How To Speed Up Your Metabolism To Lose Weight After 50 and Beyond

If you’re over 50 and struggling to lose weight, you’re not alone. It’s very common for shedding pounds to be harder than it used to as you become older.

But the fact is, you can lose weight at any age. Whether you’re in your 50s, 60s, or beyond, you can get to and stay at a healthy weight.

As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. In fact, after the age of 20, your metabolism decreases by 10 percent each decade.

By the time we turn 50, our metabolism is at a 30% decline from its prime, according to an expert. Licensed and registered dietitian and bariatric coordinator at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.

This is why it is so easy to gain weight and hard to lose it.

A slowing metabolism can lead to weight gain each year even if you don’t eat much more than usual. This is partly due to the fact that you naturally lose muscle mass as you age.

To prevent weight gain, maintaining muscle mass is the key to keeping your metabolism running in high gear.

But this can come as a challenge.

It’s not just the metabolism on a decline, so is your muscle mass.

After turning 45, the average person loses about 1% of muscle mass per year.

This is why maintaining a healthy weight takes more effort the older we get.

If you are over 50, it’s really essential that you stay mindful of your meals and their nutritiousness. Also, you need to boost your physical activity.

In this article, I’m going to share some tips to help boost your metabolism and lose weight, even after age 50.

Metabolism is the process that your body goes through converting food and drinks you take into a form of energy.

In that process, the calories from the food and drinks you consumed get combined with oxygen and released to your body as energy.

The higher and faster your metabolism or metabolic rate is, the more efficient you transform food into energy.

The lower your metabolism is, the slower your body turns food into energy, and the more likely that it gets stored as fat.

It’s a natural occurrence that our metabolism slows down as we get older.

This is partly due to loss of muscle mass or muscular atrophy. This is why elderly people experience physical weakness as they age.

To some degree, you can reverse and slow down the decline of metabolism with resistance training.

Adding strength through training can also help improve your muscular strength and mobility.

They can help you lead an independent life even in your 70s and beyond.

The key to maintaining a faster metabolic rate is having more lean muscle mass than fat.

The key to maintaining a faster metabolic rate is having more lean muscle mass than fat.

But there are other factors.

Things like age, gender, muscle-to-fat ratio, hormone function, and your physical activity level play a part.

While you can’t influence your age, gender, and hormones, you can influence your physical activity level and food intake.

With that in mind, let’s talk about how physical activity boosts metabolism.

How to Boost Metabolism By Boosting Physical Activity

How to Boost Metabolism By Boosting Physical Activity

To speed up metabolism, you need a physical activity that increases your lean muscle mass.

This is because the more muscle mass you have, the more energy it takes for your body to maintain.

This simply means, that having more muscles burns more calories than having fat.

Because of the correlation between muscle mass and metabolism, building muscles is one simple way to speed up your metabolic rate.

But not to worry.

We are not urging you to start heavy weight lifting or try your hand at body-building workouts.

Simple, safe, and gentle bodyweight exercises can do the wonders for muscle building.

Squats, lungs, push-ups, planks, and deadlifts are all great exercises for building muscles.

They can be done just with your bodyweight or with a portable resistance band.

For a moderately active person with 30-45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, this addition of exercise can contribute 20% to your daily calorie expenditure.

How to Fuel Your Metabolism (Literally)

thermal effect foods

Eating food boosts metabolism? I know it sounds odd, but it’s true, especially with food with a thermic effect.

Food with a high thermal effect is also known as thermogenesis. Thermic food gets your body to use more energy to digest, absorb, transport, and store its nutrients.

Thermogenesis accounts for about 5–10 percent of your energy
use.

So, some foods take more energy to digest than others and have a slight influence on your metabolism bottom line.

So how do we best eat to maximize this extra calorie burning and boost metabolism?

We need to take a look at our food intake from a macro perspective.

This is because each macro has a different thermal effect.

Here is the breakdown of how much energy is required to digest each macronutrient.

  • Protein: 10-30% of the ingested protein
  • Carbohydrate: 5-10% of the ingested carbohydrates
  • Fat: 0–3% of the ingested fat

From the list, you can see that it takes our body the most energy to break down protein.

While it’s still important to take in all macronutrients including healthy fat, it’s a good reminder to include lean protein in your diet.

When it comes to food intake for healthy metabolism, it’s essential to note that it’s not just about thermogenesis.

It’s also eating the appropriate amount of calories daily counts.

Eating too little puts your body into starvation mode and slows your metabolism for energy conservation.

Eating too much can lead to weight gain.

Because taking in fewer calories than you burn is the basis of weight loss, you need just enough calories to maintain but not exceed your daily needs.

So when you think about metabolism, weight loss, and your food intake, think about this.

Focus on switching some of those foods with ones with better thermic effects instead of cutting calories excessively.

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