Who could argue with a diet that emphasizes foods like beans, berries, whole grains, greens, nuts, seeds, and potatoes? Those foods are all good fiber-filled picks. The hunger-taming nutrient is a super star for filing you up, so you naturally eat less throughout the day. Not to mention that, when researchers asked people to make just one change to their diet—add more fiber—they were almost four pounds skinnier after a year compared to those following the American Heart Association dietary guidelines. Aim for at least 30 grams a day and you'll be on the right track.
Over the last three months I’ve lost 22 pounds simply by upping my exercise and reducing bad calories. I’m 68 years old, always in good shape, but added sedentary pounds as I aged. (6 feet tall, 212 pounds before — 190 pounds now) I’ve generally restricted my diet to about 1200 calories a day — 200 – 300 for breakfast, 200 for lunch, and about 700 or less for the rest of the day. I try to vary the foods, do as much exercise as I can (biking, swimming, walking, weights). I drink as much non-caloric liquid as I can and I try to find food that fills me up — vegetables, fruits, mostly. I eat some cheese and a good hamburger occasionally, although I avoid most meat. I still work full time. I realize the discipline necessary, but it’s not that hard to do. I rely on a good scale and moderate my diet each day to keep a constant weight. My blood pressure has dropped from 130/80 to 117/72 and heart rate is resting 58. I’m lucky that my chronic diseases are not yet serious (osteoarthritis and borderline cholesterol, although I dont take statins because of reactions). I’m not a diet fadder, but using common sense goes a long way. Eat smart and work out. MM
Strength exercise is absolutely imperative for women over 40, says Dr. Peeke. It’s at this time when muscle mass begins to decrease. “If you’re not paying attention, you’ll drop muscle incredibly fast,” she says. Forget going to the gym. She recommends popping in a workout DVD (like Fit After 40) that focuses on bodyweight resistance training, like squats, lunges, pushups, and burpees.
Food for thought: Moskovitz considers Volumetrics one of the best options for weight loss. The diet plan teaches you the caloric value of foods without the need to track everything you eat. It’s not disruptive to your lifestyle either. Simply choose low-calorie foods that fill you up. Volumetrics is also a great option for weight maintenance, she says.
Not so sure about becoming a vegetarian or vegan? That's where the flexitarian diet comes in. You're basically adding new foods into your diet, focusing on plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, nut or soy milk, and eating less meat — but not cutting it out completely. Since vegetarian and vegan diets typically lead to weight loss, you'll see results from being a flexitarian, too: Studies show those who are mostly vegetarian or vegan have a lower BMI than full-on meat-eaters.
Forgive yourself. So you were going to have one cracker with spray cheese on it and the next thing you know the can's pumping air and the box is empty? Drink some water, brush your teeth, and move on. Everyone who's ever tried to lose weight has found it challenging. When you slip up, the best idea is to get right back on track and don't look back.
"Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" emphasizes fruits and veggies and slashes sodium, fat, and saturated fat. Cutting sodium can help minimize bloat, and eating more low-calorie, high-fiber foods is a bright idea for any woman who needs to fit into her skinny jeans. More than that, it's a heart-healthy way of eating that can keep blood pressure in check. So you'll feel good, too.