There is a simple explanation for the middle-age spread: our metabolisms slow by 5 percent each decade after the age of forty. Slowly, but surely, we pack on an extra five to ten pounds a year as our bodies become less efficient at burning calories.
And there are plenty of other factors that can affect our metabolism: motherhood, illness, certain medications, and metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance. To understand what causes insulin resistance check out this link.
But we can fight back! With proper nutrition, the right nutrients, a little exercise, and a good night’s sleep we can all become calorie burning machines at any age.
Eat Protein and Eat Often
Never eat fewer than 1,000 calories per day. Our metabolisms thrive on food. Eat three protein-packed meals and two protein snacks per day. Snacking will actually give your metabolism a boost while protein provides a thermal (fat burning) affect superior to that of carbohydrates. Eating enough protein also helps to build and maintain muscle mass, another important factor in revving up the metabolism. Eat as often as every two to three hours. Never allow more than five hours between meals. Fish, turkey, nuts, low-fat cheese, avocados, and eggs are excellent choices. And don’t forget to spice it up! Many studies have shown that spicy foods, like hot peppers, can boost metabolism.
Supercharge with Supplements
The right supplements can promote fat burning and stabilize blood sugar. Stable blood sugar and insulin levels are crucial to metabolizing calories efficiently. This may be difficult for individuals suffering from insulin resistance, a hormonal imbalance linked to the way the body processes insulin. Supplements (also called nutraceuticals), along with a nutrition and exercise plan, are essential to correcting this imbalance.
Omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10 (Ubiquinone), Vitamin b12, folic acid and thiamin are just a few examples of supplements that regulate blood sugar and supercharge the metabolism.
Strength Training is Key
We may be better off spending less time on the treadmill and more time in the weight room. While cardio exercise benefits the heart and lungs, strength (resistance) training builds lean muscle mass and lean muscle mass is paramount to a fuel efficient body. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn, even in our sleep.
Don’t Skimp on Sleep
We need at least eight hours of sleep per night for our bodies to function properly during the day. Research shows that people who don’t get a sufficient amount of quality sleep tend to gain weight. The quality of our sleep affects the hormones leptin and grehlin, which control hunger and metabolism. Tiredness also causes us to reach for empty calories like sweets.
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