I look at life as a plane flight. Several decades ago, your parents started the engine. They revved the motor and headed down the runway until -- liftoff! -- you were born. Your plane continued to climb through childhood and adolescence, until you reached adulthood: full cruising altitude. Throughout your 20s and 30s, flying felt effortless. No matter what you ate, how little you slept, or how infrequently you exercised, your body kept its sleek, strong lines. No engine troubles for you!
Instead of ditching carbs or going low-fat, try a diet that's rich in veggies, beans, and legumes to increase your metabolism — and keep your blood sugar from spiking. "Many people think weight is all about calories in, calories out, but quality also matters," says Aunna Pourang, M.D. "[In a 2012 study], low-carb diets showed the most increase in metabolism, but also showed an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This is why scientists concluded that the low-glycemic diet worked the best."

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While most Americans consume plenty of protein, research shows that some women begin skimping on the muscle-sustaining nutrient as they age, consuming less than the RDA. Calorie-conscious dieters also tend to cut back on protein, when they should be doing the opposite. "Cutting back causes your body to rob your muscles for energy, leaving you thinner but also flabbier and weaker," says Dr. Apovian. "Not only does losing muscle make your clothing fit poorly, but you begin to burn fewer calories, so even if you're eating the same amount, you can easily regain the weight you shed." Having less muscle mass also makes you weaker, making it harder to do simple activities, so you become more inclined to crash on the couch. Eventually, the scale climbs back up and you start all over again, chipping away at muscle mass and putting the chill on your metabolism with each diet you try.
Difficulty on a Scale of 1 (I Feel Great!) to 10 (It Ruined My Life!): 1. This is worth a try! If you’re someone who doesn’t like to impose major restrictions on yourselves, adopting a low-key plan to eat fewer carbs (when possible) is relaxed and completely doable. Especially if you don’t beat yourself for the occasional slip-up, like eating pasta in bed, which happens to each and every one of us!

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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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