Back in January, Posh tweeted a picture of the cookbook Eating the Alkaline Way. "Love this healthy eating cook book!!" she enthused. Clearly, it loves her back; Beckham has maintained her signature svelte frame with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that curtails consumption of acid-forming foods like dairy, pasta, meat and fish. The goal? To keep the body's pH balance between 7.35 and 7.45. Other famous fans of the diet book, penned by Natasha Corrett, the stepsister of Sienna Miller, include Jennifer Aniston, Kirsten Dunst and Gwyneth Paltrow.
"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.
19. You’re eating too many ready meals – it’s so easy to get home from a busy day at work and pop a ready meal in the microwave. Trouble is, this won’t help you lose weight. Why? Because a/ processed foods are mostly made with vegetable oils that turn in to trans fats in the manufacturing process (trans fats encourage weight gain) and b/ the nutrient value is likely to be much lower than a meal cooked with food from scratch (see no. 12).
Case in point: In a 10-week preliminary study led by Dr. Apovian and Dr. Westcott, baby boomers who exercised regularly and followed a moderate-calorie diet (1,200 to 1,500 calories for women; 1,500 to 1,800 for men), while simultaneously increasing their protein intake to 1.5 g/kg of ideal body weight, lost nearly 5 times more weight than participants who exercised without changing their diets. They also lost 4 more pounds than exercisers who increased protein intake but didn't keep calories in check. Even better: The calorie- and protein-conscious group gained more muscle, reduced their blood pressure, and dropped 2 inches from their waists.
“Most 40-year-olds can remember the fat-free craze of the ’90s, when Snackwells was king,” says Shapiro. “Well, those days are over.” She advises that you leave the fat-free fake foods behind and enjoy healthy fats that add flavor to your meals and help you fill up with less. “Coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, salmon are rich in vitamins and minerals that will keep you young and fill you up on smaller portions, and therefore fewer calories.” She says.