Are you 25 or older? Did you know that after you turn 25, your metabolism can slow down by 5 – 10% per decade! For the average American, that means their metabolic rate decreases by 20 – 40% over their lifetime.
This decline in metabolism is made even worse by the fact that as you age, your body requires fewer calories. This is because we are often less physically active, more sedentary and many of us suffer muscle loss as we age.
So we need fewer calories AND we aren’t burning calories as efficiently as we used to! That makes weight gain nearly unavoidable if habits aren’t changed.
But guess what else, the metabolic decline is avoidable! You just have to preserve your physical activity levels. If you remain a physically active person throughout your life, you can lower your rate of metabolic decline to just 0.3% per decade. That’s a dramatic difference, that means over the course of your lifetime, your metabolic rate will only drop by 1 – 2%!
Here are some tips on how to keep your metabolism in good working order:
- Exercise! By physically active, this keeps your metabolism turned on at all times! Make sure you work some strength training into your regular routine. Strength training builds muscle and muscle mass increases metabolic rate.
- Cut out empty calories and fill up on nutrient dense foods.
- Eat breakfast. Breakfast wakes up your metabolism and it cuts down on overeating later in the day.
- Eat smaller meals, more often. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day keeps your metabolism turned on all day.
- Eat protein with every meal and snack. Digesting protein makes your metabolism work harder, increasing your metabolic rate. Protein also keeps you more satisfied.
- Sleep. Hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism are dependent on you getting enough sleep.
Source: Timi Gustafson, R.D. “Food and Health with Timi Gustafson” http://www.timigustafson.com.