5 Best Ways to Boost Your Metabolism After 40
Turning 40 can often set off a midlife crisis. This milestone age brings some harsh realities; especially for women. The production of estrogen, progesterone and human growth hormone begins to decrease, and your metabolism follows suit.
Unfortunately, a slowing metabolism can ultimately lead to unexplained weight gain.
What is Metabolism?
To keep it in the simplest terms, your metabolism is the aspect of your body’s engine that converts the food you eat into energy…and, it may be the most important factor in weight loss.
There are a number of factors that influence metabolism including: age, sex, thyroid levels, your ratio of muscle to fat, and your emotional state. To understand every nuance of metabolism, you would need a long list of letters after your name.
However, to understand the basics, just think of your metabolism like it’s a motor that is always running. The speed at which it naturally runs, is referred to as the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR for short); and is, to a great extent, genetically predisposed.
It is believed that the RMR accounts for more than half the calories we burn. As we age, our RMR slows, and our engine become less efficient. Without making changes to our lifestyle and habits, weight gain may be inevitable.
The good news is, like an engine, our metabolism has an accelerator. It is possible to hit the gas, and affect both its speed and its efficiency…even as we age.
Here are the 5 best ways to boost your metabolism:
1. Strength Training
Muscle tissue is in the constant state of being “metabolically active”. That is to say, it is always turned-on. Even when you are static and resting, your muscle tissues are burning calories at a very efficient rate.
For every pound of flabby tissue that you can convert to muscle, you will burn an additional 14 calories a day. These numbers may not seem significant in isolation, but if you convert a few extra pounds of fat to muscle, it could mean an additional 10 to 15k calories burned a year…while at rest!
One thing to note is that fat and muscle are two different types of tissue, and while you cannot directly convert fat tissue into muscle, focusing on strength training will help combat age-related muscle loss and increase the amount of muscle tissue in your body, again, burning more calories around the clock.
2. Protein Intake
Digesting food is actually a calorie burning activity. However, not all foods are created equal. Our bodies use up 20 to 30% of the calories in protein rich foods as part of the digestion process. Carb rich foods are digested with only 5 to 15% of the calories converted and used during digestion.
If your diet is protein rich, your metabolism will work in your favour. But don’t overdo it: The body can utilize only 4–6 ounces of protein at a time. Also, make sure the protein you eat is high-quality, and avoid processed meat products. Instead, focus on organic and grain-fed raised meat, eggs, and dairy. You can also turn to vegetarian and vegan substitutes, such as tofu and legumes.
Caffeine provides your metabolism with a short term jolt; which lasts for approximately three hours. If you are using coffee as your method of delivery, you should know that 1 large coffee (pre-workout) can increase calorie burn by up to 15%. However, what you put in your coffee can sabotage your results…so go easy on the cream and sugar – ideally avoiding them altogether.
Too much caffeine however, can be counterproductive. After awhile, people become tolerant to the effects of caffeine, and it stops working effectively as a catalyst. It’s best to always consult with your Doctor or Nutritionist before increasing your caffeine intake.
4. Green Tea
There are healthy compounds in green tea extract called catechins that have demonstrated the ability to boost metabolic performance.
Green tea also contains caffeine and EGCG, which can have powerful effects on metabolism. Two to three cups of Green Tea day, can burn an additional 80 calories, however… the green tea cannot be decaf.
5. Change the Fats in your Diet
Don’t skimp on fats…just make sure they’re the good fats!
Eliminate high omega-6 refined vegetable oils such as corn oil, and the trans-fats (partially hydrogenated oils) found in margarine and butter substitutes, and processed snack foods. Instead, choose olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds (hemp seeds, chia, sunflower, safflower, sesame, flax, pumpkin seeds).
Still feeling like you need more direction?