I'm a counselor and author who studies happiness so I know that most people get happier and happier with each decade, and they have their peak life experiences in their late 60s and early 70s. After that they start to decline only a little bit in regard to happiness (as friends die and health declines). However, most people never get anywhere near the unhappiness they experience in their 20s.
Holiday weight – usually all but melted by Valentine’s Day – seems reluctant to budge when you throw your old tricks at it. If it seems that something important has shifted, you’re right. Your metabolism is slowing, and your muscle mass is decreasing. That’s a harsh reality, but there are some new tricks for you to learn to keep spry for years, even decades to come. We’ve listed 40 of them for you here so that you needn’t go gentle into that good night. 

There appears to be a connection between estrogen and body weight regulation.  With lower estrogen levels, lab animals tend to eat more and be less physically active.  Levels that are too high or too low appear to lead to fat storage.  And, lower estrogen levels may also slow down your metabolic rate (the speed  at your body converts stored energy into working energy).

These inexpensive treats pack a double punch at boosting your metabolism. First, the acid in the vinegar helps prevent fat storage in the body. Second, peppers contain capsaicin, the compound that makes them hot and also helps your body burn more energy. Eat pickled peppers in the morning – try mixing them into scrambled eggs – and they’ll provide a metabolism surge to carry you through the day. How To Lose Belly Fat | Is Menopause Really to Blame Over 50?

We’re looking at you, Cool Whip! Since these products don’t contain cream as the primary ingredient, government regulations prohibit the brands from labeling them as whipped cream. The next best thing? “Whipped topping.” These imposters are filled with sketchy ingredients such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup—two culprits your diet could definitely do without.


Protein timing is also key. Many women tend to get most of their protein at dinner and very little earlier in the day. Are you having cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch and then a big piece of chicken or steak at dinner? Your body can only use about 30 grams of protein at a time, so you want to evenly distribute protein sources throughout the day.


If you have one soda a day, studies show that you’re accumulating fat around your organs (visceral fat) and likely giving yourself a “soda belly”—a protruding, beer belly-like gut that’s the result of about 1.8 pounds of fat pushing out your belly. And that’s in addition to all the other harmful things we know about soda. (Diet doesn’t do you any favors.) Soda is such a concern that we’ve compiled an exclusive report that ranks every popular regular and diet soda!

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. Female Metabolism Over 40: What You MUST Know
Interval training—alternating between high-intensity bursts of movement and a moderate pace—has been shown to amp up metabolism for up to 24 hours postworkout. "You don't have to do a lot to see the benefits," says Wayne Westcott, PhD. "Aim for 15 to 25 minutes of interval training 3 or 4 days per week." If you're just getting started or have a lot of weight to lose, do walking or stationary cycling intervals, which are easier on the joints. If you want to challenge yourself, lace up your sneaks and jump rope or go for a run.
When you're over 40, weight loss may play a big role in your overall well-being and your ability to age well. When you go in for your annual check-up or before you start a diet, talk to your healthcare provider. Find out if weight loss might improve your health. You may be able to decrease your risk for disease or even stop taking certain medications if you lose weight. And having that important information may help you to stay motivated when weight loss becomes challenging.

“Modern life puts such pressure on us to do, produce, and succeed that we often find ourselves racing from one activity to another,” Bernstein points out. “In the process, we can easily lose a sense of ourselves. Downtime brings us back to the integrity of being ourselves. In the not doing, we are open and relaxed and thus insights and creative ideas find their way to us.” Beat Menopause Belly Fat by Starving Your Fat Cells (Not Yourself)
If you're anything like most post-40 women I know, you're in the business of coordinating life amidst everyday chaos -- work, husband, dirty laundry, hyper kids. And that's exactly what those frozen-cappuccino peddlers are counting on. You drive up, run in, pop a straw through the top, and peel off to pick up Junior at swim camp. Big mistake. Studies show that your body doesn't register a feeling of fullness from the calories you drink. Whether it's juice, soda, or alcohol, your body won't say to itself, "Wow, that eight-ounce glass really filled me up." If you ate an orange instead of drinking the juice, you would feel satisfied. But instead, liquid calories help you gain weight by causing you to overeat later. Do me a favor: Keep a piece of fruit in your bag at all times. Whenever you want a snack, drink a 12-ounce glass of water, then eat the fruit. Not only will you feel full, but most importantly you'll stay that way until dinner. And your hips will thank you. How to get a muscular body after 40 - 12 point system

This diet, created by trainer-to-the-stars Tracy Anderson, has reportedly been tried by the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga. The gist of the 7-day eating plan? Eat jarred baby food for breakfast and lunch, followed by a low-calorie dinner. Anderson cites this as a way to “eliminate toxins”—a red flag because the body naturally expels toxins. This is nothing more than a short-term crash diet that is very low in calories and nutrients. 

Exercise can help you preserve lean muscle and increase your declining calorie-burn rate, but your children and parents are at ages that require extra care and time. Combine these obligations with a demanding job, and it's tough to meet the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and two strength-training sessions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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That mom of three who also teaches spin class and always looks fanfreakintastic? Awesome. But that’s not attainable for everyone, which can leave you feeling frustrated that you can’t be a workout god or goddess, too. The good news: You only need 2 ½ minutes to boost your metabolism and start burning calories, too. Research printed in the journal Physiological Reports showed that people who did five 30-second bursts of max-effort cycling, followed by 4 minutes of rest, burned 200 extra calories that day and boosted their metabolism for the next 24-48 hours. It’s highly unlikely you have a stationary bike handy at your place of work, but a similar result could be achieved by running up the stairs and doing jumping jacks. And while we’re talking work, check out these 21 Ways Your Job Is Making You Fat.

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Our bodies need dietary fat—particularly healthy oils—in order to lose weight and function properly. The right kinds of fats and oils help quash hunger, maximize your metabolism, and speed nutrients through your body. Healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil can actually help the body to burn calories. Extra virgin olive oil may also increase blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. Plus, olive oil is also loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that help battle many diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and brain deterioration. 

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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.
Want to see those numbers on the scale get smaller? Try adding some fish to your meal plan. Research published in Obesity reveals that adding some omega-3s to subjects’ diet helped them lose more weight, keep it off longer, and limit those nagging hunger pangs. For women over 40, omega-3-rich fish, like salmon and tuna, are a particularly good choice; studies suggest that adding them to your diet may reduce your risk of hot flashes, too. Zumba Dance - Lose Belly Fat Fast - Best Exercises For Losing Weight - Lose Weight Fast And Safe
"Stay away from processed, high sugar, junk food, even fruit juice," says Michael Mountain, author of Ultimate Fat Loss Solution. Stick to protein, which increases metabolism by 30 percent for up to 12 hours, whereas carbs and fat increase metabolism by 4 percent for less than one hour. And don't forget fiber—it binds with metabolized fat and removes it from the body.
"As we age, our lives become more complicated, whether it's with children, with work, with aging parents, and so we have less time really to be more physically active and pay attention to what we're eating. Food is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in large portions that are relatively economical and so food is always around, and we tend to have more mindless eating and cut down on activities," she says.

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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,"
There are plenty of fish in the sea, but salmon may be the best one for your metabolism. That’s because most cases of underactive thyroid are due to inflammation of the gland, and salmon boasts significant anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. In fact, one study that looked at the effects of weight loss and seafood consumption showed salmon to be the most effective at reducing inflammation—better than cod, fish oil, and a fish-free diet. The fishy fatty acids may also signal thyroid cells in the liver to burn more fat, a recent study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggests. 400 Calorie Workout for Weight Loss - No Equipment 35 Min
You have to limit your fat, simple carb and sugar intake, but increase your complex carb, fruit, vegetable and lean protein consumption. If you are exercising to lose weight, eat some lean protein and carbohydrates directly after finishing to properly refuel. Appropriate choices are beans, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, salmon, eggs and Greek yogurt. Some foods, like coffee, cause specific hormones, like cortisol, to be released and could be your enemy in the belly-bulge battle.
While it may seem like a small change, taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a big difference when it comes to your weight loss. According to research conducted at McMaster University, short bursts of stair climbing significantly improved study subjects’ cardiovascular health. Better yet, an average-weight person can expect to burn more than 10 calories per flight of stairs—not an insignificant number over the course of a week or month. Need more incentive to break a sweat? The 7 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Exercise will have you convinced.
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. How to Bulk After Age 35 to 40
Lifting weights is not only critical for increasing strength, but it will help you lose weight as well. Since muscle tissue is active, it requires calories to function, and increasing the amount you have will enable you to burn more calories overall. Create a weight-lifting routine filled with exercises that incorporate multiple muscles groups at once. How To Lose Belly Fat After 40
Derived from the Japanese tencha leaf and then stone-ground into a bright-green fine powder, matcha literally means “powdered tea,” and it’s incredibly good for you. Research shows the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in matcha to be 137 times greater than the amount you’ll find in most store-bought green tea. EGCG is a dieter’s best friend: Studies have shown the compound can simultaneously boost the breakdown of fat and block the formation of belly-fat cells. One study found men who drank green tea containing 136 milligrams of EGCG—what you’ll find in a single four-gram serving of matcha—lost twice as much weight than a placebo group and four times as much visceral (belly) fat over the course of three months. Need one more reason for tea time? A single serving sneaks in four grams of protein—that’s more than an egg white!
While Gaga's focus on whole foods is commendable, I probably wouldn't recommend her plan long-term since some of the foods she avoided are rich in important nutrients (a potato, for example, has twice the potassium of a banana and most of us don't meet our potassium needs). If you want to keep blood sugar levels stable without feeling like you're on a roller coaster, consume carbohydrates along with protein, fat or both (think almond butter on your toast or Greek yogurt on your baked potato). This powerful combo may calm your mood and make you feel more emotionally and physically satisfied.

Brenda stated exactly what so many women have struggled with in the past, including me. As a doctor of gynecology, I frequently get 40-something women in my office working through self-sabotaging menopausal issues including hot flashes, low energy, near-zero libido, weight gain, and weight loss resistance. Hormonal imbalances contribute to many of these problems. When hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) nose dive, you’ve got the perfect storm for menopausal miseries. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

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Come January 1st, many of us craft ambitious plans to overhaul our lives, namely in the realms of diet and fitness (and no, we don’t judge you if you’ve already broken yours). New Year’s resolutions that I’ve made over the years include, but are not limited to: Get a butt. Lose some butt. Chew food 50 times before swallowing. Lose 20 pounds without amputation. Eat more kale. Eat only kale. Do 100 squats a day. Do 100 squats a week. Do one push-up by the end of the year, etc., etc., etc. Nothing has ever lasted, of course, yet every year I’m tempted by the calls to start fresh, press reset and pretend I’m the kind of person who believes that whole grains are more delicious than processed white flour.
Madonna will always be one of the sexiest women alive no matter her age. The 59-year-old musical artist practically invented her own brand of sex appeal. She has it all, brains, beauty and boatloads of talent. The mother of six is considered one of the greatest songwriters of all time and is one of the most successful female recording artists in history.

I love that these are short, true stories. Fiction just does not capture me like reading and learning from the wisdom of 40 talented writers. I found myself reading passages aloud to those around me because the writing was so rich. It covers topics that I've lived through and I found myself nodding along and other topics that I've only wondered about. At 52 it inspired me to keep living and loving well. Well done Leslie. Thank you for this wonderful gift.

It’s like butter that grows on trees. But instead of the cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats in real butter, avocado contains metabolism-enhancing monounsaturated fat. And that’s not all. Each creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and free-radical-killing antioxidants. Free radicals are destructive rogue oxygen molecules—natural byproducts of metabolism—that trigger various chain reactions in the body that destroy cells and DNA, causing all kinds of health problems. Antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables can help neutralize some free radicals, but they can’t reach the mitochondria—the base camp for the free radical army—and that’s a problem. When your mitochondria aren’t working properly, your metabolism runs less efficiently. Enter: Avocado. New research conducted in Mexico found that monounsaturated-rich oil pressed from the fruit can help mitochondria become more resilient. Researchers say the results jive with low-disease rates in Mediterranean countries where olive oil—nutritionally similar to the avocado—is a diet staple. How I Got a Flatter Stomach ... After 50! My 5 Top Tips for a Flatter Belly, Whatever Your Age!
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.

2. Exercise More. Contrary to what your body may want to do, you must exercise more regularly as you age, not less!  If you’re finding yourself slowing down, gradually start ramping it back up.  It’s not a good idea to go from taking an occasional walk to running a 10K.  That’s a fast track to getting an injury.  But start finding ways to fit more physical activity to your life.  The more you exercise, the more insulin sensitive you become (that’s the opposite of insulin resistant!)

In one study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, volunteers who got 22 to 55 percent of their total calories at breakfast gained only 1.7 pounds on average over four years. Those who ate zero to 11 percent of their calories in the morning gained nearly three pounds. In another study published in the same journal, volunteers who reported regularly skipping breakfast had 4.5 times the risk of obesity as those who took the time to eat.

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“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.”
As your body nears menopause, it burns calories less efficiently. The end result is that although you may be following the same diet that kept you slim at 30, it no longer works when you're 40 or 50. Cutting a mere 100 calories from your daily consumption can put you back on track. What's 100 calories? It's equal to a small snack. Another way to look at it: At the end of the day, it's the same as leaving two bites of every meal untouched on your plate.
Getting your gut health in order is a good idea no matter what your age, but after 40, it’s essential. Improving your digestive regularity with prebiotic fiber-rich foods, like asparagus and leafy greens, may help reduce your risk of colon cancer, and can even help regulate the hormonal challenges that come along with menopause. Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine have also found fiber effective at reducing estrogen concentrations in the bloodstream, helping you avoid the hot flashes and mood swings that can hit around mid-life.

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Yes, the liver plays an essential role in filtering toxins out of the body, but you needn’t worry: It’s not full of them by any means. Instead, the liver is full of Vitamin B12, which can help improve arterial function and flow. Just be sure to treat the stuff as a dietary rarity, since liver is loaded with cholesterol. You’ll hit your USDA-recommended daily value by consuming just one 3-ounce serving. And for more healthy eating tips, Here’s the Safest Way to Thaw Frozen Meat. How to Fix a Slow Metabolism: MUST WATCH!
Being 40 means that you can have a lot to contend with over the course of a given day. “Always be prepared for a busy or unpredictable day by keeping healthy snacks on you, at your desk, in your car,” says Amy Shapiro. She suggests having almonds or other unsalted nuts, apples, bananas, chia bars, protein bars, or other fruit and nut bars close at hand. Shapiro says that if you have to skip breakfast, lunch, or even dinner during your quest to look your best, you can keep your energy levels up while making healthy choices. “You’ll have no reason to run to the vending machine for chips or stick your hand in the candy bowl,” she says. Need some ideas? Stock up on some of these 50 Best Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss!
Eva Longoria is best known for her role as Gabrielle Solis on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives. However before she was a sexy Desperate Housewife, she starred in The Young and the Restless. She has been named one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women by several publications, which isn’t surprising. At 43 years, she currently holds modelling contracts with L’Oréal, Hanes, New York & Co, and many others and has recently given birth to her first child.

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And you don’t have to listen to it. “It doesn’t matter what other people think or say about us. Anyone can say anything about anyone, that doesn’t make it true,” says Cynthia Rowland, author and beauty expert. “What matters is what you think and know about yourself.” And you might want to avoid being the target of gossip by avoiding the 40 Things No Woman Should Ever Wear to Work.
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.” 44 Year Old Dad Bod Transformation | Lost Over 50 lbs
HMB—short for beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate—is a protein-related compound that encourages your muscles to use the macronutrient more efficiently, Bede explains. “Taking a HMB supplement can assist with muscle growth post 40,” she adds. Also consider a D-rich multivitamin. “Generally, men over 40 are deficient in vitamin C, Vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc,” says Kominiarek. Vitamin D is particularly important since it’s so crucial to both muscle and bone health, yet people tend to spend less time outside, exposed to sunlight after 40, Bede adds. It’s always better to score nutrients from real whole foods, but Kominiarek says supplementation is a must as we age. 
Tired of your usual workout? Try adding some yoga to your lineup and you might just find those pounds melting off easier than you ever thought possible. A 160-pound woman can expect to burn approximately 477 calories per hour of hot yoga; if you’re up for power yoga, that number jumps to 594. Fortunately, yoga is also low-impact and great for improving muscle tone, reducing stress on your joints and providing support for your bones that may reduce your risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.

Absolutely agree. I’m coming up to 64 years old and have managed to loose weight, gain lean muscle and strength by a combination of healthy eating and regular vigorous exercise. I prefer to do my gym sessions in a functional gym where I can combine HIIT training with some basic weight training and strength exercises such as prowler pushing, battle rope exercises or tyre flips. Over the past 6 months I’ve seen an amazing change in my body shape and I’m now maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index as I shed fat and gain lean muscle. The key to success is to enjoy a varied training schedule and not get stuck into repeating the same exercises every session.

If you always opt for coffee over tea, you could be missing out on a major metabolism boost. In a recent 12-week study, participants who drank 4-5 cups of green tea daily, then did a 25-minute workout, lost an average of two more pounds and more belly fat than the non tea-drinking exercisers. What’s its magic? The brew contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy. Workout For Older Men: The A-40 Core Set

Greek yogurt fanatics have two undeniably strong facts supporting their habit: Quality Greek-style yogurt is low in calories and boasts an impressively high protein count. A six-ounce serving of plain Greek yogurt contains around 100 calories and nearly 20 grams of metabolism-revitalizing protein versus regular low-fat varieties of yogurt, which average nine grams of protein per six ounces and clock in at 100 calories or more. And sprinkle in some chia seeds, and try these 50 Best Chia Seed Recipes on Instagram!

However, just like those rehab-loving design gurus on HGTV, your body breaks down muscle as regularly as it builds it. "All of the cells in your body need protein to function. When there aren't enough amino acids from food available in the bloodstream, the body will start to break down and harvest amino acids from your muscle in order to keep more vital cells—like the ones in your brain and other organs—functioning," says Dr. Paddon-Jones. "This is a natural, continuing cycle. Muscle-protein synthesis goes up after you eat a meal with protein, and your body switches back to muscle-breakdown mode a few hours after you've eaten. Normally, the ups and downs equal out and your muscle mass stays the same." However, eat too little protein for too long and your muscles start to shrink, eventually causing your metabolism to take a nosedive. 14 WEIRD Weight Loss Hacks That Actually Work!

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SOURCES: Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and associate director of the UPMC Nutrition Center in Pittsburgh. Pamela Peeke, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Michi Yukawa, MD, MPH, acting instructor, department of medicine, division of gerontology and geriatric medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.
"The kind of physical activity that people are choosing to do in their 40s is nowhere near as intense as it's supposed to be. So to get over that metabolic speed bump we ask for an increase in intensity on the part of these happy campers. What does that mean? Instead of walking on the flat, throw in some hills. Ramp up the resistance on your resistance training, or for that matter the resistance on a cross-trainer. It's all the same."

Every process our bodies perform relies on adequate sleep. Our muscles are repaired while we sleep, and our hunger and satiety hormones also come into balance as we snooze. During sleep, the hormones that the metabolism relies on are regulated, we recover from the day’s stresses, and the parts of our brain responsible for memory building and rational decision-making are restored.

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Hi Barbara, I can relate to that. I am 63 and had a lot of stress when my mom got cancer and passed away last year. Is there anyway you can avoid the things that are stressing you out? if not, can you at least try getting away from it by going in your room and listening to music once a day. Try to find little things to make you feel better, like feeding the birds or growing a new plant. I know it sounds trivial, but anything to distract from the stress. Exercise helps me more than anything else. Even when mom had Hospice coming over everyday, I would squeeze in that 30 minutes of exercise three times a week. I use a walking workout DVD by Leslie Sansone. Anyone can do these workouts, very easy. It works wonders. Also, try eating more protein and green fresh veggies (I love steamed broccoli). I hope you start feeling better soon. Keto Success Stories Women Over 50 & 60 | Ketogenic Diet Success Stories Weight Loss Over 50
Want to see those numbers on the scale get smaller? Try adding some fish to your meal plan. Research published in Obesity reveals that adding some omega-3s to subjects’ diet helped them lose more weight, keep it off longer, and limit those nagging hunger pangs. For women over 40, omega-3-rich fish, like salmon and tuna, are a particularly good choice; studies suggest that adding them to your diet may reduce your risk of hot flashes, too. Best Workouts to Lose Belly Fat Quickly - Cardio Abs and Obliques Workout

The powdered stuff that dissolves into your cup of Joe and transforms it from dreary to creamy contains some unexpected ingredients. Sodium aluminosilicate, which is added to the creamer as an anti-caking agent, is also found in detergent and has been found to cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritations. Not only that, Coffee Mate’s Original also contains hydrogenated vegetable oil, which adds to the heart-harming saturated fat content. If you’re not dairy-averse, you’re better off getting healthy fats from a splash of heavy cream or even opt for nut milk. Weight loss over 50 I lost 60 pounds without running a single step
As a general rule of thumb, anything that seems too good to be true probably is. And the case remains for zero-calorie artificial sweeteners found in sugar-free drinks such as Diet Coke and Diet Snapple. Yale University researchers found a link between the fake sugar and an increased risk of obesity and excess belly fat. “If drinks with artificial sweeteners are a staple of your diet, it’s best to kick the habit to maintain health and prevent diseases throughout the aging process,” says registered dietician Lisa Moskovitz.

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