Now, more than ever, you should put down the sugary sweets, calorie-laden drinks and refined flour. These have empty calories that you can't afford regularly, especially when you're trying to lose weight. Pair your protein with 1/2 cup of whole grains, leafy greens and small amounts of heart-healthy fat, such as that found in nuts, avocados, fatty fish and seeds.

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Drink a lot of pure, filtered water. More often than not, if you feel hungry you’re probably just thirsty. Drink a big glass of filtered water right when you wake in the morning, and drink a glass about 30 minutes before each snack or meal. Try adding a slice of organic lemon to your water for a refreshing beverage that will help cut cravings. Water helps the digestion process, makes you feel fuller, and you function better all-around when you’re hydrated.
The truth: Like the Baby Food Diet, the reason the Cookie Diet could be linked with weight loss is because of calorie restriction — all of those cookies only add up to 540 calories, about the equivalent of a single meal. A look at the ingredients in Siegal's "cookies" (wheat bran, beef protein, egg whites) also suggest they're more of a high-protein, high-fiber snack than anything else.
Hollywood’s finest are known for their extreme weight loss methods. From cinching their stomachs via waist trainers or constricting their diets to one food group, it seems like the stars have tried every slim-down effort under the sun. Thankfully, we’ve sifted through them all and cherry-picked the most effective celebrity diet secrets to help you drop the muffin top. Find out the top advice from your favorite celebs below, and then be sure to check out our 50 Best Weight Loss Tips—ever.
As a general rule of thumb, anything that seems too good to be true probably is. And the case remains for zero-calorie artificial sweeteners found in sugar-free drinks such as Diet Coke and Diet Snapple. Yale University researchers found a link between the fake sugar and an increased risk of obesity and excess belly fat. “If drinks with artificial sweeteners are a staple of your diet, it’s best to kick the habit to maintain health and prevent diseases throughout the aging process,” says registered dietician Lisa Moskovitz. Weight Lost: How This 50-Year-Old Woman Dropped 46 Pounds | Good health 24h
This is the single most beneficial article I have ever encountered in my searches for the past few years to be honest – following this to a T and have lost 13lbs in 3 weeks – feel great. This is better than anything I have tried in the past. I will say I am doing the ketogenic fasting daily, on the 8/16 schedule. After the first week, I don’t even feel hungry anymore during the fast – I set myself for no eats from 8pm – Noon, but now go until 1-2pm before I start up again, still shut down at 8pm regardless. I have been kayaking, working out, and no loss in strength/stamina – much the opposite. Feel great, solid mental state – good stuff here. Been sharing it with friends.
More than anything, it seems like women over 40 recommend you travel in your twenties. Things will get even more complicated, and seeing the world is a great way to broaden your horizons and build depth in your character. It’s also very fun, which you should be having. Take photos! That doesn’t seem like something a woman in her twenties needs prompting on, but it’s a nice reminder that all these selfies you’re taking now will be cherished memories in future.
Well, I have one of those Aria Fitbit scales that measures body fat and then I can track my lean mass from week to week on the Ftbit dashboard. I don’t think it is that accurate. I am having a Hydrostatic test on Saturday. A guy comes around the gym in a big truck with a tank of water in it. I call it the Fat Wagon. Lots of folks don’t want to go near it. They don’t want to know the truth. 🙂 30 minute full body at home workout for women over 40!
There are plenty of celebs who are fans of the 5-factor diet — and that may be because it’s a lot less restrictive than other meal plans on the list. Shape explains fitness expert Harley Pasternak is famous for starting this diet trend. Essentially, every meal should contain just five components: protein, complex carbs, fiber, fat, and fluids. Everyone following the plan should allow themselves five meals per day with just five ingredients each, and one cheat day is allowed per week that allows you to eat whatever you’d like.
Being over 40 doesn't automatically mean that you now have to cut out certain foods to get (or stay) slim—unless you know deep down that a food is truly getting in the way of your goals. "If having a square of chocolate leads to eating an entire bag of chocolate, having a square of chocolate does not work for you," Cederquist says. (Regain control with these 6 tips to stop overeating.) Over 40 Workout for Men (Gain Muscle and Burn Fat)
Remember that banquet feast scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? The one where Indy and his posse sat down to a scrumptious feast that began with a scorpion and spider salad and ended with a chilled monkey brain sorbet? With some of these celebrities, that's not too far from the level of sheer disgustingness we're dealing with here. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but these weird, questionable, and for some, downright gross celebrity diets are all the proof we need that sometimes, the rich and famous will do just about anything to keep themselves looking trim!

Beyoncé recently teased fans on a big announcement, then she appeared on Good Morning America and disappointed fans by announcing how she got her flawless body. Beyoncé is known to be a big advocate of the vegan meal-delivery service 22 Days Nutrition, which she followed in conjunction with a 22-day vegan challenge. Following a vegan diet, however, takes proper planning to ensure you take in all of your food groups and important nutrients. So unless you have specialized needs, there’s no need to completely cut out animal foods like meat and dairy.

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Ideally, we sleep about eight hours for every 24. Most people spend another seven to ten hours sitting at their desk. That means most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our time sedentary. Our bodies weren’t designed for this level of inactivity—most of humans’ evolutionary history involved being active, searching for food and fuel. Nutritionist Lisa Jubilee says that one way to burn more calories daily is to stand more and sit less. She cites a British study which found that standing at work burned 50 more calories per hour than sitting. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider this: If you stand for just three hours of your day, in one year you’d expend more than 30,000 extra calories—which amounts to about 8 lbs of fat!
Elle Macpherson needs no introduction. One of the world’s most successful supermodels, the Aussie born beauty has gone on to conquer more than just the runway. Nicknamed the body by Time magazine in 1989, the 54-year-old now owns her lingerie and skincare label as well as a modelling agency. She has also hosted and produced Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model from 2010 to 2013. She is an executive producer of NBC’s Fashion Star and has two sons aged 20 and 15.

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When you were young, you probably didn't spend too much time thinking about preparing your body for the future. In your teens and twenties, you're in peak condition and it's the perfect time to start exercising. Cut to 20 years later and, if you didn't start exercising, you probably wish you had since there's something we all start to experience in our 40's—weight gain.
Gwyneth Paltrow famously turned to a macrobiotic diet in 1999, partly because of her dad’s illness (he died in 2002 from complications from oral cancer), but also because Leonardo DiCaprio planted the seed of “how dirty meat is” in her head years ago.  She doesn’t give her kids gluten, she avoids dairy, and pesticides are a no-no. But, see, there's nothing wrong with a weekend treat. For her, it’s cigarettes and booze.  It’s all about the ying and the yang, people.  My Top 5 Ab Exercises For Men Over 40 -- With Clark Bartram
With her flowing, untamed blonde locks, piercing blue eyes and perfectly defined cheekbones, Michelle Pfeiffer is truly genetically blessed. Known for her tendency to portray strong women with intense sex appeal, the 60-year old is credited as one of the most talented actresses of her generation. She has received countless accolades and awards and is universally recognised as one of the most beautiful women of all time. Weight Lost: How This 50-Year-Old Woman Dropped 46 Pounds | Good health 24h

When you were young, you probably didn't spend too much time thinking about preparing your body for the future. In your teens and twenties, you're in peak condition and it's the perfect time to start exercising. Cut to 20 years later and, if you didn't start exercising, you probably wish you had since there's something we all start to experience in our 40's—weight gain. MEN OVER 40 How To Increase Testosterone And Get Rid Of Belly Fat
Difficulty on a Scale of 1 (I Feel Great!) to 10 (It Ruined My Life!): 6. If I were interested in losing weight, this would be the way to do it. It’s not even that hard if you do enough supermarket prep and cancel all plans to hang out with people. Lean protein, lots of veggies (except for nightshades), no refined flour or sugar … actually I change my mind; this is impossible.
If you’ve never added this delicate green to your salads, now is definitely the time to start. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consuming 85 grams of raw watercress (about two cups) could reduce DNA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. What’s more, the leafy green is teeming with beta-carotene and vitamin A, two compounds essential for youthful skin. No wonder why watercress is our #1 best superfood healthier than kale!

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Not that we should really argue with anyone whose nickname is "The Body," but the supermodel's method to looking so phenomenal at 51 is kind of a headscratcher for those not familiar. Relying on the ideology that an acidic body is more susceptible to disease that can throw metabolism and other things out of whack, Macpherson eats alkaline foods (including whole grains, leafy greens) and avoids things like coffee and alcohol in order to keep her inner pH balance in check. She even cops to taking pee tests in order to make sure things are in order. And she's not the only A-lister who does so: Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston are also fans—and considering that's pretty much the Good Body Brigade, we'd say they're onto something.
But a simple plan isn't always an easy plan. Changing your daily movement habits can be hard. So I've developed this 3-step plan to increase your metabolism while you keep your food intake the same. You'll create the energy deficit needed for weight loss without an expensive diet or hard-to-find foods. Follow the program for 2-3 weeks to increase your energy levels, boost your metabolism and put your weight loss program into hyperdrive.

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The freezer aisle is stocked with appetizing frozen dinners that make busy weeknight suppers a breeze, but these convenient and inexpensive foods may cost you your health in the long run. Many of these meals are jam-packed with sodium and preservatives and are void of sufficient fiber, which will help keep you full and less prone to midnight munchies.

If you eat healthy and exercise regularly and still can’t lose weight, your thyroid might not be working like it should. This happens in about 5% of people, and it's most common in women and people over 60. In addition to weight gain, it can also cause fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and depression. Medications can help, so get it checked if you think it might be an issue.

Hi, Thanks for this wonderful information. Exercise is one of the most powerful ways to take control of your health. Not only can it prevent heart disease, strokes, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer, it has been shown to help with depression, insomnia and stress. I hope this information will really help everyone to get motivated toward the importance of exercises not only for lose weight but to live a healthy life.
It can be done! I’m male in my mid 50’s and have now retired from a desk job. I’ve managed to lose around 30lbs over 12 months, and have my weight down to around 170lbs – back to around my weight 30 years ago! Now, freed from a desk, I walk much more – nothing crazy – around 8-9 miles per day ( according to my fitbit), but only around 4-5 miles of that is actually “going for a walk” the rest just general moving about!

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A study published in October 2010 in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared two groups of middle-aged people trying to lose weight and their sleep patterns. For four days, one group slept four-and-a-half hours per night, and the second slept eight-and-a-half hours per night. The members in the first group lost 60 percent more muscle and burned 55 percent less fat over the course of the study, demonstrating how sensitive the metabolism is to a lack of adequate sleep — even over a short period of time.

According to a review published in the journal Obesity, legumes—including beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas—could keep you from the snack drawer until dinner. Researchers found that subjects who consumed between ¾ and 1 cup of legumes daily felt as much as 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t! But there’s a catch: Although participants felt fuller when they ate legumes, they didn’t always eat less throughout the day. It’s still up to you to tune out the call of cravings—a completely different beast than hunger. But when it comes to willpower boosters, beans are a great way to get a jumpstart. They’re also one of the 30 Best Food for 6-Pack Abs. 7 Steps For Losing Weight After 50
Getting enough protein is key to keeping your metabolism revved up and helping fill you up so you don’t deal with cravings as often. That means you can lose weight or maintain your weight without being constantly hungry. Protein-rich foods are among the top foods to eat to lose weight. For the best diet approach, make sure each meal and snack includes sources of protein such as chicken, fish, lean pork or beef, tofu, tempeh, beans, and lentils, or dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt. 

SOURCES: Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and associate director of the UPMC Nutrition Center in Pittsburgh. Pamela Peeke, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Michi Yukawa, MD, MPH, acting instructor, department of medicine, division of gerontology and geriatric medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Aim for a breakfast that has plenty of high-fiber carbs: When researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia compared the effects of high-fat and high-fiber-carbohydrate breakfasts, they discovered that people who ate the fatty meal got hungry sooner afterward. "High-fiber carbohydrates take longer for your body to digest and absorb than fats; thus they don't cause rapid changes in your blood sugar, so your hunger is kept at bay longer," says study coauthor Susanna Holt, Ph.D. Some good choices: a bran-rich breakfast cereal with low-fat milk; whole-grain toast topped with low-fat ricotta and sliced banana or berries; an egg-white veggie omelette with whole-grain toast.
You could say one of Oprah's favorite things is the diet she follows from Weight Watchers, which U.S. News ranks No. 1 for weight loss. Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian in Boston and author of "Nutrition & You," picks Oprah as a diet "celebrity crush" because Oprah achieved her 40-pound weight loss while enjoying an eating pattern and lifestyle that contains less sugar and heart-unhealthy saturated fat, and more fruits and veggies, movement and mindfulness. Unlike most celebrity-endorsed diet programs, Salge Blake points out that Weight Watchers is reasonably affordable. But if Weight Watchers is still more than you'd like to spend to trim pounds, try logging on to MyPlate.gov for a free weight-reducing diet you can tailor to your needs.
Bad things are bound to happen, but women over 40 know how to deal with them. “If you can find the key learning in a difficult situation you emerge from it better, more evolved,” Bernstein notes. “Every difficult situation and person is your teacher, if you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. By going with the flow of the situation rather than fighting it, it makes the going easier and the learning faster.”
Beyoncé recently teased fans on a big announcement, then she appeared on Good Morning America and disappointed fans by announcing how she got her flawless body. Beyoncé is known to be a big advocate of the vegan meal-delivery service 22 Days Nutrition, which she followed in conjunction with a 22-day vegan challenge. Following a vegan diet, however, takes proper planning to ensure you take in all of your food groups and important nutrients. So unless you have specialized needs, there’s no need to completely cut out animal foods like meat and dairy.

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Small note about research cited in this article: *Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information. Thanks for reading! Jason Statham - Training Strategy at 50 years old
After suffering for many years with everything from bullying to bulimia, Lady Gaga dropped 25 to 30 pounds with a low-glycemic index diet. Gaga is said to have followed the 5-Factor Diet, only eating healthy foods from five categories – healthy fats, fiber, "low-glycemic" carbohydrates, protein and sugarless drinks. (The glycemic index ranks foods by the speed at which they raise blood sugar levels as they get digested.) She avoided highly-processed meats, fried foods, foods high in saturated fat (like butter, ice cream and desserts), simple carbohydrates (including white bread and white rice) and sugary treats. Her plan included eating five times per day, usually broken down into two meals and three light snacks. Lose Belly Fat in 3 Days with a Fasting Diet
Choosy moms shouldn’t choose Jif—whether you’re spooning into the jar yourself or spreading it onto your kid’s PB&J. besides peanuts, the red-capped jar contains molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, and mono and diglycerides—which add more fat to the spread. Peanut butter can be a satiating, healthy spread if you choose the right one. We like Maranatha and Smucker’s Natural because they contain two simple ingredients: protein-packed peanuts and a hint of sea salt.
It's 3 p.m. and your belly is rumbling. (We've all been there.) If you wait until dinnertime to eat, you may be so starving that you wind up overdoing it. Eating a small mid-afternoon meal will prevent that -- and it will also keep your metabolism stoked, says Goodson. "Think of your metabolism like a fire. In order to get a fire going you start it with a decent amount of wood, then you add a few pieces of wood every few hours to keep the fire burning." Eating small meals raises your metabolism every time you eat. The key is to include a lean protein and complex carb each time, not processed or junk food. A few no-effort options: cottage cheese and fruit, peanut butter and an apple, or Greek yogurt with berries.

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As we age, our risk for osteoporosis increases, giving you all the more reason to dig into calcium-rich foods. A great source of the bone-strengthening nutrient is milk and if you opt for the almond variety over dairy, you may be gypping yourself of real milk’s benefits. Just one glass of two-percent milk contains about 30 percent of your daily value of calcium. If you’re avoiding dairy, opt for a nut-based milk that’s enriched such as Silk Almond & Cashew Protein Nutmilk.
She may be the most beautiful woman in the world, but boy did she eat some crazy concoctions. Elizabeth Taylor turned to her own, let’s say, unique recipes to shed some pounds, like cottage cheese with sour cream over fruit, a peanut butter–smothered steak sandwich, and a “controlled pig-out,” where she once ate a whole pizza and hot-fudge sundae.  Drink This And You’ll Lose 8 Pounds Of Belly Fat In Just 3 Days How to lose belly fat
If you're anything like most post-40 women I know, you're in the business of coordinating life amidst everyday chaos -- work, husband, dirty laundry, hyper kids. And that's exactly what those frozen-cappuccino peddlers are counting on. You drive up, run in, pop a straw through the top, and peel off to pick up Junior at swim camp. Big mistake. Studies show that your body doesn't register a feeling of fullness from the calories you drink. Whether it's juice, soda, or alcohol, your body won't say to itself, "Wow, that eight-ounce glass really filled me up." If you ate an orange instead of drinking the juice, you would feel satisfied. But instead, liquid calories help you gain weight by causing you to overeat later. Do me a favor: Keep a piece of fruit in your bag at all times. Whenever you want a snack, drink a 12-ounce glass of water, then eat the fruit. Not only will you feel full, but most importantly you'll stay that way until dinner. And your hips will thank you.
The Deal: Alves revealed to Delish that the secret to her hot bod is … swapping some meals with baby food. “I did a cleanse, and there were a lot of puréed meals, and my body just agreed with it,” she said. “I was getting really swollen in my stomach area, so I felt my digestive system needed a break. It wasn’t realistic to do all puréed meals, so I do a combination.” For my experiment, I would swap two meals a day with puréed baby food.
While Gaga's focus on whole foods is commendable, I probably wouldn't recommend her plan long-term since some of the foods she avoided are rich in important nutrients (a potato, for example, has twice the potassium of a banana and most of us don't meet our potassium needs). If you want to keep blood sugar levels stable without feeling like you're on a roller coaster, consume carbohydrates along with protein, fat or both (think almond butter on your toast or Greek yogurt on your baked potato). This powerful combo may calm your mood and make you feel more emotionally and physically satisfied.
I’m also 5’4″ and overweight. Don’t give up or give in. I am 63, have MS and I get excited when I lose a few pounds, unfortunately, they’re back in the morning. I wonder, am I fighting a losing battle? I have found many exercises that look like they’d help. Unfortunately, I just collect web sites and exercises but never do them. How does one get motivated?

17. You’re drinking too much – alcohol, lattes and energy drinks. Too much alcohol can irritate your gut lining, but also encourage you to eat more (those late night carb munchies after too much wine?!). You might think your skinny latte isn’t doing much harm…but there’s a load of sugar in there from the milk, and the caffeine stimulates more insulin production. What about an energy drink? Forget it, all that sugar and caffeine is an insulin disaster!

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There appears to be a connection between estrogen and body weight regulation.  With lower estrogen levels, lab animals tend to eat more and be less physically active.  Levels that are too high or too low appear to lead to fat storage.  And, lower estrogen levels may also slow down your metabolic rate (the speed  at your body converts stored energy into working energy). Exercise for Women Over 40 - The Key Exercises for Women
By now, you should know that weight and health problems are often the result of an accumulation from what you’re consuming. With that in mind, take a moment to think about how you’ve had at least four decades to accumulate toxins from food and drink—some seriously bad stuff that can lead to obesity. Many of those come from pesticides and hormones in your meat and produce. So start choosing organic fruits and vegetables and hormone-free meat. If the sticker prices seem silly to you, at least get started with these 17 Cheap Organic Foods You Should Be Buying! 44 Year Old Dad Bod Transformation | Lost Over 50 lbs
There’s another huge reason to cut back on bovine: “One in three men over 40 will die from heart disease, and eating more of a plant-based diet is the best way to optimize endothelial nitric oxide levels for cardiovascular protection and health,” says Kominiarek. In fact, a Mediterranean diet particularly heavy in healthy fats—olive oil, eggs, nuts, fatty fish—lowers your risk of not only heart disease, but also type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, according to a new study analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine. That’s three of the top 10 causes of death for American males that you can reduce your risk of just by eating less meat and more healthy plant-based fats.  4 Risky Exercises People OVER 40 Must AVOID
"A seasonal detox is an effective way to clear toxins out of one's system to speed up metabolism and to enhance overall health," says Matt Dower, spa director of the award-winning Mirbeau Inn & Spa, which offers a do-it-yourself detox for those who seek to continue its health benefits at home after their visit. Just be careful to avoid extreme detox diets that can do more harm than good. Try these simple, safe ways to detox your body. 3 Easy Tips To REVERSE "Metabolic Slowdown" AFTER 40 (And Burn MORE Fat)
The smoothies are made from a combo of fruit, nonfat Greek yogurt and milk, and a few nuts, and they run about 300 calories. Snacks can be cut vegetables and a handful of almonds or whole-grain crackers with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. In reality, the daily calories are slightly low for this to be a safe plan, and there’s not enough protein or whole grains on the plan.

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“Many women find themselves sacrificing so much for their significant others, their children, their careers, and their volunteer service that by the time 40 hits, they haven’t done anything for themselves in years,” Honaman points out. “Retirement and empty-nesting will be here sooner than you think. Figure out who you are, and what you enjoy, so that you don’t wake up one day, look around, and wonder who that person is in the mirror.”

Yeah, yeah, it has zero calories, but drinking diet soda may yet play havoc with your goal of having a flat belly. Research published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that artificially sweetened beverages may screw up the body’s normal metabolic response to sugar, actually increasing appetite! Increasingly, diet drinks are being linked to weight gain, metabolic syndrome and a host of other ills. (Find out what happens to your body when you give up soda.) Best to give them a wide berth. But if you really crave something sweet…
Push-ups, sit-ups, lunges -- your choice. The biggest factor for succeeding with your weight-loss plan once you've reached age 40 is strength training. If you've tried my easy workout, you know that strength training builds lean muscle, which, in turn, can burn 50 calories per pound every day. So push yourself a little: Each morning, between the time you roll out of bed and the moment you hit the shower, string together 20 sit-ups, 20 squats, 20 leg lifts, and as many push-ups as you can manage. It won't take more than five minutes, but over the next year, it can trim five pounds from your frame.

“Always be prepared for a busy or unpredictable day by keeping healthy snacks on you, at your desk, in your car,” says nutritionist Amy Shapiro. She suggests keeping almonds or other unsalted nuts, apples, bananas, chia bars, protein bars, or other fruit and nut bars close at hand. Shapiro says that if you have to skip breakfast, lunch, or even dinner during your quest to look your best, you can keep your energy levels up while making healthy choices. “You’ll have no reason to run to the vending machine for chips or stick your hand in the candy bowl,” she says. For the healthiest ideas on the planet, check out our list of the 50 Best Snack Ideas for Weight Loss!
The editor and all-around fashion powerplayer says she avoids dieting in general (spoken like a true French woman), but does have a couple of preferred beverages for keeping her svelte, couture-ready figure. "I'm very lowkey with my body," she told StyleCaster recently. "I drink green tea all day long, and at night I drink vodka." As for fitness, she prefers ballet.

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"Celebrity plans have a tendency to promote a very quick fix, are hard to stick by and are touting all types of products and when the author doesn't have a degree in health, it can be very scary," agrees Rachel Beller, director of the Brander Nutritional Oncology Counseling and Research Program at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, Calif.
Beyoncé is reportedly a fan of the Master Cleanse diet, also sometimes referred to (appropriately in this case) as the Lemonade diet. The Master Cleanse is essentially an all-liquid diet that at its core basically consists of lemonade, salt water, and a laxative herbal tea. If it sounds too good to be true, that's likely because it is. Proponents of the diet claim that it's a panacea for all that ails you; you'll lose weight, feel energetic, and lose your cravings for unhealthy food.  How To Lose Belly Fat | Is Menopause Really to Blame Over 50?
How My Day Went: The night before, I went to the supermarket to stock up on a wide variety of mush flavors: chicken rice dinner, cinnamon apple, macaroni and beef, and sweat pea. I noticed a super hot guy was standing behind me in line, and I wanted to turn around and explain, “I don’t have any babies; this baby food is for me!” But then I realized that if this guy couldn’t learn to love me and my imaginary babies, then he wasn’t worth my time. (I also didn’t have the emotional energy to explain to him why I, a 26-year-old adult woman, was buying baby food for herself on New Year’s Eve.) The first morning, after sucking down a sweet blend of carrot and apple, I caved. Immediately. That’s right: After just one meal of eating a fairly pleasant, sweet apple-cinnamon mush, I ordered a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. I needed real food. So, I tried again the next day. I swallowed my baby breakfast and went for a run.

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Stress can actually cause the body to metabolize food more slowly, according to research published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. To make matters worse, the food we crave when we’re stressed out tends to be fatty and full of sugar. Researchers say that the combination of high-cal cravings and a stress-induced, snail-paced metabolic rate can result in significant weight gain. To keep your metabolism running strong, fight stress with laughter. Research shows that smiling and laughing causes levels of stress hormones to diminish.
Unless you’re spiking your home-baked goods with hidden veggies and swapping sugar for stevia, you should actively avoid these sweets. Store-bought muffins and cupcakes make our list of foods that age you because they can contain a full day’s worth of added sugar—and the effects of the sweet stuff on aging are quite bitter. A report in Clinics in Dermatology states that glucose and fructose can compromise the collagen and elastin that support your skin’s elasticity, so avoiding baked goods with added sugars is a sure-fire way to keep wrinkles at bay.

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Taking shots of cheap whiskey, sleeping on futons, staying up until 4 in the morning—there are a lot of habits you’re probably happy to leave to your 20-year-old self. But the beautiful mystery of eating a whole pepperoni pizza and actually losing five pounds? Those are glory days worth mourning. Once you’re over 40, suddenly ditching a few pesky lbs and losing your gut seems to take monumental effort. 

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