When you were young, you probably didn't spend too much time thinking about preparing your body for the future. In your teens and twenties, you're in peak condition and it's the perfect time to start exercising. Cut to 20 years later and, if you didn't start exercising, you probably wish you had since there's something we all start to experience in our 40's—weight gain.
Though people are still talking about the lemon juice and cayenne crash diet that got her into Dreamgirls shape in 2006, these days Bey's much healthier detox method is eliminating all animal products from her diet. It's part of her trainer Marco Borges' 22 Days Nutrition plan—and the singer loves it so much, that she even teamed up with him to create a meal delivery service for the company. "There's no frankenfood," Borges tells us. "It's founded on the principle that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. It's a plant-based diet designed to create lifelong habits that will empower you to live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight or to reverse serious health concerns." (Our social media editor, Kate Winick, tried it to great results.)
Well, I’m tired, and tired of looking in the mirror wondering where my bod went? When I hit 19, I went active military from 87′ to 95’… Army SFOD then USMC 4 yrs reserve. I ran 5 miles 5x wk, did 80 push ups, 69 sit ups, 25 pull ups, <<< all in the military's required 2 minutes, followed by cool-down stretching, etc. 6'1" & 172 lbs… Lean and Mean as we said. I never smoked either. So, five years after leaving the service and ending up with a job that was lucrative, it was very, very low from a physical standpoint. I gradually was down to 2.5 miles a day x5 a wk, then just walking at work and that was all my physical activity. No more push ups, sit ups, pull ups, nothing. My energy dropped off a cliff. Fast forward to 2005. I went from 5-6 glasses of red wine a week, to 3 beers a day x5 a wk, don't eat well, no energy and have a aweful beer belly (looks like I'm pregnant), my arms and legs are thin, and my 30" waist in 2002 is now 36" , I'm 210 lbs, my belly/midsection use to be 28" in 1998, now it's 55" measuring around belly area, blood pressure is up, etc…. Sadly, my newer friends from 2000 to current are similar in shape. They all say: your 48, getting a belly is a part of life, just live with it… You'll never get back in any kind of shape… Well that last remark lit the proverbial, motivational fire under my back side, but I still just don't have the drive. The discipline is there. I need to start out slowly so as to not hurt thy self. Tried push ups and could ONLY do one!!!! I'm 40 lbs heavier now too don't forget. Sit ups?….. one…. Running: one block…. Never had a 6 pack, as those are genetic, maybe a 2 or 3 pack. I need to help myself before it causes health issues I'll regret. Lastly, Doc says to start slowly. He was Air Force and he recommended the pre-basic training physical prep program to slowly get a good routine going again, but I need a "beer belly gone in 30 days" kind of drop first off. I've heard lemon juice, lemon rind and garlic in 50% water, 50% juice, might help along with broccoli, celery, asparagus and salmon jerky, and cut out the BEER, go back to a glass of red wine every other day. He said red wine and 70% or higher pure dark chocolate are good for lowering blood pressure too. Thanks.
Government diet experts recommend that adults consume 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. As you age, we recommend focusing on boosting protein towards the higher end of that range, and keeping carbohydrates and fat at the lower end. Shifting your macronutrients towards more protein and fiber and less carbohydrates and fat can help you control calories and stay lean.
“People who have yo-yo dieted all their lives may experience much difficulty losing weight later in life due to this metabolic adaptation,” says Bustillo. “At this point, just about every weight loss program will not work or will take really long to work, because of the adaptation to such a low intake of food.” [SO ARE YOU DOOMED? OR ARE THERE THINGS YOU CAN DO?]
Some ingredients in energy drinks can give your metabolism a boost. They're full of caffeine, which increases the amount of energy your body uses. They sometimes have taurine, an amino acid. Taurine can speed up your metabolism and may help burn fat. But using these drinks can cause problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, and sleep issues for some people. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend them for kids and teens.
“Has something happened — a change in relationship or job? Has that affected the times that you’re eating, how and what you’re eating, and who you’re eating with? Those changes in eating nutritionally can affect your weight,” Weiner said. “If you used to eat with other people, you maybe had more vegetables. Alone, you may be eating less healthy foods.”
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“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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Skipping those salty snacks will put you on track for more weight loss in a hurry, no matter what your age. Research conducted at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine reveals that, contrary to popular belief, salt tends to make people hungry, not thirsty. Two groups on simulated missions to Mars were examined over the course of 105 and 205 days, respectively, with one group receiving saltier foods during the final weeks of their mock voyage. Researchers discovered that those given saltier foods actually drank less water than those on a low-salt diet, but complained of hunger more often. However, as expected, the saltier food did increase study participants’ water retention, meaning it can exacerbate the water retention and bloating issues associated with menopause, too. Salt isn’t the only habit making you heavy; the 37 Worst Breakfast Habits for Your Waistline could have you packing on the pounds with every passing year.
Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, fresh herbs and spices provide the proteins, carbohydrates and fats that give you energy and even blood sugar levels. Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, fish oils, seeds, nuts, soybeans) promote longer-lasting, stable energy levels. Lean proteins (fish, soy foods, white meat poultry, lean meats and low-fat dairy) offer essential proteins for better digestion and muscle building.
If you want to weigh less, you’ve got to eat less, right? Well, if you take in too few calories, it can cause your body to lose muscle mass, which will decrease the rate of your metabolism. Plus, when you skimp on calories, your body slows the rate at which is burns calories to conserve the fuel it’s got. “Under-fueling is just as risky as over-fueling,” explains Carolyn Brown, MS RD at Foodtrainers in Manhattan. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN agrees: “In an attempt for quick, noticeable weight loss, many people wrongfully believe that eating as few calories as possible is the best solution. Not only can this lead to numerous nutritional deficiencies as the body is getting less food overall, it can actually have the opposite effect on weight loss.” Instead of cutting calories like crazy, use the simple diet and exercise hacks below that can help you slim down quickly and safely without screwing up your metabolism.
Reaching 40 means that you’ve had four decades to accumulate toxins from food and drink, which can lead to obesity. Many of those come from pesticides and hormones in produce and meat. Choose organic fruits and vegetables and hormone-free meat. Speaking of meat, you can lose weight eating at McDonald’s, if you use this list of Every Menu Item at McDonald’s—Ranked!.
But, Bustillo cautions against hanging too much hope on this: “Many companies that sell the ‘after burn’ or ‘metabolic workouts’ are just utilizing a marketing strategy with [a grain of science behind it],” he says. “They're not technically lying, because training can increase BMR [in the 24 hours post-workout], but it's not by more than 200-300 calories on average.” [IS THAT NOT SIGNIFICANT THOUGH? THAT GETS YOU AT LEAST HALFWAY TO THE 500-CAL DEFECIT YOU NEED PER DAY TO LOSE 1-2 LBS PER WEEK. I DON'T THINK WE TOTALLY WANT TO TRASH THE PROMISE THAT HIIT CAN CREATE AFTERBURN]
Lastly, keep in mind that the weight loss strategies that work best for you could change down the road. "I find that for women over 40, myself included, it's vital to assess what you're doing each year," Largeman-Roth says. If your progress starts to stall, consider switching up parts of your diet or fitness plan. "Our bodies like a challenge," Largeman-Roth says.
17. You’re drinking too much – alcohol, lattes and energy drinks. Too much alcohol can irritate your gut lining, but also encourage you to eat more (those late night carb munchies after too much wine?!). You might think your skinny latte isn’t doing much harm…but there’s a load of sugar in there from the milk, and the caffeine stimulates more insulin production. What about an energy drink? Forget it, all that sugar and caffeine is an insulin disaster!
The truth: The diet is based on the misleading idea that you can change your blood pH with food. While the pH of the stomach is acidic, the blood is slightly alkaline, something the food you eat can't change. Still, one positive part of the diet is that it advocates eating more fruits and veggies, something most dietitians agree we should all be doing. Now lose weight easily even if you are above 35
I’m 64 and was in the same boat, Barbara. Stressed, long hours at work, family obligations, with no time for the gym or to go on weekend bike rides with my friends. I started walking the 3 miles to and from work as the most efficient way to get daily exercise. As a bonus, the walking helped relieve my mental stress, to some degree. (I am lucky to have a pleasant and safe 3 mile route to work, and realize not everyone is so lucky.) Despite all that walking, though, I gained 15-20 pounds over 2 years. This year, I got a little more time to take up weekend biking again, but still the weight did not budge. So, I decided to try Weight Watchers when I found that there is an on-line only option (who needs another weekly meeting to go to when she is already stressed for time?). It turned out to be the key for me. I have lost 37 pounds in 4.5 months and am now only 6 pounds from my target (what I think is my ideal) weight. You can have your Fitbit feed into the WW app on your phone, making it easy to track your walking and biking contributions to “fitpoints”, which help to determine how much you can eat and still lose weight. What WW really does is make you mindful of everything you eat (because you log it all on an easy to use phone app), and guides you to making better choices (basically, avoid processed foods, white flour, white rice, sweets, etc most of the time, though you can have all of these once in a while and still stick to the plan). For me, the plan has been easy to follow; I rarely feel deprived on it. There are no special foods or supplements to buy, I can go to restaurants or to meals at the homes of friends and relatives and either choose the most suitable items available to eat, or make up for excesses pretty easily either before or after the fact. I don’t know if my plan will work for you or others, but wanted to throw it out as an option in case it might.
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. Building Muscle After 40?!
Beyoncé is reportedly a fan of the Master Cleanse diet, also sometimes referred to (appropriately in this case) as the Lemonade diet. The Master Cleanse is essentially an all-liquid diet that at its core basically consists of lemonade, salt water, and a laxative herbal tea. If it sounds too good to be true, that's likely because it is. Proponents of the diet claim that it's a panacea for all that ails you; you'll lose weight, feel energetic, and lose your cravings for unhealthy food.
Jillian Michaels, of former Biggest Loser glory, is not a fan of elimination diets and encourages people to follow an 80/20 nutrition lifestyle – 80 percent of the time focused on healthy eating and 20 percent of the time taking a more relaxed, moderate approach. Brynn McDowell, a registered dietitian and owner of The Domestic Dietitian, points out that Michaels gives tips on her blog for people who are looking to develop a healthy relationship with food and encourages people to take the time to educate themselves about what's in the foods they eat. McDowell appreciates that Michaels encourages people to read the nutrition facts panel on packages and to stick to foods with short ingredients lists. Michaels advocates for packing your lunch to alleviate the difficulty of choosing foods from restaurant menus while saving money at the same time.
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We'd be remiss not to include Madame Goop, who pretty much writes the book (or rather, blog) on whacky detox methods. After a period of indulgence (which could just mean that she had a solitary cigarette and glass of wine), Gwyneth likes to rely on an elimination diet to get her body back to square one. This entails cutting out a laundry list of foods that can potentially aggravate bodily allergies and disturb digestion, ranging from gluten to dairy to orange juice.
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Sadly, you can't scarf down burgers and chocolate shakes like you did in your 20s and expect to lose weight. But you can still enjoy your favorite foods. You just might need to save them for when you really have a hankering—and say goodbye to the treats that fall lower on your list of craveables. Instead of mindlessly dipping into that bag of chips just because it's there, think about what would truly satisfy you. Is it chips or are you actually craving something else? If you decide the chips are worth the calories, then help yourself to a small serving, and savor every bite. (That means no mindless munching in front of the TV.)
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Elle Macpherson needs no introduction. One of the world’s most successful supermodels, the Aussie born beauty has gone on to conquer more than just the runway. Nicknamed the body by Time magazine in 1989, the 54-year-old now owns her lingerie and skincare label as well as a modelling agency. She has also hosted and produced Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model from 2010 to 2013. She is an executive producer of NBC’s Fashion Star and has two sons aged 20 and 15.
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How My Day Went: The night before, I went to the supermarket to stock up on a wide variety of mush flavors: chicken rice dinner, cinnamon apple, macaroni and beef, and sweat pea. I noticed a super hot guy was standing behind me in line, and I wanted to turn around and explain, “I don’t have any babies; this baby food is for me!” But then I realized that if this guy couldn’t learn to love me and my imaginary babies, then he wasn’t worth my time. (I also didn’t have the emotional energy to explain to him why I, a 26-year-old adult woman, was buying baby food for herself on New Year’s Eve.) The first morning, after sucking down a sweet blend of carrot and apple, I caved. Immediately. That’s right: After just one meal of eating a fairly pleasant, sweet apple-cinnamon mush, I ordered a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. I needed real food. So, I tried again the next day. I swallowed my baby breakfast and went for a run.
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If you’re an avid reader of Eat This, Not That! You likely know that low-fat foods aren’t the best for neither your waistline nor your health. Many seemingly diet-friendly foods that are labeled low in fat sneak in added sugars to make up for the lack of flavor that results from stripping out the fat. And when it comes to yogurt, which already contains natural sugar in the form of lactose, you definitely don’t want the extra added sweet stuff. Not to mention, fats found in dairy have been shown to keep you satiated and slim down your gut.
"So it's extremely important to know that muscle is very metabolically active and that you don't want to lose it. That being said, a typical can man can lose over the course of the age of 30 through the age of 50 anywhere between 5 and 10 pounds of muscle mass. A woman could definitely lose that -- that's a given because she, through repeated dieting and decreased physical activity, will lose that," Peeke says.
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Are you a woman over 40 and noticing it’s getting harder to lose weight? Got some extra stubborn fluff and puff around the middle? Maybe you’re finding that the diets you did in your 20’s or 30’s don’t work as fast as they used to or don’t even work at all! If you’re already well past 40, chances are you’ve found it’s harder to lose weight. And, those inches around your waistline won’t budge.
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A striking new study published in the journal Diabetes suggests that simply turning on the AC may subtly transform a person’s stores of brown fat, the “good” fat stimulated by cold temperatures, that serves to keep us warm by burning through “bad” fat stores. Participants spent a few weeks sleeping in bedrooms with varying temperatures: a neutral 75 degrees, a cool 66 degrees, and a balmy 81 degrees. After four weeks of sleeping at 66 degrees, the men had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. Cool! (In fact, your bedroom is an often-overlooked weight loss booster. We found 20 Surprising Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep.)
It isn’t so much the metabolism slowing in my 50’s as it is the bad habits associated with youth. A box of Mac and Cheese was not a bad choice when competitive and highly active, I needed the carbs. But the mindset that a full box is a single sized serving remains despite the slow down in activity and metabolism. That’s where the real challenge lies. Too many years of eating rabbit food only after it was processed into a rabbit (or steer preferrably) with potato or corn as the only acceptable vegetable.