Wondering how to increase your metabolism after 40? You’re not alone!
If you’re like most women, you’ve probably noticed that your metabolism after 40 isn’t quite what it used to be.
Maybe you were previously one of those lucky girls who could eat anything they wanted and not gain a pound, but now it feels like just looking at food will boost you up a dress size.
Or, even if you always had to be aware of what you ate, you have likely noticed the pounds come on a lot easier (and are much harder to get rid of).
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You’re not imagining it.
The truth is that as we age, our metabolism tends to slow down, making it much more difficult to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. But that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost, or that there’s nothing you can do to fix it.
In today’s post, we’re diving into what your metabolism is, clues it might be slowing down and, most importantly, how you can boost your metabolism after 40 using 6 science-backed methods.
What exactly is metabolism, and how does it work?
Metabolism is the chemical process by which your body converts the food you eat into energy.
This energy is used to power your cells, tissues and organs. Your metabolism also helps regulate your body temperature and how you store energy in the form of fat.
Factors that affect your metabolism
There are a few different factors that can greatly influence your metabolism, including:
Yes, it’s sad but true. Some people were just born lucky with a naturally high metabolism. Those are generally the people who can eat what they want without ever gaining weight.
On the other hand, some people are born with genetic conditions that can make it a whole lot harder to lose weight or keep their metabolism working properly.
Lean muscle mass
As a general rule, the more muscle you have and the higher your muscle-to-fat ratio, the higher your metabolism will be.
That’s because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even when you’re at rest.
As you age, you begin to lose that muscle mass, which means your metabolism naturally starts to slow down. This is why it’s a whole lot harder to lose weight in your 40s and 50s than it was in your 20s.
The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating your metabolism. If you have an underactive thyroid (a condition known as hypothyroidism), it can lead to a slow metabolism and weight gain.
People who are more active tend to have slightly higher metabolisms than those who are less active. This is because our bodies burn more calories when we’re moving around.
Hormonal imbalances can have a big impact on your metabolism.
Women who are going through menopause often find that their metabolisms start to slow down as their hormone levels change.
This is because estrogen and progesterone help to regulate metabolism. So when levels of these hormones start to decline, it can lead to a decrease in metabolism.
For better or worse, the food you eat has a big impact on your metabolism, particularly foods that spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Consuming too many refined carbs and sugary foods can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain and a slower metabolism.
Thankfully, there’s some good news here too! While there are some things we can’t control when it comes to our metabolism (like our genes and age), there are a lot of other factors that we CAN influence.
The first step in flipping the switch on your metabolism? Shifting your focus to the things you can actually do something about.
How can you determine if your metabolism actually is slowing down?
There’s honestly nothing more frustrating than really trying so hard to eat right and exercise, and yet nothing quite seems to be working.
If you’re starting to feel like your metabolism has slowed down, there are a few key signs and symptoms to look out for:
Weight gain (without diet changes)
You’re gaining weight even though you’re eating the same amount, ugh.
You haven’t really changed your diet—if anything you’re eating less than you used to—and yet that once stable number on the scale keeps creeping up.
Your clothes feel tight, your face is puffier than it’s ever been and something just feels “off”, but you don’t know why.
Inability to lose weight
So, you try to cut back and exercise more. But, you’re struggling to lose weight no matter how much you diet and exercise.
You’ve been watching what you eat and working out regularly, but the pounds just don’t seem to be budging.
In fact, it feels like you might even be gaining weight despite your best efforts.
You’re feeling more fatigued than usual, even if you’re getting a good night’s sleep. Some days it feels like all you can do to make it through the day without taking a nap.
You’re not quite sure what’s causing this fatigue, but it seems to be getting worse and worse.
Increased mood swings
You’re experiencing more mood swings and emotional outbursts than usual. You feel irritable for no reason, and your patience is shorter than it’s ever been.
You might be snapping at your friends and family more than you ever have before, but have no idea why every single thing seems to set you off.
You look a bit different in the mirror these days. Your face is pale and puffy, your hair is thinning, and your skin is drier. Even worse? You just don’t feel “healthy.”
Decrease in energy
You used to have a lot of energy, and now it feels like it’s harder and harder to even get out of bed in the morning. You’re not sure what’s causing these changes, but you know something isn’t right.
Change in body temperature regulation
You’re feeling cold all the time, even when everyone else is comfortable. You’re always reaching for a sweater or blanket, and you can’t seem to get warm no matter what you do.
Intense food cravings
You have cravings for sugary or high-carb foods. You find yourself wanting foods that you normally wouldn’t crave, and you have a hard time resisting them even though you know they’re not good for you.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it’s possible that your metabolism has slowed down.
While it’s not always the cause of weight gain or fatigue, a slow metabolism can make it harder to lose weight and feel energized.
So it begs the question then—what can you actually DO about it?
How to Increase Your Metabolism After 40: 6 Practical + Easy Tips
The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to boost your metabolism and change the way your body burns fuel.
Keep reading to discover 6 simple changes you can make right away that will help get your metabolism back on track!
1. Avoid Carbs and Sugar
One of the biggest culprits in a slow metabolism is high blood sugar and insulin levels. Consuming too many refined carbs and sugary foods can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain and a slower metabolism.
Instead of reaching for sugary snacks or processed carbs, try incorporating more protein and healthy fats into your diet. This will help to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
2. Practice Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a great way to give your metabolism a boost.
Fasting for short periods of time can help to increase fat burning and weight loss. It can also help to improve insulin sensitivity which can lead to a faster metabolism.
If you’re new to intermittent fasting, start with shorter fasts of 12-16 hours. You can do this by skipping breakfast or by eating dinner a bit earlier.
As you get used to fasting, you can increase the length of your fasts to 24 hours or more.
3. Eat more protein and healthy fats
Protein is an important nutrient for a healthy metabolism. It helps to build and repair muscle tissue, and it can also help to increase fat burning.
Aim to consume 20-30 grams of protein at each meal, and include a variety of sources like chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
Healthy fats are also important for a healthy metabolism. They help to promote satiety and can also increase fat burning. We even wrote an entire blog post about why healthy fats are so good for you.
Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Another important factor in a healthy metabolism is getting enough sleep.
When you don’t get the right amount of rest, your body starts to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol which can lead to weight gain and a slower metabolism.
Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep quality.
Try disconnecting from electronics an hour before bed, avoiding caffeine in the evening and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
5. Lift Heavy Weights
In addition to eating the right foods and getting enough sleep, exercise is also important for a healthy metabolism.
One of the best types of exercise for boosting metabolism is resistance training or weightlifting.
Lifting heavy weights helps to build muscle mass which can increase your resting metabolic rate. It can also help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.
If you’re new to weightlifting, start by incorporating some basic exercises into your routine, like squats, lunges and presses. As you get stronger, you can add in more advanced exercises like deadlifts and pull-ups.
6. Reduce Stress Levels
Too much stress can lead to a number of health problems including weight gain and a slower metabolism. When you’re stressed, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol which can increase your appetite and make you store more fat.
To reduce stress levels, try incorporating some relaxation techniques into your daily routine. This could include things like:
- deep breathing
You should also try to schedule in some down time each day to relax and unwind.
A slow metabolism can be frustrating, but there are a lot of things you can do to improve the way your body burns fuel.
Making even a few small changes to your lifestyle can have a big impact on your metabolism. By following these simple tips, you can give your metabolism a much-needed boost and start feeling better than ever.
That said, if you’re ready to get serious about improving your metabolism, we recommend starting with our Thinlicious™ 28 Day Metabolism Reset, which is designed to introduce you to the Thin Adapted System and help you retrain the way your body burns fuel in just four weeks. Get it HERE.
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