Understanding why we gain weight may help you better address some issues you may not have realized. Here are the top 3 reasons menopause effects the body and women tend to gain weight.
Simply put, the reduction in estrogen may also lower metabolic rate, which in turn slows calorie burn. Studies also show that lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and glucose less effectively (insulin resistance), thus increasing fat storage and making it more difficult to lose weight.
It happens to the best of us, as we get older, we are less likely to exercise. In fact, 60% of adults are not active enough and this increases with age.
Muscles help increase the metabolism. Without toned muscles, there is a greater chance of weight gain.
Exercise, nutrition, and small lifestyle changes are all you need to help reverse the effects of post-menopausal weight gain. Consider the below tips on how to speed up your metabolism, and try to incorporate them into your daily life. Not only will you speed up your metabolism and lose weight, but you’ll feel better mentally, physically, and have a ton more energy!
8 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism
Breakfast is essential. Your body has been deprived of food throughout the night and your metabolism has slowed. Eating first thing will help speed up your metabolism by giving it a good kick start. Eat fewer high-fat foods, less total calories, and eat 5-6 smaller meals a day. By doing this, your body knows that its energy source is steady and will burn more calories instead of storing it as fat for later use. (Editor’s Note: The advice to eat breakfast and frequent meals to increase metabolism does not work for many older women unless they are VERY active.)
Choosing healthy foods, such as lean protein and vegetables, can increase your metabolism as well. Increase dietary fiber and limit sugary foods, alcohol, caffeine, and don’t smoke. The best foods to speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight are fish, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, blueberries and other fruits, and whole grains.
Protein takes more energy to digest than carbohydrates and fats and takes longer in the digestion process so you won’t feel as hungry and prevents eating more calories. Aim to have a serving of protein, such as nuts, a small can of tuna, or a piece of low-fat string cheese, at every meal and snack.
Sprinkle a few hot peppers into your lunchtime soup or evening stir-fry. They temporarily speed up your metabolism and thus increasing your ability to burn more calories.
The best way to speed up your metabolism is to exercise. Exercise will reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. Lifting weights or using your own body weight will increase muscle mass the most. Muscle burns more calories than fat which aids in speeding the metabolism and weight loss. “A pound of muscle burns up to nine times the calories a pound of fat does,” explains fitness expert Westcott.
In fact, a woman who weighs 130 pounds and is muscular burns more calories than a sedentary 120-pound woman of the same height. Regular strength training can increase your resting metabolic rate anywhere from 6.8 to 7.8 percent. (That means that if you weigh 120 pounds, you could burn around 100 more calories a day, even when you’re just watching TV.)
Aerobic exercise, like walking, swimming or cycling or running has the added bonus of speeding up your metabolism for 4 to 8 hours after you stop exercising. Additional calories will be burned off long after you stop exercising. Exercise any time you can fit it into your day and you will burn that fat away. By exercising just a little more than usual you can speed up your metabolism and use up stored fat in the process.
Check out FitKit which offers 250 exercises including cardio, strength, and balance. All of which will help speed up the metabolism.
Adding interval training — bursts of high-intensity moves — to your workout is a great metabolism booster. It’s important to push the body to different levels so the metabolism does not become stabilized. Since your body is working harder, it’s a more intense workout — and you therefore burn more calories. You can easily incorporate interval training into your workout by inserting a 30-second sprint into your jog every five minutes or by adding a one-minute incline walk to your treadmill workout.
Skimping on sleep can derail your metabolism. Sleep is when the body heals and repairs itself. People who get four hours of sleep or less a night have more difficulty functioning, digesting and even thinking. When the body is exhausted, your body lacks the energy to do its normal day-to-day functions, which include burning calories, so your metabolism is automatically lowered. If exercising at night tends to keep you awake, try working out in the morning or soak in a hot bath before heading to bed.
Long-term stress can wreak havoc on your body and metabolism. When you’re chronically stressed, your body is flooded with stress hormones, which can spark the appetite, making you likely to over eat. Exercise is a great stress reducer, as is playing with the dog, writing in your journal, even listening to classical music. Allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes every day to kick back and enjoy one of these activities.
Water helps to keep the body hydrated, function properly, and move nutrients through the body. Drinking cold water will speed the metabolism as the body uses extra energy to heat the water to body temperature.
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