According to scientists, our metabolic rate slows down by 2% each decade after the age of 20. We also tend to move less as we get older. Slow metabolism, little physical activity, and unhealthy eating habits may lead to weight gain and health problems in a middle-aged person. See what steps you can take to boost your metabolism and keep your weight under control.
We all know that exercising and sticking to a diet are necessary when it comes to weight control. But few of us remember that boosting our metabolism is crucial for staying healthy and keeping the body in good shape, as slow metabolism can be a sign of major health problems and can ruin our efforts to stay fit.
Here at Bright Side, we’ve come up with 8 strategies that can help you improve your metabolism and prevent weight gain.
1. Visit a doctor.
Middle-age weight gain can be connected to health problems like thyroid or a suprarenal glands disorder. Thyroid gland disorder, in particular, causes a basal metabolic rate decrease, which leads to weight gain. If you want to stay healthy and keep your metabolism working properly, visit your endocrinologist or family doctor once a year and have your endocrine system tested.
2. Stick to your daily routine.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can be linked to high food intake and consequently, to weight gain. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body needs to get extra energy for extra hours of wakefulness and you feel hungry. As a result, you eat more than necessary and gain extra pounds.
Make sure that you don’t skip your breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day as it wakes up your metabolism and keeps it going through the whole day. Choose breakfast rich in vitamins and fibers such as oatmeal with nuts and berries or an omelet with vegetables and herbs. Do this and you can be sure that you start your day right.
3. Be active!
With technology developing so fast, we tend to move less. More and more people choose part-time jobs or working from home, which means we often fall short of those 15-20 minute-long daily walks that we used to have. Upper arm and back cellulite also known as “love handles” and “muffin tops” are so hard to get rid of but they’re a price we pay for a sedentary lifestyle. Add daily walks to your routine and find time for exercising at least 3 times a week to keep your body in good shape, stay healthy and lower the risk of developing more fat deposits.
4. Improve your workouts.
If you exercise but notice that your workouts have become less effective, try high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This workout strategy alternates short periods of intense exercising with less intense periods of recovery. Research has proven that even 15 minutes of HIIT can be more effective than an hour-long conventional training session. HIIT will help you burn more calories during the training and will continue to be effective even 24 hours afterward.
If you exercise with 1.5 kg dumbbells, try 2.5 kg dumbbells instead and you’ll see that you can achieve better results in a shorter period of time. HIIT programs may be different but as a rule, they all last less than 30 minutes. So now, saying you don’t have enough time to exercise is no longer an excuse.
5. Drink enough water.
It’s a well-known fact that drinking water before a meal can fill you up and make you eat less, but few of us know that water can also speed up the metabolism.
Research has shown that drinking 0.5 liters of water can increase metabolism for up to 25% during an hour. You can boost this calorie-burning effect by drinking your water cold and making your body use extra energy to heat up the water to body temperature.
6. Avoid products that slow down the metabolism.
There are a number of products that you’d better cut down on if you don’t want to gain weight. White bread and white pasta are made of processed white flour that is stripped of all fiber and antioxidants, which slows down digestion. Your body uses fewer calories to digest food made of white flour, so it’s a good idea to replace it with whole grain products.
You should also avoid soft drinks and snacks that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Manufacturers often use this sweetener since it is cheap. HFCS contains many calories and you should be aware of this when buying yourself another soda.
7. Eat products that boost metabolism.
Studies have shown that drinking 4 cups of green tea per day can decrease body weight and systolic blood pressure. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that is found in green tea boosts fat oxidation and increases energy expenditure by about 4%.
Fish and spicy peppers are among other products that will help you burn fat. The omega-3 fatty acids that are only found in fatty fish can reduce hunger and appetite while capsaicin found in spicy peppers like chili, habaneros, and jalapeños makes the body produce more heat and burn more calories.
8. Cut down on alcohol.
If you want to control your weight, alcohol is one of the products you’d better reduce – and it isn’t just because of the “empty calories” it contains. Our bodies can’t store alcohol and metabolize it right away. Fats and sugars c
an’t be metabolized efficiently during alcohol consumption, which can cause weight gain. Make sure that your consumption of alcohol is moderate.
Which of these strategies would you like to try? If you know any other ways to improve metabolism, feel free to share them in the comments!