So you’re eating healthier than ever, but your muscles feel flabby, your energy is sapped and your jeans feel increasingly snug, particularly in the belly, hips and rear. A reasoning behind this could be because metabolic rate (the number of calories we burn in a day) plummets as we age, decreasing about 1 percent each year after we hit 30. But research shows there are things you can do to help combat metabolic slowdown. Below are three ways to keep your metabolism up.
1. Build muscle. Since fat is burned in your muscle, you want to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. Weight training increases lean muscle mass, which raises the amount of calories your body uses, even when you’re at rest.
2. Start eating! Eat within an hour of waking to kick-start your metabolism. Then keep eating every three to four hours ending an hour before bedtime.
3. Nosh on protein at every meal and snack. Protein has a greater metabolic boost than fat or carbohydrates. Biting, chewing, swallowing and digesting food takes energy — it’s known as the thermic effect of food and it can burn up to 30 percent of the calories on your plate. The more complex the food (think steak, legumes and fibrous vegetables), the more calories you burn as it travels through the digestive tract. Protein also contains leucine, an amino acid that prevents muscle loss when you’re dieting. A simple strategy: For a quick and easy snack, keep peanuts in your pocketbook, trail mix in your desk drawer and hard-boiled eggs in the fridge.
- Boosting Metabolism (blog.stephenholtfitness.com)
- Guest Blog: 8 Healthy Foods That Will Help You Build Muscle Mass (foodservicewarehouse.com)
- How to Increase Your Metabolism (xblivingnaturally.wordpress.com)