While there are so many things you can avoid, aging is not one of them. Although you may want to live younger for longer, aging is bound to happen. It is not a bad experience at all. It is a phase where you get to increase your memories and experiences. Perhaps the one thing that most people do not like about aging is a slow metabolism.
You might have read about or perhaps even blamed your slow metabolism on your age. As such, you may have gone on a quest of discovering ways seniors can speed up their metabolic rate. While a slowing metabolism with age is completely normal, there may be things you can do to help gear it up.
You can always try to boost your metabolism at any age. However, how you do this now differs from person to person. A specific approach may be better suited for you and the other one for your friend.
So, speak to a professional before adopting any method to boost your metabolic rate. Below is more insight on how to speed up metabolism after 50 and before that.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Understanding Metabolism
Although this term is quite popular, most people cannot accurately define it. Metabolism is a process in which your body converts your meals and drinks into energy. During this process, the body burns calories to supply the body with enough energy for its proper functioning.
There is a misconception that you can only burn calories when you are awake. It is false. Your body burns calories even when you are sleeping. It is due to the mere fact that your body still needs the energy to regulate your respiration (breathing) and blood circulation.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Factors Affecting Your Metabolism
Your basal metabolic rate is determined by three crucial factors. These include:
Your Body Composition and Size
If you are larger and muscular, you will tend to burn more calories, and vice versa (11).
As you age, your body typically tends to lose muscle. You tend to have more fat compared to muscle. Consequently, your body slows down the calorie-burning process, which is your metabolic rate. It means that the basal metabolism rate after 50 is lower compared to before 50.
Men tend to have more muscle compared to women with the same demographics. More muscles mean more burning of calories.
In addition to these aspects, other elements have a profound impact on your basal metabolism rate. They include:
You probably have a slow metabolic rate because you get it from your parents. There is little you can do in such a case because you cannot control your genes. In such a case, you can only speak with your physician and determine an effective way of improving your metabolism.
Hormonal imbalances can also affect your metabolic rates. So, any slight shift in your hormones can lower your metabolic rate. If not, increased stress levels can release hormones affecting the speed of your metabolism (1).
Your Sleep Patterns
Sleeping helps you more than you think. You not only get to unwind and relax but also improve your metabolic rate. So, try to rest anywhere between 7 and 9 hours. It will do you more than just improving your productivity and alertness.
If you decide to start a diet plan, ensure you tick all the boxes permitting you to follow through with it. Do not just pick foods that you think will make you shed fat quickly. Also, consider if what or how much you eat affects your metabolism and how.
How to Boost Your Metabolism?
There are several expert-approved ways to increase metabolism. Each method may be suitable for a different person, depending on your preferences. These methods include:
There are various foods suggested by dietitians to help in increasing metabolic rates. They are nothing out of the ordinary, but instead foods you regularly either see or eat. If you decide to use this method to reset your metabolism, ensure you first have a sit-down with your dietitian.
Let them know your likes, dislikes, and allergies. They will help you create an effective meal plan that will help you burn more calories and reset your metabolic rate.
Again, they will give you insight into frequency and portion control. These are two factors that hinder your progress, despite your concentration on the right foods.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Foods that Boost Metabolism
If you boost your metabolic rate, you get to shed off extra fat. Consequently, you get to lower your risk of health conditions associated with obesity. The good thing about using foods to do this is that it is suitable for both men and women.
Again, this approach is not specific to any age group, making it convenient for you if you are above and below 50 years. Here are some of the foods that can help you out with this:
Eggs are a staple in most households. Their distinct taste and versatile preparation methods have them a favorite among many. You can have your eggs either when they are hard or soft boiled, in your salad, or when fried.
Their rich source of protein makes them a favorite in boosting metabolism (2). Your body demands more energy when digesting bodybuilding (protein) foods compared to other food groups. The more energy it requires, the more your body boosts your metabolic rate.
So, if you want to boost this rate, add these and other bodybuilding foods to your diet. Try eating the hard-boiled egg to speed up your metabolism. One egg has around 6 grams of protein.
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Another protein source that can help in boosting your metabolism is lentils. A diet rich in legumes like beans and lentils is quite effective in reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome. Additionally, they also contain fiber that is quite essential in your body and good for your metabolic health.
Ginger has a wide range of benefits. Its rich taste makes it a popular spice. In addition to that, it has been linked to helping people lose weight (2). Therefore, if you want foods that can help you slim, search for ginger.
The other importance of this spice benefits expectant women. It helps in reducing nausea. You can also flavor your meals with this spice and benefit from its possible boost in your metabolic rate. However, if you are allergic to this spice, never take it, especially without approval from your physician.
Thanks to its caffeine content, this drink can also help speed up your metabolism. However, it does more than this. Coffee also gives you nutrients such as vitamin B-2, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B-3 (niacin) (9).
Drinking coffee can also be advantageous in the following ways:
- It may reduce your risk of attaining type 2 diabetes. Researchers have found that regular consumption of coffee reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (4, 5).
- It protects you against Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease refers to a brain disorder condition affecting your movement, flexibility, coordination, and balance. It occurs in five stages, with the fifth one being the most severe. Drinking coffee regularly may help you avoid this problem, as well as any other movement issue you might be having (5).
- It may reduce your risk of liver diseases. Frequent consumption of coffee can also protect you against liver diseases like fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and cirrhosis (5).
- It may improve your heart health. One study found that drinking around two 8-ounce servings of coffee per day was inversely associated with risk of heart failure (8). The caffeine in the drink is likely responsible for boosting your cardiovascular health.
NOTE: Increased intake of caffeine can lead to conditions such as insomnia, nausea, and restlessness. Ensure you speak to your doctor to determine how many ounces you can safely take in a day.
Vegetables like broccoli are quite effective in improving your metabolic rate due to their low calories and high fiber content (7). Broccoli and some other cruciferous vegetables contain a substance known as glucoraphanin that is believed by some to help in resetting the metabolic rate.
A diet rich in vegetables including broccoli also helps in reducing your blood lipid levels and your risk for various age-related conditions.
These types of seeds are rich in proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. You can try them if you are looking for foods that can increase your metabolism. Flaxseeds also equip you with nutrients that may help protect you from conditions such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and so forth.
There is so much to love about this spicy ingredient. Besides helping in adding that spicy flavor to your meals, these peppers also increase your metabolism. They contain a compound known as capsaicin that helps in boosting your metabolic rate.
If you do not love spicy flavors, then this may be the best food option for you. Let your dietitian know this, and they certainly will recommend another food. Chilli peppers can also help you slim down. They tend to reduce your appetite and increase your satiety.
As a result, you do not eat as much, making you conscious of your calorie intake. Experts also add that these spicy ingredients can help in reducing inflammation and pain (2). However, before using them for this purpose, ensure you seek medical advice.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Exercising
You can also reset your slow metabolism by working out. The method is also suitable for you if you are above or below 50 years. However, there will be some differences in terms of the exercises done, their intensity, as well as exercise duration.
All these factors will be considered by your trainer before they roll out your exercise regime. The exercising approach is more suitable for seniors given that they tend to lose muscle as they age. Consequently, they tend to slow down their calorie-burning process.
Exercising can help in changing this pattern. If you are above 50, go for a checkup and determine if you can take up an exercise program. If you pass, then speak to your trainer to come up with a sustainable workout plan.
All you need is a program that can challenge your muscles. However, it should not be overbearing. So, let us evaluate some great exercise options.
Aerobic exercises are mostly recommended for adults above 50 who want to boost their metabolism (10). It does not mean that they do not suit younger adults because they also do. These exercises range from activities such as jogging, bike riding, swimming, running to doing Zumba.
All these workouts can help speed up your metabolic rate as they help you burn more calories. They will increase your heart rate, so expect to feel that with these exercises. They make losing weight after 50 fun and easy. So, give them a try if you are in this age group.
You can always challenge yourself by shifting your workouts. For example, you can change from swimming to running for a specific duration. But before doing that, let your fitness coach have a say in this decision. Some workouts may prove injurious, and your trainer can help in mitigating these injuries.
You can also lift weights as a means of improving your metabolism. Weight lifting, also referred to as strength training is quite intense. So, intense weight training may not be recommended for seniors, especially if they are not physically active. However, some individually-appropriate form of weight-bearing exercise is excellent for maintaining muscle mass and bone density at every age.
Lifting weights highly engage your muscles, making you burn more calories. You will not only reset your metabolism but also tone your body. However, you need to do this moderately. You cannot lift weights every day. Try strength training twice a week for each muscle and try doing 12 or 15 repetitions with the amount of weight you can handle, even if it’s just your body weight.
High-intensity training is another approach you can embrace to tune your metabolism (13). Although this is the case, these workouts are not a favorite amongst most people. They are quite demanding, making most beginners distance themselves from any HIIT programs.
The intense training of these programs makes you burn more calories to supply energy to sustain you throughout the workout. You can do a HIIT program of just 15 minutes and burn tremendous calories.
So, the secret with these pieces of training is not in the duration but instead the intensity. Their high-intensity level makes them less often recommended for people over 50. However, you might find a few active people over 50 undertaking these programs.
Regardless if you are over 50 or not, seek the help of your fitness coach to determine the best program for you. Some might increase your risk of injuries, while others might not help you attain your goals.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Hydrating
One of the most underrated ways of improving your metabolism is drinking water. You may think that you only need water in your body to quench your thirst. However, your body also needs water to help in the calorie-burning process (12).
When your body lacks water, its metabolic rate tends to slow down. So, you are asked to drink water frequently, regardless if you feel thirsty or not. This applies to both men and women, either above or below 50 years.
Adults are advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. You can also snack on watery fruits such as watermelons to help prevent dehydration. If you want more flavor in your water, then try adding lemons. Avoid artificial and even natural sweeteners as much as possible as they only add more calories.
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How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Getting Adequate Rest
As mentioned earlier, your sleeping patterns also have a dire impact on your metabolism. You need to ensure you get enough rest to avoid slowing it down. If you are insomniac, then get help to ensure you rest enough.
You can manage to get enough rest by going to bed early and/or meditating before bed. Try creating a relaxing atmosphere in your room as well, and eliminating distractions such as your phone. You can put it on vibration mode to avoid distraction from your notifications.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Sipping on Some Tea
If you are not into coffee, then try tea. It contains some caffeine and elements known as catechins that may help improve your metabolic rate (6). They also help in burning fat more quickly, making tea a good choice for weight loss.
However, not every tea type will do the trick. The most recommended tea types to help you with this are green tea, oolong tea, black tea, and white tea. You can opt for black tea if you are looking for a rich and strong flavor. Again, you can still consider it if you want a change from the named types.
Green tea is mostly recommended for boosting metabolism due to its high catechins content. It has specific catechin, known as EGCC, that makes the tea more effective in burning calories. Oolong tea is also preferred as much as green tea due to its effective results.
You can choose whichever type of tea you want depending on your preference.
How To Speed Up Metabolism After 50: Calorie Deficit
The other way you can increase your metabolic rate is by maintaining a calorie deficit. You will not reset your metabolism if you go past your calorie intake. Your body will keep burning calories that you keep gaining back.
Try to be aware of your calorie intake by examining how often you snack. You might snack several times per day and end up exceeding your overall calorie needs. Similarly, you can attain a caloric deficit by paying attention to the ingredients you use to prepare your meals.
Try to keep away from foods with added sugars, high-fat content, and trans and saturated fats (3). Instead, go for whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, fruits, and healthy fats. They contain fewer calories, meaning you do not have to work extra to lose weight.
Your metabolism tends to slow down with age, meaning it is much slower after 50. However, you can still speed it up in various ways. They range from eating the right foods, focusing on a calorie deficit, exercising, and getting enough rest.
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The views expressed in this article do not represent medical advice. They are only meant for informational purposes. Speak to your doctor/dietitian before making any health changes.
- 15 Things That Slow Your Metabolism (2020, webmd.com)
- Best 10 foods to boost metabolism (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Can I boost my metabolism to lose weight? (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- Changes in coffee intake and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: three large cohorts of US men and women (2014, link.springer.com)
- Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Could Tea Help You Lose Weight? (2020, webmd.com)
- Eat Your Way to a Faster metabolism (2020, webmd.com)
- Habitual Coffee Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure (2012, ahajournals.org)
- Health benefits and risks of drinking coffee (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to Boost Your Metabolism With Exercise (2019, webmd.com)
- Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Slideshow: 10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism (2019, webmd.com)
- Study reveals how exercise improves metabolic health (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)