Aging is a process that we all seem to have our own way of complaining about, or we’re no longer aging which simply means we’re no longer around to complain about it. Other than the aches and pains that we start to endure over the decades of wear and tear on our body, the most common gripe is the weight we gain even though our lifestyles and habits seem to be the same. The culprit in most cases is our metabolism. In everyday language, metabolism refers to the breakdown and transformation into energy of the foods we consume. It is the sum of all biochemical processes that take place within an organism and includes breathing, fat storage, muscle building, digestion and circulation of the blood. One’s metabolic rate is the rate at which our body burns calories at rest or during exercise. Factors such as age and gender play a pivotal part in our metabolic rate.
Typically, metabolism begins to slow around age 30 and decreases 5% every ten years. One of the biggest factors is that we gain fat and lose muscle mass as we age. Therefore, to make it as simple as possible, one of the best ways to boost our metabolism is to gain or maintain as much lean tissue (muscle) as possible. You burn six calories per day for every pound of muscle as opposed to two calories per day for every pound of fat. For this reason alone some type of resistance training is a must for optimal health.
Many times when we try to lose weight we drastically reduce our caloric intake. Initial weight loss can occur from mostly water loss. This can send our body into starvation mode, in which the metabolic rate slows down. Eating small healthy snacks every 2-3 hours can keep our metabolic rate up.
Drinking green tea would be the drink of choice in boosting our metabolism. Studies have found that supplementing exercise with green tea can actually boost weight loss. The brew contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.
Make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet. The body uses more energy to digest and process proteins. It is said that post-meal calorie burn is increased by 35 percent from protein. Since many high protein diets are not healthy because they often contain large amounts of meats that contain saturated fats, one must be cautious in choosing protein and the amount consumed. Typically consuming .8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day should be sufficient to fuel weight loss. For a 130 pound person, that would equal between 46 – 58 grams of protein. Add or subtract about 4 grams of protein for every 10 pounds over or under the 130 pounds for grams needed in your diet.
There are surely other means through our diet, exercise regimen, and lifestyle to boost our metabolism. These are a few that to me are essential and should be easy to incorporate into our lifestyle. The important thing to remember is our metabolic rate slows with age, at what rate and the effect it has on us can be offset by knowing what to do and taking action!