At 41, these are the things that I notice the most. My body does not bounce back as easily as it once did and I have to work a lot harder to manage my weight. Genetics play a role in the aging process, but our lifestyle choices can help dictate how well our genes treat us as we get older. After turning 40, these are six of the top lifestyle habits to focus on.
Wondering why the same tried-and-true tricks you used to lose weight back in your teens and twenties no longer work after 40? From a biological point of view, the answer is pretty simple: If we maintain the same diet and exercise habits we began in our twenties, most of us will inevitably put on some weight — and the process of losing weight becomes much more difficult in middle age. Why is this? Our body composition, dietary needs, and hormones all shift, beginning for some as early as the mid-thirties. In order to maintain a healthy weight, certain lifestyle habits must be developed to counteract those changes. Here are five things you need to know about losing weight after 40:

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Crash diets -- those involving eating fewer than 1,200 (if you're a woman) or 1,800 (if you're a man) calories a day -- are bad for anyone hoping to quicken their metabolism. Although these diets may help you drop pounds, that comes at the expense of good nutrition. Plus, it backfires, since you can lose muscle, which in turn slows your metabolism. The final result is your body burns fewer calories and gains weight faster than before the diet. Most Effective Cardio Exercises for Women Over 40
But, Bustillo cautions against hanging too much hope on this: “Many companies that sell the ‘after burn’ or ‘metabolic workouts’ are just utilizing a marketing strategy with [a grain of science behind it],” he says. “They're not technically lying, because training can increase BMR [in the 24 hours post-workout], but it's not by more than 200-300 calories on average.” [IS THAT NOT SIGNIFICANT THOUGH? THAT GETS YOU AT LEAST HALFWAY TO THE 500-CAL DEFECIT YOU NEED PER DAY TO LOSE 1-2 LBS PER WEEK. I DON'T THINK WE TOTALLY WANT TO TRASH THE PROMISE THAT HIIT CAN CREATE AFTERBURN] BEAT MENOPAUSE BELLY FAT! FIVE SECRETS
According to celebrity nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque (her clients include actress Jessica Alba and supermodel Molly Sims), you should already be following a healthy eating plan well before you hit the big 4-0, but it’s especially important to be cognizant of your diet once you pass that milestone. So, we tapped LeVeque for her best nutrition tips for staying slim, cutting health issues and boosting skin health as you make your way through that fourth decade of life.

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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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