It is a fact of life that as you get older, your metabolism begins to slowdown. Generally, your metabolism will slow down an average of 5% every decade beginning at around age 40. One of the main reasons for this is the muscle loss that occurs with aging. Muscle mass begins to decline in your 40’s, and muscle burns calories. As muscle mass decreases, you burn less calories, and your metabolism slows down. While metabolism slowdown is inevitable with age, there are things you can do to prevent the slowdown from occurring at a rapid pace as you get older.
Probably the most important thing that can be done to slow down muscle mass loss and rev up metabolism is strength training. Strength training can be started at any age and can have dramatic results on your metabolic rate. Strength training can not only build new muscle, but it can preserve current muscle as well. It is important to not only work on building new muscle, but to maintain the muscle you already have.
A successful strength training routine requires the use of weights that are adequate in causing muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue comes from working a muscle for a set amount of time, or a set amount of repetitions, until you are unable to continue. As you progress with your training and become stronger, you will find the need to add extra weight to achieve the fatigue from the same exercise. The general rule is to choose a weight which tires the muscle after about eight repetitions.
Besides strength training, proper nutrition can also play a role in preventing metabolism slowdown. Muscle growth requires sufficient calories, and without these calories, you can actually cause additional muscle loss, causing additional slowing of your metabolism.
Choose foods that boost your metabolism. Eat foods high in lean protein to promote muscle gain and foods high in fiber to increase energy levels. Also, eat more frequently. Each time you have a meal, you speed up your metabolism. Having 4 -6 mini-meals each day will sustain your energy level and keep your metabolism from slowing. Do not skip meals, as that will slow down your metabolism and decrease energy levels. Additionally, adding hot spices like curry, chilies and hot peppers to your meals can raise your metabolism almost 40% for a few hours.
Drink More Water
Your body consists of over 70% water, making is a necessary part of any health plan. Drinking cold water and increase your metabolism. Research done in Germany has actually found that drinking 17 ounces can cause up to a 30% increase in metabolic rate. Cold water causes your body temperature to cool down as well, and your body will burn an average of 100 calories to warm up again. Being properly hydrated can also reduce overeating and decrease weight and fat gain.
Exercise, proper nutrition and hydration should be part of everyone’s diet plan, regardless of age, however, combining these elements can play a role in preventing metabolic slowdown as you get older. Follow the plan consistently for best results.