You probably don’t need scientists to tell you that your metabolism slows with age. Metabolism consists of hormones and enzymes converting food into fuel; this fuel provides the energy the body needs to do daily tasks like thinking, all the way through to more active tasks like biking or yoga. When your metabolism is working at its peak — such as when you’re running at your race pace on a treadmill — you are creating and using energy more efficiently. As your body plows through those calories, you’ll lose weight faster and streamline your journey to a fitter physique.
The average woman gains 1½ pounds a year during her adult life — enough to pack on 40-plus pounds by her 50s, if she doesn’t combat the roller coaster of hormones, muscle loss, and stress that conspires to slow her fat-burning engine. We’ve found an exercise and a lifestyle plan that will tackle all these.
1. Pendulum Kickback
Works: Triceps, Butt, Thighs
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with right leg straight in front of you, 6 to 12 inches off floor, foot flexed, and elbows bent 90 degrees so forearms are parallel to floor. Swing right leg behind you, and squeeze glutes as you straighten arms. Return to start. Repeat for a full set; switch legs.
2. Crouch & Pull
Works: Shoulders, Upper Back, Arms, Obliques, Butt, Thighs
Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart and sit back into partial squat. Hold a weight in each hand and hinge forward from hips about 45 degrees, arms below shoulders, palms facing in. Keeping lower body still, rotate torso to right, bend right arm, and pull dumbbell toward chest, elbow pointing toward ceiling. Return to start; repeat alternating sides. (If you have back problems, use one weight at a time and place other hand on a chair for support).
3. Knee-Hugger Chest Fly
Works: Chest and Abs
Holding dumbbells in hands, lie faceup with knees bent, shins parallel to floor, arms out to sides, elbows slightly bent, and palms facing ceiling. Contract abs and lift hips about 3 inches off the floor. At the same time, squeeze chest muscles and raise arms, bringing dumbbells together over chest. Lower to start and repeat.
4. Squat Curls
Works: Biceps, Butt, Thighs
Hold a dumbbell in right hand at side, palm forward. Cross left ankle over right thigh (hold a chair if needed). Bend right knee and hips, sitting back (keep knee behind toes) as you raise weight to right shoulder. Return to start. Repeat for a full set; switch sides.
5. Lift-Off Lounge
Works: Shoulders, Triceps, Butt, Thighs
Stand with feet hip-width apart, dumbbells at shoulders, palms forward. Step right foot back about 2 feet, bend both knees, and lower until left thigh is about parallel to floor, knee over ankle. Press into left foot and stand up as you pull right knee forward (so you’re balancing on left leg), and press weights overhead.Without touching floor, swing right leg back into lunge position as you lower weights. Repeat for a full set; switch legs.
Metabolism Boost #1: Get Proper Sleep
Besides feeling exhausted, a lack of sleep can lead to several health problems, including weight gain. Research shows that women who sleep five hours or fewer per night are 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain. Not catching enough Zs doesn’t allow metabolism to function properly, and instead your metabolism slows down. Making matters worse, oor sleep causes an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which signals the body to eat more.
Metabolism Boost #2: Eat Protein
The amount of quality protein in your diet is the single most important calorie that influences your metabolic rate, positively influencing your weight loss efforts. Quality protein also helps you maintain or grow muscle during weight loss, improve muscle fitness, improve immunity, improve antioxidant function, build HDL cholesterol, and enhance insulin and leptin function – all of which enhance optimal weight management efforts over time.
Research proves that protein can elevate your metabolism and boost your post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.
Example: if you should weigh 160 pounds and you do weigh 200 pounds, then your goal for protein intake is in the range of 120 to 150 grams of protein per day. Since each gram of protein is 4 calories, this means 480 to 600 calories per day from protein. This is around 30% of your calories from protein (based on a 2000 calorie diet).
Metabolism Boost #3: Intense Cardio
To spike up the body’s metabolism, do intense 45-minute cardio sessions a few times a week. Studies have shown that intense cardio workouts can slash an additional 190 calories post-workout. While research is still not solid on what produces this increase in calories burned, most research leans toward the after burn effect, in which a period of intense activity causes the body’s metabolism to spike and burn off more fat than usual.
Metabolism Boost #4: Muscle Power
Building muscle through strength training helps give your metabolism an upward bump. While how much is unclear, one thing is known: muscle burns calories at a higher rate than fat. Even if you consider yourself active, make sure to incorporate strength training into your fitness routine. Otherwise you run the risk of
losing muscle mass.
Metabolism Boost #5: Eat the Right Food
When you eat plays a major role in metabolism, especially when it comes to breakfast. To make your metabolism really soar, there’s also a little-known plan called 2 Week Diet that actually teaches you what to eat and when. This plan fires up your metabolism, allowing you to shed weight and shed it FAST. Those on the diet report losing 12-23 pounds and 2-4 inches in a matter of 2 weeks – all backed by science. Watch this video to learn more about how the 2-week diet works.