It's unsurprising that some of our favorite A-listers have some tricks up their sleeves for looking their very best. Some of their methods, however, are definitely on the quirky side. From Kim Kardashian's waist-whittling corset to Miranda Kerr's sexy secret to a taut tummy, here, the oddest lengths that celebs go to in the name of a hot bod. (Spoiler: Many of them are actually expert-approved.)
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Good news: Age and weight don’t have to be correlated. Even though many people gain weight as they creep past 40, that doesn’t mean everyone has to. In fact, you don't even have to resurrect all those hardcore diets you tried in your 20s and 30s to keep the pounds from packing on, because even in an age full of hormonal and metabolic changes, all it takes is a few key diet modifications to stay looking and feeling your best.
The country star knows when you have two kids under the age of five, getting breakfast on the table can be no easy feat. So the singer—and wife to New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker—eats a very simple meal every morning: a slice of toast with butter. “I make Eric pick up from this little local place in Nashville that has really good honey whole wheat bread,” she told PEOPLE.
It's one of the most frustrating realities of dieting—if you cut out too many calories, your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy, Hunter explains. Here’s the trick to keeping your metabolism revved up while dieting: Eat enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate (what you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day; calculate yours here). That's about 1,330 calories for a 5-feet-4-inch, 150-pound, 40-year-old woman.
After attending culinary school, the actress invested in a bunch of fancy kitchen tools—but her all-time favorite tool is her Vitamix blender. “I use it every single day,” Kelly told PEOPLE at a Dove Chocolate event. “Every morning I make my smoothie. I actually used to go buy the smoothie I’m now able to make.” Inside her go-to drink, Kelly uses a vegetable-based protein powder, blueberries, ⅓ of a banana, crushed almonds and almond milk. “It feels very good making it myself,” she says.
In an Orlando Health survey of more than a thousand respondents, only 10 percent of people listed their psychological well-being as part of their weight loss journey. The problem? Not being in tune with your emotions and their connection to food is why nearly 66 percent of people gain weight back after losing it. “Most people focus almost entirely on the physical aspects of weight loss, like diet and exercise,” neuropsychologist and Program Director of Integrative Medicine at Orlando Health Diane Robinson, Ph.D. said in a press release. “But there is an emotional component to food that the vast majority of people simply overlook and it can quickly sabotage their efforts.” To stop emotional eating and unlock the door to weight loss success, try keeping a journal that tracks your food choices and current mood. Then look for healthy and unhealthy patterns, which can help you identify the specific life and emotional connections you have with food.
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.
Not only is vinegar great on salad, it’s also shown to “switch on” genes that release proteins that break down fat. In a study of 175 overweight Japanese men and women, researchers found that participants who drank one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks significantly lowered their body weight, BMI, visceral fat, and waist circumference.
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In addition to being low calorie, baby food is also low in additives and preservatives, and comes in very portion-controlled, infant-sized jars. From a health standpoint, one could do a lot worse. However, be prepared to get some pretty funny looks from your fellow human beings. As Jim White, a registered dietician with the American Dietetic Association told The Huffington Post, "Who wants to eat baby food 14 times a day? We’ve got to enjoy ourselves too, and chew our food. It’s just not livable, unless you’re in a retirement home."
“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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Thinking about having a cocktail — or two — before dinner? Think again. Having a drink before a meal causes people to eat around 200 calories more, several studies show. Drinking with dinner isn't such a good idea either: Other research has found that the body burns off alcohol first, meaning that the calories in the rest of the meal are more likely to be stored as fat. If you do have a cocktail craving, stick to wine, which packs only 80 calories a glass — or minimize the calories by drinking a white-wine spritzer (two ounces of wine mixed with two ounces of seltzer).
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Sometimes, you have to eat fat to lose fat. Specifically, healthy fats — those with omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and oleic acid — dramatically help to satisfy hunger and fire up your metabolism. Think avocados, walnuts, coconut oil, and even full-fat dairy. (Low-fat often does more harm than good, which is why full-fat is one of the 20 Supermarket Trends of 2016!) To make sure you’re eating the right kind of fat, check out our exclusive report on the 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss.
Contrary to popular belief, researchers now say breakfast doesn’t kickstart the metabolism and may not be the most important meal of the day. A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had more than 300 overweight participants consume diets that included either eating or skipping breakfast. At the end of 16 weeks, dieters who ate breakfast lost no more weight than the breakfast skippers. And a second study in the same journal found eating breakfast had zero impact on resting metabolism. Breakfast is an ideal place to squeeze protein, fiber, and other nutrients into your day, but if the choice is a doughnut or nothing, opt for the nothing. Start your day with lean protein, which burns twice as many calories during digestion as fat or carbs. But don’t stress about squeezing it in before 9 a.m. Health Tips for Women Over 40
Studies show that how you eat and live contribute significantly to how you transition through menopause. And while Brenda vigilantly monitored her caloric intake, she was eating too much dairy and other inflammatory foods that created hormonal imbalances in addition to living an action-packed lifestyle with few outlets for stress reduction. Meanwhile, her regular, intense cardio workouts spiked Brenda’s fat-storing hormone insulin and stressed out her (already overworked) adrenal glands.
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Hate cooking your meals? If you don’t mind totally forgoing processed foods, the raw diet may be for you. Healthline explains when you’re on a raw diet, all foods you’re consuming must be unrefined, unpasteurized, not heated above 104-118 degrees, and not treated with any chemicals or pesticides. Other preparation methods, like juicing, blending, dehydrating, and soaking, are favorable. And while most folks who use the raw diet are vegans, some do consume unprocessed dairy and raw eggs for protein.
Losing weight may never feel easy, but it also never gets easier. Fitbit users ask all the time—is it harder to lose weight as you get older? Is it impossible? Is there anything else you can do? “Yes, it’s definitely more difficult to lose weight as you get older,” says Kim Larson, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. “There are so many physiological changes as you age, through your 30s, 40s, and 50s. Most people think of middle age and menopause as the big moment, but there’s more to it than that.” To start, here are three major factors. Start Losing Belly Fat Fast -- 7-Minute Beginner Home Exercise Routine
Also known as the caveman diet, the paleo diet is based on the premise that we should be eating like our prehistoric ancestors if we want to avoid developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. This means you will be eating lots of lean protein, fish, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. As for what you eliminate from your diet, this includes dairy, potatoes, refined sugar, salt, and refined vegetable oils (such as canola). This diet calls for much cooking from scratch, so be prepared to get busy in the kitchen. The payoff? Potentially developing a killer bod.
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Want to slim down over 40? Try increasing your protein intake. Research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that low-protein diets prompted greater lean muscle loss in postmenopausal women, potentially slowing their metabolisms along the way. If you’re not a big fan of meat, try adding some extra beans, nuts, or whole grains, like quinoa, to your menu. Weight Loss Motivation | How I Lost 50 pounds in 3 Months
If you really hate regular milk — or have some other aversion to eating dairy — by all means, drink almond milk. It’s a perfectly healthy staple to keep around the house and add to your smoothies, pour over cereal, or just drink plain. However, if you’re drinking it because you think it’s healthier, there’s no need. Firstly, it’s not the healthiest plant-based milk at the store. And secondly, cow’s milk has much more calcium than almond milk. After 40, you really need calcium. It’s essential for your body to perform muscle contraction, nerve and heart functioning, and other biochemical reactions. If you don’t get enough calcium from your diet, your body starts taking calcium from your bones — that’s no good if you want them to stay strong well into your golden years.
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Like the true Italian siren she is, the iconic actress loves pasta so much, she even famously published a cookbook devoted to her native country's cuisine (1971's In the Kitchen with Love). Here's the catch: According to celebrity diet guinea pig and author of I'll Have What She's Having, Rebecca Harrington, the portion sizes are very, very small—the size of a balled-up fist. Still, it's not a bad practice to scale down refined carbohydrates, and in the end, you get your spaghetti fix.
While most Americans consume plenty of protein, research shows that some women begin skimping on the muscle-sustaining nutrient as they age, consuming less than the RDA. Calorie-conscious dieters also tend to cut back on protein, when they should be doing the opposite. "Cutting back causes your body to rob your muscles for energy, leaving you thinner but also flabbier and weaker," says Dr. Apovian. "Not only does losing muscle make your clothing fit poorly, but you begin to burn fewer calories, so even if you're eating the same amount, you can easily regain the weight you shed." Having less muscle mass also makes you weaker, making it harder to do simple activities, so you become more inclined to crash on the couch. Eventually, the scale climbs back up and you start all over again, chipping away at muscle mass and putting the chill on your metabolism with each diet you try.
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7. You’re not getting enough sleep – lack of sleep has been shown to increase your risk of obesity. It’s a vicious cycle – you wake up exhausted after a rubbish night’s sleep, you reach for the wrong foods (to give you a quick energy boost), you end up even more tired and unable to sleep. AND insufficient sleep has been shown to increase your hunger hormone ghrelin!
If you're cutting calories to lose weight, add 200-300 to your daily intake once in a while, says Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham, a senior Yoga Medicine instructor. "The body will get used to a calorie deficit diet, adjusting by slowing the metabolic rate. By allowing yourself a day of indulgence (not overindulgence!), you're creating a healthy balance," she explains. "The extra calories raise leptin production, a hormone that regulates appetite and energy. This rise triggers thermogenesis, the body's natural tendency to create heat, which results in burning calories." Pass the dessert menu!
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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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Buying organic fruits and veggies might cost a little bit more, but it's worth it for your waistline. Researchers in Canada found those with the most organochlorines — AKA pollutants found in pesticides that are stored in fat cells — are more likely to experience a halt in metabolism opposed to those who eat pesticide-free organic produce. To avoid letting what you eat get in the way of burning more calories, try to at least buy organic produce when it comes to the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen": strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and potatoes.
Even though Beyoncé's known for her curves, she once made headlines for the Master Cleanse liquid diet that she used to lose weight for Dreamgirls. Known as the "Lemonade" diet, the Master Cleanse recommends an elixir consisting of water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. For now, she seems to have sworn off juice cleanses in favor of temporary veganism, which eliminates all animal products from your diet.
Once you reach age 40, the weight-loss tactics you used in your 20s seem to stop working. You can no longer refuse dessert and fit in extra workout once a week to effortlessly drop a few extra pounds. Even if you make every effort to eat healthfully and exercise when possible, the number on your scale keeps climbing. Weight loss over age 40 still responds to eating fewer calories than you burn, but hormones, life's obligations and natural muscle loss makes this equation harder to achieve. Quick weight-loss efforts only backfire as they fail to teach you how to sustain any weight loss and endanger your energy and health. Stick to the safe rate of losing 1 to 2 pounds per week to get your weight on track.
How My Day Went: It was incredible. Not heeding to a super restrictive set of rules (ahem, “avoid this list of random vegetables!”) made me feel happier and more comfortable, and I think life is supposed to be happy and comfortable, for the most part. For breakfast, I met up with my friends at a diner and ordered a veggie omelet with a side of home fries and toast. I only had three bites of the toast and two bites of the home fries. While not finishing my entire plate is incredibly out-of-character for me (finishing the whole plate is, like, 90 percent of my personality), I was satiated from the omelet and happy to be out and about catching up with my friends, rather than eating baby food in bed like a deranged recluse. For lunch, I made myself a Cobb salad with avocado, egg, turkey and bacon. The meal was so filling that I almost didn’t miss the seven slices of bread with which I typically accompany my salads. Metabolism Booster: Ways to Boost Metabolism for Women Over 40
Robert Young, Ph.D., created the controversial alkaline diet. Health explains the diet claims certain diseases are caused by high acidity in the blood — so you should aim to consume foods that will balance your pH levels. Unfortunately, Young was convicted of practicing medicine without a license. And while the idea of balancing your acid levels through diet has been debunked by many nutritionists, his plan does promote the consumption of healthful foods.
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