If you’re like many women and men who are over the age of 40, then you have likely discovered that while it’s a lot easier to gain weight, it’s also a lot harder to lose it. Among the reasons that this is the case is the fact that your metabolism does slow down as you mature. This means that if you eat the same foods that you did when you were in your 20s and 30s, then you will likely start packing on the pounds, even if it never used to have any effect on your waistline at all.
That’s the bad news. Fortunately, there’s good news, too. There are many things that women and men over the age of 40 can do for increasing metabolism and tricking it into thinking that it’s 10 years younger.
It’s all about thinking younger and acting younger. This doesn’t mean that you need to stay out partying all night like you did when you were in college. In fact, that will likely have the opposite effect. What it does mean is that you need to start to focus on eating as you learned how you should when you were in school – paying attention to nutrition and portion size – and you need to start focusing on exercising every day.
Exercise is critical to increasing metabolism. The reason is that as you lose weight and build muscle, your body will actually begin burning calories more effectively than it currently does. Muscles are calorie burning machines. So even though you have likely been told to focus on cardio to burn fat, you shouldn’t neglect your strength training exercises. By building and toning your large muscle groups, such as your abs, your arms, your glutes, and your legs, you’ll be able to burn more calories while you relax in front of the television than you do now. When you exercise, you’ll burn even more.
Next, you need to focus on consistent weight maintenance for increasing metabolism. The worst thing that you can do to your metabolism is yo-yo diet. The process of losing and gaining weight as you start and quit diet programs causes your muscles to shrink and your metabolism to drag. Instead, find a realistic program that will produce slow, but gradual results, and plan to stick to it from now on. Forget the fad diets that promise miracles and keep to an effort that will work more slowly but that will continue working over the long term. This will not only help you to shed extra weight, but you’ll also be able to keep it off once it’s gone.
The following should be the basics of your plan for increasing metabolism:
• Eat healthy foods that are rich in proteins at a moderate daily calorie level (ask your doctor how many calories you should be consuming every day for a slow and steady weight loss).
• Do your strength training exercises twice per week, never two days in a row.
• Do your cardio workouts at least three times per week.