How to boost your metabolism…Regardless of your age!

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on November 2nd, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to boost your metabolism...Regardless of your age!

Are you feeling tired and worn out? Gaining weight? Seeing fat appear? If one or more of these unwelcome surprises has appeared, and if you are blowing out more than a few decades of candles on your birthday cake, you may attribute these unwanted developments to getting older.

After all, it is common knowledge that our metabolisms slow as we age...especially after age 40.

But new research says that’s not true

The metabolic rate is the pace that the body burns calories to keep us going. And it has been shown to slow as we age. However, the rate of slowing is not set in stone. A recent study published in has concluded that we have much more control over the rate of decline than was previously thought.

The study analyzed nearly 6,500 people and spanned the entire spectrum of ages, from the cradle to the geriatric crowd, and concluded that the metabolic rate holds firm from ages 20 to 60, then begins to ebb at a rate of approximately 1% per year.

By any objective standard, this is considered good news. Why? Because these results tell us that just because we are getting older is no excuse to become a lazy, worn-out, obese couch potato. In other words, our lifestyles play more of a role in our metabolism than was previously believed.

This is liberating. We have the tools to use to slow down “Old-Man Aging’s” plans to advance in a stealth-like manner to rob us of our energy, our immune system, our pain-free joints, our libidos, our ability to get deep, restorative sleep, and a host of other good health indicators.

Here are a few suggestions to keep the fire burning in your metabolism

Get off that couch! Prolonged sitting has been dubbed “The new smoking.” While this may be an exaggeration, the benefit of getting up and moving throughout the day is not questioned.

Being sedentary most of the day markedly reduces fat metabolism,” said Edward Coyle, professor of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin. Fat metabolism refers to the fuel you burn during resting metabolism.

Coyle, the director of the school’s Human Performance Laboratory, said his research has concluded you need to take at least 8,500 steps per day – spread out through the day rather than all at once – to activate fat metabolism. He stresses that this should not be intense, marathon fitness sessions.

Coyle has found that a mere five four-second bursts of exercise at high intensity hourly throughout the day can dramatically skyrocket fat metabolism by as much as 49%!

Although doing 20 seconds of full-out sprints every hour isn’t practical for most folks, anyone with time constraints and job pressures that can’t get to the gym regularly can still get health benefits from moving around for only a few minutes hourly.

Add High-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your workouts. HIIT means changing the pace of your exercises. For example, you alternate between sprints and a slower jogging pace while running. The phrase “high-intensity” sounds a bit intimidating. But keep in mind that this type of training is relative.

What is slow for a professional athlete is fast for the average person. The crucial thing to remember is to switch up the pace within your comfort zone and current physical condition....that’s it.

HIIT elevates your metabolic rate, especially for burning fat, long after your workout. One study concluded that, after 12 weeks of HIIT, obese men slashed their belly fat by 17% and overall fat mass by 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms). This incinerates flab far more than any other type of exercise.

To experience the full metabolic boost of HIIT, you need to vary your workout program to include both strength and HIIT training sessions. And remember that no matter hard you lift in the gym or speed around the running track, you still need to get up and move for short periods during the day. No prolonged sitting!

Pay strict attention to what you consume. Digesting food speeds up

Salmon with vegetables on the side, on a plate

Eating healthy is good for boosting your testosterone levels naturally.

your metabolism for a few hours since it takes caloric energy to digest the foods you consume. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).

This is not an excuse to wolf down mountains of junk food. Focus on protein since it accelerates your metabolism more than other foods. This occurs because protein causes the largest rise in TEF, ramping up your metabolic rate by 15% to 30%.

Eating protein is also essential for building and repairing muscle, which boosts your metabolism. Also, consuming adequate amounts of protein helps ward off both sarcopenia, which is muscle loss that hits elderly people, and the metabolism slowdown due to dieting.

Registered dietitian and Eleat Sports Nutrition owner Angie Asche, who is the author of the book Fuel Your Body: How to Cook and Eat for Peak Performance” recommends eating 20 to 25 grams of protein within an hour after working out.

That’s equal to a 3-ounce chicken breast (24 grams of protein), one 7-ounce container of 2% Greek yogurt (20 grams), or one scoop of whey or plant-based protein powder (grams of protein varies depending on the brand).

Don’t forget to drink water. Drinking more water may also raise your metabolism. Research shows that drinking 0.5 liters of water can elevate resting metabolism by 24% for approximately an hour. Cold water can do even better due to the energy expenditure needed to heat it to body temperature.

Get to bed! Deep, restorative sleep is crucial for the recovery and restoration of your body's processes. Sleeping fewer than seven hours regularly is associated with a parade of adverse health conditions: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, weakened immune system, escalating joint aches and pains, and greater risk of death, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research.

Regarding the harmful effects of lack of sleep on body processes, metabolism is no exception. Research has proven that sleep deprivation and reduced sleep quality wreak havoc on metabolism.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 3 Americans don’t get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep per night.

To get the sleep needed to maintain a healthy metabolism, following a nightly routine that facilitates calm and rest is imperative, such as deep breathing exercises to tamp down your nervous system. You can also try a quick and relaxing yoga session

Research points to the rate of your metabolism, particularly fat metabolism, being largely in your hands. It’s up to you to make lifestyle changes to boost your metabolism and overall health and wellness.




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