We aren’t sure there are many people who'd turn to Jersey Shore star Snooki (née Nicole Elizabeth Polizzi) for healthy living advice. If there was one diet that made total sense for her, though, it’s the cookie diet. In 2010 she made headlines for turning to this odd snack-based regimen in an effort to lose all the weight she gained from binge drinking. "I eat six cookies a day and then I have like chicken for dinner, or fish,” she said of the diet. “Something healthy.” 

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Instead, focus on eating lean proteins such as fish, poultry, lean beef and tofu; whole grains, such as brown rice or 100 percent whole-wheat bread; and a wide variety of fresh vegetables. Diligent monitoring of portions may include weighing and measuring servings to make sure you don't overeat. Include some unsaturated fats at meals to support vitamin absorption and satiation; examples include, an ounce of nuts, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/8 of an avocado or 3 ounces of salmon. For snacks, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, fresh fruit and a handful of almonds are options.
The truth: As with any eating plan, if you can stick with the lifestyle changes it advises for a long time, it might be worth a shot. Experts also advise people transitioning to a vegan diet to replace meat and dairy with foods that have a similar nutritional profile, like tofu, beans, and dark, leafy greens to ward off nutrient deficiencies. Also, instead of Bey and Jay Z's plan, which costs about $600 for 22 days, you might want to simply try going vegan with a friend.

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The smoothie revolution is here, and lots of people are swilling down bushels of leafy greens. Believe it or not, there’s a downside to this ingenious delivery method. A big part of the body’s job—breaking down food so that the body can absorb nutrients—has been outsourced to our Nutribullets and Vitamixes. That means that the body is expending much less energy than it would if we were eating kale, spinach, and bananas in their solid form. Smoothies are great for weight loss, but by prioritizing lean meats, fish, fibrous vegetables and fruit, you are driving up TEF (the Thermic Effect of Food, or your metabolic rate after eating) and expending more calories on digestion.
Evolution is a slow and gradual process. Since the typical modern diet does not resemble the diet humans have followed for the majority of history, our metabolisms are designed to work best on a “feast or famine” schedule. Our bodies store fat when food is plentiful, and burn it off in times of scarcity. Since most Americans do not experience periods of fasting, we retain that body fat and gain weight. Because of this, intermittent fasting is a very effective way to lose weight. Not only will our bodies burn off fat stores while we fast, but fasting has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, speed up metabolism, reduce blood pressure, and lower risks for type 2 diabetes.
Don’t you hate it when a super-sexy celeb is asked how they do it and the first thing they say is that they don’t exercise? Well, Megan Fox admitted to being just too “lazy” to attempt breaking a sweat. Instead, she downs shots of apple cider vinegar. This quick-fix diet trick, she says, “cleans out your system entirely. It will get rid of, for women who retain water weight from your menstrual cycle and all that, it gets rid of it really fast,"

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This one has a surprise twist you won’t see coming. “When you eat things to which you’re sensitive or intolerant, you get an increase of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, so you literally get a high,” says Pamela Wartian Smith, M.D., codirector of the master’s program in medical sciences at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, who explains that this reaction can result in cravings for the very foods we should avoid. Food sensitivities may also lead to inflammation and water retention. To compound the problem, over-the-counter antihistamines bolster appetite and dull energy, studies show.
Muscles are what keeps our metabolism high and as we age, our muscles slowly start to get smaller, therefore allowing our metabolism to slow down. To counteract this, Shapiro recommends that we start lifting weights. “No, you won’t get big and bulky. In fact, you’ll stay lean,” she says. That’s because weight training causes you to burn more calories per workout than cardio sessions, and you continue to burn them post workout. And that’s not all—click here to discover 40 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat!
Your go-to fast food joints achieve perfectly crispy fries by frying the spuds in oil that has been reused over and over again. A study in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research found that heating oil to the smoking point during stir-frying may decrease the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids because of oxidative degradation. Those are the heart-healthy fats that nourish your skin and joints. Instead of grabbing a bag of fries at the drive-thru, opt for baking your own at home with a brush of olive oil and fresh herbs.
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]
“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.”
We all know that choosing soda over H2O is a poor decision when it comes to maintaining health, but why is the classic bev so bad? Studies link regular consumption of sugary drinks to heart disease, and if that’s not alarming enough: One longitudinal study followed 80,000 women over the course of 22 years and found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink (such as Coke or Pepsi) had a 75 percent higher risk of developing gout than women who rarely imbibed. Menopause with Sam - 4 How to treat belly fat
You know the ones: In 30 seconds or less, you watch a mysterious pair of hands layer cookie dough with Oreos with brownie mix. Bake, cut, and oh how yummy—and insanely, ridiculously, break-the-chair fattening. “The internet and social media sites are basically making you fat,” Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, and founder of The WellNecessities, told us for our article on The 30 Worst Flat Belly Mistakes Women Make. “If it isn’t 25 ways to eat tater tots then it’s [another] national [something] day. The internet has made it basically impossible to stay away from cravings and indulgences. These are not excuses to eat unhealthy food.” Next time you see one of those videos, ask yourself how you could make it healthier—and if you can’t, click out of it and never look back.
Keeping a journal is great for preserving more than just memories; it’s an amazing tool for maintaining your weight loss, too. As we get older, our memories tend to become a bit less sharp than they were in our younger years, making it easy to forget those little bites of dessert we took, and making it even easier for them to show up as unwanted pounds on the scale. Fortunately, a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center For Health Research reveals that individuals who consistently tracked their eating habits enjoyed a nearly 50 percent greater weight loss than those who skipped the journaling.
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.
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.
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.

When you're trying to ramp up your metabolism, eating fats might sound scary — but you just have to eat the right kind. Focus on a balanced diet of protein, carbs, and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil to see a change. "I told my friend to start her day with high-fiber cereal, plain yogurt, and a handful of walnuts, or a hard-boiled egg and a slice of whole-grain toast topped with avocado. Then eat this same balance of protein, carbs, and fat for lunch and dinner," says Eugenia Gianos, M.D., co-director of the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at New York University Langone Medical Center. "She felt full between meals, had fewer cravings, and because good fats and fiber work in tandem to boost metabolism, she was able to drop the extra pounds and keep them off. It's a strategy I've seen work over and over again in my practice."

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Iron deficiency affects more than 1 in 5 women in the U.S. Being deficient in essential minerals can show up in all kinds of ways, such as fatigue and anemia, but an iron deficiency can also be a blow for getting into your skinny jeans with relative ease. See, your body can’t work as efficiently to burn calories when it doesn’t have what it needs to work properly. A cup of lentils, it turns out, provides over a third of your daily iron needs. Legumes like lentils also have been shown to drive down bad cholesterol and blood pressure. That’s why they’re one of the 7 Best Foods to Eat for Rapid Weight Loss!

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Spreading out your protein becomes even more important as you rack up birthdays. "How your body reacts to protein, especially with smaller amounts, changes as you get older," says Dr. Paddon-Jones, noting that whereas a teenager's body will jump into full muscle-building mode even with smaller amounts of protein, your body needs more—about 30 g—to maximize muscle-protein synthesis. Another bonus: Protein staves off hunger, so you'll be less likely to snack too. 

“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.

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