After the age of 25 our metabolic rate begins to decline. The rate of decline is independent of muscle mass though… gee, thanks hormones! This is when we start to notice that maybe we can’t get away as many late night snacks like we used to when we were kids. Or maybe we start noticing our bodies changing and getting a little softer or gaining weight. So is there anything we can do to lessen the impact of a reduce metabolic rate? There sure is! Here are 3 Tips To Boost Metabolism. If you’d like to understand what metabolism is check out my other blog article here.
Tip #1 Build/Maintain Lean Muscle Tissue
Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue. This means muscle requires more calories for your body to maintain than it does for fat. So if you have more muscle your metabolic rate is essentially higher than those who have less muscle tissue. As we age, we also lose a percentage of our muscle mass each year… this is a double whammy on the metabolism!! Resistance training is going to be key to developing lean muscle tissue, not to mention it’s incredibly important for preventing osteoporosis especially in women. Do not fear though, you will not turn into the Hulk if you lift some weights. At any age, muscle tissue can be developed with an effective training program.
Tip #2 Eat Enough Protein
Another way to increase metabolism (temporarily) is through the Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF). TEF refers to a slight bump in metabolic rate that occurs after eating, due to processing and utilization of nutrients ingested. Each macro-nutrient (protein, carbohydrates and fat) requires energy/calories by the body to digest. As it turns out, protein has the highest thermic effect. Of the total protein calories we eat, 20-30% is lost in processing. Compare that to the 5-6% for carbohydrates and 3% for fat. As we can see, consuming enough protein in the diet plays a role in our metabolic rate and how much energy is used. For the average adult male they need to consume at least 56 grams of protein per day and for the average adult female they need to consume 46 grams of protein per day. Protein needs change with age and will also be different for pregnancy/breastfeeding, athletes and for those exercising who are either trying to build muscle or lose body fat.
Tip #3 Take A Diet Break
Taking a diet break might sound strange to you if you’re currently trying to lose weight but hear me out. When we go on a diet, our body is constantly adapting to energy changes. The body recognizes that it’s getting less energy (food/fuel/calories) than it normally does and begins to adjust your metabolic rate by slowing it down. The body wants to maintain homeostasis because it thinks we are entering a famine. Unfortunately the body doesn’t know you’re just trying to lose some weight and not entering a real crisis. After 72 hours of going on a diet (calorie deficit) this is when there is a downward shift in metabolic rate. If you’ve been dieting for a prolonged and extended period of time, your metabolism is close to in the trash. If you try to go on a crash diet by dropping your calories extremely low, the metabolism plummets accordingly. Weight loss can still occur at this point but it becomes very difficult. Consider taking a diet break by increasing your calories slightly for 2+ weeks to increase your metabolic rate. Also consider using refeeds 1-2 times per week depending on how lean you are. Eating more calories = increased metabolic rate. After you’ve taken a small break you can tackle your weight loss diet again. Depending on your circumstances it could take months to recover your metabolism so always work with an experienced and educated coach when attempting to lose weight.
Hopefully these tips were helpful! If only I could wave a magic wand and make us all stay lean forever but unfortunately, metabolic decline is inevitable.
With peace & love,