Beginning around age 35, metabolism slows down approximately 5 percent per decade, with a drop of as much as 30 percent over the adult life span. A slowing metabolism means that without changing eating habits or activity levels, adults will burn 200 calories fewer per day. This slowing of metabolism and burning fewer calories can mean unwanted weight gain during middle-age. Certain dietary choices can boost metabolism and help prevent gaining those unwanted pounds typically gained during middle-age.
Skipping breakfast after 8 to 9 hours of fasting during sleep causes the body to go into starvation mode and conserve energy, causing a slowing in metabolism. Research also suggests those who eat breakfast eat fewer calories throughout the day, and those who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese than those who eat breakfast. Boost metabolism first thing in the morning by eating a 300 to 400 calorie breakfast.
Eat More Often
Waiting too long between meals also causes the metabolism to slow down. Eating small meals every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day has been shown to boost metabolism, and studies show that those who eat smaller meals more frequently tend to eat less and weight less than those who go longer periods between meals.
Drink Green Tea and Water
According to Kate Hanley in the June 2009 Body+Soul article “Secrets to Healthy Weight Loss,” drinking three to five cups of green tea per day naturally boosts metabolism. Drinking water is also important in boosting metabolism since metabolism slows considerably when the body becomes even slightly dehydrated. Drinking 48 ounces of water per day reduces the risk of dehydration and supports metabolic functioning. Drinking tea or water on ice has also been shown to slightly boost metabolism.
Eat More Protein
Eating any type of food, whether it be fat, carbohydrate or protein, boosts metabolism; however, studies show that eating protein has the greatest impact on boosting metabolism during digestion, with twice as many calories burned during digestion of protein than during digestion of fat or carbohydrates.
Consume Enough Calories
Eating fewer than 1,000 calories per day causes metabolism to slow down mostly due to the loss of muscle mass. Avoiding crash diets that call for less than 1,000 calories per day and eating at least 1,200 to 1,500 calories at a minimum ensures an adequate amount of calories to boost metabolism.
While making smart dietary choices helps to boost metabolism and the body’s calorie-burning abilities, building muscle plays an important role in boosting metabolism and preventing unwanted weight gain during middle-age.