08/28/2014 Leave a comment
In simple terms, metabolism is the chemical action of transforming nutrients in food into energy. Metabolism is a complex set of chemical reactions between enzymes in your cells and the food you eat. Your metabolism is responsible for using energy or storing that energy as fat cells for use later. Unfortunately, many of us tend to store more energy than we use, particularly after age 40, and you may notice that you can’t eat everything you used to eat without gaining weight. This is due in part to a slowing of the metabolic processes that convert food into energy. This can be due to natural slowing of your metabolism combined with less physical activity than when you were younger. There are ways you can stimulate your metabolism after age 40 to lose weight and maintain your weight.
Be selective about what you eat. It is likely you were able to eat cheeseburgers, French fries and ice cream when you were younger without worrying about gaining 10 pounds. After age 40, you have to be pickier about what you eat. There are foods you can eat that will help stimulate your metabolism without sacrificing the enjoyment of food. Cut back on the junk food and add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. You can get the carbohydrates and protein your body needs for energy and strong muscles and bones by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Replace highly processed foods, such as white flour and frozen dinners, with fresh, whole foods. Whole foods, or those foods that are unprocessed, make your digestive system work harder to digest and stimulate your metabolism. Your digestion will also improve with the addition of natural fiber, as well as help you to feel full so that you eat less.
Balance your diet by taking out foods that make you feel sluggish with foods that energize your body. Replace processed flour, sugars and other carbohydrates with natural foods that will boost your metabolism. Add green tea and water to replace sugary sodas. Switch potato chips and fatty dips with fresh vegetables and low-fat fresh dips, such as guacamole or low-fat sour cream-based dips. Cut out candy and replace it with sweet, fresh berries and fruits.
Exercise will also help to boost your metabolism. Any form of exercise is good for your body. Start slowly if you have been inactive for a long time and get a complete check-up from your doctor. When you receive the all-clear, start by walking or riding a bike for a few minutes each day. Increase the amount of time you spend exercising by 5 to 10 minutes each week until you are exercising at least 30 minute each day. Try some weight lifting or other strength training exercises to increase your muscle mass. Muscle requires more energy than other tissues. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be to provide nutrients to muscle tissue.
Simple changes that include substituting bad foods for good food and exercising will boost your metabolism and keep it working at a peak level throughout your life.