If you feel like maintaining or losing weight is more difficult in your 60s than it was 10, 15, 20 even 30 years ago you’d be right. As you get older your metabolic rate — that thing that burns calories on a daily basis — declines. While this mightn’t be the best news, there is some good news in that you can give your metabolism a bit of a revving for a healthier outcome.
“It’s never too late to start making changes that can have a huge, positive impact on your metabolism,” Matt Tanneberg, a sports chiropractor and certified strength and conditioning specialist based in the United States told Prevention.
He offers six simple tips to keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders, regardless of your age.
1. Eat breakfast
Ideally you want to be eating that first meal of the day within 30 minutes of waking up because it looks to replenish your body from last night’s sleep and set your body’s system up to function properly for you throughout the day. If you find you’re eating breakfast when you’re tummy is grumbling and telling you it’s hungry (say, around mid-morning), the bad news is your metabolism has already slowed down. Worse still, is not eating breakfast at all… When you’re hungry your body stops burning calories.
2. Eat enough
While we’re on the subject of eating, it’s important you don’t skip meals here and there in an effort to restrict your calories. When you don’t eat enough your metabolism slows down and starts breaking down your metabolism-boosting muscle to use as energy. If you thought it was your fat stores, you are wrong.
3. Life weights
We’re serious! Exercise plays a crucial role in boosting your metabolism and weight training helps you build muscle, which helps to improve your metabolic rate as well as your fat-burning potential. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn. For best results, do your weight training in the morning if you can.
4. Protein, protein, protein
Eating protein at every meal has an important impact on your metabolism. “That may mean having eggs in the morning, a protein shake for a snack, some grilled chicken or nuts over your salad for lunch, and a lean protein along with loads of vegetables for dinner,” Tanneberg says.
Drinking water is good for you on so many levels, but as we get older we tend to let it slide. Research has found that those who drink between eight and 12 250mL glasses of water a day had a higher metabolic rate than those who only drank four glasses.
Okay, so this probably sounds a bit airy-fairy, but research has found that meditation has a way of optimising your overall health, including your metabolism. Your stress load becomes more layered as you get older and the complexities of life can have a negative impact on your metabolism. A good way of combating your stress is to take time out to meditate.