Unfortunately, it’s true: Our metabolism slows down as we age.
On average, we lose 2 to 8 percent of our muscle mass per decade, and that slows our metabolic rate.
A recent article in U.S. News & World Report cites the importance of maintaining lean muscle to combat the decline.
“Strength training can help decrease this process, but adjusting your diet to eat less is also critical,” said Jill Graybill, a registered dietitian at Spectrum Health.
You can speed up your metabolism, but don’t be fooled by claims that popping a few supplements or eating certain foods will get the job done, Graybill cautioned.
“There is a lot of misinformation on this subject,” she said. “Most of it is smoke and mirrors.”
Genetics can give some people an edge, but the best way to increase your metabolism is to adopt a few good habits, including these:
1. Build resistance
Use resistance exercise to build more lean muscle mass. More muscle burns more calories, even at rest.
2. Eat breakfast
The morning meal has been shown to jump-start the metabolic process.
3. Eat every four hours
This little trick speeds up your metabolism. Skipping meals slows it down.
4. Think protein
Include protein each time you eat. It takes more energy to break down, again, revving up your metabolic rate. Sources include dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, eggs and meat. Plus, protein is slower to digest, so you feel full longer.
5. Eat enough
Yes, even while losing weight. A diet that is too low in calories slows your metabolism to a crawl. Don’t sabotage your efforts by eating too little. Most people should not go lower than 1,200 calories a day or they risk not meeting their nutritional needs. Only go lower if you’re under medical supervision.