I am 51 years old and I’ve been following you for about four years. I have lost 25 pounds, and physically I look great. I eat mostly grass fed beef organic chicken and vegetables. I am gluten-free except I do drink some beers from time to time and eat some pub food about once a week. I do an intense free weight workout about 10 minutes four times a week. I am a UPS driver and move constantly for about 9 to 10 hours a day. 

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Not only is this antiquated exercise less effective than something like a front plank, sit-ups are terrible for your spine and can cause herniated discs. Fact: A traditional sit-up puts around 3,350 newtons of compressive force on the spine, but the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states says anything above 3,300 newtons is unsafe. Now you can understand why Mark Langowski, celeb trainer and author of Eat This, Not That! for Abs hates to see people do sit-ups. “I created an entire workout plan to give you a rock-hard core and it doesn’t involve one single sit-up,” he says. Protect your spine so that you can keep working out and losing weight for many years to come and get started by visiting our Fitness section on the ETNT site!

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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A little muscle goes a long way when it comes to your weight and health. Women generally have less natural muscle mass than their male counterparts, and aging can spur the depletion of what little muscle tissue you have, sometimes by as much as 5 percent in a 10-year period after age 30. Fortunately, building some muscle with a light weight-training routine can kill two birds with one stone: you’ll burn some calories doing the exercises, and research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reveals that, even though weight loss is often associated with a slower metabolism, women who added resistance training to their routine actually maintained their resting metabolic rate.

These days, Yolanda Foster is the Master Cleanse’s biggest fan. But before the Housewives fan jumped on the lemon juice bandwagon, Beyonce sucked it down.  She needed a plan that was fast  — like 20 pounds in two weeks fast — for her dream role in Dreamgirls. “Normally they’d just change your makeup or your clothes but I wanted to go the extra mile,” Beyonce told China Daily. “Back in the sixties, models like Twiggy were popular and I knew Deena would have been thin then, so even though I love eating, it was necessary to lose weight really fast because we shot Deena at 36 and then Deena at 16 two weeks later.”

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Despite her culinary chops, the Barefoot Contessa star keeps it simple in the mornings. “I’ve had the same thing for breakfast every single day for ten years: coffee and McCann’s quick-cooking Irish oatmeal,” she said. Other staples in her kitchen include “a bowl of lemons on the counter (and other citrus), butter, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and chocolate.” 

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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.

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