That’s a loaded question! It actually came from a client. You see, after 50 we feel the struggle when trying to lose a few pounds. We often try what worked for us in the past with little to no luck. Resorting to drastic measures back in our younger days would lead to quick results, only now, after 50, the scale doesn’t seem to budge.
Running was my personal go-to for quick weight loss when I was in my 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s. What changed? What’s going on and how do I fix it? These are still common questions rolling through my mind and I’m on the journey to figure it out. I’ve listed the top 9 things we can do to increase our metabolism as we age. Increasing your metabolism will burn more calories.
1. Regular Exercise
We are talking about a few options and here are 2 examples.
- HIIT training-this is intense, short bursts of activity at your level. HIIT’s will increase your metabolic rate after your workout.
- Strength Training-muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Lifting will help build muscle while reducing body fat, which will result in an increase in metabolism.
2. Healthy Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet will help support your metabolism. Eating protein, carbs, fats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will help maintain a constant blood sugar which will help curbs cravings and binges. Make sure you’re eating enough protein. The TEF (thermic effect of food) is the calories required to digest, absorb and process nutrients. Protein increases TEF and has the largest rise of TEF over carbs and fats. Protein also causes you to feel fuller after a meal and is less likely to cause cravings and indulgences you may be trying to avoid and helps prevent muscle loss with dieting.
Staying hydrated helps with all the reactions and processes your body needs for optimal functioning. Studies have shown a temporary increase in metabolism after water consumption. Studies have also shown drinking water 30 minutes before a meal will help with weight loss.
4. Managing Stress
Cortisol levels rise during menopause and with aging. Chronic stress has also been shown to lead to chronic inflammation in the body. Learning to manage stress will help with metabolism.
Getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep is vital to help with increasing your metabolism. If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends forever, this one is a game changer for over 50. You must prioritize your sleep.
6. Standing vs Sitting
Sitting burns fewer calories and leads to weight gain.
7. Green Tea and Oolong Tea
Studies have shown these teas to help increase metabolism and burn fat by converting stored fat into free fatty acids which may increase fat burning when combined with exercise.
8. Eating Spicy Foods
Capsaicin is a compound found in spicy foods and can increase metabolism. Studies show a very small increase in metabolism that takes years to show up.
Coffee for the win! Coffee temporarily boosts metabolism and burns fat.
Is there a magic pill or potion? No. I do believe it is a combination of many factors that helps increase your metabolism. I would suggest keeping a journal for a week or two of what you eat, how much, what type of exercise you do that week, your water intake, your quality of sleep, what you’re doing at work and at home throughout the week, and lastly, your levels of stress and how well its managed. Take time to reflect on your daily habits and mindset.