They may be packed with protein and keto-friendly, but processed meats can wreak havoc on your health. Deli meats, bacon, and hotdogs usually contain cancer-causing nitrates and nitrites as well as pack in elevated amounts of blood-pressure-spiking sodium. A 2013 study published in the journal European Cytokine Network found that sodium nitrate increases oxidative stress, which can damage youthful-skin-promoting collagen and elastin.
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Our obligations to our families, jobs, and community tend to increase along with our age, making it harder to find time to attend in-person weight loss groups. Luckily, research published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics suggests that online social support can encourage weight loss every bit as much as in-person meetings, making it easier to shed the pounds, even if factors like your schedule or mobility issues are making it hard to leave the house.
You already know to keep calories and fat in check, but you'll fan the flames of your metabolism by putting another nutrient on your radar: protein, the building block of lean muscle mass. Each time you eat a protein-rich food—say, a piece of fish or cheese—your body goes to work, breaking it down into smaller particles called amino acids. "The amino acids enter your bloodstream and are then absorbed by your muscle tissues and other cells," says Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, director of exercise studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch. "Once the amino acids end up in your muscles, your body starts putting them back together—sort of like Legos—into your muscle tissue." This is called muscle-protein synthesis, and it's the process your body uses to build and maintain muscle mass.
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Instead of ditching carbs or going low-fat, try a diet that's rich in veggies, beans, and legumes to increase your metabolism — and keep your blood sugar from spiking. "Many people think weight is all about calories in, calories out, but quality also matters," says Aunna Pourang, M.D. "[In a 2012 study], low-carb diets showed the most increase in metabolism, but also showed an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This is why scientists concluded that the low-glycemic diet worked the best."
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“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.”
Beyoncé used the Master Cleanse fast to slim down for the film Dreamgirls, but it’s a harsh way to lose weight. You subsist on a beverage made of warm water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup for three to 10 days. Weight loss is simply due to caloric restriction, not any magical properties in the brew, which offers little nutrition. In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow says she suffered hallucinations when she tried Master Cleanse.
“Solitude sparks creativity,” Cozias says. Women over 40 aren’t afraid to be alone, in their leisure time or even in life. “Being alone often allows you time to get back to the hobbies and activities you enjoyed doing as a child. You can also get out into nature, absorb, and observe. When you take time for yourself, you get the chance to connect with emotions and your inner voice. This helps bring a quiet repose to your day which can actually make you a much better a partner in relationships.”
What you drink is just as important as what you’re eating when it comes to weight loss. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics reveals that well-hydrated people ate up to 206 fewer calories each day than those who skimped on the H20. For middle-aged women, staying hydrated can have particularly profound effects; drinking ice water is a recommended solution for battling the hot flashes that often accompany menopause. For more ways to hydrate and shed those unwanted pounds, add the 22 Best Teas For Weight Loss to your lineup.
Green tea has long been heralded for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin, may crank up metabolism. Researchers conducted a series of studies in dieters and found that those who went green lost more weight than those who didn't, suggesting that catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body's production of energy, or heat, from digestion. But how much do you have to drink? According to one study, if you drink five eight-ounce cups of green tea a day, you can increase your energy expenditure by 90 calories a day. Sounds like a lot of tea, but it's not hard to do if you also drink it iced.
“Women over 40 have a very strong sense of self,” says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “They know what they believe in, and why they believe in it. Their confidence often comes from years of living with integrity of their values, and fighting relentlessly to make the world a better place. They know that the smallest things can make the biggest impact.”
If you drink, try opting for red wine instead of white and you might just find yourself a few pounds —and inches— smaller in no time. Red wine is a good source of resveratrol, which has been deemed effective at reducing belly fat and improving memory retention in the aging brain. Even better, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine reveals that resveratrol supplementation was effective at improving hormonal issues in overweight postmenopausal women, potentially bolstering your weight loss efforts.
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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.
Additionally, attempts to lose weight on low-calorie diets can lead to even more lost muscle. Studies have found that regular resistance or strength training may be a better alternative than your daily runs to preserve and gain muscle — even when coupled with a low-calorie diet. Aerobic exercise is still important, just don’t make it your only form of activity.
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To begin, you need to figure out your metabolic rate based on your age, height, weight and activity level. This data will help determine how may calories your body can consume before you actually start putting on weight. Then you’ll learn how to adjust that number so you can boost your metabolism and start losing pounds. Click here for a Metabolism Calculator.
Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Cooking foods with a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate. The effect is probably temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits may add up. For a quick boost, spice up pasta dishes, chili, and stews with red pepper flakes.
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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.
Research shows that getting plenty of protein can boost your metabolism, causing you to burn an extra 150 to 200 calories a day, says Jeff Hampl, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. "Protein is made up mainly of amino acids, which are harder for your body to break down [than fat and carbs], so you burn more calories getting rid of them," he explains.