Your Best Body at 30, 40, 50
In your 30s
Curb the urge to nosh. Many women in their 30s find themselves nibbling on their kids' foods before eating their own supper. A few fries here, a cookie there, and suddenly you've consumed an extra 50 to 100 calories a day, which can translate to a weight gain of 5 to 10 pounds a year, says Katherine Tallmadge, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Even family-style dinners can get oversized if you're not careful: A recent study from Cornell University found that when subjects dished out their portions in the kitchen -- instead of using serving platters at the table -- they ate almost 30 percent fewer calories.
Fit in exercise whenever you can. We know it sounds impossible to sneak in a 45-minute daily workout, but break it up into chunks and the net payoff will be the same, says Geralyn Coopersmith, director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute. Home with the kids? Get into your gym clothes and chase them around for 10 to 15 minutes (the secret is to get at least a little breathy). Add a short walk at lunch and another before dinner. Do it daily and you can lose half a pound a week -- or 26 pounds a year!
Find time for nookie. Fight the urge to fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow and try snuggling instead. Sex can provide significant better-body benefits, not the least of which are a big burst of feel-good hormones and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to weight gain.