“By the time women get to their 40s, they’ve hopefully given up the notion that happiness exists within a certain shape or size,” says Stacey Rosenfeld, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder? Challenging Our Nation’s Fixation with Food and Weight. “Instead, they find fulfillment through their connections and their work, their passions and their families.” But if reasonable weight-loss is your goal, follow these 20 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Get in Shape.
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Putting yourself on a very low-calorie diet is a surefire way not to lose. "Your body is programmed to defend your usual weight," says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the University of California at Davis and author of Bounce Your Body Beautiful. "So if you suddenly drop 1,000 calories from your diet, your resting metabolic rate [the number of calories your body burns to maintain basic bodily functions, such as breathing and heartbeat] will automatically slow down, because your body now assumes that you're starving."
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Brenda stated exactly what so many women have struggled with in the past, including me. As a doctor of gynecology, I frequently get 40-something women in my office working through self-sabotaging menopausal issues including hot flashes, low energy, near-zero libido, weight gain, and weight loss resistance. Hormonal imbalances contribute to many of these problems. When hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) nose dive, you’ve got the perfect storm for menopausal miseries. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
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Exposure to the type of blue light emitted by smartphones, computers, and tablets immediately before and after dinner increased hunger and impacted glucose metabolism in people who participated in a small Northwestern University study. The study authors aren't sure of the reasons for the link, and say more research is needed -- but even if the link between blue light and appetite doesn't hold up in later studies, other research shows that limiting mealtime distractions helps control portions.
Weight loss doesn’t get easier than this: Simply drinking more water may increase the rate at which healthy people burn calories, according to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water (about 2 tall glasses), participants’ metabolic rates increased by 30 percent. The researchers estimate that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters a day (about 6 cups) would burn an extra 17,400 calories over the course of the year—a weight loss of approximately five pounds!
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.
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.
Probiotics, the healthy bacteria found in yogurt, pickles, and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, may help you lose weight -- if you're a woman, shows a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Overweight men and women followed a 12-week weight loss diet; half of the volunteers also took a probiotic pill every day. Women in the probiotic group lost more weight than those in the placebo group and continued to lose weight during the 12-week maintenance period afterward (the probiotic didn't make any difference for men). Consuming probiotics in food form has other waist-friendly benefits: "Yogurt, like other full-fat dairy, also has a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that studies show can improve fat burning," says Virgin. Avoid fruit-on-the-bottom varieties, which can have as much sugar as a candy bar.
Yes, the liver plays an essential role in filtering toxins out of the body, but you needn’t worry: It’s not full of them by any means. Instead, the liver is full of Vitamin B12, which can help improve arterial function and flow. Just be sure to treat the stuff as a dietary rarity, since liver is loaded with cholesterol. You’ll hit your USDA-recommended daily value by consuming just one 3-ounce serving. And for more healthy eating tips, Here’s the Safest Way to Thaw Frozen Meat.
Eating well isn’t just about skipping out on processed junk food. It’s also about filling up your plate with clean, healthy foods that can actually assist in your weight loss. Healthy fats like those found in olive oil, avocados and nut butters nourish your body while helping you feel full longer—which means you’re less likely to overeat. Incorporating healthy sources of protein like eggs and salmon will also help you feel more satiated as well as fuel the muscles you’re building through that regular strength training we mentioned above! Hungry during the day? Keep a small pack of heatlhy almonds or other nuts in your bag to snack on in a pinch. Just a handful will keep you satisfied until your next meal, all while providing healthy protein, fat and fiber. Don’t wait until you’re tummy is growling! Be prepared.
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“After age 40, men may lose up to 8 percent of their muscle mass per decade,” Bede explains. A study analysis in Nutrition in Clinical Practice reports that loading up on protein may be enough to prevent or mitigate age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia. You may think you don’t need to pile it on now that you’re not pumping iron like you once were, but the researchers recommend middle-aged men still aim for at least 25 to 30 grams of high-quality protein with each meal.
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"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.