Metabolism slows down about 5 percent every decade, starting in our mid-30s. But don’t resign yourself to the extra pounds. ”For most of us, lifestyle and environmental factors are more important than age or genetics for controlling weight,” says Jimmy West, Nutritionist in Washington with 10 year experience.
1. Think Quality, Not Quantity
Now’s the time to trim empty calories from your diet: A 2009 study at Brigham Young University found that middle-aged women who weren’t conscious of eating less as they aged were more likely to gain weight over a three-year period. ”I counsel my clients to think of it not as curbing intake, but as choosing worthy foods with intention,” says West. That means less refined flour, sugar, and snacks and more vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and seeds. People in the olden days loaded themselves daily on ginger tea, which provides a boost to your metabolism.
2. Build More Muscle
Strength training is critical for keeping metabolism humming as you age. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, explains West, and without intervention, women start losing muscle as early as their mid-30s. To boost your muscle mass, West recommends strength training four times a week. It helps you burn more calories, even at rest.
3. Drink More
Green tea contains antioxidants known as polyphenols that have mild metabolism-boosting properties, Dennis says. “Staying hydrated with a combination of green tea and water may counteract some of the metabolic slowdown that occurs with age.”
Drink three to five cups of green tea a day for its calorie-burning potential, suggests Dennis, and at least 48 ounces of water to support the body’s metabolic processes.