Not in an extreme, Atkins sort of way, but having a little protein at every meal fires up your metabolism. "Your digestive system uses more energy to break it down, so you burn more calories," explains Lisa Dorfman, R.D. However, keep protein levels to between 20 and 35 percent of your diet; eating too much of it can cause kidney strain and may cause your body to store too much fat.
But perhaps the biggest change has been in my mindset. I’m learning that health is all about balance, which I’ve always known but to be here and live it has been eye opening and comforting seeing it firsthand. It’s so easy to fall into an "all or nothing" mindset, thinking that if I couldn't do everything perfectly then it wasn't worth trying or if I “messed up” then it wasn’t worth continuing on.
We’ve all been told that salmon, packed with heart-healthy omega-3s and belly-flattening protein, is a great way to get strong, lean and healthy. But not all salmon is created equal. Farmed salmon, which is what’s commonly sold in restaurants, can have the opposite effect on your waistline. Farmed salmon has over 100 more calories and nearly twice as much fat as wild-caught salmon. Plus, it’s much higher in saturated fat and lower in heart-healthy omega-3s. When dining out, you’re better off skipping the salmon altogether unless you are 100 percent sure it’s wild-caught.
Stress is a big no-no at Mountain Trek. The stress hormone cortisol is public enemy number one here, because it messes with metabolism. Everything that happens during the weeklong program is focused on vanquishing it: a diet free of foods that might cause digestive stress, a strict no-devices policy meant to keep guests from thinking about work, and lots of physical exertion to produce endorphins and other feel-good hormones that counteract it. (Oh, and also to burn fat.)
Apparently there’s a special ingredient in grapefruit that, when eaten with a form of protein, triggers a fat-burning process and therefore results in weight loss. So, the idea is to start each meal with half a grapefruit, eat lots of protein and drink plenty of water and black coffee. While this diet may help you lose a few pounds, any weight lost will pile straight back on once you return to your normal diet. Such a drastic reduction in your intake of calories can also result in dizziness and an upset stomach, plus it’s so very boring!
While some people respond well to counting calories or similar restrictive methods, others respond better to having more freedom in planning their weight-loss programs. Being free to simply avoid fried foods or cut back on refined carbs can set them up for success. So, don’t get too discouraged if a diet that worked for somebody else doesn’t work for you. And don’t beat yourself up if a diet proves too restrictive for you to stick with. Ultimately, a diet is only right for you if it’s one you can stick with over time.
"Tight glycemic control is necessary to maintain health and to prevent disease," Ellen Blaak, a professor of fat metabolism and physiology at Maastricht University, wrote in a review of studies published in the journal Obesity Reviews. Her study found links between poorly controlled blood-sugar levels and obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
what to do after 40
Every person has a different palate, a unique attitude toward food, and various likes and dislikes. That means you need to find a nutrition plan that works best for you. The phrase "healthy eating" gets thrown around a lot, but for many people, the changes needed to get there aren't as big as they think. It might just be replacing your usual snack for a healthier one, and fixing the one meal each day where you are most likely to overeat.
Carb crazy? Consider this: Refined carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and rice, create a surge in insulin that in turn drives down your resting metabolic rate, explains Aronne. "It's important to keep carbohydrates in your diet, but really focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which have less of an effect on insulin levels," he explains. And when buying whole-grain breads and cereals, make sure the first ingredient listed is whole wheat, whole oat or cracked wheat.
Weight loss tips # 4: Make sure you eat enough calories, from complex healthy carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. If you don't get an adequate number of calories (most women require at least 1,800 per day to lose weight, 2,000 to maintain and 2,400 or more if they're very active), you risk temporarily lowering your metabolism, which can also bring on bloating.
A Credit Suisse Research Institute report found that more and more of us are choosing full-fat foods over skim, light, fat-free, or other modern monikers of leanness. And while many health organizations like the American Heart Association still recommend cutting down on fat—particularly saturated fat—this full-fat trend may be a healthy rebellion against those decades-old credos, according to recent studies. In fact, people who eat a lot of high-fat dairy products actually have the lowest incidence of diabetes, according to a 2015 study of 26,930 people in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Those who ate a lot of low-fat dairy products, on the other hand, had the highest incidence. So what’s the best way to join the full-fat revolution? Eat This, Not That! polled some of the country’s top nutrition experts and asked for their favorite full-fat fat burners. Check out what they said in our exclusive report The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss.