Essentially, the same nutritional tips for staying in shape and optimizing muscle definition apply in your 40s as they do in your 20s and 30s. Here are Stokes’s golden rules:

“1. Avoid sugars and quick-fix starches: When you are experiencing hormonal shifts, it’s easy to go for these energy grabs. Remind yourself what this craving is, and don’t give in.

“2. Pack smart snacks: The smart snacks I would suggest are nuts (in moderation), veggies (cucumber, celery, broccoli, hardboiled eggs—I love to create my version of a healthy deviled egg by adding a dab of hummus to a hardboiled egg white), apple slices with a bit of almond butter, and, when truly on the go, a low-sugar protein bar with balanced nutrition.

“3. Don’t skip ‘snacks’: I think of each meal as a well-portioned snack rather than a full-blown meal. Never allow yourself to hit the point of hunger or the point of I can’t get up from the table, because I’m so full. Rather, keep your metabolism revved by feeding it often throughout the course of the day. I tend to indulge in six to eight Stoked Snacks throughout the course of the day; become a snack queen. Remember: When you forget to eat or starve yourself, you are in for a sugar crash. That usually means seizing on the first unhealthy thing you can find for food rescue. Talk about the jaws of life! Balance your plate with lean protein and a ton of vegetables. Try to save starchier foods for the morning so you can use that energy and metabolize throughout the day. I like to say, ‘Eat breakfast like a queen and dinner like a pauper.’ Fuel for the day, not for sleep.

“4. Investigate foods and supplements to support heart health: Heart disease is the top killer of women and a leading cause of serious health complications. I’m happy to work with companies like Lycored, a producer of heart-healthy wellness products which can help put more lycopene into your diet. Lycopene is known for preventing heart disease, cancers, and even helping to treat HPV.”

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