One of the effects of ageing (even though reaching 35 hardly feels like “ageing” as we think of it) is a slower metabolism.
Sources say your metabolism slows at an approximate rate of 5% every 10 years, which translates into a 100-calorie discrepancy (you either need to burn 100 more or eat 100 less). This accounts for that frustrating trend of eating less, and not losing weight – if you’re lucky, you just stop gaining.
Thankfully, there’s good news. There are ways of boosting metabolism after age 35. Here are some of them.
1. Exercise – Cardio, Weights, and Resistance Training
Perhaps it seems obvious that more exercise will help you lose weight – you burn more calories, right? While this is true, there are other, more complex issues at work than just burning calories.
Cardio training – Walking, jogging, elliptical trainers, treadmills, and so forth are all great ways to get a cardiovascular workout (and there are many more). The point of cardio training is to get your heart rate up and keep it up for a period of time (ideally, 30 minutes three times a week). This helps burn more calories while you’re engaged in it.
Weight and resistance training – Don’t forget about weights and resistance training. These are important because they help build muscle mass, which tends to decrease after the age of 35. Muscle mass is helpful for burning fat and calories between workouts as well as during them; muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat. This means your metabolism increases in general, even if you are just sitting around. Also, weight and resistance training (such as yoga) have a positive impact on bone density. Bones respond to healthful wear and tear by becoming stronger.
2. Don’t Crash Diet
When you crash diet, you send starvation signals to your brain, which then tells your body’s metabolism to slow down even more. This is the last thing you want! So diet sensibly, and focus on foods that take a lot of energy to digest, such as:
- Brown rice
- Lean turkey (not deli turkey)
- Low-fat dairy products
3. Know When to Cheat
Yes, experts now say that there is a time and place for cheating on your diet! Once a week, sources say it’s okay to have a small indulgence. Why? Because that bowl of ice cream or frosted cupcake stimulates your body to get back into calorie-burning mode and out of starvation mode.
Once a week helps prevent any weight gain from this “cheat” but it’s frequent enough to keep your body on its toes! However, experts warn that it’s important not to let this habit degenerate into binging or other unhealthy behaviors.
Photo credit: Port of San Diego