I'm Annie Parker, nutrition expert and fitness guru. I'm here to share five tips to boost your metabolism to get fit and stay fit past the age of 25. Let's start with the basics...
What is a metabolism?
Metabolism refers to the whole range of biochemical processes that occur within our bodies. More specifically, we're talking about the rate at which you burn calories, which is super important when it comes to getting and staying fit. When you're younger, it seems like you can eat anything you want. This is because younger people tend to have higher metabolisms, meaning they burn more calories.
But as you get older, your metabolism naturally slows down. Studies have shown that your metabolism slows down by two-to-four percent each year. There is still hope, though. While it might take some hard work and dedication, there are ways to boost your metabolism significantly so that you stay fit as you age.
It can be tempting to skip a meal or drastically restrict calories while you're trying to lose weight but don't do it. When your body is hungry, it actually stops burning calories to conserve energy. This might seem counter-intuitive. Your metabolism slows way down and it actually starts breaking down metabolism-boosting muscle for energy. For most women, this happens when calorie intake falls below 1,200 calories a day.
Not getting enough sleep negatively affects carbohydrate metabolism and can cause hormonal imbalances. When carbs are not properly metabolized, your blood sugar levels increase. High blood sugar levels spike insulin levels, signaling your body to store unused energy as fat.
Lack of sleep can also cause cortisol levels to rise, contributing to unwanted belly fat. Everyone's sleep needs are different, but you should aim for six-to-eight hours per night based on your individual needs.
Emotional stress causes cortisol to rise, which harms your metabolism. Increased cortisol can cause overeating and an increase in belly fat. To combat stress, you should take at least 10 minutes out of your day to quietly meditate. You'll notice your stress levels decrease, which will increase your metabolism. You can meditate right when you wake up, before going to bed, or even during the middle of the day. You can also try meditating while taking a quick walk, which helps to release endorphins as well.
Ditch the crash diets
Crash diets actually slow down your metabolism even more. While they might provide short-term improvements, crash diets will not yield long-term results. Why? Because crash diets cause muscle mass and water loss rather than fat loss, which can slow down your metabolism.
Following a crash diet also means you're not getting enough vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. These deficiencies can affect your metabolism. Instead follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, which will be your best bet for long-term results and an efficient metabolism. This also means you should keep processed foods and sugars to a minimum.
There's really only one way to keep your metabolism working properly as you age -- by preserving and gaining lean muscle mass through exercise. Between the ages of 25 and 65, you'll lose at least five pounds of muscle every ten years. But you can prevent this metabolic and muscle loss with consistent anaerobic training. When you work out, your muscles are burning calories and, as a result, your metabolism speeds up. That's why regular exercise and high-intensity interval training is essential to boost your metabolism over the long-term.
So there you have it...
Revving up your metabolism all boils down to getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating right, and reducing stress. Follow these expert tips, and you'll stay fit past the age of 25 -- guaranteed!