Special Report

18 Best Ways to Keep Weight Off If You're Over 40

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6. Consider supplements

In order for the body to function properly, and not fluctuate in weight, it needs many nutrients, which it gets from a well-balanced diet. If your body lacks certain vitamins, you may have to take supplements, but not without talking to your doctor first, according to Metcalf. Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but still have to follow certain guidelines in order to qualify as supplements, she noted. “[They] are an insurance policy, not replacement,” Metcalf added. More than half of all Americans take supplements. But beware, excess intake of certain vitamins, especially B, can actually lead to weight gain.

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7. Eat a lot of produce

“You can eat as much food without labels as you want,” Metcalf said, referring to fruits and vegetables. “If they don’t have a label, they are not processed.” They help in managing weight, which becomes more difficult with age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research has shown that adding 200 grams of vegetables (in this case carrots and spinach) to meals enhances the feelings of being full, resulting in an overall reduction of food consumption. Vegetables also have a lot of fiber, which can help with weight regulation.

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8. Eat less at night

Having a late dinner means you’re going to bed on a full stomach when your body is at its lowest burn-rate, or when your metabolism is at its slowest cycle, according to Metcalf.

A study by Northwestern University shows how the body’s circadian rhythm plays a significant role in energy regulation. Researchers fed mice a high-fat diet during normal sleeping hours, resulting in a 48% percent weight gain. In comparison, mice who were fed the exact same food but during the day only had a 20% increase over their baseline. In measures of overall caloric intake and physical activity, the two groups of mice were effectively the same.

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9. Cut out sugar as much as you can

The average American consumes the equivalent of about two and half cans of coke worth of sugar a day, about twice as much as the federal guidelines recommend for a person on a 2,000-calorie daily diet. “There is no benefit to eating sugar,” Sandone said, referring to different kinds of sugar added to processed foods and drinks, which is done to either improve the flavor or to keep the foods from spoiling fast. Sugar is the most popular added ingredient. The sweet stuff makes everything taste better, but it also makes it more dangerous. Added sugar has been linked to many chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, liver problems, cognitive decline, and cancer. The biggest sources of added sugar in the American diet are soda, fruit juices, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods.

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10. Lay off the bread

“Bread is low in fiber and high in calories,” Metcalf said. “And they are the easiest thing with the least amount of benefit to cut from your diet.” Reducing white bread, but not whole-grain bread has been linked to lower gains in weight and stomach fat. White rice also is high in rapidly-digested carbs, which means you’ll be hungry again soon, and such simple-carb foods have been known to contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

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