It is a matter of fact that your metabolism decreases as you age. Hormone changes cause your body to store more fat and lose muscle as you get older.
From your 30s onward, you begin to lose muscle mass. Each decade, you lose about 3% to 8% of your muscle mass. When you turn 50, it accelerates, and you can lose up to 15% of your muscle mass. Which eventually decreases your metabolism.
If you have been doing exercise on daily basis, eating healthy food all your life even then your metabolic rate can decrease as you grow older. However, by adopting a few changes in your day-to-day life you can increase your metabolism even after 50.
What Does Metabolism Mean and Factors That Affects It
In simple words, metabolism refers to the chemical reactions that occur within the body’s cells to convert food into energy. Calories in the food you consume are released in the form of energy to carry out the different functions in our body.
There is a common misunderstanding that we think our body burns calories only when we are working out, walking, or doing some sort of activities which is incorrect because our bodies burn calories even when we sleep. Our bodies require energy to perform other functions such as breathing and blood circulation, so calories are burned even while we sleep.
Everyone’s metabolism is varied; some people have a faster metabolism than others. But, no matter what, it lowers as one gets older.
The following are some of the factors that influence our metabolism:
- Your body composition and size
People who have large body composition and size or have more muscles burn more calories. So they have a faster metabolism.
- Your Gender
According to research men tend to have more muscle mass compared to women which means they burn more calories and have a fast metabolic rate.
Whereas in women metabolic rate can decrease when they hit menopause due to hormonal changes.
- Your Genes
Yes, this can be another factor. You can have a slower or faster metabolic rate because you got it from your parents. In such a case, you can seek professional help to increase your metabolism.
- Diet you consume
Diet you consume plays a crucial role in your metabolism. Avoiding food that has a lot of fats and considering how much and what to eat will help you boost your metabolism in no time.
- Your age
Your metabolism gradually decreases with increasing age.
- Your Hormones
Hormonal imbalance can also be another reason for slow metabolism. Any changes in your hormones affects your metabolism. Thyroid and diabetes are some hormonal diseases that cause a slow metabolic rate. Even stress decreases your metabolism.
- Your Sleep pattern
When your body doesn’t get proper sleep it becomes hard to use the energy in a proper way. Proper sleep helps to keep your metabolism steady. Your irregular sleeping pattern affects your body way more than you can imagine.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50
Let’s have a look at some of the true and tried methods for boosting your metabolism.
Increase the Protein in Your Diet
Increase your protein intake. This is something that a lot of people are aware of, but it is so fundamental that we must begin with it.
Older people need more protein in their bodies. Adding the appropriate amount of protein into your diet will make up for your muscle loss, maintain bone health and other functions too.
It is a researched-backed fact that our body needs 25-30 grams of protein for proper metabolism and body functions.
Some of the foods that are rich in protein and you can add to your diet are eggs, Lentils, broccoli, flax seeds, grains, and fruits.
Drink More Water
Drinking enough water is the best way to increase your metabolism. When your body is dehydrated, your metabolic rate slows down.
When your body receives adequate water, your metabolic rate can rise by 30%.
It is recommended to drink 3-4 liters of water in a day.
Do High-Intensity Workouts
You need exercise that will challenge your muscles. You can add 15-20 minutes of high intensity workouts in your routine and doing so will challenge your muscles and help you boost your metabolism. Gradually adding some intense workouts to your workout routine is the best way but just don’t try to overdo it.
You need to be very careful while doing high intense workouts as they may cause other problems if you do it in an excessive way. Take it slow.
Squats, shoulder press, chest press, weight lifting, and aerobics are considered some of the best high-intensity workouts.
Get Enough Sleep
This is one of the most ignored, but crucial, aspects. Getting enough sleep is an absolute necessity.
Here’s what happens when you miss your sleep a couple of metabolic changes happen in the body that can be highly damaging and our body becomes insulin resistant. And when that happens your metabolic rate decreases.
Maintain the environment that will help you get sound sleep. You can improve your sleep by keeping the room dark, lower the temperature, avoid food or water at night, skip afternoon naps. Keep things like your cell phone in silence during your sleeping time. You need to sleep for 7-8 hours a day.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is considered as one of the best drinks when it comes to losing weight and losing fat. It contains Catechins which help in boosting your metabolism. You can boost up to 5-8% of your metabolism by drinking green tea.
Drinking coffee might be of great help to increase your metabolism. You can boost upto 11% metabolism by drinking coffee but make sure you don’t add sugar, creamers are unhealthy stuff. Try adding some stevia, almond milk,and protein powder.
Fidgeting to Burn Calories
Fidgeting is small movement with your body, mostly hands and feet. Even when you sit without doing anything your body needs energy and burns down calories for breathing and other functions.
Fidgeting burns a lot of calories as you move your hands and feet continuously. It can burn from 800 to 900 calories. Sitting in a chair or desk that promotes fidgeting or simply fidgeting can increase energy percent by 20-30%. This can be one of the best ways to burn calories.
Take Small Meals Often
Take frequent meals so that your metabolism does not drop. When there is a long gap between the meals you consume your metabolism will decrease and you feel hungry. Your metabolic rate decreases in a rapid way when you let yourself starve. So don’t let that happen and have frequent meals and let the metabolism rate be maintained throughout.
Start Taking Walks After a Big Meal
Walking has a lot of benefits. It will help to improve your digestion, and blood circulation, will improve your metabolic health and also helps in losing weight. If you can’t walk for too long just walk around for 5 minutes. Don’t straight go to sleep after having a big meal.
Balancing the calories intake is one of the best ways to increase your metabolic rate. Examine the calories you consume in your food. Try to avoid foods that contain sugar, and high fats.
And opt for foods like vegetables, good grains, and healthy fats. These food contain less calories and you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to lose weight after that.
Do Meditation and Yoga
This might not increase your metabolism in percent like other things listed above but can be of great help in maintaining your metabolic health. It will also keep you fit and bring calmness.
Doing yoga or mediation early in the morning by sparing 10-15 minutes will bring very positive change in your mental and physical health.
Exercises to Increase Your Metabolism
Some of the exercise that are considered best to increase the metabolism are listed below. You can add these exercise in your daily exercise routine and increase the time gradually. Apart from increasing your metabolism this exercise also help Lower Blood pressure, is Good for lung health, lower resting heart rate helps control weight and blood sugar, lower risks for heart disease.
- Swimming or water aerobics,
- bike riding
- tennis and badminton are some of the best aerobic you can do.
What to Eat to Boost Your Metabolism
When it comes to diet, we recommend you take a few variations. Eating salads every day may not keep you motivated for too long. So, as long as you are consuming enough, protein, fiber, and even carbs and fats in a day, your metabolism can keep up with your body.
Foods to eat
- flax seeds
- Chili peppers
- Brazil nuts
- Dry green leafy vegetables
- Calcium source
- Low Carbohydrate
Foods to Avoid
- Refined grains
- Soybean Oil
- Peanut Butter
With the increasing age your metabolism decreases but there is nothing to worry as you are in charge of your body. By adopting some simple changes in your lifestyle, diet you consume, you can boost up your metabolism.
Remove that thought from your mind first which tells you it’s hard after 50 and just focus on above things. Your diet you consume is the key to increase your metabolism. And if you can manage the diet and your workout routine hand in hand. You will feel the change inside you in very short time.