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.

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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.

They say that idle hands are the devil’s playthings, and that’s certainly true when it comes to weight loss. Keeping your hands busy with activities like knitting, origami, or even those dreaded fidget spinners, can help you from reaching for the closest fatty or sugary snack. Research also suggests that using your hands to fidget throughout the day can burn upwards of 300 calories, making it easier to slim down in an expeditious manner.

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As you age, your risk for heart diseases increases. And while spreading a teaspoon of salted butter on whole-grain toast every once in a blue isn’t detrimental to your health, loading your chicken recipes with butter and buttering your pans on the daily can. Butter contains seven grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, and using just two spoonfuls can put you over your daily limit of the fat. 

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!

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.


“Menopause is right around the corner, which means muscle mass and bone density both start to decline,” Honaman says. Most women in their 40s are aware of this. “For me, that was a far stronger motivation to get to the gym and to adopt a more healthy lifestyle than the motivation of showing up at the pool in a bikini had been decades earlier. It’s about more than just vanity; the health stakes are higher now that ever before.” What's Making You So Hungry?

It was actually the Cookie Diet (see below) that prompted Lüc Carl, Lady Gaga’s ex-boyfriend, to write The Drunk Diet. It’s a plan that fits in perfectly with the pop star’s lifestyle and she’s happy to admit it. "I am on the drunk diet," Gaga said. "I live my life as I want to, creatively. I like to drink whiskey and stuff while I am working. But the deal is I've got to work out every day, and I work out hung over if I am hung over. And it's about the cross training and keeping yourself inspired. I have to say, I do a ton of yoga."
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. Two Fat Boys Fighting Over Stolen Food!!!
Not getting enough quality shuteye has also been shown to slow metabolism in both men and women; this also may have to do with the brain’s secretion of cortisol when the body is under stress, says Celi. And even if you hit they hay early, that may not be enough. Research has shown that broken sleep (when you’re woken up frequently throughout the night) isn’t nearly as restorative as seven consecutive hours. So on top of crawling under the covers early, be sure to give yourself enough hours to get the rest and recovery your body needs.
If you’re having trouble losing weight after your 40th, it’s time to ask your doctor about a thyroid screening. Women are more likely to develop thyroid health issues than their male counterparts, which can lead to symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, and depression. Fortunately, for many people, the problem can be fixed with medication and dietary modification, getting you back on track to the body you want in no time.
With one of the most enviable figures in Hollywood, Megan Fox looks to the 5 Factor Diet, developed by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak. A five-week plan, the diet involves eating five meals a day made with five ingredients per meal that must include protein, healthy fats, healthy carbs, fibre and a sugar-free drink, one 'cheat day' is allowed were dieters can eat what they like. Workout Advice for Older Men (STARTING AT AGE 15!!)
Kourtney’s not the only Kardashian who’s been a devotee to the low-carb lifestyle. Kim has jumped on the bandwagon, too, and, according to a story published in June 2016 in People, reportedly lost 60 pounds (lbs) after having her son, Saint, while on the Atkins 40 diet. Atkins 40 is a version of the Atkins diet designed for people with less than 40 lbs to lose, and has been around since the 1970s. Atkins is essentially the original keto diet and involves a very limited intake of carbs and high amounts of fat. The main difference is that on the Atkins diet you’ll slowly reintroduce carbs, so ketosis likely will only come into play during phase 1.

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There are plenty of fish in the sea, but salmon may be the best one for your metabolism. That’s because most cases of underactive thyroid are due to inflammation of the gland, and salmon boasts significant anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. In fact, one study that looked at the effects of weight loss and seafood consumption showed salmon to be the most effective at reducing inflammation—better than cod, fish oil, and a fish-free diet. The fishy fatty acids may also signal thyroid cells in the liver to burn more fat, a recent study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggests.


The Deal: This one is more of a tip/trick than a full-fledged diet. Every morning when you wake up, have a cup of warm water with fresh lemon juice. That’s right. No Pop-Tarts. No coffee. Lemon juice and hot water first thing. Apparently, the mixture helps with digestion; the acid in lemon juice “works with the body to nourish and to enhance proper function,” Roxanne Sukol, MD, a preventive medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, told Yahoo Health. 

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Drinking water is essential for all your body’s functions and it dramatically ups your odds are of staying thin. In fact, one University of Utah study found that dieters who downed two cups of water before each meal lost 30 percent more weight than their counterparts who didn’t sip any H20 before noshing. If you don’t have a water cooler at your office, fill a BPA-free bottle with water at home. If you drink two cups before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that just leaves you with two more cups before you meet your minimum recommendation for the day. So easy!
Most celebrities (and unfortunately, even us common folk) frequently drop weight by following unrealistic plans and by cutting out favorite foods. But why would you ever want to cut love out of your life in any form? The key to successful, long-term weight loss and maintenance is learning how to shift your priorities and still include foods you love, but make the majority of your foods those that will also make you love the way you look and feel. A diet should never be like a light bulb that you turn on and off. Like anything else in life, balance is the goal, not black-and-white thinking. How To Lose Weight After 40
So, when you have alcohol in your system, your body immediately starts working to get break it down and get rid of it, so you’re not metabolizing food as quickly or efficiently. [LET'S TRY TO FUN THIS UP A BIT...SO IT'S NOT FOCUSED ON BREAKING DOWN AND DIGESTING THE PIZZA YOU ATE AFTERWARD OR S/S] “Chronic recreational alcohol over-consumption (including alcoholism ,which is an illness) can certainly impact caloric expenditure,” he says.
If you’re on the fence about whether to buy organic, this news may sway you: Fruits, vegetables, and grains grown without pesticides keep your fat-burning system running at full-tilt because they don’t expose your thyroid to toxins, Hyman says. Nonorganic produce, on the other hand, “blocks your metabolism mainly by interfering with your thyroid, which is your body’s thermostat and determines how fast it runs,” he explains.
This vitamin is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Unfortunately, researchers estimate that a measly 4% of Americans over age 50 take in enough vitamin D through their diet. Get 90% of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Other good sources: tuna, shrimp, tofu, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs.

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. 7 Simple Tips To Get A Flat Belly After 40!
Adding a leg day to your workouts can help you tone up your lower half and make it easier to shave off unwanted weight. Not only will increasing your muscle tone help you burn more calories, research conducted at Chungnam National University suggests that individuals with more muscle tone in their lower bodies have a lower risk of falls and fractures that may keep them from getting adequate exercise for months, if not years. A study published in Gerontology also suggests that strong legs are a good indicator of the strength of another important muscle: your brain.
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. How to Lose Weight for Men over Forty - It's 80% this...
An ancient remedy for obnoxious tummy troubles, ginger is a natural miracle worker when it comes to your gut. But its powers aren’t limited to ridding your body of nausea and bloat—this root spice has also been linked to slashing cancer risk and reducing arthritis symptoms. Researchers attribute ginger’s health benefits to its gingerols, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-disease compounds. 

This is known as metabolic adaptation, says Bustillo. When we drastically reduce our calories for an extended period of time, our bodies adapt to needing that smaller number of calories, which decreases our BMR. The longer this underfeeding happens, the further our BMR may drop. [CAN WE USE THE 'STARVATION MODE' ANALOGY HERE? THAT MIGHT MAKE THIS A BIT EASIER TO GRASP--THAT YOUR BODY THINKS ITS STARVING SO IT HANGS ON TO EVERY CALORIE]

“Obviously all of your leafy greens are going to be really high in antioxidants, which is important for anti-aging,” says LeVeque. “But I would never have something deep in color without fat because most fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants are 300 percent more bioavailable in the body when eaten with fat.” Now, LeVeque doesn’t mean to add a plate of fatty French fries to your daily lunch so that you're veggies will absorb better, but rather to add foods with good-for-you fats into your already good-for-you salad.  “Add avocado to a leafy green salad or order a green salad and add olive oil to fill up on those antioxidants.”

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While it may seem like a small change, taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a big difference when it comes to your weight loss. According to research conducted at McMaster University, short bursts of stair climbing significantly improved study subjects’ cardiovascular health. Better yet, an average-weight person can expect to burn more than 10 calories per flight of stairs—not an insignificant number over the course of a week or month. Need more incentive to break a sweat? The 7 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Exercise will have you convinced.
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22. You’re not doing the right exercise – are you’re going to the gym or doing your exercise classes, and wondering why the weight isn’t falling off? Firstly, exercise alone won’t make much difference to your weight. You need to eat right too. Secondly, your body gets used to long slow cardio, so it’s important to mix it up with some resistance training, burst or high intensity training and core work or stretching. These types of exercise help to maintain muscle, and stimulate growth hormone and testosterone, which increase your metabolism and help you burn fat.
Regret dumping that extra teaspoon of sugar into your overnight oats? Undoing the damage can be as simple as sprinkling some cinnamon in! This warm spice may help reduce high blood sugar levels associated with sugar consumption as well as prevent pesky insulin spikes. One study even found that the oatmeal topper can help reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease.

“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.”
To achieve a better macronutrient ratio, don’t worry about counting macros with fancy apps. All you need to do is break down your meals like this: center your meals around non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, kale, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and green beans. Fill at least half of your plate with these lower calorie, high-fiber foods to satisfy hunger and pack in the nutrition. How To Lose Weight After 40
Boost your fiber intake and slim down by mixing some flaxseed into your favorite food. Flax is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation and promote weight loss, and they may even help you fend off another sign of aging, too: the dreaded wrinkle. Flaxseed is loaded with alpha linolenic acid, which researchers at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface General Hospital and Cuba’s VI Lenin University Hospital have linked to improvements in weight and cardiovascular status among study subjects. The omega-3s in flax have also been shown to trigger improvements in the texture and hydration of skin, fighting wrinkles in the process.
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.
Brenda swapped out her adrenal-zapping cardio (which she hated anyway!) for weight resistance and high-intensity interval training. Studies show HIIT helps you lose weight, lower blood pressure, and reduce oxidative stress (all big problems during menopause). Another study found menopausal women who combined a ketogenic diet with resistance training became leaner than those who didn’t.
3. Keep a food journal or use an app to track what you eat. As we get older, our metabolisms naturally slow down.  That means you need less food.  If you’re still eating as much as you did in your 30’s, you’ve probably had to buy a whole new wardrobe or 2 by now.  Apps like “My Fitness Pal” or “Lose It” help making weight loss goals easier by keeping you on track.  Or you can go old school and write everything down then look up the calories.  Not all calories are created equal, but one is for sure, taking in more than you burn leads to more body fat.
The 500- to 1,000-calorie deficit yields a loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week, since 1 pound equals 3,500 calories. Losing at a faster rate, especially after the first one or two weeks of making changes, puts you at an increased risk of developing gall stones. Determine how many calories you need daily to maintain your weight based on your exact age, activity level and size using an online calculator and determine your deficit from that number. The average 40-year old woman burns between 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day, depending on activity. What's Making You So Hungry?
Interval training—alternating between high-intensity bursts of movement and a moderate pace—has been shown to amp up metabolism for up to 24 hours postworkout. "You don't have to do a lot to see the benefits," says Wayne Westcott, PhD. "Aim for 15 to 25 minutes of interval training 3 or 4 days per week." If you're just getting started or have a lot of weight to lose, do walking or stationary cycling intervals, which are easier on the joints. If you want to challenge yourself, lace up your sneaks and jump rope or go for a run.

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The key to this metabolism diet trick is to start slowly. First, add non-exercise movement to your day. Walk more often, take the stairs instead of the elevator, carry your groceries home from the store or add a few easy exercise sessions to your routine. ​Use an activity tracker to increase your daily step count and increase your total calories burned per day.
"So it's extremely important to know that muscle is very metabolically active and that you don't want to lose it. That being said, a typical can man can lose over the course of the age of 30 through the age of 50 anywhere between 5 and 10 pounds of muscle mass. A woman could definitely lose that -- that's a given because she, through repeated dieting and decreased physical activity, will lose that," Peeke says.
13. You’re popping too many pills – regular use of painkillers, antibiotics, indigestion tablets, poor quality supplements and other medications can over-burden your liver and damage your gut lining. As well as potential side effects (many of which are weight gain), too many medications can cause a build up of toxins and can upset your gut flora balance.

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There is no single diet plan that works for everyone. But a diet plan for your 40s should be one that you can use to reach your weight loss goals and then modify and stick to for life. Evaluate your current eating style, think about your past diet history and choose a diet that fits your needs.  Evaluate commercial diet plans or create your own eating plan at home. 
*Note that everyone's metabolism works differently. Though our tips are heart-healthy and can help you burn calories, they may only cause a slight boost in metabolism. "Most individuals don't have a metabolism issue, and there are very few things you can do to significantly increase your metabolism," says Tim Church, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., and endowed chair in health wisdom at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

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“It’s easy to kick back at the end of a long day and open up a bottle of wine,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition NYC. “Before you know it, you’ve had two or three glasses each night!” Wine contains 120 calories per 5 oz pour, and it’s easy to overlook those calories. That means that after a few hefty pours you’ve consumed over 400 calories — and that doesn’t include dinner. “Cut back to one 5 oz pour a day, or scale back your drinking overall by 25% and you’ll see a few pounds come off,” she says. And to blast even more fat, don’t miss these 50 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Secrets From Skinny People!
The gorgeous actress' top tip is actually a hair and body twofer: "When I'm showering, I'll turn the water to cold for the last couple minutes," she told Into the Gloss. "A hairstylist friend told me [it] closes the hair cuticle...and I always feel like it makes you a little bit skinnier." We can get on board with shinier locks, but the latter? Um...
Are menopausal changes affecting your weight? Many women struggle with weight loss before, during, and sometimes even long after menopause. Weight gain at this time may be related to changes in your hormones. But this is also a time when many women make changes to their daily routines that may affect their weight. For example, after the kids leave home some women are not as busy during the day with non-exercise physical activities like carrying groceries, lifting laundry baskets and other household chores. Evaluate your lifestyle to make sure that a change in your daily habits isn’t affecting your weight. Top 10 Foods That Help Lose Belly Fat - Tips To Burn Belly Fat
Stress can interrupt sleep, which is essential to maintaining a healthy weight. Too little sleep makes you lose motivation for exercise and causes your body to pump out more hunger hormones. Stress and lack of sleep also cause your body to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone that also drives weight gain. Yoga, meditation and other methods of self care are ways to help manage stress so you can concentrate on dietary and exercise efforts to lose weight.
“To balance hormones, such as leptin, the diet must contain high fiber vegetables to stabilize leptin levels by making you feel full longer. They’ll balance cortisol, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,” explains Lisa Avellino, Fitness Director at NY Health and Wellness. “The fiber found in cabbage, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts help stabilize blood sugar and insulin by slowing down digestion.” 

You may not have time for formal exercise, but the more you move, the more calories you burn. Perhaps you take a walk around the field during your kids' soccer practice or opt for the stairs and the far-out parking spot at work. Reconnect with your significant other by taking a brisk evening walk together. When you are trying to lose weight quickly, every little bit of movement counts.

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Picture this in your mind: You’ve dieted and worked out for the past 10 years and you’re fatter than ever. Your health is in shambles and you’re hopeless at resisting food temptation. You know better, but you look and feel like hell. It’s that kind of “negative fantasizing” that researchers say paradoxically provides powerful motivation for weight loss. A study in the journal Cognitive Therapy & Research revealed that obese women on a weight loss journey who had the most positive fantasies—showing off their new, hot bodies to friends a year later—actually lost 24 pounds fewer than those with the most negative thoughts. While it’s fun to visualize the future benefits of weight loss success, researchers say negative fantasies about weight loss mentally prepare dieters for temptation and hardship. One Tip every woman over 40 needs to know to lose weight permanently
When it comes to the best workouts for weight loss, neither weights nor cardio can completely move the needle on their own. Interval training is the best way to shed pounds, increase your metabolism, improve your cholesterol profile, and improve insulin sensitivity. At the gym, sign up for a HIIT class, or turn your favorite aerobic exercise, (running, biking, even walking) into an interval workout by adding periods of intense speed (start with 30 to 60 seconds) followed by periods of rest (normal speed) for the same amount of time. Do this six to 10 times to complete a fat-slashing workout. As you get better, slowly increase the amount of time of increased intensity.
Bodybuilders have known for years that strategically placed ‘cheat meals’ can help prevent the metabolic slowdown mentioned above. One meal every five to seven days that contains as many carbs and calories as desired can work. Just make sure not to make a habit out of cheat meals. In fact, you could also just as easily eat clean each day and meet your calorie needs, rather than consistently depriving yourself, then occasionally indulging.  

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"When writing my first book in the Somersize series, I interviewed more than 100 nutritionists and was shocked and surprised to find that none of them agreed on anything. The approach most nutritionists take is to 'not eat as much' and to watch the fat. Nutrition is a very inexact science. That is why I sought out qualified endocrinologists to find the 'insulin connection' relative to weight gain and weight loss. My program is backed by science and qualified doctors. 3 Simple Steps That Shrink & Incinerate "Over 40" Belly Fat
“Women in their 40s come to know that, while socializing with friends is fun and rewarding, partying out late brings more burden than good,” Dr. Rosenfeld says. “They might choose to invite friends over for a quiet night in or spend their nights engaging in self care (reading, relaxing, taking a bath). Either way, they’ll get more sleep, won’t be hungover, and will face the next day energized and refreshed.” 

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It’s time to sniff your way slim. Switching up your fragrance can do more than make you smell delicious, it can also help you shed those extra pounds as you age. The results of a study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery reveal that sniffing scents like apple and mint increased weight loss among study subjects, so seek out fragranced products, like tea tree shampoo or apple-inflected perfume, for maximum effect.
 “I eat a salad every day. My need for cheese has to be controlled – that’s the thing I find hardest to resist! I also love peanut butter. If I have that on wholewheat toast in the morning, I don’t snack… I like to keep moving. I warm up every morning and do exercises and run up and down the stairs.” Choreographer and former Strictly judge Arlene, 74, slows down for no one! 
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?
The 500- to 1,000-calorie deficit yields a loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week, since 1 pound equals 3,500 calories. Losing at a faster rate, especially after the first one or two weeks of making changes, puts you at an increased risk of developing gall stones. Determine how many calories you need daily to maintain your weight based on your exact age, activity level and size using an online calculator and determine your deficit from that number. The average 40-year old woman burns between 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day, depending on activity. What's Making You So Hungry?

While java can boost your metabolism and give you the jolt you need to hit the gym, many bottled varieties can do just the opposite. Take Gold Peak’s salted caramel and almond toffee cold brew flavors. Both pack in 270 calories and a whopping 53 grams of sugar—that’s over double your daily recommended amount! Excess sugar can heighten your risk of diabetes, wreak havoc on your hormones, and cause collagen to decrease.
Incorporate interval training (alternating between more-intense and less-intense activities during one workout) into your exercise routine for an even bigger metabolism boost, says Mark Hyman, M.D., editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Functional Medicine, and the author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss (Atria, 2008).
Bodybuilders have long sworn by eating every few hours to keep their muscles fueled, but don’t discount the weight loss potential of three squares a day. A study in the journal Hepatology put two groups of men on weight-gain diets. One group divided the calories among three small meals with snacks in between while the second group ate the same number of calories in three square meals. While both groups gained weight, researchers found that belly fat—the dangerous kind that increases heart-disease risk—only increased in the high-meal frequency group. Overweight Beginner Low Impact Home Workout (Burn 300Cals under 20mins) | Joanna Soh
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.
Bodybuilders have known for years that strategically placed ‘cheat meals’ can help prevent the metabolic slowdown mentioned above. One meal every five to seven days that contains as many carbs and calories as desired can work. Just make sure not to make a habit out of cheat meals. In fact, you could also just as easily eat clean each day and meet your calorie needs, rather than consistently depriving yourself, then occasionally indulging.  

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