As you age, your metabolism tends to slow down and that’s part of the reason older people often gain weight. One way to prevent weight gain is to boost your metabolism. It order to do that, you need to know how things works, so, in simple terms metabolism is affected by how much you eat, how much you exercise, and your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which measures the resting rate at which a person’s body burns energy.
If you eat too many calories, you can gain weight. You can also gain weight if you don’t exercise. However, how much weight a person gains is dependent on the person’s BMR because it plays an important role in determining whether or not a person gains weight. For example, a person with a low BMR has a greater chance of gaining weight over time, even if he or she exercises and eats right. The only way to prevent this weight gain is to boost your metabolism. So, here are ten metabolism boosting tips.
- Choose Low-Glycemic Carbohydrates. Low glycemic carbohydrates raise your blood glucose slowly. They also fill you up and make you feel fuller longer. Additionally, because low glycemic foods don’t cause sugar spikes, you’re body is less likely to store fat. Low-glycemic foods include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes. If you’re interested in learning more about low-gylcemic foods, read Glycemic Foods: Both High and Low.
- Consider Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is reduced as you age, and, it plays an important role in energy metabolism and protects the mitochondria. So, if you are older, low levels of CoQ10 may be needed; however, just as too little Coenzyme Q10 can be detrimental, so can too much. Supplement levels should probably never exceed 120 mg a day.
- Consume Protein. One study found women who eat lean protein—beans, fish, non-fat dairy products, or skinless poultry—at every meal are less hungry and have a higher metabolism while sleeping. However, you should consume no more than 30 percent of your calories from protein, and, if you have kidney problems, you need to consult with your health care professional before adding more protein to your diet.
- Drink Green Tea. Numerous studies have shown green tea boosts metabolism and helps burn fat due to polyphenols. Moreover, green tea offers health benefits. It reduces your risk of cancer, inflammation, and joint aches. If you’re interested in learning more about green tea, read Green Tea Miracles.
- Eat Breakfast. This is probably THE most overlooked fat loss booster. People constantly hear it’s important to eat breakfast, and believe me, it is THE most important meal of the day because it jumps starts your metabolism. People who eat breakfast are less likely to see an increase in their waistbands because they are less likely to overeat throughout the day. In addition, it may be better to eat protein for breakfast than carbohydrates because a study conducted by Louisiana State University researchers found study participants who ate two eggs for breakfast at least five times a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who dined on a carbohydrate breakfast of bagels.
- Eat Small Meals. To keep weight off you have to keep your body burning calories, and one of the best ways to do it is by eating small meals. If your body knows it’s going to get food regularly, it remains in high gear burning the calories, but if you have two or three large meals and are starving between, it’s a signal to your body to slow down and conserve energy. You should never go more than three or four hours without eating. Additionally, eating small meals helps you to not overeat because every time you’re ready to eat, you less likely to be hungry and less likely to eat everything in sight.
- Get Enough Sleep. One study conducted in 2006 found sleep restriction results in modest weight gain. In the study 68,183 nurses who had sleep problems were followed for 16 years—from 1986 to 2002—and researchers discovered there was an association between lack of sleep and weight gain. Women who slept 5 hours or less gained 2.5 pounds more than women who slept 7 hours, and women who slept 6 hours gained 1.6 pounds. The weight gain is attributed to increases in hunger stimulating hormones and reductions in appetite-suppressing hormones. If you’re not getting the sleep you need and need sleep tips, read How to Not Count Sheep and Sleep.
- Intense Bursts. Intense exercise bursts encourage fat burning and increase endurance significantly. The best way to accomplish the bursts are to exercise moderately and then every six minutes add a one-minute intense burst. If you cycle, cycle as fast as you can for one minute. If you walk, jog as fast as you can for a minute. If you swim, swim as fast as you can for one minute. Incorporate intense bursts into your routine at least twice a week to get the fat-burning benefits.
- Lift Weights. Weight lifting builds muscle and muscle burns fat even when you’re resting. For every three pounds of muscle you gain, you improve your BMR by 7 percent, which means you’ll burn almost 100 extra calories each day. If you’re not familiar with weight lifting, read Weight Lifting Basics.
- Move. Minor changes can make big differences. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Park farther away from the store at a shopping center, or walk as you talk on the phone. Two minutes here, five minutes there. It all adds up to a slimmer you. In addition, one of the best times to be moving is later in the evening because that’s when most people’s metabolism slows down. Increase your metabolism right after dinner by taking a walk so there’s less chance fat will become a permanent resident on your hips, waist, or thighs.