I'm joining Dani Joy on the disclaimer issue. There are several interesting facts in this article I found in Good Housekeeping. Hope they can be of some use. Anita
“If you never had problems losing or maintaining your weight in your 20s or even in your early 30s, you may not be ready for what happens next,” warns Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Your metabolism slows by 5 percent each decade. Compared to age 25, you’ll burn about 100 fewer calories a day at 35 and 200 fewer at 45. Do nothing, and you could gain eight to 12 pounds a year.”
With age, muscle mass diminishes and so does your metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns throughout the day, whether you’re sleeping, sitting, or sprinting to catch a bus). Making matters worse, many women unwittingly sabotage their calorie-burning potential with crash diets, ineffective exercise strategies, and other metabolism-busting habits.
Don’t fret yet. Although there are no magic bullets, there’s plenty you can do to boost the number of calories your body burns every day and thus maintain or even lose weight. Here is one mistake you can make — and the research-proven metabolism fix:
Mistake: Crash Dieting
When you slash too many calories, you send your body into starvation mode. “A flat-out fast will drop the average woman’s metabolic rate by at least 25 percent,” says Nieman. “If you’re on a very-low-cal regimen, in the 400- to 800-calorie range, it falls by 15 to 20 percent.” Eating fewer than 900 calories a day also prompts your body to burn desirable muscle tissue as well as fat, which slows your metabolic rate even more.
The Fix: Shed Pounds S-L-O-W-L-Y
“If you stay within the 1,200- to 1,500-calorie range, you can still slim down — and you’ll lower your metabolic rate only by about 5 percent,” explains Nieman. “What’s more, about 90 percent of the weight you lose will be fat.”
Regardless of which type of diet plan you choose, be sure to include lots of lean protein, such as chicken, fish, or lean beef. “Protein contains leucine, an amino acid that seems to protect you from muscle loss during a diet,” says Stuart M. Phillips, Ph.D., associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Skim milk can help even more: Phillips and his team tracked 56 men who pumped iron five days a week for three months and found that those who downed two cups of fat-free milk soon after their workout built more muscle — and lost more flab — than those who drank soy milk or a flavored-carbohydrate drink. “We have evidence that the benefit is very similar for women,” Phillips notes. “They don’t put on as much muscle as men, but they lose more fat.”