Do you ever feel like it’s hard and harder to keep off gaining extra weight, even if you’re exercising and eating the same? That’s because as you get older, your metabolism starts to slow down. Plenty of food and nutrition companies claim to boost metabolism like it’s as simple as flipping a switch. While it might not be that easy, you can still improve your metabolism at any age. Here are 5 habits to get a healthier metabolism.
Simply put, metabolism is your body turning food into energy. It’s how many calories you burn each day. Having a fast metabolism is commonly thought of as the ability to overeat without gaining weight, whereas a slow metabolism is the opposite; gaining weight without overeating.
When your body isn’t able to burn off everything you ate, it stores those calories, mostly as fat calories. These extra calories add up and lead to weight gain and other diseases. So, it’s important to keep your metabolism healthy.
1. Build Muscle
There’s a reason health experts constantly recommend strength training and aerobic activity. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn. In fact, your body burns an extra 90 calories per day for every 2lbs of increased muscle. As a result, your resting metabolic rate increases as well.
One of the best ways to build up muscle is through resistance training exercises. Try to incorporate strength training exercises into your workouts 3 times a week. Doing activities like yoga, pilates, or working with resistance bands can also help you build muscle as well.
2. Get Your Heart Pumping
One of the most effective ways to kickstart your metabolism is by simply moving. Getting your heart rate up keeps your energy-producing pathways running smoothly, and in turn, helps your metabolism function at its best. How well your metabolism works impacts your overall health and well-being.
To get a healthy metabolism, aim to burn around 3,000 calories through exercise each week. That’s comparable to walking about 4 miles a day. If that’s a bit too scary/overwhelming, you can do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 times a week. Don’t forget to move throughout your day, too. Make it a point to walk for a few minutes every hour or so.
3. Choose Better Carbs
Studies show that 88% of adults have an unhealthy metabolism. This is largely thanks to the American diet and lifestyle. Stroke, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and dementia- to name a few- are all linked to issues with metabolism.
Start by eliminating foods with more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving. You’ll also want to limit eating too much refined white flour, which your body actually turns into sugar. This includes foods like cookies, pasta, and bread, sadly. The first few days may seem challenging, but it’ll get easier as your body begins to adjust. Click here to learn about protein-packed powerhouse you can add to your diet.
4. Eat More Fiber
While you’re cutting down on sugar, take the opportunity to focus on adding more fiber to your diet. Women are recommended to get 25 grams of fiber per day, whereas men should get 38 grams. Unfortunately, the research found that Americans only get around 15 grams of fiber each day.
Fiber strongly influences inflammation and metabolic health. Your body digests fiber slower, which prevents sugar from being absorbed during digestion. It also supports the healthy bacteria in your gut. Plants are pretty much the only natural sources of fiber, so you’ll get more fiber just by eating more plants and vegetables. Flax seeds, avocados, beans, and lentils are all rich in fiber.
5. Catch Some Zzz’s
Sleep is one of those magical things that can make or break how you feel the next day. Your health, and metabolism, depend on getting some quality shut-eye. All it takes is one night of abnormal sleep to throw your whole body off.
Getting less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep can decrease your sensitivity to insulin. Even going to bed later than normal can cause glucose spikes and higher stress hormones when you wake up the next morning. Prioritizing sleep will keep your body and metabolism regulated. Not to mention, you’ll start off each day on the right foot.