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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If you eat healthy and exercise regularly and still can’t lose weight, your thyroid might not be working like it should. This happens in about 5% of people, and it's most common in women and people over 60. In addition to weight gain, it can also cause fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and depression. Medications can help, so get it checked if you think it might be an issue.

The freezer aisle is stocked with appetizing frozen dinners that make busy weeknight suppers a breeze, but these convenient and inexpensive foods may cost you your health in the long run. Many of these meals are jam-packed with sodium and preservatives and are void of sufficient fiber, which will help keep you full and less prone to midnight munchies. Over 40? Best Method of Training!
When your annoyed coworker tells you you're bouncing your leg, perhaps you can explain that you're just doing some non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) -- the expert term for fidgeting. Research shows that NEAT may help you burn an additional 350 calories a day. "Small bursts of activity, like running up stairs, pacing while you're on the phone, or shifting around in your seat all count," says Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym. "It adds up quickly, so take advantage of any chance to move more throughout your day." 3 Simple Steps That Shrink & Incinerate "Over 40" Belly Fat
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. 
While weight loss after 40 is absolutely possible, keeping your expectations about how fast you’ll shed those pounds in check can help you stay on track in the long run. Managing your expectations about your weight loss can help keep you from getting discouraged if you’re not slimming down as fast as you had hoped, making it easier to stick to your plan and recover from those little hiccups that could otherwise send you face-first into the next brownie sundae you see. Exercise for People Over 60 - Your Exercise Routine
It's one of the most frustrating realities of dieting—if you cut out too many calories, your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy, Hunter explains. Here’s the trick to keeping your metabolism revved up while dieting: Eat enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate (what you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day; calculate yours here). That's about 1,330 calories for a 5-feet-4-inch, 150-pound, 40-year-old woman.

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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
Non-exercise adaptive thermogenesis (NEAT) is the next part of your metabolism, and it's basically made up of those extra things your body does that aren’t really exercise, but that still cost energy (think: fidgeting, shivering, and all the things you do to go about your day, like walking and standing). It accounts for about 20 percent of your metabolism, and it can vary from day to day depending on things like what you’re doing to what you're eating.
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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Hitting the pool is a great way to get your body into the best shape of your life, no matter what your age. A 155-pound woman can expect to burn nearly 500 calories an hour swimming at a relatively leisurely pace, adding another 200 calories to that number by doing some faster laps. For women over 40, low-impact exercises, like swimming, are particularly beneficial, thanks to the limited wear-and-tear they cause on joints, making it less likely an overuse injury will keep you benched.
One of the most important things you can do to lose pounds as you age is to shed water weight. Drinking more water will actually help reduce bloat, as will cutting the amount of salt in your diet — it immediately affects how your kidneys control the water balance in your body. An excess of salt may cause the body to retain water, leading to swelling. Avoid condiments, chips, pretzels, frozen and canned foods, deli meat, bread and other baked goods like they’re the second season of True Detective.
Taking shots of cheap whiskey, sleeping on futons, staying up until 4 in the morning—there are a lot of habits you’re probably happy to leave to your 20-year-old self. But the beautiful mystery of eating a whole pepperoni pizza and actually losing five pounds? Those are glory days worth mourning. Once you’re over 40, suddenly ditching a few pesky lbs and losing your gut seems to take monumental effort. 

Starting in your 40s, it's easier than ever for the pounds to creep on—and tougher to take them off. Thanks to a slowing metabolism you could be burning 300 fewer calories per day than you did in your early 20s, according to the American Council on Exercise. What's more, falling estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause (which begin in your early 40s) can cause insulin sensitivity, which makes it harder for your body to control the amount of sugar in your blood, says Caroline Cederquist, MD, a board-certified bariatric surgeon and founder of the meal delivery service BistroMD. This can make your blood sugar levels more prone to spiking and crashing, which can increase your urge to snack—especially on high-carb, sugary junk, Cederquist says.
Starting in your 40s, it's easier than ever for the pounds to creep on—and tougher to take them off. Thanks to a slowing metabolism you could be burning 300 fewer calories per day than you did in your early 20s, according to the American Council on Exercise. What's more, falling estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause (which begin in your early 40s) can cause insulin sensitivity, which makes it harder for your body to control the amount of sugar in your blood, says Caroline Cederquist, MD, a board-certified bariatric surgeon and founder of the meal delivery service BistroMD. This can make your blood sugar levels more prone to spiking and crashing, which can increase your urge to snack—especially on high-carb, sugary junk, Cederquist says.
Not everyone relishes the idea of getting older, but if you’re experiencing serious blues you just can’t shake, you could be putting yourself at risk for pounds you can’t shake, either. Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals a link between depression and severe obesity, particularly among women, but found that weight loss improved mental health outcomes, potentially breaking you out of this vicious cycle for good. Start on the path toward a happier you today by kicking the 20 Foods That Put You in a Bad Mood off your menu.

So I formulate a plan to really buckle down and get serious: I will eat my burgers on lettuce leaves instead of buns, spiralize zucchini in place of pasta, and abstain when we take the boys to the ice cream shop. I will give up cheese. I will stop making homemade bread. And pie. I will strip my diet of all starches and sugar. Maybe I will go Paleo. Or vegan. I'll do that Gwyneth Paltrow cleanse. And start recording every morsel that passes my lips with one of those calorie-tracking apps. 

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Kick off your weight loss today by skipping the artificial sweeteners. Researchers at Yale University have found a link between artificial sweetener consumption and an increased risk of obesity and excess belly fat, but nixing them from your diet could help you get rid of those unwanted pounds. Skipping the sweeteners may have another benefit for women of a certain age, too: many women find that artificial sweeteners can trigger hot flashes, so cutting them from your diet can help you keep your cool.
“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.”

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Now’s the time to wear what you like. “Women in their 40s are going to express themselves by wearing what feels authentic, no matter the societal trends, opinions or ‘likes’ of others,” says Dr. Karin Luise is an integrative therapist, author of The Fatherless Daughter Project. And women over 40 definitely know not to wear the 30 Ugliest Dresses Ever. 
There’s a lot of advice out there, but having a go-to mantra that gives you strength can be a powerful weapon in your weight loss arsenal. “There will always be another meal” is just one of the 25 Weight Loss Mantras Nutritionists Swear By and The Nutrition Twins explain that they came up with it because people all too often eat as if they’ll never have their favorite foods again. Find your mantra and make it work for you! Truth About Building Muscle For Older Guys

Whole foods contain an assortment of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that act as metabolic spark plugs, giving you the energy to get up and move around. That’s the theory behind increasingly popular diets like Paleo, which eschews processed foods in favor of lean meat and vegetables. Without preservatives and unnecessary crap in your food, your body will burn clean, and that translates to a faster-moving metabolic engine. Dr. Oz's Fix for Back Fat in Women
These days, Yolanda Foster is the Master Cleanse’s biggest fan. But before the Housewives fan jumped on the lemon juice bandwagon, Beyonce sucked it down.  She needed a plan that was fast  — like 20 pounds in two weeks fast — for her dream role in Dreamgirls. “Normally they’d just change your makeup or your clothes but I wanted to go the extra mile,” Beyonce told China Daily. “Back in the sixties, models like Twiggy were popular and I knew Deena would have been thin then, so even though I love eating, it was necessary to lose weight really fast because we shot Deena at 36 and then Deena at 16 two weeks later.” 

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Pull-ups require a lot of control, and they’re highly effective for building muscle and strength in the upper body — something that diminishes as we age. Pull-ups simultaneously engage the back, shoulders and arms, and by building those three large muscle areas, you’ll help keep your metabolism stoked for years to come. “Another great thing about pull-ups is that they can be done in many different variations, which work different muscles,” says Jim White. Speaking of muscles, don’t miss these 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis!

ICYMI (that’s “in case you missed it,” ya old fart): Sitting is the new smoking. Researchers from Toronto recently showed that sedentary behavior can lead to death from cardiovascular issues and cancer, as well as cause chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. Prolonged sitting, meaning sitting for 8-12 (or more) hours per day, increased your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90 percent. And weight gain. So. much. weight gain. Be mindful of not plopping down on the couch all evening and if you can swap times you sit at work for standing. Have you heard of stand-ups? They’re meetings where everyone stands and many people love them because these meetings often wind up shorter than other meetings where people get too cozy at that conference table! How To Lose Weight After 40
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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If you want a slimmer waistline, your best diet plan includes getting rid of any fast-burning carbohydrates such as sugar, white bread, rice noodles and potatoes. For a list of carbs to avoid, check out these seven. Switch carbs like these out for slower-burning alternatives like berries, 100 percent whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, or pasta made from beans, lentils, or sweet potatoes. These slow carbs will provide you with slow, sustained energy and help fight sugar cravings. They’ll also help to keep insulin levels low so you can stay healthy and trim through your 40s and beyond. Here are some superfoods that all women should add to their diet.
Eat clean. Our metabolism gets damaged by the chemicals and preservatives in our foods. Things like pesticides, growth hormones, trans fats, HFCS, etc. have all been linked to obesity and have even been labeled "obesogens" within the health and wellness community. Consume your foods in their most natural form as often as possible and this will have a huge impact on your metabolism overall. How to Build Lean Muscle Mass for GUYS OVER 40
Sprinkle a few hot peppers into your lunchtime soup or evening stir-fry. They temporarily boost your resting metabolic rate, according to research done at Laval University in Canada. Here's why: Capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeño and cayenne peppers, temporarily stimulates your body to release more stress hormones, such as adrenaline, speeding up your metabolism and thus increasing your ability to burn calories, says study coauthor Angelo Tremblay, director of the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods at Laval. Bonus: The pepper-eaters had less of an appetite, Tremblay found, probably because the spiciness of the food made them feel full.
Seafood sources of omega-3s such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and fish oil supplements provide forms of omega-3s known as EPA and DHA, the types that your body can use most easily (and the types with plenty of research backing). Plant sources like walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds provide ALA omega-3s. ALA must be converted to EPA and DHA in your body through a process that isn’t super efficient, so plant-based sources should be supplemented with fish! Eating at least two servings of omega-3-rich fish every week covers you for your daily recommendation of 500-1,000 mg. If you don’t like fish, here are some omega-3-rich foods you can eat instead. How To Raise Metabolism Your After 40 with Kate Deering | Integrate Yourself Podcast EP16
According to a review published in the journal Obesity, legumes—including beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas—could keep you from the snack drawer until dinner. Researchers found that subjects who consumed between ¾ and 1 cup of legumes daily felt as much as 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t! But there’s a catch: Although participants felt fuller when they ate legumes, they didn’t always eat less throughout the day. It’s still up to you to tune out the call of cravings—a completely different beast than hunger. But when it comes to willpower boosters, beans are a great way to get a jumpstart. They’re also one of the 30 Best Food for 6-Pack Abs.
Not that we should really argue with anyone whose nickname is "The Body," but the supermodel's method to looking so phenomenal at 51 is kind of a headscratcher for those not familiar. Relying on the ideology that an acidic body is more susceptible to disease that can throw metabolism and other things out of whack, Macpherson eats alkaline foods (including whole grains, leafy greens) and avoids things like coffee and alcohol in order to keep her inner pH balance in check. She even cops to taking pee tests in order to make sure things are in order. And she's not the only A-lister who does so: Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston are also fans—and considering that's pretty much the Good Body Brigade, we'd say they're onto something.

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The Deal: Their “whole thing” is complicated for several reasons. To start, Tom Brady claims to have never consumed coffee in his life (!!), which is why the no-caffeine part of their regimen is easy for him. Other elements of their diet: Avoid “nightshade” plants, which includes a slew of random but essential ingredients like peppers, eggplants, mushrooms, potatoes and tomatoes. According to their personal chef, their diet consists of roughly 80 percent vegetables, and the rest is lean protein. No white flour or sugar. Oh, and no strawberries, for reasons I still don’t understand. Did I mention no caffeine? NO COFFEE. There. Is. No. Coffee. None. Nope. HOW.


“Women over 40 have a very strong sense of self,” says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “They know what they believe in, and why they believe in it. Their confidence often comes from years of living with integrity of their values, and fighting relentlessly to make the world a better place. They know that the smallest things can make the biggest impact.”

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Very soon, I’ll stand up in front of the graduating class of my former high school and give the commencement speech. I’ll focus on the usual “work hard” and “follow your dream” themes, but, in reality, I just want to shout out to all those 17-year-olds — “have that ice cream cone, you’ll still fit into your skinny jeans tomorrow! ” Or “it’s OK to skip a workout, your muscle mass will help you bounce back!” My Diet and Exercise Routine! After 40!
Ideally, we sleep about eight hours for every 24. Most people spend another seven to ten hours sitting at their desk. That means most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our time sedentary. Our bodies weren’t designed for this level of inactivity—most of humans’ evolutionary history involved being active, searching for food and fuel. Nutritionist Lisa Jubilee says that one way to burn more calories daily is to stand more and sit less. She cites a British study which found that standing at work burned 50 more calories per hour than sitting. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider this: If you stand for just three hours of your day, in one year you’d expend more than 30,000 extra calories—which amounts to about 8 lbs of fat! Best Diet for Women Over 40
Bad things are bound to happen, but women over 40 know how to deal with them. “If you can find the key learning in a difficult situation you emerge from it better, more evolved,” Bernstein notes. “Every difficult situation and person is your teacher, if you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. By going with the flow of the situation rather than fighting it, it makes the going easier and the learning faster.”
Most celebrities (and unfortunately, even us common folk) frequently drop weight by following unrealistic plans and by cutting out favorite foods. But why would you ever want to cut love out of your life in any form? The key to successful, long-term weight loss and maintenance is learning how to shift your priorities and still include foods you love, but make the majority of your foods those that will also make you love the way you look and feel. A diet should never be like a light bulb that you turn on and off. Like anything else in life, balance is the goal, not black-and-white thinking.
I'm on the cusp of my fiftieth birthday. My forties have been hard, as reality and gravity collided with me in the middle. But they've also been THE most clarifying and freeing decade of my life. As I look to my future, I fully expect the years to come to be full of wonder. But these last ten years have been lonely too. I've found the voices of women to be somewhat hushed in my middle-ages. It's tempting to sit down quietly in a culture that feeds on youth, as if we have nothing valuable to say. 

For Brenda (and many of my patients), this high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet helped reset her insulin, estrogen, and other hormones. She lost weight, felt better, dialed down her hot flashes, and on her third visit seemed thrilled that finally she was back in the mood again. Especially for menopausal patients, I’ve found these nine hacks help optimally transition into this effective diet:
Sound a bit extreme? That's because it is extreme. The Master Cleanse is really more of a fast than a diet. Most people, if they stick to the plan, will lose a bit of weight, largely due to the fact that they are taking in exponentially fewer calories on this diet than they would if they were eating normally. Also probably because mixing all of those things into the same glass is more than a little disgusting. What's more? Once a dieter who has done the Master Cleanse goes back to a normal eating pattern, he or she is likely going to gain the weight right back again. 
At 80 years old, Jane Fonda still has a body that would rival any cover girl today. The actress, author, former fitness guru and fashion model has spent nearly 60 years on stage. You may also know her form her work out videos that are out on DVDs. Today, she can be seen playing hilarious, yet glamours lush, Grace on the Netflix original series, Grace and Frankie. She also stars in the soon to be released film, Book Club alongside Diane Keaton, Candice Bergan and Mary Steenburgen.
Oxidative stress occurs when the balance between free radicals in the body and our ability to fight against them is uneven, with free radicals prevailing. Free radicals can cause disease and there is an association with an increased risk of formation of free radicals as we age. That's why after a certain age, building up our defenses (through having lots of antioxidants in plants) can help reduce this imbalance and stack the cards in our defense system instead.
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.
Still confused about the choice? Think of the look you want to create. And don’t even say that a 40 year old woman is predetermined to wear only classics! Actually, even one haircut, whether classic or not, can provide you with multiple styling options for creating various looks. From glamorous to bohemian, from bold to romantic, it’s up to you what you are going to deliver through your hairstyle.
“Many women find themselves sacrificing so much for their significant others, their children, their careers, and their volunteer service that by the time 40 hits, they haven’t done anything for themselves in years,” Honaman points out. “Retirement and empty-nesting will be here sooner than you think. Figure out who you are, and what you enjoy, so that you don’t wake up one day, look around, and wonder who that person is in the mirror.”

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It takes the body extra effort to break down whole grains than more refined and processed grains, like the flour ordinarily used to make bread and pasta. You can help keep your metabolic rate elevated by consuming foods that the body has to work harder to digest. Your go-tos are whole foods that are also rich in fiber. We’re talking brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and sprouted grain bread.

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“As people get closer to menopause, their quality of sleep deteriorates,” explains LeVeque. “Making sure you're getting seven to eight hours of sleep guarantees your hunger hormones are regulated. One poor night's sleep can increase the hunger hormone, grehlin, and decrease the satiety hormone, leptin, by about 15 percent for both.” Translation: If you have a 15 percent increase in hunger and a 15 percent decrease in satiety, a clean eating plan can be super difficult to stick to day to day (sleep-induced food cravings are real, people). So, make sure you adhere to a reliable sleep schedule to avoid any food binges caused by exhaustion.
People tend to focus on the negatives of getting older, which is fair because there are plenty of them! But in my experience, there are a few good things about getting older that help balance out the bad ones. One thing in particular that I’ve enjoyed about getting older is that I have much less patience for nonsense! I feel more confident about what I want, and I care less about the judgments of other people. I also have much less patience for junk cluttering up my house, which is exactly what we’ll be talking about today! #1 Food People 'Over 40’ NEED to Eat Before Bed
If you've ever wondered how your favourite celebrities maintain their svelte figure, you're not alone. We admire their perfect bikini bodies from afar, assuming it's all because of their personal trainers and live-in chefs--and while that may be true, it's also because of their strict diets. Just in time for beach season, we're sharing the ten diets celebrities swear get them in tip-top shape. 

Say so long to those sugary happy hour drinks. A single flavored martini or blended drink can pack upwards of 600 calories per 8-ounce pour, and many menopausal women find that the blood vessel dilation that occurs with alcohol consumption can make hot flashes worse. If you do choose to drink, make sure you check out the 20 Tips For Choosing Healthy Alcoholic Drinks first.
Non-exercise adaptive thermogenesis (NEAT) is the next part of your metabolism, and it's basically made up of those extra things your body does that aren’t really exercise, but that still cost energy (think: fidgeting, shivering, and all the things you do to go about your day, like walking and standing). It accounts for about 20 percent of your metabolism, and it can vary from day to day depending on things like what you’re doing to what you're eating.

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7. You’re not getting enough sleep – lack of sleep has been shown to increase your risk of obesity. It’s a vicious cycle – you wake up exhausted after a rubbish night’s sleep, you reach for the wrong foods (to give you a quick energy boost), you end up even more tired and unable to sleep. AND insufficient sleep has been shown to increase your hunger hormone ghrelin!
Case in point: In a 10-week preliminary study led by Dr. Apovian and Dr. Westcott, baby boomers who exercised regularly and followed a moderate-calorie diet (1,200 to 1,500 calories for women; 1,500 to 1,800 for men), while simultaneously increasing their protein intake to 1.5 g/kg of ideal body weight, lost nearly 5 times more weight than participants who exercised without changing their diets. They also lost 4 more pounds than exercisers who increased protein intake but didn't keep calories in check. Even better: The calorie- and protein-conscious group gained more muscle, reduced their blood pressure, and dropped 2 inches from their waists.

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"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.
Like the true Italian siren she is, the iconic actress loves pasta so much, she even famously published a cookbook devoted to her native country's cuisine (1971's In the Kitchen with Love). Here's the catch: According to celebrity diet guinea pig and author of I'll Have What She's Having, Rebecca Harrington, the portion sizes are very, very small—the size of a balled-up fist. Still, it's not a bad practice to scale down refined carbohydrates, and in the end, you get your spaghetti fix. How to Fight Fat Over 40 - Fitness with PJ Webinar Exclusive
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?!
Case in point: In a 10-week preliminary study led by Dr. Apovian and Dr. Westcott, baby boomers who exercised regularly and followed a moderate-calorie diet (1,200 to 1,500 calories for women; 1,500 to 1,800 for men), while simultaneously increasing their protein intake to 1.5 g/kg of ideal body weight, lost nearly 5 times more weight than participants who exercised without changing their diets. They also lost 4 more pounds than exercisers who increased protein intake but didn't keep calories in check. Even better: The calorie- and protein-conscious group gained more muscle, reduced their blood pressure, and dropped 2 inches from their waists.

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It's one of the most frustrating realities of dieting—if you cut out too many calories, your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy, Hunter explains. Here’s the trick to keeping your metabolism revved up while dieting: Eat enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate (what you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day; calculate yours here). That's about 1,330 calories for a 5-feet-4-inch, 150-pound, 40-year-old woman.

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