By Tracey Clayton
Studies have shown that our metabolism rate slows down as we get older, and that by 2% to 4% every year, which is not to be taken lightly. This happens for a few reasons: as we age, we lose muscle mass and our body interprets this as a sign it doesn’t have to work as hard to produce energy, we also move less when we are older, a lot of people sit for long hours at work and then again at home. Stress, lack of sleep and unhealthy diets also contribute to slow metabolism.
However, all is not lost as there are natural ways we can boost our metabolism.
Establish regular sleeping routines
Your metabolism will work better if you have regular sleep patterns, meaning that you get enough sleep every night and that you go to bed and rise at about the same times. The amount of sleep a body needs to rest and recuperate is individual, but most studies show that between 6 and 8 hours is enough. The best time to sleep is between 10pm and 6am. Your metabolism will also rise and fall during the day, so a nap around 3pm is beneficial and natural. Staying up all night if you go out on weekends can mess up your sleeping pattern so it is advisable to keep it under control.
Don’t skip breakfast
Metabolism-wise, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you skip breakfast, your body will hold on to the fat and conserve energy so your body will start burning your muscle instead of fat. That’s why it is very important to eat a healthy breakfast. It doesn’t have to be large, but your body needs some fuel right from the start of your day. Make a healthy sandwich, some cereal, and have a cup of green tea with lemon or some coffee as they are also metabolism boosters.
Eat a healthy diet
Following a healthy diet can’t be stressed enough. Your body has a much tougher job digesting processed, artificial food full of additives and preservatives than healthy organic food that is rich in nutrients. So, cut down on or completely eliminate unhealthy choices and replace them with veggies, fruit, fish, nuts and seeds. Foods rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids are great options. Always chose whole foods, shop at local farmers’ markets whenever you can and make an effort to eat a balanced diet every day. It should include egg whites, lean meat, chili peppers, whole grains, lentils, nuts, fish and seafood, lots of vegetables and fruit, especially berries.
Stay well hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is crucial for your metabolism as it slows down even if you are mildly dehydrated. Recommended amounts of water intake are roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) for men and about 9 cups (2.2 liters) for women. It is important to take water regularly throughout the day instead of gulping a glass or two down at once.
The best way to get your body to work faster is to get exercise. Since the amount of muscle determines how much fat and calories you burn, it is important to build your muscle mass. We lose 1% of our muscle a year after our twenties, so we need to incorporate muscle building into our exercise regime, and the only way to do it is resistance training. You should do it at least every other day and slowly increase the difficulty.
Going to the gym is not the only way to work out. It can be something fun like swimming, cycling with our friends or family on the weekends, hiking to challenging mountain tops and taking adventure trips. It is advisable to get out of your comfort zone and do something new and challenging, like rollerblade, skate or even try something like parkour – free running and obstacle training. They have equipment for this in fitness centers which can serve also as kids’ party venues, where you can discover things like trampoline jumping which will make you feel grateful you live in the 21st century.
Working on regulating your metabolism doesn’t have to be a chore, but it will take some dedication and long term effort. Once you have changed your habits and got used to your new lifestyle, you will have more energy and everything will be easier, meaning more ease, fun and joy for you!
Author Bio: Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three beautiful girls and dedicated housewife. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”