Certain foods have been cast out as “unhealthy,” like cheese, butter, sugar, or pizza. But in reality, eating moderate amounts of these foods isn’t going to do your body any harm. And there’s nothing about turning 40 that irreversibly alters your ability to eat the foods you enjoy. If anything, 40 is a time of celebration — you’ve reached a new chapter of life, one that will hopefully be filled with quality time with your loved ones, laughter, and a healthy and stress-free relationship with food.
As your body gets older, muscle naturally starts to break down and your metabolism slows, which causes pounds to creep on. But by eating protein throughout the day and weight training, you can fight that process, says Ansel. Most of us eat enough protein, but we don’t eat it at the right times, she says. When you eat a majority of your protein at dinner, your body doesn't have time to use it all as energy, so it has to store it as fat. By spreading out your protein intake, you give your body a steady stream that it can use. Aim to eat 20 to 30 grams with each meal and five to 10 grams with each snack.
Experts agree that including a weekly cheat meal into your healthy-eating plan can actually help you reach your weight loss goals. Having a strategy is key: “By planning your cheat meal, you know what you’ll be eating and can cut a few extra calories earlier in the day,” says Jim White, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios. “This also allows you to really pick a favorite food instead of wasting calories on something you didn’t enjoy.” Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, Real Nutrition NYC, gives similar advice. “Pick your poison. If you’re going out, pick your splurge. Are you going to dig into carbs like a bread basket or pasta or dessert? Or are you planning on tossing back a few cocktails?” She urges cheaters to avoid consuming all three of those common categories in one sitting. “Focus only on one,” she says, adding that by saving the others for another time you can “enjoy without going overboard.”
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There’s another big reason to put your energy into eating well: you probably don’t have as much time to focus on working out. “In your 20s, the first instinct to drop pounds is often to hit the gym with increased intensity. But for those of us who are older and might be leading busier lives, running to the gym for an hour each evening isn’t always a feasible option,” says Pam Nisevich Bede, RD, CSSD, sports dietitian for Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition. (These 8 at-home workouts can certainly come in handy!) “A healthy diet is now your best friend when trying to lose weight.” It comes with added perks, though: A balanced diet can also energize your day, allowing you to make healthier decisions, and fuel your workouts most efficiently, she adds.
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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.
getting lean at 40
"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.
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How My Day Went: I love smoked salmon and capers, so I figured this would be one of the easier ones. Breakfast – a pack of high-end smoked salmon – was delicious. Lunch – a pack of high-end smoked salmon with a side of capers – was delicious, too. Throughout the workday, I felt full and energized, though smelled strongly of fish, which I didn’t hate, but you’d have to ask my coworkers how they experienced it. Another bonus: The saltiness of the diet forced me to drink several cups of water over the course of the day, so I stayed much more hydrated than I normally do.
Eating an apple each day can help prevent metabolic syndrome, a disorder associated with abdominal fat, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. They’ll keep the doctor away and your muffin tops at bay because apples are a low-calorie, nutrient dense source of fiber, which studies have proven to be integral to reducing visceral fat. A recent study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years! That’s just one reason why apples are one of the Best Fruits for Fat Loss!
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.
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.
Before you try anything else, make sure there isn’t an underlying factor interfering with your weight loss, like a thyroid condition. Did you know that nearly 1 in 5 adults over 40 suffer from thyroid problems that can interfere with weight loss? Your thyroid is the main regulator of your body’s metabolism, so having an over or under-active thyroid gland (hyper or hypothyroidism) can truly interfere with weight loss. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble losing weight and also experiencing any of the following symptoms of a thyroid disorder:
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Recent research suggests that women on average will lose muscle mass twice as fast as men the same age, and that can make a huge difference in their ability to lose or at least maintain weight, Peeke says. Muscle is far more "metabolically active" than fat, meaning that lean, more muscular people have an easier time burning calories at rest than to people with higher proportions of body fat.
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Most women in the ripe years have already found their own styles and could have enjoyed their lives just keeping them in line with current trends. Unfortunately, age-related changes foul things up, affecting face features, body and hair. However, there are lots of stylish hairstyles for women over 40, flattering both the face and body silhouette, while factoring out years. You just need to focus on the personal traits we are going to discuss further.
During his stretch as one of the best point guards to ever play for the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony has been known to cleanse. Specifically, he’s taken part in a 15-day spiritual cleanse called “the Daniel Fast” (reports say it affected his game). Foods you can’t eat: meat, carbs, dairy, coffee, alcohol, and sugar. Foods you can eat: vegetables, whole grains.
Marilyn Monroe was known most notably for her breakfast selection: two raw eggs whipped in warm milk. She also skipped lunch regularly, and ate either liver, steak, or lamb for dinner. Her one indulgence was a hot-fudge sundae. When she wasn’t creating her own eating plan, Monroe followed the diuretic diet. It features foods with high potassium and diuretics, and is used to decrease fluid retention.
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.
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Everyone knows that Tom and Gisele don’t eat strawberries, but they also don’t eat white sugar, white flour, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. So what do they eat? According to their chef, Alan Campbell, “80 percent … vegetables … and whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken.”
Sorry Starbucks frequenters, but that daily skinny vanilla latte may be the reason your skinny jeans aren’t slipping on comfortably. Sbux’s sugar-free vanilla syrup that it pumps into skinny lattes is sweetened with sucralose, an artificial sugar that has been found to increase the risk of developing tissue inflammation by disrupting the gut microbiota, a study in Frontiers in Physiology journal discovered, adding that this chronic inflammation can cause obesity and diabetes.
Swap that Netflix binge for a more active date and you might just find the pounds melting away, even if your metabolism seems sluggish after 40. According to researchers at Brigham Young University, binge-watching is linked to the consumption of fewer fruits and vegetables and a lower likelihood of getting the recommended amount of physical activity.
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Some ingredients in energy drinks can give your metabolism a boost. They're full of caffeine, which increases the amount of energy your body uses. They sometimes have taurine, an amino acid. Taurine can speed up your metabolism and may help burn fat. But using these drinks can cause problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, and sleep issues for some people. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend them for kids and teens.
Christy is a spokesperson, nutrition and food writer and blogger for Huffington Post and others, a recipe developer and YouTube video producer. She is regularly interviewed by CTV National News, CBC, The Globe and Mail and many more on nutrition and health. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest nutrition and food science and trends, and synthesizes and prioritizes it just for you.
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Commit to at least 250 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio weekly to lose significant weight. If you have trouble fitting it in, re-frame how you think about exercise. Take a brisk walk with your kids after school; go for a jog in the first half of your lunch hour; schedule at least one or two evenings as your time at the gym; or wake up 30 minutes early to fit in a brief sweat session. Two strength-training sessions are also a must in your physical activity routine to help offset the natural loss of muscle mass. At home, you could do squats, pushups, triceps dips, lunges and crunches if getting to a health center just isn't possible.
“Hormones dictate how our body utilizes the energy we give it,” says nutritionist Lisa Jubilee. “Between our reproductive, thyroid and growth hormones, appetite, insulin, and hunger hormone leptin and ghrelin, our bodies have to perform a tricky balancing act to keep us lean, energized and viable reproductive beings.” Those tasks have become much more difficult because of the hormone residues we consume via cage-raised foods. If you want to give your metabolism a leg up, Jubilee says, switch to organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, eggs, and dairy products, thereby avoiding those nasty hormones at mealtime.