As you enter your fifth or even sixth decade, you will no doubt come to realise that it is important to boost your metabolism to avoid it slowing as you age.
This is all part of the natural aging process, but unlike our parent’s generation who simply accepted the situation and did nothing to prevent “middle-aged spread”, you can rise up and fight the sands of time.
In a review of data on energy expenditure, researchers found simply getting older is associated with progressive declines in basal metabolic rate. On top of that, there are many daily habits that can drain your metabolism even further.
But you don’t have to go down without a fight. Follow the tips below habits to help you boost your metabolism and watch your energy levels soar.
1. Eat A Hearty Breakfast Daily
Eating a nutritious breakfast is always a good way to start your morning and boost your metabolism. Your metabolism slows down during sleep, so eating can fire it up and help you burn more calories throughout the day.
According to the Rush University Medical Center in the USA, when you eat breakfast, you’re telling your body that there are plenty of calories to be had for the day.
Conversely, when you skip breakfast, the message your body gets is that it needs to conserve rather than burn any incoming calories.
2. Make The Right Choices For Breakfast
OK, so it’s about more than just eating something in the morning. If you grab a muffin and a large latte or cappuccino from your local coffee shop, or demolish a large bowl of Granola and half a pint of milk, you’re setting yourself up to crash later.
Instead, look to boost your metabolism by choosing something with filling protein and fibre like eggs, yogurt and berries or whole-wheat toast topped with natural peanut butter.
3. Move More
Going from your office chair to your car to your sofa can lead to a very sedentary routine.
And sitting for extended periods puts your body into energy-conservation mode, which means your metabolism can suffer.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, sitting for long periods is thought to slow metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.
And a recent Australian study found that participants who spent time more standing and moving in the course of a week had lower levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. The benefits were even greater and including reductions in body-mass index and waist circumference, among those who took more steps during the day.
To get the right balance, and to boost your metabolism, the study recommends sitting 20 minutes out of every half hour at work, standing for eight minutes and moving around for at least two minutes.
You can try to stick to this 20-8-2 breakdown by setting the alarm on your phone, using a timer app on your computer or relying on an old-fashioned egg timer.
4. Perform Resistance Training
Cardio is great, and it can quickly burn calories, but once you’re done running or cycling, your calorie burn quickly returns to normal.
When you do resistance-based workouts, however, your calorie burn stays elevated for longer as your muscles repair themselves.
According to the American Council on Exercise (“ACE”), strength training is a key component required to boost your metabolism because it is directly linked to muscle mass.
The more active muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate. And, according to ACE, a pound of muscle burns an additional 4–6 calories each day compared to a pound of fat.
5. Eat Protein
Protein feeds your muscles, promotes satiety and is an important component to sustaining a healthy weight.
Eat too little, and you may have trouble building or maintaining muscle mass — and per the above, we know muscle’s importance to metabolism.
Also, protein requires more energy to break down than carbs or fat, so you’ll actually burn more calories during digestion.
The amount you need depends on your age, gender and body weight.
Protein should make up 15-25 per cent of your daily energy intake, with a recommended intake for adults aged 19-70 of about 46g for women and 64g for men.
There’s a simple formula to working out your requirement:
Multiply your age by the recommended daily protein/kg intake (see the chart below).
For example, a 45-year-old woman weighing 70kg would use the formula as follows: 0.75 x 70 = 52.5g of protein.
How much protein is in a serve of…?
- 65g cooked lean red meat = 20g
- 80g grilled skinless chicken = 25g
- 2 large eggs = 11g
- 100g grilled salmon = 24g
- 30g mixed nuts = 5g
- 100g tofu = 12g
- 1 cup legumes = 13g
- 1 cup whole milk = 8g
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
One bad night’s sleep is enough to leave you feeling sluggish and impair your cognitive processing.
String together several nights in a row — or a lifetime of inadequate sleep — and science shows decreased metabolism and hormonal imbalances may follow.
Get into the routine of getting your Zzz’s and you can expect the following benefits…
- Reduced stress levels
- Improved memory
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved Immune System
- A positive frame of mind
- A healthier heart
And much more
7. Drink Plenty of Water
Water contains no calories and can be used as an appetite suppressant. More importantly, water aids in the metabolism of stored fat and flushes toxins from your system. It helps to keep sodium levels balanced and it helps to digest food properly. The average man needs to drink 3 litres (about 12 cups a day) and women need about 2 ¼ litres (about 8 cups a day).
In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers found drinking 500 millilitres of water (about 2 cups) increases metabolic rate by 30%, and that spike lasts for more than an hour.
So, drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, and you’ll get the added benefit of a boosted metabolism.
8. Learn To Relax
When stress levels increase, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol leads to increased appetite, makes us crave comfort foods, decreases our desire to exercise and reduces sleep quality — all things that negatively impact metabolism and subsequently on your health.
So, while you can’t always control your stress levels, managing stress can go a long way toward protecting your body’s internal fire.
If this post has inspired you and you are interested to learn how to make subtle, but impactful changes to your health and fitness, then perhaps a great starting point might be to download the HEALTHY GLOW 7-Day Nutrition and Exercise Planner
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