19. You’re eating too many ready meals – it’s so easy to get home from a busy day at work and pop a ready meal in the microwave. Trouble is, this won’t help you lose weight. Why? Because a/ processed foods are mostly made with vegetable oils that turn in to trans fats in the manufacturing process (trans fats encourage weight gain) and b/ the nutrient value is likely to be much lower than a meal cooked with food from scratch (see no. 12).
Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson recently launched a nationwide food delivery program that guarantees weight loss when combined with Anderson's workout methods. With a menu featuring options like Provençal eggs with eggplant zucchini and coconut flan with mango passion fruit sauce, as well as a separate program for vegetarians, it's no wonder Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez are hooked.
At her home in Bedford, N.Y., the lifestyle guru treats all of the staff who tend to her estate to cappuccinos and breakfast every morning. The meals tend to vary—on one recent morning, Stewart made poached salmon with lemon juice—but the one constant is her signature drink. “We have green juice every morning, everybody drinks green juice because it’s like power,” Stewart told Katie Couric for her self-titled podcast.” In it she uses spinach, celery, parsley, mint, and a piece of fruit—either pears, mango or papaya. “It’s very good juice, everybody loves the juice,” she says.
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When it comes to feeding her family of five, the Food Network star’s go-to is a hearty protein and flavorful roasted veggies. “We do two things almost every week — either grilled steaks marinated in herbs or roasted chicken,” she says. “There’s always a roasted vegetable, like Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes or broccolini — whatever’s in season. I love to shop at the farmer’s market or grab something from the garden and roast that.”
The Deal: This one is more of a tip/trick than a full-fledged diet. Every morning when you wake up, have a cup of warm water with fresh lemon juice. That’s right. No Pop-Tarts. No coffee. Lemon juice and hot water first thing. Apparently, the mixture helps with digestion; the acid in lemon juice “works with the body to nourish and to enhance proper function,” Roxanne Sukol, MD, a preventive medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, told Yahoo Health.
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Many celebs, including Megan Fox and Heidi Klum, have touted the benefits of vinegar to help cleanse your insides and lose weight. The theory here is that apple cider vinegar helps make the digestive tract more alkaline, which helps decrease the toxins stored in your body. Additionally, claims have been made that apple cider vinegar helps activate the liver to rid your body of extra fat and protein. Unfortunately, none of these claims are scientifically verified. Further, the primary purpose of your liver is to cleanse your body, and it doesn’t need the help of vinegar or anything else to do its job.
After a week or two, your body will adjust to a more active lifestyle. That's when it's time to add workouts that increase metabolism. If you are healthy enough for vigorous exercise add one HIIT or Tabata session per week. Then gradually add one or two more. You can also add up to 3 strength training workouts per week to increase your metabolism with lean muscle mass.
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.
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Exercise regularly and amp up your intensity. I can't tell you how many people just let exercise slide as they get older; then they turn around and blame their sluggish metabolism on their hormones. I'll be honest — I don't like to exercise. But the reality is, we have to do it. Your body needs exercise the way it needs oxygen and water. It's crucial to maintain muscle mass as you age: A pound of muscle burns three times more calories than a pound of fat does, and muscles scoop up blood sugar and enhance your body's insulin sensitivity. Try to challenge yourself and intensify your workouts by adding 20 minutes of resistance training or by increasing the incline on the treadmill. The main point? Continue to strengthen your muscles so they will help you burn more calories.
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According to a study in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, eating just two-and-a-half serving of whole grains—like pearled barley—can slash your risk of heart disease by more than 20 percent. So start your day off right with the tastiest early-morning grain: Oatmeal. For best (in other words: tastiest) results, cover it in berries and cinnamon, both of which have heart-boosting benefits.
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Closing up the kitchen for the night makes it easier to shed those unwanted pounds, no matter what your age. Research published in Cell Metabolism reveals that mice who spent 16 hours a day fasting and the other eight hours eating high-fat food remained relatively lean, while those who ate the same number of calories and the same amount of fat over the course of the day significantly increased their risk of obesity.
We all know sitting around too much is really bad for our health: One meta-analysis reported that prolonged sedentary time was associated with harmful health outcomes, and many other studies have shown it can (obviously!) lead to weight gain. Limiting your time in front of the TV at night and even trying to stand more while you're at work — perhaps with a standing desk — can increase your metabolism, helping you lose weight with minimal effort.
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Trading in your usual snack for some almonds can help you shed weight and improve your health. Loaded with fiber and protein, almonds can help keep you feeling full for longer, and may even help you slash the stress that can lead to weight gain. Research published in Current Medical Research and Opinion also reveals that adding magnesium-rich foods, like almonds, to your diet can help reduce anxiety, lowering cortisol levels and decreasing your body’s tendency to store belly fat. Every Women Over 40 Should Do These 8 Exercises | Women Over 40 Should Do These 8 Exercise
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.
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.
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.