12 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism as You Age - watsupptoday.com
12 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism as You Age
Posted 26 Nov 2016 04:29 PM

If you're old enough to read this, your days of looking and feeling your best on a diet of cookies are long gone.

Everyone wants a fast metabolism that works to blast away calories, but it becomes more and more elusive as we age. Once you hit your thirties, your metabolism tends to drop off every following decade—meaning that it will only become more difficult to eat the same foods and same sized portions as just a few years ago. As we age, muscle mass tends to decrease and fat tends to increase, which means your body isn't burning up as many calories as efficiently.

To keep you looking and feeling your best, choosing the right foods—aka ones that keep you full and energized throughout the day—is imperative. Here's a look at exactly what these right foods are and what else can be done to keep your metabolism revved up! Not sure if your metabolism is something to worry about?

1. Eat in PFC Balance
There are three pillars of nutrition that every food falls into: protein, fat, or carbohydrate (ideally with a fiber focus, like an apple). One of the best ways to support your metabolism—and, by extension, your waistline—is to consume all three in balance. "'PFC Every Three' is a term I coined that refers to eating a combination of protein, fat, and carbs every few hours to keep blood sugars stable and metabolism turned on," says Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of DietitianCassie.com. It's what the founder of Eat This, Not That!, David Zinczenko, also talks about when he urges his Zero Belly Diet readers to ask "Where's my protein? Where's my fiber? Where's my healthy fat?"
2. Eat Every Few Hours
If you're worried that eating multiple times a day will result in a surplus of calories, Bjork says that eating snacks between your meals often results in reduced hunger at mealtimes—so you're likely to eat smaller portions. "Snacking often boosts your metabolism by keeping your blood sugar levels stable," she says. "This also lowers your levels of your fat-storing hormone, insulin, and supports the release of your fat-burning hormone, glucagon." Translation: Stop sending your body into starvation mode and then overcompensating by eating massive meals once or twice a day; maybe you could get away with it when you were a student way back when, but it's not doing your metabolism any favors today.
3. Stop Counting Calories
The notion of calories in and calories out holds some merit, but it doesn't show the entire picture as quality is as important as quantity for long-term weight loss. "When you're on a mission to boost metabolism, counting calories is the last thing you want to be doing," says Cassie. "When you deprive your body of the energy it needs, it fights back and actually conserves energy by slowing down your metabolism. When you follow a strict calorie-counting diet, you're more likely to feel tired and irritable, have outrageous cravings, and get frequent headaches." On the flip side, when you fuel your body with high-quality foods—fresh produce, high fiber foods, proteins, and healthy fats—you're more likely to be satiated and your metabolism gets a boost. The end result is you end up losing weight! For more rules you must follow if you're over the hill, check out these 40 Flat-Belly Truths You Must Know by 40!
4. Breakfast Is A Must
"Your metabolic functions will slow during sleep, which is why it's so important to properly replenish your body with a nutrient-dense breakfast," says Rachael DeVaux, RD. Opt for a high-protein breakfast, like cottage cheese on a high fiber cracker. "Not only is consuming protein important for maintaining muscle mass while decreasing breakdown, amino acids are harder for the body to break down, causing you to burn more calories in doing so."
5. Hydrate
Hydrating—with water—is really the only way to go. It's essential you avoid juices, soda, and other drinks with added sugars since they have very low (if any) nutritional value and are usually full of unnecessary calories. "Keeping your body hydrated increases energy expenditure throughout the day, which means your body burns more calories at rest," says Dr. Lauren Beardsley of the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa. "Good hydration also supports healthy digestive function that will help your body eliminate waste and detoxify." Hate plain ol' water or just not very good at remembering to fill up your glass? Here are 17 Ways to Eat Your Water!
6. Beans Are Your Friend
Fiber is the zero-calorie, indigestible part of a carbohydrate that adds bulk to food. When eaten, fiber swells in the stomach, allowing you to feel fuller on less food. Fiber also naturally boosts metabolism, so eat your beans! "Beans are a great source of both protein and fiber, two nutrients that end up burning lots of calories during digestion.," says DeVaux. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and bran are also solid choices. For a whole list of great fiber-rich suggestions, check out these 30 Foods With More Fiber Than an Apple.
7. Drink Oolong Tea
"Oolong tea contains catechins, an antioxidant also present in green tea that has been shown to boost metabolism for up to two hours after drinking," says DeVaux. Those who are choosy with their teas will be happy to know oolong is available in a wide range of flavors and is low in caffeine.
8. Eat Monounsaturated Fats
Fat doesn't necessarily make you fat; it's all about choosing the right fat. "Monounsaturated fats help increase metabolic rate by burning fat without any decrease in calories," says DeVaux. They also act as a buffer for the sugar you consume. "When you consume fat every time you eat, it slows the assimilation of any sugar in your bloodstream," Bjork explains. "This promotes stable blood sugar levels and boosts metabolism for hours after you eat by allowing your body to release a turbo-fat-burning hormone called glucagon." Healthy fats can also help keep you full, supercharge brain power, and mitigate cravings. Healthy sources include avocados, seeds, nuts, fish and olive oil; you can find out more with these 20 Healthy Fats to Make You Thin!
9. Snack Smart
As you age, it's just as important as when you were a toddler to stay off that blood sugar roller coaster. But this time, it's not because you'll start stomping your feet and making your mother go nuts; this time, it's about your overall health and pants size. "When you don't snack, your body learns to live in 'starvation mode,' and your metabolism slows down as your body adjusts and compensates," says Cassie. "Your body then hangs onto extra energy at meals by turning it into fat because it's expecting that it will need that fat in case you don't eat for a while again."
That said, it's equally important to listen to your body and only eat when you're actually hungry. And don't be scared if it's late at night, says Bjork. While most people avoid eating before bedtime, her clients have seen solid success when they have a bedtime snack consisting of mostly fat and some carbohydrates. "The snack helps stabilize blood sugar levels and promotes restful sleep," she reveals. She suggests a small cup of frozen berries with a few spoonfuls of coconut milk, a pear sautéed in coconut oil, or carrots dipped in guacamole.
10. Stress Less
We know this is easier said than done, but it's important to bear in mind that stress can sabotage all of your metabolism boosting efforts. (Hey, there's a reason we researched the 32 Foods That Turn Off the Stress Hormone That's Making You Fat!)
Bjork explains how stress slashes your metabolism: "Cortisol is known as your stress hormone since it's triggered in response to stress. It's triggered when you are in danger and is meant to be released in small doses and for short lengths of time. You can thank cortisol for the surge of energy you get when you are being chased by a tiger. Cortisol causes your blood sugars to rise any time you are stressed out. It's as if you're eating large amounts of sugary foods all day long! This causes insulin—your fat storing hormone—to come out and do its job of transporting sugar from your bloodstream to your cells to be stored as fat. This is how your metabolism tanks and you gain weight when you're stressed...independent of your nutrition!"
While there is no clear way to beat stress, try your best to work in stress-reducing activities into your daily life. This can be anything from dining out or socializing with friends to keeping a journal or meditating.
Find out the 10 Ways to Destress So Healthy Eating Works so you can reap the benefits of your smart eats!
11. Sleep Is Essential
High-quality shut-eye is key for keeping your metabolism in check. In fact, it's huge myth that we require less sleep as we age. "Research has shown that sleep-deprived people have more difficulty regulating their blood sugar and therefore are often hungrier than individuals who are getting their eight hours per night," says Dr. Beardsley. "Also, the more sleep deprived an individual is, the more resilience he or she loses while also producing excess stress hormones making them more prone to weight gain."
12. Pump Iron
While cardio may be what gets the most attention when it comes to slimming down, it's important to remember that muscle burns more calories than fat. So, as much as you love being a runner, your optimal exercise program will include both cardio and weight training. (You can still pound the pavement on your non-gym days!) "Don't be afraid to lift heavy, especially when resting metabolic rate slows with age," says DeVaux. "Strength and resistance training have also been shown to leave the biggest boost on metabolism post-workout." For a post-sweat refueling session, reach for any of these 23 Protein Shakes!

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