40+ and Fabulous? You can still boost your energy and your metabolism!
You probably know all too well that your metabolism slows down as you age. Couple that with driving the kids around town, getting your daily errands done, plus additional work responsibilities, and you’re probably running low on energy, too.
Your metabolism is linked to three key things: genetics, thyroid function, and muscle mass. While you may not have control over all of these, you can make a few simple changes to stack the energy deck in your favor.
Life in your 40s doesn’t mean you’re destined to gain weight or feel sluggish. In fact, you can boost your metabolism and your energy simply by following a few simple tips. You won’t even need to write them down. They’re that easy.
Don’t Forget to Eat – Okay, you’re probably thinking, “How am I supposed to boost my energy level by eating?” Fair enough. Let’s start with looking at how many calories you’re taking in each day. Most people in their 40s need approximately 1200 calories just for basic functioning, so if you’re skipping meals or snacks and running on empty, you’re probably slowing your metabolism down to a crawl. There’s no magic number that works for everyone, so try to eat around 400 calories at each meal, and add a healthy 150–200 calorie snack in between if needed.
Make Protein a Priority – Muscle mass depends on protein, and if you’re not including it, you may be slowing your metabolism even further. When planning your meals or grabbing something on the run, try to include a serving of healthy, lean protein, such as 3–4 ounces of chicken or fish. Nuts are a great go-to if you’re in a hurry, just remember that they can also be high in fat, so portion control is a must. A handful of almonds has about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein.
Build Muscle to Burn Fat – Your bathroom scale, while helpful (or annoying, depending on your mood) isn’t always the best indicator of a healthy weight. Imagine weighing the same as you do now but having more energy and looser clothes. On board? You should be! Muscle burns more calories than fat, which means you can increase your metabolism by maintaining (or building) muscle through regular strength training. And this exercise comes with a bonus because your body will continue to burn more calories for 24 hours after you exercise because it increases your resting metabolism.
Dance, Skip, and Run through Life – If you hate exercising, you’ll never stick with it, so think back to the things you loved as a teenager. It really doesn’t matter what moves you, as long as you move. If a walk around the block after dinner sounds like a good way to get someone else to do the dishes, then do it. And if you feel like dancing, turn on your favorite tunes and dance like no one’s watching. Just make the most of your time and enjoy yourself. P.S. If you can find someone to buddy up with you, you’ll probably be even more motivated to get your groove on.
Ultimately, the fuel you choose will help sustain your energy, and the more you incorporate fun exercise and strength training into your routine the quicker you’ll see, and feel, results. You may even find that you’re sleeping better and feeling more optimistic overall.