You deserve that glass of Scotch or wine, we know. But the unfortunate truth is that your body doesn’t metabolize alcohol as efficiently as you age. So, not only are you going to add on (or not be able to lose) weight because of alcohol, you also wind up looking older and sleeping worse. “[As you age] it will be increasingly difficult to get a good night’s rest with alcohol in your system and sleepless nights lead to carb and sugar cravings the next day,” says registered dietitian Martha McKittrick in 30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30. Meanwhile, alcohol zaps moisture from your skin making fine lines more noticeable and speeding up your skin’s loss of elasticity.
During his stretch as one of the best point guards to ever play for the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony has been known to cleanse. Specifically, he’s taken part in a 15-day spiritual cleanse called “the Daniel Fast” (reports say it affected his game). Foods you can’t eat: meat, carbs, dairy, coffee, alcohol, and sugar. Foods you can eat: vegetables, whole grains.
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It sounds counterintuitive; why would you eat continually if you wanted to lose weight? But eating five to six mini meals rather than three larger meals every day keeps your metabolism humming 24/7. "It will also prevent you from going without food so long that you become so hungry you overeat," says Peeke. Try not to let more than four hours elapse between meals and make sure each meal includes protein, for an extra metabolic boost. If you eat a high-fiber breakfast of cereal and fruit first thing, for example, have a midmorning snack, such as yogurt and fruit; lunch (try four ounces of chicken or fish on top of a leafy green salad); another snack, like a banana and a piece of low-fat cheese, in the late afternoon; and a light dinner (think four to six ounces of turkey, salmon, or another lean source of protein with steamed veggies).
We know by now that juice “cleanses” aren’t the healthiest way to drop weight — but that hasn’t stopped certain celebrities from trying it themselves. The Sun explains this diet involves abstaining from solid food for a few days to a week in favor of consuming only juiced fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, many nutritionists find the diet to be high in sugar — and the body doesn’t need any help in “flushing out toxins,” either. How to Lose Belly Fat in 1 Night With This Diet
If you’ve never added this delicate green to your salads, now is definitely the time to start. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consuming 85 grams of raw watercress (about two cups) could reduce DNA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. What’s more, the leafy green is teeming with beta-carotene and vitamin A, two compounds essential for youthful skin. No wonder why watercress is our #1 best superfood healthier than kale!
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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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Yeah, yeah, it has zero calories, but drinking diet soda may yet play havoc with your goal of having a flat belly. Research published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that artificially sweetened beverages may screw up the body’s normal metabolic response to sugar, actually increasing appetite! Increasingly, diet drinks are being linked to weight gain, metabolic syndrome and a host of other ills. (Find out what happens to your body when you give up soda.) Best to give them a wide berth. But if you really crave something sweet…
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A 2014 study found that the type of fat we consume might make all the difference. Participants in the study were asked to eat 750 extra calories every day for seven weeks. Those having excess calories from saturated fats had activated cells that promoted fat storage in the belly and increased insulin resistance. However, individuals who had a high consumption of polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish, nuts and seeds, gained less abdominal fat and were more likely to increase muscle mass instead.
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Some things, though, aren’t that simple. For instance, someone with a higher metabolism burns more calories at rest than someone with a lower metabolism, and can therefore get away with eating more food—even junk food. But a high metabolism isn’t a privilege reserved for a select few lucky enough to be born with it. You can raise yours and reap the benefits, too.