Holiday weight – usually all but melted by Valentine’s Day – seems reluctant to budge when you throw your old tricks at it. If it seems that something important has shifted, you’re right. Your metabolism is slowing, and your muscle mass is decreasing. That’s a harsh reality, but there are some new tricks for you to learn to keep spry for years, even decades to come. We’ve listed 40 of them for you here so that you needn’t go gentle into that good night. Building Muscle After 40?!
"You don't have to go to the gym or go for a run, but be sure to move in some way," says Ann Kulze, M.D., a member of the Medical Advisory Board for the Wellness Councils of America and author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet (Top Ten Wellness & Fitness, 2008). "A healthy metabolism requires regular movement, so don't sit for more than two hours without getting up."
I use urine strips to help determine whether my patients are burning fat (staying in ketosis) and detoxifying (staying alkaline). Your kidneys play an important role in maintaining acid-alkaline balance. Acidic foods can directly affect urine pH, which can be a clue about your health. And while urine testing isn’t completely accurate, it's a great way to stay accountable on a ketogenic diet.
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Incorporate interval training (alternating between more-intense and less-intense activities during one workout) into your exercise routine for an even bigger metabolism boost, says Mark Hyman, M.D., editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Functional Medicine, and the author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss (Atria, 2008).
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To clarify, we’re not betting that all the marinaras in the pasta aisle should be avoided like the plague—just some. Processed pasta sauces may contain tomatoes or tomato paste as the first ingredient, but oftentimes, these sneaky saboteurs also contain loads of inflammatory oils, added sugar, and salt. And alfredo sauce is no exception: the creamy white stuff can contain around 20 grams of fat per half-cup serving—an excessive amount to ingest in one sitting.
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When you’re in your 40s, you know that “being a participant and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals are rewards in themselves,” according to KJ Landis, author and creator of the Superior Self series. “I ran 16 marathons in my 40s (began running them at age 40) and was overjoyed by the group energy, as well as just finishing each one!” And for more ideas of things to tackle, check out the 40 Best Hobbies to Take Up in Your 40s.
When my patients stay in ketosis too long, their bodies become acidic. (When I say acidic, I mean urinary pH, NOT blood pH, which maintains itself.) Acidity creates chronic inflammation that forces their bodies to hold on to fat. That’s why I created the Keto-Alkaline diet and ask patients to shift into an alkaline diet and lifestyle with foods like leafy and cruciferous greens as well as citrus fruits before they go keto, stacking fat loss and other health benefits in their favor. To learn more about how to shift into an alkaline state, please see my guide here.
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Metabolism: We’ve all got one, but some people’s are “faster” or “slower” than others’. And that matters, because the rate at which your body burns calories and converts fuel to energy can also affect how easily you gain or lose weight. It also says a lot about how at-risk you are for diabetes, and how much pep you’ve got in your step. While much of your metabolic rate is determined by genetics, age, gender and body size, there are some lifestyle changes that can, quite literally, speed up the process. Male Over 40 Fat Loss Nutrition
Protein timing is also key. Many women tend to get most of their protein at dinner and very little earlier in the day. Are you having cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch and then a big piece of chicken or steak at dinner? Your body can only use about 30 grams of protein at a time, so you want to evenly distribute protein sources throughout the day.
The cabbage soup diet? Really? Just no. Restricting calories and losing body fat too quickly can wreak havoc on insulin, leptin, ghrelin and other hormones, prompting a surge in hunger and a slump in metabolism. These effects can last for more than a year, even after the diet is abandoned, according to a 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Yo-yo diets also prompt decline in dopamine, which means you’re left feeling unmotivated and sluggish. Make sure you’re not also guilty of any of these 25 Things You Do That Slow Your Metabolism.
This is less of a diet and more of a lifestyle, which makes it one of the more sustainable options for long-term benefits. In essence, a plant-based diet means your meals are primarily composed of fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. You can still eat meat when you’re plant-based, but it should be viewed as more of a side dish rather than the main component of your meals. My Diet and Exercise Routine! After 40!
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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You’ve heard this buzzy phrase a bunch of times by now, right? It’s way more mainstream than you may realize, though—and much more attainable than you think. The basic rule of eating clean—and, forgive us for watering it down, nutrition pros and clean-eating fanatics—is to eat more real food and less fake food. Doritos are not food. Those sketchy frozen enchiladas by Big Store Name Brand are often not much better. And that cream of something soup you mix into every chicken dish is a way of life that’s making your waistline expand. To dig into how to be a clean eater, check out our Ultimate Guide to Eating Clean. If you start living by more of these rules, your jaw might drop the next time you step on the scale!
Eager to lose weight? Start lifting it. Researchers at Wake Forest University found that cutting calories and weight training helped study participants lose more fat and less muscle than aerobic exercise, calorie restriction, or a combination of the two, while losing the same amount of weight as the aerobic exercise group. And when you want to get even more cut, This Is the Safest Way to Lose Weight Over 40.
“Your 30s are an awesome time,” says Larson. “This is the decade you want to get and stay physically fit, and focus on maintaining.” In your 20s, you could binge on pizza and wine and work it off quickly, but in your 30s, it takes a little longer. As your muscle mass and metabolism dip, you lose the margin for error. You’re also leaning into your career, experiencing more stress. And women are having babies, losing sleep, and get into irregular eating patterns. “Don’t wait to lose the baby weight,” says Larson. “You don’t want to take 5 to 10 pounds with you into the next decade.” The Best Breakfast for Fat Loss
“To see real results, you need to eat real food,” People’s Sexiest Trainer Alive Angelo Grinceri told Eat This, Not That! “When your eating habits consist of eating a variety of real foods that provide the body with nourishment, a healthier body is created. And the healthier you are, the faster you’ll recover post-workout and the better chance you’ll have at losing fat and building muscle.” Plus, eating for health instead of weight loss means you’ll develop a habit that makes smarter food choices easier and easier. Get more of this sexy trainer’s advice at The 15 Best Weight Loss Tips from The Sexiest Trainer Alive!
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.
There are plenty of fish in the sea, but salmon may be the best one for your metabolism. That’s because most cases of underactive thyroid are due to inflammation of the gland, and salmon boasts significant anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. In fact, one study that looked at the effects of weight loss and seafood consumption showed salmon to be the most effective at reducing inflammation—better than cod, fish oil, and a fish-free diet. The fishy fatty acids may also signal thyroid cells in the liver to burn more fat, a recent study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggests.
Olivia Munn recently noted to the Cut that she eats Japanese potatoes for the fitness and aging benefits, saying, "I get my potatoes from a Japanese market. I'll take one sweet potato, slice it into one-inch-thick slices, and then dust it with olive oil and cinnamon, put it in the oven, and do that as dessert. I'll eat those as often as I can — a couple every day. I know there are vitamins or supplements with hyaluronic acid, but I didn't feel like I saw as much of a difference as I did getting it from the natural source." Beats splurging on an expensive night cream, we suppose.
Ready to get serious about managing your money and planning for retirement but don’t want to listen to boring financial advisers toss around money and stock jargon you don’t even understand? Good, because Jill Schlesinger is ready to help with informative interviews and financial advice, all crafted with easy-to-understand concepts for those not so financially savvy.
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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.