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 never 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 maybe you actually were one of those lucky girls who never really had to think about what you ate, but now you’ve started noticing that you can’t eat the same things you ate when you were younger and not gain weight, and even if you manage to stay thin, you can never seem to lose those last few pounds.
You’re not imagining it.
The truth is that as we age, our metabolism tends to slow down, making it way 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.
What exactly is metabolism, and how does it work?
Metabolism is the 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 to regulate your body temperature and how you store energy in the form of fat.
There are a few different factors that can greatly influence your metabolism, including:
- Your genes. 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 whatever 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.
- Your age. As you age, 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. That also means that even if you initially won the genetic lottery with a naturally high metabolism, you may actually struggle more as your metabolism slows down, because you’ve never experienced it before.
- Your lean muscle mass. As a general rule, the 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.
- Your thyroid. The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating your metabolism. If you have an under active thyroid (a condition known as hypothyroidism), it can lead to a slow metabolism and weight gain.
- Your activity level. 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.
- Your hormones. 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.
- Your diet. 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.
And that means that while there are some things we can’t control, like our genes and age, when it comes to our metabolism, there are a lot of other factors that we CAN influence. Thus, the first step in flipping the switch on your metabolism is 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 feeling like you’re actually 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:
- You’re gaining weight even though you’re eating the same amount. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Your hair is thinning, your skin is drier, and you just don’t feel “healthy.” 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.
- 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 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.
- 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?
6 Effective Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
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!
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.
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.
Eat More Protein & 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. Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Another important factor in a healthy metabolism is getting enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, 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.
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.
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 yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. You can 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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