The Woman’s Ultimate Guide to Increase Metabolism after 40

Increase Metabolism after 40

How do women improve their metabolism as they age? This post is the woman’s ultimate guide to help increase metabolism after age 40.

Something happens to a woman’s body after she turns 40. Everything slows down. Muscle Mass decreases, which leads to muscle weakness, and the body’s ability to burn energy decreases.

Women lose 3-8% of muscle mass after 30. So, if one is not careful, it is easy to put on unwanted pounds and fat. So, take preventive steps to keep this from happening. Metabolism is the biochemical way your body breaks down food and converts it to energy.

Aerobic Cardio Exercise

You probably don’t want to hear it, but cardio exercise is essential for boosting metabolism. Exercising is like starting your car. You burn energy and, as a result, burn fat. One of the best benefits of exercise is that you continue to burn energy or calories for a while after your workout.

Remember this, the more you move your body, the more fuel or calories your burn. The more energy you burn, the more muscle you build. The more muscle you make, the less fat is stored in the body.

Strength Training

Strength training is essential because it builds muscle. The more muscle power you build, the less fat you will have. The mistake some make is only doing cardio or only doing strength training. It would be best to do both to boost your metabolism and lose weight. 

Try strength training using free weights or your body weight to exercise. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include pushups, pullups, planks, squats, and lunges.

Drink More Water

Most people drink less than the body’s daily requirement for water. Water helps the body to burn calories. So, instead of grabbing that warm or cold beverage, pick up a water bottle and drink that instead. Drinking water can increase your metabolism by 10 to 30 percent.

Dehydration slows metabolism and causes the body to conserve energy. Instead of burning fat, you hold on to and store it. But, staying hydrated and drinking water do the opposite. The more you drink water, the less you crave sugary, unhealthy drinks, and the more you increase your metabolism.

Increase Protein

  • Protein builds muscle
  • Protein increases a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied.
  • Protein decreases muscle weakness from aging
  • Protein gives you energy

Protein burns calories. Protein requires more calories to digest. Proteins also make you feel satisfied for more extended periods, decreasing the urge to eat things that are not healthy. Healthy protein includes beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, and whole-grain foods.

Increase Whole Grains

Tufts University states that those who eat whole grains instead of refined foods burn an extra 100 calories per day! Fiber also takes up more space and has bulk. Whole grains can decrease your feelings of hunger. Entire grains include rice, wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat, bulger, Millett, whole grain bread, crackers, popcorn, and Quinoa.

Increase Fruits and Vegetables

For starters, fruits and vegetables are low in calories. Once you eat fruits and veggies, the body uses this food as fuel to burn, whereas sugary refined foods store in the body as fat. Fruits and veggies contain vitamin C, vitamin B, and Calcium. So, replace foods such as sweets, snacks,  white bread, and crackers with these healthier choices.

Get Adequate Sleep

Get Some Sleep

Many negative things impact the body when you don’t get enough sleep. It’s somewhat of a domino effect. You wake up late, skip breakfast because you’re running late, and eat unhealthy options at lunch because you need something to satisfy your hunger because you skipped breakfast.

You’re too tired to cook when you get home and choose an unhealthy option. Then, you snack late at night because you haven’t eaten well all day. Oh yeah,  forget about working out. You’re exhausted. Sound familiar?

Sleep is a restoration process for the body. Web MD says:

  1. Too little sleep triggers a cortisol spike. This stress hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours.
  2. Translation: You’re more apt to hang on to fat.
  3. Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep for 14 days, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories stayed equal. They felt hungrier and less satisfied after meals, depleting their energy.

Eat Regularly (Don’t Skip Meals)

Food is fuel to the body. Our bodies cannot function properly without eating. Skipping meals has the opposite effect of what home people realize. Not eating regular meals causes you to conserve and hold on to fat. It’s the body’s way of preserving itself from starvation. Skipping meals does not do you any favors, but eating regular, well-balanced meals helps increase metabolism.

Eat Breakfast

If you are interested in boosting your metabolism but skipping breakfast, you are fighting a losing battle. Depriving your body of the fuel or energy it needs to burn fat is like driving a car without power. You will get nowhere. Breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism for the day. Breakfast burns more calories. Not eating breakfast slows metabolism down, and you are teaching your body to hold on to fat. Eat! Enough said.

Decrease Stress

Stress causes some to lose weight and causes others to gain. Some people who may lose weight while stressed also deal with stress by eating.   What do most people eat for comfort foods? You got it, junk food. But, even if you aren’t eating junk foods but more foods over time, your body will put on pounds. Sleep increases your metabolism.

Decrease Sugar and added Sugar in Diet

Sugar is full of empty calories, so there is little or no nutritional value. If you are in the habit of adding Sugar to a lot of your food, stop this now. Secondly, these keep you craving for more. After all, they don’t fill you up because they’re lacking in fiber. So, put the breaks on things such as desserts, candy, lemonade, sports drinks, fast foods,

Eat Whole Foods

Earlier, we mentioned eating whole grains. Now let’s talk about eating whole foods. Eliminate refined foods and eat whole foods. Examples of whole foods include beans, lentils, vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds,

 

 

Get Your Thyroid Levels Checked

The thyroid has hormones called T3 and T4 that help regulate the body’s metabolism. If the hormone level is too low, it can cause you to gain weight; if it is too high, you can lose weight rapidly. Thyroid hormone influences metabolism and body temperature and helps to regulate your appetite. If you are trying to lose weight, the thyroid level may be the key to increasing your metabolism after 40.

Watch What you Say: The Blame Game

Stop blaming weight gain on your slow metabolism, DNA, thick build, etc. In other words, stop blaming your weight on people, places, things, and situations. Blame puts the responsibility for your problem on someone else. 

When you take responsibility, it is more about how your mental state affects your metabolism and weight. You are responsible for what happens to you. Turn your gaze from the distractions to what you need to do for yourself.

Get Up Hourly and Walk Around

If you are in the office or at home, get up hourly and walk instead of sitting all day. Go down the hall and come back, go downstairs, come back, go to the mailbox, and come back. Keep your body moving to boost your metabolism.

Stop Depending on Supplements to do Everything

We live in a society of quick fixes. We want everything fast. Fast food, fast weight loss, fast everything, and if there is a corner to cut to get where we want to go, we will cut corners. If you want to increase metabolism, don’t look for quick fixes.

Supplements cannot exercise for you nor magically produce all the nutrients you need in a day in one capsule or pill. Put in the work you need to live a healthier lifestyle. Invest in your health! Yes, you can increase your metabolism after 40.

Conclusion

We spend money on cars, homes, massages, manicures, pedicures, entertainment, and clothing. Isn’t it about time we spend money on our health? 

Money and time invested in health will never go to waste. Decide to put your health at the top of your priority list and remove it from the bottom.

Another blog post that may be helpful to you is “Meal Prep and Weight Loss.”  


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Increase Metabolism after 40

Meal Prep and Weight Loss

 

Are women who prepare meals in advance healthier? 

Are women who prepare meals in advance healthier than those who don’t? This is an important question, and I can speak from experience and say yes. When I don’t do meal prep and weight loss planning at the beginning of the week, I come home tired and exhausted and tend to eat whatever I can grab from the refrigerator, which is usually a sandwich and maybe a snack.

If something salty is nearby, like chips, I may grab that, along with some water. Next, I may drink a fruit smoothie previously purchased from the store but has a considerable amount of sugar to drink before bedtime. Fresh fruit would be better because there is not as much concentrated sugar.

However, when I prepare basic food at the beginning of the week, I tend to eat healthier. So, to have a healthy lifestyle, I must plan. This way, I can portion out my meals for the rest of the week, pick them up and go. You know the old saying, “Fail to plan, then plan to fail?” I think that applies in this situation. If this is an area that you are struggling with, I have some tips that may be helpful to you.

A Few Ideas

First, plan what you will eat for the week in advance. I started doing meal prep on Sunday. Sometimes I cook a few meals and portion them out in containers to take to work for the week, or I prepare veggies for soups and stews by cutting them and then bagging and storing them until needed. If I am going to steam them later in the week, I chop them and put them in bags in the refrigerator. Then, when I am ready, I add sauce, seasonings, or whatever I need to dress up and prepare the meal.

Meal Prep  and Weight Loss Containers

I utilize meal prep containers and put food in containers for lunch for the week. Check out these meal prep containers.

Potatoes and veggies can be roasted and saved until needed. They can then be added to stews, soups, wraps, or veggie bowls.

The Versatility of Beans

A large pot of beans can be used one day for chili, another day for burritos, added to rice or Quinoa, or added to soups and salads. If you are creative, you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen trying to figure out what to make. The beans become the base for the week of other meals. I could go on and on with other suggestions for beans. Did I mention that you can make bean dip, bean spread, and beans in sweets?

Lentils are the quickest and easiest bean to make if you have time constraints. They are full of protein and fiber and can be used as they are or with rice. I like them in Mexican soup, lentil and spinach soup, lentil tomato and spinach soup, or whatever combination you like. Canned beans with low sodium are another option for quick meals. Curried Lentils are also quite tasty!

Breakfast, the most Important Meal of the Day

I prepare 3 or 4 days’ worth of smoothies for breakfast, pour them into cups, and freeze them. In the morning, I take it out, let it start thawing, and it is ready to eat before I leave or when I get to work. My other option for smoothies is to freeze the fruit for individual smoothies in baggies, and in the morning, blend the fruit and go. This way, I have a variety for the week.

Another breakfast or dinner favorite is scrambled tofu with onion, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms, if I have them, and spinach or Kale. It’s an excellent way to get extra veggies in my diet. I sometimes also add spinach or Kale to my smoothies.

I make a batch of my healthy whole wheat waffle recipe and freeze them. The recipe is easy, and waffles cook quickly. I like the waffle makers that make four waffles at a time. This waffle maker makes waffles on one side and pancakes on the other. I love it because it reminds me of the one my mother used when I was younger.

Invest in a rice cooker or use instant brown rice. I only use brown rice because it has more nutrients than white rice. I do believe it is the healthier option.   I prefer Basmati or Jasmine rice because it is flavorful and has a pleasant aroma.   Depending on where you shop, it may be harder to find in some stores. Rice cookers allow you to put the ingredients in the device and return when it’s ready.

A Few Secrets

One nutritious grain that I discovered a few years ago is Quinoa. This is an easy-to-cook grain that is loaded with protein. I will write a full blog post about it in the future. It is so versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways. This is an excellent grain for meal prep.

I keep a bag of Spinach and Kale at almost all times. I use spinach in salads, spinach, or Kale on my sandwiches instead of lettuce; I put them in smoothies and scrambled tofu. I don’t eat eggs, but if you do, try adding them to your scrambled eggs.

Keep it simple. I like the convenience, but I also want my food to be tasty and healthy. Many think that to eat healthily, one has to sacrifice taste, but that is not true.

I don’t like long hours in the kitchen.   On meal prep day, I do what is easy. You don’t have to make your entire meals for the week up front, but there needs to be enough preparation so you don’t feel like you are working a second job when you get off work.

If you take a little time each week for meal prep and weight loss, you will find that some of your bad eating habits will change. You will be more conscious of what you are putting into your body and feel better about yourself for better care of your body. Try it out next week and leave a comment below letting me know how things worked out. Also, check out 16 Diet and Fitness Tips for Women!

Physical Fitness

Women and Physical Exercise

Physical Fitness is important. Our bodies were designed to move. They were not designed to be stationary or lay idle for long periods.  Inactivity causes muscle wasting, heart, and respiratory issues, problems with our muscles and, bones, and other organs. Yet, the older we get, the less interest we have in exercise. Yet, this a the time we need movement the most.

Physical Fitness

There are many benefits to exercise for women over 40. “I like how I feel after exercise, but it’s the starting part that I have a problem with most days.” Does this sound familiar? It’s the story of my life. I start to work out and may even do it for some weeks and months, but I struggle with consistency. What is it that makes others love working out? How do I make time for it? The answer is simple. We make time for what we consider to be a priority in our lives.

The Importance of Exercise

Here are a few facts from womenshealth.gov,  but in a few words, to improve your health. Exercise to manage weight and take advantage of doing something healthy for yourself. Consider it a way of pampering yourself. However, there are also many health benefits to making physical activity a way of life.

There is strong evidence that physical fitness and regular exercise can lower your chances of the following diseases:

Heart Disease – This includes heart attacks and other blood or circulatory problems. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced. It can cause paralysis and brain injury.

High Blood Pressure – When the blood that pumps against the artery wall pumps hard for an extended period, it damages the organs and leads to further health problems.

Cholesterol – Unhealthy cholesterol levels cause clogging of the arteries.

Type 2 diabetes -occurs when your body does not make enough insulin or use insulin effectively. This can lead to other diseases, such as kidney failure.

Metabolic Syndrome WebMD defines Metabolic Syndrome not as a disease but as a group of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol, and abdominal fat. Colon cancer can be avoided with regular exercise.

Breast cancer – A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of all types of cancer.

Falls – No exercising leads to the breakdown of bones as we age, which can lead to injury in the event of falls.

Depression – This can look different as we age. One way to help ward off depression is to exercise. It can boost mood. Depression left untreated can lead to heart disease.

Hearing this should motivate us to exercise and make physical fitness a priority. But wait, let’s talk about a few more things.

What can happen if you don’t exercise and are out of shape and overweight? Is physical fitness that important?

Well, besides the things mentioned above, here are some additional health risks:

Breathing Problems – I know you’ve heard of sleep apnea. Muscle tone decreases as we age, and extra weight and lack of exercise increase periods where breathing is stopped for multiple periods during the night.

Osteoarthritis – Brittle bones, lack of exercise, and extra weight are bad combinations if you are prone to osteoarthritis, which can be debilitating.

Gallbladder Disease – The gallbladder is a small sac under the liver that stores bile. It can become diseased. Exercise lowers the chances of getting gallbladder disease regardless of how much fat tissue you have.

Reflux Disease – Reflux is when the gastric solution or acidic fluid flows backward into your esophagus. This can lead to choking during the night and burning in the throat; you guessed it, regular exercise and limiting eating late at night help decrease the symptoms of reflux.

How much exercise should you get? 

There are many theories and views on how much is needed. Still, the public health guidelines recommend a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking or gardening) or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (jogging, aerobics, and jumping rope) weekly.

That isn’t a lot of time out of a week. It boils down to priority and time management. If you are looking to lose weight, you may have to increase your aerobic activity.

Type of Exercise

At one time, I thought cardio was the only important thing with exercise. I later learned from a trainer that I also needed to include strength training and flexibility through stretching in my fitness regimen. Weights are one way to increase strength but using your body weight is quite affordable and cost-free. I have frequent low back pain from scoliosis, but when I do stretching and strength training at home, I notice a big difference in the level of my discomfort.

Walking

By far, the most comfortable and cheapest form of exercise is walking. It’s free and takes little effort and preparation, but if done correctly will reap good results. It is also an excellent place to start for beginners.

The biggest question is, why aren’t you doing it if you know you should?   There are various reasons why many don’t, including lack of time, little or no motivation, no energy, and the demands of life.

Breaking Barriers

Here are a few suggestions to help eliminate excuses for not exercising:

Try daily exercises at home, such as walking, gardening, or videos.

Wear a device that counts how many steps you are taking per day. I use the Fitbit Inspire and significantly increase my movement during the day. I give myself personal challenges.

Have an accountability partner or an exercise buddy.

Hire a personal trainer.

Participate in group fitness activities.

Everyone needs exercise. It is one of the best ways to prevent illness, improve health, and slow aging.

 

 

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The Benefits of Accountability Partners

Accountability Partners

Have you ever wondered why so many people are unsuccessful in exercising and changing bad habits? Maybe it’s due to the absence of one crucial ingredient many need but doesn’t necessarily utilize; it’s an accountability partner. Without accountability, some of us will not do things necessary for good health. Sure, we all know we need to exercise; it’s just a matter of doing it.

Some friends hold me accountable for exercising, drinking water, and eating correctly. We check in once a week and give our weight gains or losses. In addition to this, we also encourage each other during the week to drink more water and eat healthy foods. Sometimes we post pictures of our meals as suggestions for others to try. We also have water consumption and exercise challenges.

Two are Better than One

A text in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Now here are some of the benefits of an accountability partner.

Motivation 

If I become slack in my exercise or health management, I have someone to say, “Hey, you can’t quit now. Get up and keep trying.” Sometimes we may get tired of motivating ourselves, and that’s when an accountability partner steps in. When you run out of gas and feel like giving up, your accountability partner is there to motivate you not to give up. You may hear them say things such as, “That was just 15 push-ups. Give me ten more. Hey, keep going. You can do it. Don’t stop!”

Encouragement

There is nothing like an encouraging text, email, or note from time to time from someone who is in your corner when it comes to health. “Hey, it looks like you’ve lost a few pounds.” (they notice) “I found a recipe you may like. Try it and tell me what you think.”

“You drank eight glasses of water today? You go, girl!” Are you exercising for 20 minutes? “You drank eight glasses of water today? Way to go!” “You’re exercising 20 minutes? Maybe you can go for 30 minutes.” Have you had your mammogram or physical this year? Accountability partners give gentle reminders and suggestions.

Virtual Accountability Partners

Accountability Partners don’t always have to be someone who physically walks or exercises with you.  They can also be online.  You can do check-ins by phone or email and even use an app together.  The key to success is checking in with this person regularly.  The thing that hinders success is a lack of consistency.  Regularly doing a task, even for 10 or 15 minutes, is better than exercising for an hour every now and then.  Remember this: “Consistency is better than intensity.”

Success

Workplaces and groups incorporate accountability into their health plans by putting systems to keep employees healthy.

They offer discounts, free gym memberships, online health education, weight loss programs, or health monitoring devices like Fitbit. Check with your place of employment to see if they offer any of these programs. 

Exercise buddies can be husbands, sisters, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. You can even find online partners and groups. There is a website called www.sparkpeople.com that has plenty of free resources for losing weight and staying healthy. They also have accountability partners/groups, recipes, exercise videos, and a wealth of other information. If being consistent is difficult for you to get an accountability partner. Remember, two are better than ONE!

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