Remember your glory days? Back when you were 19 you could scarf down anything you wanted, without worrying about an expanding waistline or growing double chin.
That’s sure not the case anymore. These days it feels more like your metabolism has slowed down to a crawl. Heck, just looking at a “forbidden food” can send the scale moving in the wrong direction.
Those carefree days may seem like a distant dream. But they don’t have to be gone forever. Because even though you’re committed to eating healthier these days, you shouldn’t have to monitor every single bite you take.
Boost metabolism to burn more fat
The fact is you can hit the reset button to boost metabolism and burn more fat. And we’ll show you how in just a moment. But first let’s take a quick look at what caused the slowdown in the first place.
According to researchers, there are four major reasons our metabolisms start running as slow as molasses in January.
1. You become less active:
The more active you are the more active your metabolism is. And although some young folks enjoy working out, we’re not talking about formal exercise here. Young people are simply constantly on the go. But when we get older, we tend to slow down.
First you naturally have less energy than someone who is decades younger than you are does. But also with all your commitments, you simply don’t have as much free time. So recreational activities tend to take a back seat.
2. You lose muscle mass:
On average, starting at age 30, we lose between three and eight percent of our muscle mass every year. Which means by the time you reach 80, you could have around 30 percent less muscle than you did at age 20. And this loss has a direct impact on your metabolism.
Muscle mass contributes to your resting metabolic rate (RMR), or how much energy (calories) you burn when you’re simply sitting around. The lower your muscle mass drops the lower your RMR becomes. And burning through less calories means they end up getting stored away as energy. Or, as we know it, fat.
3. Your systems slow down:
There are two major components to a speedy metabolism: mitochondria and sodium-potassium pumps. The mitochondria create energy for your cells, and the sodium-potassium pumps produce the nerve impulses that allow muscles to contract. Just like you slow down as you get older, these processes slow down, too.
4. Your sleep patterns change:
Experts says there’s a strong link between sleep and metabolism. Getting plenty of restorative sleep is essential for your system to keep running in high gear.
But as we get older stress, responsibilities and even pain causes us to sleep less. And that loss of sleep means your metabolism works less efficiently.
Reset your system with these four steps to boost metabolism
Now you know why your metabolism has begun to backfire on you. So let’s look at what you can do to turn things back around.
Following are four simple steps you can take to boost metabolism and start burning through more calories no matter what it is you’re doing.
Step 1: Get Moving
One of the ways we measure metabolism we look at how many calories you burn through what’s called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is all the energy you expend when you’re not sleeping, eating or doing formal exercise.
In other words, it’s the calories you burn through simply by standing, fidgeting, tapping your toes, typing, drumming your fingers, walking to work, cleaning the kitchen etc. And even seemingly trivial movements bump up your metabolic rate.
So before you worry about increasing your actual exercise, focus on simply moving more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the door. And go right ahead and fidget in your seat, despite what your mom may have told you growing up.
Doing more “non-exercise activity” is the easiest way you can begin to boost metabolism, and supercharge your fat burn, no matter how long it’s been since you worked out.
Step 2: Weight bearing exercise
To significantly raise the amount of energy you burn—and to stop your body from storing more of it as fat—your next goal should be to increase your muscle mass. And don’t worry; it’s easier than it sounds.
To build muscle mass you simply need to add some weight bearing exercises into your regular routine… something we should all be doing as we age anyway.
And there’s no need to turn into a gym rat, lifting heavy dumbbells all day, to boost metabolism either. Start with something simple such as carrying one to five-pound weights on your daily walk, using some resistance bands while you watch the daily news, or utilizing your own body weight using our 8 effortless ways to squeeze in some exercise.
Just be sure to get your doctor’s thumbs up before you start.
Step 3: Tweak your diet
While weight bearing exercises will encourage muscle growth, you need to make sure to preserve that new muscle too. And the best way to do that is by adjusting your diet.
But relax; you’re going to love this tweak. Because it means eating MORE of the foods you love. To maintain muscle, and boost metabolism, requires plenty of protein. And that means making sure you’re getting some with every meal.
According to researchers, getting enough protein can boost metabolism up to 35 percent, even after your meal is over. Delicious organic, grass-fed meats are a great start. But for variety mix it up with other tasty treats such as nuts, cheese, eggs and legumes.
Step 4: Make sleep a priority
If you want to boost metabolism it’s not just about becoming more active. Fitting in plenty of good quality sleep is equally as important. The key is to have a good balance of both
Think about it this way. If you’re feeling sluggish and tired all do long so is your metabolism. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found it only takes one night of poor sleep to reduce metabolism. And another study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, found that chronic poor sleep habits could slow metabolism down by nearly three percent overall.
The good news is both studies also found sleep could help get things back on track. When volunteers got a solid night’s sleep, they were able to blow through that sluggishness and reset their metabolism. In other words, simply making sleep a priority in your own life could help you speed things back up, too.
Recapture your glory days when eating was a pleasure and not a chore. Try this simple reset plan to boost metabolism starting today.
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