Being over 40 doesn't automatically mean that you now have to cut out certain foods to get (or stay) slim—unless you know deep down that a food is truly getting in the way of your goals. "If having a square of chocolate leads to eating an entire bag of chocolate, having a square of chocolate does not work for you," Cederquist says. (Regain control with these 6 tips to stop overeating.) How I Got a Flatter Stomach ... After 50! My 5 Top Tips for a Flatter Belly, Whatever Your Age!
Chocolate lovers, rejoice: Your favorite treat could be working wonders for your heart—as long as you’re eating the right kind. According to a study in Circulation Heart Failure, women who consume one or two servings of dark chocolate saw their risk of heart disease decrease by 32 percent. For best results, spring for chocolate that has 70 percent cacao or higher; you’ll find more flavanols there. And for more fun facts on “decadent” foods, Here’s Why Sandwiches Taste Better When They’re Cut in Half. 3 Easy Tips To REVERSE "Metabolic Slowdown" AFTER 40 (And Burn MORE Fat)
If there’s any kind of fat to avoid, it’s trans fats. These fatty acids have been shown to raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol — that’s the opposite of what you want your dietary fats to do for your body. Butter and oil, on the other hand, can help reduce your cholesterol and encourage the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.
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Noshing throughout the day is a proven strategy to help you curb hunger and eat fewer calories overall. Now, experts are promoting nibbling versus gorging as a way to keep metabolism running by holding blood sugar levels steady and preventing weight-gain-promoting insulin spikes. Enjoying six small meals a day should do the trick; keep them around 300 calories each, or divide your usual day's calories by six.
When you’re busy with work, kids, and life, you can be tempted to grab food on-the-go or multitask through a meal. But you’re more likely to overeat -- and be hungry again soon after -- if you don’t focus on your food. Sit down for meals and tune in to what’s on your plate (not what’s on your TV or computer screen). That helps your brain realize when you’ve had enough.
"The main culprit that slows metabolism and often leads to yo-yo dieting is what I call shrinking muscle syndrome," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center and the author of The Overnight Diet: The Proven Plan for Fast and Permanent Weight Loss. Starting at age 30, most people begin to lose about half a pound of the metabolism-revving tissue each year. Poof! Gone, just like that. And at age 50, the rate doubles. "The average sedentary woman may have lost nearly 15 pounds of muscle by the time she reaches her late 50s, a change that could cause her to gain nearly the same amount in body fat," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, a Prevention advisory board member and the director of fitness research at Quincy College in Massachusetts.