As you reach 40, your body becomes more insulin resistant, making it easier to gain weight (especially belly fat) and harder to lose it, explains Cederquist. To offset this, controlling carbs is a must, she says—even when eating healthy sources like whole grains. For example, measure out a true serving (like a half cup of cooked brown rice) when you sit down to eat, rather than eyeballing a scoop.
On each day, you’ll enjoy—and we do mean enjoy—a blended smoothie designed to complement the natural weight loss and lean muscle gain you’ll see from the Zero Belly program. Studies show that high-protein, low-fat smoothies are highly effective at rushing nutrients to your muscles—which is why Dave recommends you have your drink immediately after exercise—and that blended fruit drinks, which include all the fiber, will actually keep you fuller longer than fruit juices. Click here to get the recipe for his favorite smoothie, the Strawberry Banana.
If you’ve been eating fast food for years, get real about your approach: You’re probably not going to stick to an organic, gluten-free, paleo overhaul for very long. “You want to change as little as possible to create calorie deficit,” says Dr. Seltzer, who insists the best way to support sustainable weight loss is to incorporate small changes into existing habits. So instead of giving up your daily BLT bagels in favor of an egg-white wrap, try ordering your sandwich on a lighter English muffin. Or say you eat a snack bar every afternoon: Swap your 300-calorie bar for a 150-calorie alternative. “Your brain will feel the same way about it, so you won’t feel deprived,” he says.
Talk about heart ache: high blood pressure stresses arteries, and can make you more susceptible to heart disease. To eat to lower your blood pressure, you just need to focus on heart-healthy bites. The American Heart Association recommends loading up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, beans, lean meats, and fish. Bonus: no one's ever gotten fat eating more kale and beans.