out of it. I’m thinking I should be mixing it up a little and confusing my body as to when the fasting will happen. Am I correct in thinking that? Or do you think fasting is a good daily lifestyle habit?

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The 36-year-old model's body is so incredible, she's logged camera time for Victoria's Secret and Sport's Illustrated Swim. And her tip for keeping her diet in check is kind of genius: She keeps her bod on display at all times. "Eating smart is all about having an awareness of your body," she explained to Women's Health in 2012. "The most obvious way to do that is by seeing it. So when you're trying to lose weight, spend more time wearing less. I don't think I could eat a plate of nachos naked—could you?"

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You deserve that glass of Scotch or wine, we know. But the unfortunate truth is that your body doesn’t metabolize alcohol as efficiently as you age. So, not only are you going to add on (or not be able to lose) weight because of alcohol, you also wind up looking older and sleeping worse. “[As you age] it will be increasingly difficult to get a good night’s rest with alcohol in your system and sleepless nights lead to carb and sugar cravings the next day,” says registered dietitian Martha McKittrick in 30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30. Meanwhile, alcohol zaps moisture from your skin making fine lines more noticeable and speeding up your skin’s loss of elasticity.
In our 20s, we might be keeping a keen eye on the thermostat for financial reasons. When we’re in our 40s, we’re usually in a better financial situation. But being less frugal might actually contribute to your paunch. A striking new study published in the journal Diabetes suggests that simply turning down the heat in winter may help us attack belly fat while we sleep. Colder temperatures subtly enhance the effectiveness of our stores of brown fat—fat that keeps you warm by helping you burn through the fat stored in your belly.
Refined grains have been stripped of fiber and other nutrients in order to render the white color and pillowy texture Wonder bread is known for. However, refined and processed grains are also very high-glycemic, which means that they cause your blood sugar to spike rapidly—and so consuming too many of these refined foods can lead to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. To meet your daily intake of gut-healthy fiber and nourish your body with the nutrients it needs, skip the white spaghetti and bagels and opt for ab-uncovering carbs such as Banza chickpea pasta and sprouted bread.
Work and family commitments can often put a squeeze on mealtime. That gets in the way of losing weight, because we’re not giving our stomachs time to register that we’re full. Divide your plate in two. Eat half, and do something else for 30 minutes. It’ll still be there when you get back, but your hunger may have left the building. Also, fill up cheaply and easily with any of these 20 Best-Ever Fat Burning Soups.
While sun-worshipping can have you looking more leather bag than human, a little controlled exposure to UV rays can yield some serious benefits for your weight. According to research conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, overweight women between 50 and 75 who had adequate vitamin D levels shed more weight and more body fat than those whose levels remained low. A study in Psychopharmacology also reveals that subjects with depression who popped a vitamin D supplement experienced improvements in their mood in just five days, so don’t be afraid to let the sunshine in.
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!

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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.

I am 61 and have lost 3 and a half stone in the last year. I joined Slimming World who recommend that you fill up on foods that are less calorie dense, and I have a cross-trainer at home. I built up the exercise gradually as I lost weight and got fitter. 15 minutes at first, I now do an hour on 6 days a week. I really think eating healthier and being more active is something we have to push ourselves to do. Only discovered it late in life, but thankfully not too late. Belly Fat Burner HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training Workout with No Equipment
Hitting the pool is a great way to get your body into the best shape of your life, no matter what your age. A 155-pound woman can expect to burn nearly 500 calories an hour swimming at a relatively leisurely pace, adding another 200 calories to that number by doing some faster laps. For women over 40, low-impact exercises, like swimming, are particularly beneficial, thanks to the limited wear-and-tear they cause on joints, making it less likely an overuse injury will keep you benched.
When you want to add flavor to your food, pass on the salt shaker (you're probably eating too much salt anyway). Instead, reach for hot sauce or chili powder. Chili peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, says Dudash. "The capsaicin in the chili peppers has a thermogenic effect,” she says, causing the body to burn up to an additional 90 calories immediately following a meal. One study shows capsaicin activates brown fat, which increases calorie burning. "The dosage is high, though," says Dudash. "At about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne per sitting, you've got to really enjoy the heat!" How to get a muscular body after 40 - 12 point system
Why? Because muscle doesn’t actually burn that many more calories than fat. “Previous data suggests about six calories per pound of muscle, versus two calories per pound of fat mass,” says Sharp. “When you do the calculations, it's not a significant amount of calories.” [AGAIN, WOULD LOVE IF WE COULD STRIKE A MORE OPTIMISTIC TONE HERE SINCE THIS REALLY CAN ADD UP OVER TIME AS WE SAY BELOW...DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT SEEM LIKE ALL THESE BENEFITS ARE TOTALLY INSIGNIFICANT] Weight Lost: How This 50-Year-Old Woman Dropped 46 Pounds | Good health 24h
You don’t say what the stress is caused by so I can’t tell you exactly what to do but it is clear that this is what has to be tackled before you can start to think about your weight. I know that I am stating the obvious here but sometimes we ignore the obvious. It’s easy to fall into that vicious circle of eating to try to cope with the stress and then getting depressed about eating too much and so on. You really need to get some help to cope with the stress and if possible get rid of the source. It’s not easy to do it alone. Have you consulted your doctor? I really hope you can find an answer to your problem and I wish I could help more. How To Lose Weight After 40

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.

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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!
Taking shots of cheap whiskey, sleeping on futons, staying up until 4 in the morning—there are a lot of habits you’re probably happy to leave to your 20-year-old self. But the beautiful mystery of eating a whole pepperoni pizza and actually losing five pounds? Those are glory days worth mourning. Once you’re over 40, suddenly ditching a few pesky lbs and losing your gut seems to take monumental effort. 

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