June 29, 2016 03:35 PM

For Melissa Joan Hart, things really do get better with age.

“I recently turned 40, and I have to say 40 is better than 20,” says the Nutrisystem spokeswoman. “You have a little bit of wisdom, more self-confidence and a little bit of I don’t give a crap.”

Hart struggled with self-confidence after giving birth to her son Tucker in 2012.

“After having Tucker, I just wasn’t feeling like my best self,” she says. “I needed to make a change. That’s when I started Nutrisystem. Since then, everything has been different. I eat healthier, I make smarter choices and I love my body again. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world.”

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The actress – who lost 40 lbs. with the plan – thinks it’s important for all women to make time for self-improvement.

“I want to encourage women everywhere to find a way to make time for themselves and figure out what makes them the most happy,” she says. “Find the place that makes you feel like your best, and once you’re there, look forward, not back. I promise your whole outlook will change. It did for me.”

Part of that change has been having more gratitude for the life she already has.

“I heard someone say, ‘What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were grateful for today?’ and I thought, ‘What if I’m not grateful for the things I have in front of me? Then what is the rest of my life about?’ ” she says. “You can’t be always chasing, it’s exhausting. I try to make a conscious effort every day to be thankful for my life, my amazing family and everything I ve been given.”

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