Your metabolism often gets blamed for weight gain, especially as we age. While it is true that our metabolism tends to slow down as we age, what really tends to slow down is us.
We are usually much more sedentary as we get older, with many of us working desk jobs, and no longer chasing toddlers around.
There are some ways to fire up your metabolism, and here are 5 ways to do just that.
1. Don’t skip meals. One question I ask my health coaching clients who are trying to lose weight is, “Are you sure you are eating enough?” This is usually the time when they are asking for a refund, but stay with me here. When you skip meals your body goes into starvation mode, and that can slow your metabolism. Eating something about every 4 – 5 hours usually does the trick to keep your metabolism engine revving nicely.
2. Eat protein at every meal. Protein is a key ingredient in stoking the metabolism fires. Go for about 3 – 5 ounces of lean protein. Think protein powder in a breakfast shake, a salad at lunch with grilled chicken or tofu for my vegetarian friends, have a serving of fish and lots of grilled veggies at dinner.
3. Stay hydrated. Aim for about 64 ounces of water each day. Studies show that dehydration can depress the metabolic rate. Dehydration can also lead to other serious health problems, so be sure to drink up. If plain water doesn’t do it for you, try adding some fresh fruit to your water to jazz it up.
4. Utilize the HIIT method. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it has been shown to burn more energy both during your workout and for the rest of the day. This means that you continue to experience benefits from your workout even after your workout is over. A fun way to utilize the HIIT method is to do it on the treadmill; here’s how. Walk for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph speed, then increase your speed to 4 mph for 60 seconds. Then go back down to 3.5 mph for 90 seconds; repeat the entire sequence five times and try to do the workout three times per week. Once it stops being challenging, increase the incline, the pace, or both.
5. Work to build muscle. Muscle is denser than fat and uses more energy, which keeps your metabolism on the move. Build in strength training twice a week with weights, or, by using your own body weight for resistance (think pushups, planks, etc.). Training with weights at least twice a week can increase your resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That’s pretty spectacular!
There you go. Don’t skip meals, get your protein, stay hydrated, HIIT the treadmill, and work on building those Popeye muscles.
Interested in individual health coaching? Now is the time. Let’s finish the year strong. Visit me at www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and contact me for more information.
Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.