In your early twenties, your metabolism was in peak condition. Taking down a six-pack and whole pizza barely made an impact on your waistline. Now, you can’t make it through a few beers and a slice without feeling your jeans cinch. That’s because as you age your metabolism — the way in which your body burns off sugar — slows at a rate of 1 to 2 percent a year. If you’re not careful, this slowdown can lead to an increase in cholesterol, insulin (and therefore diabetes risk), and a whole batch of not-so-fun downsides. Aging sucks big time.
Hit the Weights
“Metabolic speed is determined in large part by the amount of lean muscle mass,” says Dr. Apovian. And since you start to lose muscle mass at a rate of 1 percent per year beginning at 30 (a pace that quickens after you reach 40) you need to work to build more muscle to replace the deficit. Dr. Apovian says the best way to counteract this process and speed up your metabolism is to hit the weights a couple times per week. Don’t worry about your calves — that’s the hardest place to gain mass.
Eat Lean Protein + Whole Grains
Say Goodbye to Metabolism-Slowing Foods
Like a supercharged V8, your metabolic engine can get gummed up when it’s fed the wrong fuel. Avoid anything with added sugars and processed foods in general. “They contain empty calories,” says Dr. Apovian, adding that after you eat sugar your “testosterone levels drop, slowing the metabolism further.” And on the topic of low T, she advises middle-aged men lay off the soy consumption because it imitates estrogen in the body and can contribute to weight-gain in men. Now you have an excuse for your wife when she asks, “Why is all my tofu in the trash?”
And Hello to a Diet That Helps Hormonal Balance
Handle Your Stress
“Cortisol, the stress hormone, prompts us to replenish energy by causing cravings for foods, especially sweet and fatty foods,” says Dr. Apovian. “It also makes the body think it is under siege, and it tends to hold on to fat in the event of a famine when we’re stressed.” In other words, stress messes with your metabolism. Apovian says do what you gotta do to manage it. Sleep more. Meditate a bit. And yes, exercise — but watch out, because science has found stress and spin class is a dangerous combo.
flickr / Siaron James
Go to Bed
You know what else messes with your metabolism? Children. Especially ones that don’t take the hint when it’s dark outside. But if you want to kickstart your metabolism, you have to try to go the f–k to sleep. As Dr. Apovian says, proper rest is a key factor in reducing stress, repairing the body, and stoking your body’s furnace. “The body repairs the muscles and brings hunger and satiety hormones into balance as we sleep,” she says. And without that recharging time, which may or many not be in your control, metabolic retuning is a near impossibility. So … challenge accepted!.
And if you’re still concerned about your health you can always check out a medical alert device that can help notify emergency personnel in a critical situation. To learn more about these devices you can read their medical alert reviews here.
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