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.

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“The 40s are a prevention decade,” says Larsen. “It’s time to get on track and stay there.” If those babies are now big kids, and you’re juggling commuting and carpools, it’s easy to slip into sedentary habits. “I see a lot of people let themselves go,” says Larson. “I’m honest with my clients. You do not want to go into middle age or menopause overweight. Because you will not know what hit you. Eat well, stay active, and practice healthy habits as a family.”

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You need to eat less. It doesn't matter if all you eat is grilled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. If you don't cut back on your portions, you won't lose weight. Everyone's calorie needs are different, but in general, a woman eating 2,000 calories per day should aim to cut back by 400 to 500 calories, recommends Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color. (These 5 simple ways to cut 500 calories can help.)
Thinking about having a cocktail — or two — before dinner? Think again. Having a drink before a meal causes people to eat around 200 calories more, several studies show. Drinking with dinner isn't such a good idea either: Other research has found that the body burns off alcohol first, meaning that the calories in the rest of the meal are more likely to be stored as fat. If you do have a cocktail craving, stick to wine, which packs only 80 calories a glass — or minimize the calories by drinking a white-wine spritzer (two ounces of wine mixed with two ounces of seltzer).

“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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