Simple ways to boost your metabolism after 50
-Mar 15, Hannah Hargrave, Beauty -
A slow metabolism has been branded one of the curses of middle life. As you enter your 40s and 50s you might feel sluggish and as though you can’t lose weight. Perhaps you even feel like control of your body is slipping through your fingers. But a few simple changes can work wonders.
A woman’s metabolic rate falls by approximately 2-3% each decade and you need fewer calories to maintain your weight, which isn’t what you really want to hear.
But you don’t have to sit back and accept it, because by making some simple changes to your lifestyle you can kickstart your metabolism whatever age you are. First things first.
What is the science behind metabolism?
First things first. Here’s a quick explanation of what your metabolism actually is.
Very simply put, it’s the chemical process by which your body converts your food and drink into energy. The number of calories your body uses to do this is your basal metabolic rate, aka your metabolism. A fast metabolism means more calories are being burned.
So if you’re finding with age that it’s becoming way harder to shift the pounds and you have less energy then doing the following could help.
Did you know that building muscle can speed up your metabolism?
Loss of muscle is one of the major reasons your metabolism slows down and since after 30 we lose about 5% of it per decade, it’s important to rebuild or maintain it as best we can.
Not to mention every pound of muscle burns six calories a day when it’s doing nothing, where as a pound of fat burns just two. Hurrah for muscle! The good news is you don’t have to become a weightlifter to get muscle tone.
There are plenty of lightweight training programs out there which see you work all your major muscle groups. Focus on simple but effective exercises using a small set of dumbbells or even a resistance band.
You can also get pumped doing exercises that use your own body weight like push-ups, squats, planks and lunges or opt for a pilates class too.
Cardio is king when it comes to losing weight
Raising your heart rate will boost your metabolism, so it’s important to have regular cardio exercise.
NHS guidelines for physical activity suggest adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.
You can mix it up and break it down into whatever time slots you can manage, just as long as you’re getting up and moving about. Here’s a top model’s trick for getting to the gym and working out.
How to cut back on calories
You’ve done your daily exercise, now it’s time to reward yourself with a giant piece of chocolate cake! STOP. Sadly that’s not the way it works anymore.
If you carry on eating as you did in your twenties your body will store the extra calories as fat.
To boost your metabolism you have to take into account the calories you’re putting into your body as well as the ones you’re burning.
Government guidelines suggest women eat approximately 2,000 a day, but after 50 is recommended a woman only consumes that amount if they live a very active lifestyle. Otherwise it’s between 1600 and 1800 calories.
A super simple way to do this is cut back on empty calories that add no nutritional value. Examples of these would be a latté coffee, any drink that has sugar (even fruit juice) or snacks like cookies.
Focus on adding some lean protein to your diet
You need muscle to boost your metabolism and your muscle needs protein to grow, so it might be time to add some more of it into your diet.
Seafood, white poultry, beans and eggs are just some of the great sources of protein you can eat to stay fuller longer and help build lean muscle.
Why is sitting all day bad for you?
Sitting around complaining about your expanding mid section most certainly isn’t going to make it go away.
Spending too long on your backside has been branded “the new smoking” by health experts. By sitting for long periods of time you burn fewer calories which leads to weight gain.
If there are activities you usually do sitting down, that can be done standing, then get up and do it. An afternoon of standing up at work has been shown to burn 174 calories more than if it was spent sitting down.
Make drinking lots of cold water a daily habit
Put down your sugary cup of tea and pick up a glass, or a few, of cold water instead. German researchers found that sipping six cups – 48 oz. – of cold water a day can raise resting metabolism by 50 calories per day. They believe the increase may be down to the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature.
If you liked this article you can find some more great advice for looking after your body by reading Erika Bloom: A Pilates guru’s top 6 wellness tips and Why you are never too old to start horse riding.