You may have heard this word many times before, either at your doctor’s or just out-and-about with your health-conscious friends. It might have never meant anything to you before, but as you’ve become older, you’re starting to realize that your body is adding a bit more fluff than it used to do. You don’t quite understand this.
The diet of food items you consume hasn’t changed drastically. You still drink the same amount of wine or alcohol every night or every other night. When time permits, you’re still regularly active. Yet, you can’t help but notice that you seem to be a bit fleshier.
This could all have to do with your metabolism. While a slow metabolism itself doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the culprit behind your weight gain, if you’re still maintaining regular exercise and eating healthy, it could very well be playing a key role. Your metabolism is essentially the key process in which food is transferred into energy.
Through a series of complex processes, the calories from the food and beverages you drink are broken down and combined with oxygen. This releases molecules that are essentially used for energy. This process doesn’t just occur when you’re about to engage in some heavy-energy activity either. Your body still requires low doses of energy for its regular functions like breathing, growing and repairing cells, and adjusting your hormone levels.
Keeping your metabolism functioning correctly, thus, is key to ensuring that those processes continue to work efficiently. For those who have passed the age of 40, keeping your body running efficiently is key to a long life that can be lived enjoyably. If you don’t take care of your metabolism, you may be faced with some of these issues.
Health Conditions Due To Weight Gain
If just being generally overweight and lethargic wasn’t bad enough, if you don’t keep your weight in check, you may be on the path to developing some of these health conditions. One of the worst killers in America is heart disease. It’s actually the leading cause of death for both men and women. Heart disease can often lead to heart attacks or cardiac arrest, which can sometimes be fatal. It may also lead to a stroke.
Perhaps most famously–or infamously–weight gain can potentially make you develop diabetes. This disease has been on the rise as America has battled with the issue of being overweight. Because diabetes can sometimes force people to have amputations, and can sometimes drastically alter a person’s lifestyle, it’s crucial to maintain healthy habits to avoid developing the disease.
You may also face developing gallbladder issues or gallstones. In addition, weight gain has been proven to increase the chances of osteoarthritis, gout, and breathing problems like asthma or sleep apnea. All of these conditions can radically change a person’s life and lifestyle, and not for the better.
As such, even as you age, it’s crucial that you do all that you can to make sure that your metabolism is running efficiently. If you believe that your metabolism could use a jumpstart or just simply needs to increase its processes, then read on to discover a few methods you can take to ensure that your metabolism is as healthy as can be as you grow older.
Watch Your Hunger
As hormone levels drop, which they do after the age of 40, the level of insulin in your body increases. This also makes your thyroid levels decrease. Both of these factors actually increase your hunger, which means you go and eat, even though your body doesn’t necessarily need the food.
You also end up not burning as many calories, and so all of this adds up to gaining weight. So, one easy and simple method to keep your metabolism running clearly and to ensure you don’t gain weight is just to remain vigilant about what your body is doing and why. If you can understand the “why” behind why your body is feeling hungry, you can discipline yourself in your eating habits.
A specific kind of tea called Oolong tea actually has polyphenols in its contents. These molecules help reduce fat by blocking the enzymes that actually build fat. It also contains little caffeine, so you can drink it throughout the day without worrying about it keeping you up at night (or for that inevitable crash). Research has shown that drinking Oolong tea will actually boost your metabolism for two hours after consumption.
Add The Black Pepper!
If you like black pepper, then you’re in luck! This spice actually has alkaloid piperine which works to speed up the metabolism. You can add black pepper to almost anything–within reason–and add a metabolizing boost effect to almost every meal!
Tomatoes actually have a molecule called lycopene which protects your metabolism. As such, it’s a worthy ally for those wanting to make sure that their metabolism stays healthy as they age and doesn’t slow down. Tomatoes can be used in an array of dishes from tomato soup to just a regular bowl of tomatoes. Have fun with this vegetable and enjoy the boosting effects it has on your metabolism in the process. For those really wanting a kicker, you might even consider adding a bit of black pepper to double dose that metabolic punch.
The Secret Of Beans
An excellent method to curb the hunger you may be feeling with those elevated insulin levels is by eating beans. They actually contain an extraordinary amount of fiber which helps keep those insulin levels lowered. As a result, you’ll be feeling less hungry and storing less fat. By eating two cups of red, white, or black beans, you’ll also receive your recommended fiber intake.
Eat Protein In The Morning
Losing muscle mass is another unfortunate circumstance of age. You actually lose a great deal of muscle mass while you sleep. So, it’s crucial that you fuel up with protein for breakfast as protein is the building block of lean muscle. Never workout without first taking in some protein, if you intend to gain muscle. Your estimated amount of protein should be about 20 grams at each meal.
You can do this easily by consuming three eggs or one cup of lentils, which are actually packed full of protein. Beans, too, are full of protein and few calories. For breakfast, in particular, you may want to go with some Greek Yogurt and add some hemp seeds or nut butter just for that additional boost of protein.
The benefits of strength training are outstanding. Not only do they help you build muscle mass, but in some cases that were examined in the elderly, their genes actually showed to return to youthful levels after performing strength training regularly. Not only does it help fight fat, but it can boost your metabolism, too.
You should try some of the following strength training exercises on a regular basis.
The Goblet Squat:
Take your squats to the next level by adding a dumbbell to your squat routine. Essentially, bring the dumbbell to your chest, keep your feet at shoulder-length apart, push your lower (butt area) out as if you were going to sit down, and then lower yourself vertically until your elbows reach the height of your knees. Hold yourself there, and then rise back to a standing position.
The Pallof Press:
This exercise requires the use of equipment that has a cable like a cable column. You’ll need to face the column straight-on and bring the cable straight to your chest and then back to the column. The goal is to pull and push the cable without rotating any other parts of your body. This exercise will thus work your core to the extreme.
The Dumbbell Row:
This an easy exercise in that it can be performed anywhere that allows you to lay down, although a bench is recommended. Simply lay down on the bench and use one arm to lift the weight up from your side to a vertical at shoulder height. Your other hand should remain touching the bench and should not move–the same goes for your feet. This exercise also forces your shoulders back which can help fix your posture.
Yes, the old exercise you learned way back in the high school gym is still relevant. This is an excellent exercise for those who don’t have any equipment but still wish to strength train. Simply hold yourself up on the floor with your legs extended and lower yourself up and down with your hands while keeping the rest of your body completely still.
The Split Squat:
This is also called the stationary lunge in that you’re going to utilize the lunge formation. Put one foot forward, and also move the back foot back until you’re in the lunging position. Keep your front heel on the floor, and then lower the back leg towards the ground until it nearly touches the floor. Hold there for a few seconds, and then repeat with the other leg. This exercise will not only improve your lower-body strength but will also increase your flexibility and straighten your hips.
The Hip Extension:
This is another exercise that is excellent for anyone to practice in that it also only requires something for you to lay yourself down upon. If it’s a bench, simply lay yourself along with it and keep your feet firmly on the ground. Move your hips upwards whilst keeping the rest of your body still and tight and hold that position for a time. Then lower yourself back down and repeat. This exercise will work your glutes, hips, and core.
Finally, this exercise has become popular among many workout enthusiasts. It utilizes varying muscles of your core, thus working you to the extreme without seemingly much input. It’s a simple exercise, too. Just take the push-up position and lower yourself down. However, instead of pushing yourself back up, hold the lowered position for a minute. Repetition is the key to success.
These strength training exercises can help you rebuild muscle mass and keep your metabolism from slowing down. Since your body is demanding energy to be broken down through these intense workouts, the metabolism is kickstarted. The best thing about the strength training exercises listed here is that practically anyone can perform them regardless of age.
Interval Training For Cardio
Perhaps you’re more interested in cardio and endurance exercises than strength training. That’s alright, there’s a method for you to speed up your metabolism, too! Whether you intend to walk, jog, run, cycle, or swim, you can boost your metabolism by adding intervals of intense speed. Whether it’s for thirty seconds, a minute, or two, by adding in just a few moments of intense workout, your metabolism will be kickstarted. Research has shown that it can boost fat and calorie burning.
If you tend to eat only three large meals a day, you may actually be causing your metabolism to slow down. Depending on what you’re eating, your body will need nutrition throughout the day, and if you’re going through periods of starvation, and then satisfying that hunger with foods that aren’t the best for promoting metabolism strength, then you could be hurting yourself. Not to mention, this could add to fat being added to your body to compensate for those periods of starvation.
A way around this is to snack throughout the day. Not only will you require smaller portions of your actual meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but snacks can also help you add additional vitamins or fiber that may not be receiving otherwise. Eating peanuts or nuts, in general, is an excellent source of protein and keeps your metabolism running strong.
Naturally, there’s nothing wrong with snacking on fruits and vegetables throughout the day either. By making sure your snacks are healthy, you can complement your meal plans and keep the fat from building up in your body.
Staying hydrated actually helps your body to burn calories. The estimated amount of water you should drink on a given day is eight cups. Obviously, if you intend to work out that day, you’ll want to drink more than just that to compensate for the water leaving your body.
You should also consider drinking ice water, as it can help bring your body temperature back down quickly and burns more calories in the process. By drinking more water, you may be less inclined to add in pop or soda, or any other carbonated drink that might actually be wearing your metabolism down and adding in unpleasant sugars, fats, and calories to your body.
Keep Your Hormone Levels In Check
As mentioned before, as you get older, the hormones in the body start to decrease, while others actually increase. One of these increasing hormones is called cortisol which deals with stress. As you become older, your body tends to undergo a lot of stress. Cortisol can negatively impact the adrenals which help burn fat, particularly in the belly area.
These adrenal disorders can actually lead to high testosterone levels in women. While it may not occur to everyone and requires a certain high dose of testosterone over a given time, those levels could promote the growth of facial hair in women as well as deepen their voice and reduce breast tissue. Because of this, and the effects cortisol can have on the body, it’s crucial that you keep an eye on your hormone levels and perhaps ask your doctor for supplements if levels seem too out of the ordinary.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
They often say that receiving a good night of sleep is a cureall. It can certainly help keep your metabolism going strong. A lack of sleep has actually been shown to increase ghrelin, which makes you feel as though you are hungry. It also decreases leptin levels in your body which are used to tell you to stop eating because you’re feeling full.
A Few Words
Essentially, the secret to boosting your metabolism after the age of 40 is to eat well, exercise regularly, and receive plenty of sleep. Try some of the food and exercises mentioned here and watch your metabolism jumpstart in no time.