Our metabolism slows down with age—not a very fun fact, but one we must content with. By the time we hit our forties, we probably burn 100 to 300 less calories than we did in our thirties, which can easily translate in yearly weight gain if we don’t change the way we eat or move. In order to counteract the metabolism slow-down and boost our body’s fat-burning abilities, we need to make changes in our daily routine.
So here are some ideas for you:
1. Eat Breakfast:
That should be easy for most of you by now. Regular breakfast eaters are leaner than breakfast skippers. Metabolism slows down at night, and we can jumpstart it by eating early in the day.
2. Exercise Early:
Try at least five minutes of exercise first thing in the morning. Your metastat (metabolic thermostat) is waiting for signals to rev up in the morning, so the more signals you send it, the better! How about a brisk walk, or 16 push-ups?
If you are following the NEWAY lifestyle, you are probably eating a small amount of protein three times a day at your main “eating events.” Protein requires more energy for digestion, so it speeds up the metabolism. Also, protein helps in the building of muscle tissue, which is more metabolically active than fat. Just keep it lean, and don’t overdo it, because too much of it will slow down your energy and your weight loss.
4. Build Muscle:
Like I just said, muscles burn more calories than fat, and decreased muscle mass is one of the main reason that metabolism slows down with age—you could lose as much as 10 pounds of muscle between the ages of 30 and 50, which means you would burn up to 500 less calories a day! So plan on at least two to three strength workouts a week (to add up to 90 minutes). You don’t need to belong to a gym—use your imagination, buy workout DVDs, do the “weekly challenges.” And remember to make it fun!
5. Whole Grains:
Whole grains such as brown rice, wheat germ, dark bread, whole-grain cereal, oatmeal and bran leave you feeling full because they take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates. In a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School evaluated the dietary intake of more than 74,000 women for 12 years. Overall, women who regularly ate the most whole-grain foods — about 1.5 servings a day — gained less weight than women who ate the least.
6. Be Intense:
Don’t just work out to work out, without putting your heart in it—your physical heart, that is. Make sure your heart rate goes up and your workouts are challenging. Interval training is great as well to rev up the metabolism.
7. After Dinner Movement:
Your body’s metabolic rate increases 10 percent after eating, and just a few minutes of activity could double that boost for up to three hours. Within 15 to 30 minutes of eating a snack or meal, do five or 10 minutes of light activity. Take the dog for a walk, climb stairs in your house or do some basic strength exercises.
8. Green Tea, anyone?
You might love your lattes, but if you switch to green tea, not only will you get a healthy dose of disease-fighting compounds, you’ll also cut body fat. In a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than people who drank black tea. Researchers at a health care lab in Tokyo believe disease-fighting antioxidants called catechins in green tea may help decrease body fat.
And don’t forget to drink water!