As women age and reach menopause, many are faced with slowing metabolism, spreading waistlines, and slow weight gain. There are many factors that affect a woman’s weight as she enters menopause. But I want to show you how easily you can speed up metabolism during menopause.
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Not the least of these is a potential for thyroid dysfunction which affects approximately 8% of women at age 50 and jumps to 17% of women by age 60.
Related Article: WomensHealth.gov: Thyroid Disease Fact Sheet
OTHER FACTORS THAT AFFECT YOUR METABOLISM
Other factors that impact your metabolism include a reduced amount of exercise which often accompanies this stage in life. Couple this with a basal metabolic rate which is already slowing between 2% and 4% every decade since you’ve turned 30, hormonal changes during menopause and you are a perfect set up for weight gain and “middle-aged spread”.
There are a few things that women can do in order to speed up their metabolism and slow the weight gain to a stop or even reverse some of the changes. These are lifestyle choices that both men and women benefit from.
FIND SUPPORT WITHIN YOUR FAMILY
Women who can convince their spouses to go with them on this journey will find that both of them benefit from the improved overall sense of well-being and improved health.
BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR)
A basal metabolic rate is the number of calories required in order to keep the body alive if you do nothing more than lay in bed all day. These are the basic number of calories required in order to run your digestive system, your heart, and your respiratory system.
This rate is also determined by the amount of lean body mass you carry on your body. This means that muscle burns more calories at rest than does fat. Researchers have found that 1 pound of lean body mass will burn between 35 and 50 calories a day whereas 1 pound of fat will only be burned between 3 and 7 calories per day.
METABOLISM AND YOUR DESK JOB
Every single day we do things that affect our metabolism. People who sit at a desk and work in front of a computer will find that their metabolism slows all day long. Have you ever noticed that after a mentally taxing day at the office you “feel” hungrier?
The combination of a slower metabolism behind the desk and a perception of being hungry leads to a greater amount of weight gain. Where, how, and when you eat all have an impact on the amount of weight you gain or lose.
Poor food choices, not enough calories, eating junk food and some prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs all combine to have the same effect – a slowed metabolism and greater amount of weight gain.
In order to improve your basal metabolic rate you must make some difficult lifestyle choices that may seem challenging at first, but will reward you with a slimmer and more lean body that functions with more vitality and energy than ever before.
MAKING BETTER FOOD CHOICES
Start with your food choices and eliminate soda, candy, and all baked goods made with flour. High carbohydrate snacks such as chips can also sabotage your efforts.
Don’t eliminate everything all at once or you’ll feel as if you’ve been deprived and your efforts to change your lifestyle choices will fail.
Instead, eliminate things slowly and remember that all things in moderation are not a problem. If you are in love with potato chips there is no need to give them up altogether, but have them just once every two weeks and not every day.
MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE DAY
Eat breakfast first thing in the morning because your metabolism slows considerably while you’re sleeping. Eating a solid breakfast will speed up your metabolism, fill your stomach and reduce your risk of overeating before lunch. Include protein at breakfast so that you feel full longer and are not tempted to grab that doughnut at 1030 in the morning.
Include 30 minutes of exercise five days a week in your daily regimen. In this exercise routine be sure to include cardiovascular work and strength training. By including some strength training to increase the amount of lean body mass, you will also increase your basal metabolic rate every single day.
Research has determined that after 30 minutes of exercise your body’s metabolism stays elevated for at least 15 hours, continuing to burn more calories after you have stopped.
Try to exercise around the same time every day and find a partner who can inspire you and whom you can inspire. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day to help flush out the toxins from the metabolism of food in your environment.
Stop any exercise program and consult with your physician if you have any unusual joint pain or swelling.
When beginning an exercise program remember that you are not training for the Olympics. Try taking an exercise class at a gym, go for a walk every night after dinner or find an indoor swimming pool where you can swim laps and boost your metabolism at the same time.
If you are able to exercise in the morning do it before breakfast. Researchers have found that those who exercise immediately before breakfast will have an added boost to their metabolic rate.
Eat several small meals throughout the day and not three large meals, choosing low-fat protein-rich foods such as chicken or turkey.
LOOK WHAT ELSE SPEEDS UP METABOLISM
Food will actually speed up your metabolism because it takes energy to digest it. Too many people believe that you must go on a crash diet and eat less than 1200 calories per day in order to lose weight.
Although you do need to cut down on the fat and processed sugars, if you take calorie intake down too far it actually slows your metabolism and you’ll start to gain weight.
STAY AWAY FROM BAD CARBS
Try to stay away from processed carbohydrates like bread, pasta and potatoes. Instead, infuse your diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t get too excited about sugar-free candy, ice cream and cookies because the artificial sweeteners used to give you that “sweet” taste are laden with chemicals that cause other health problems.
YOUR NEW LIFESTYLE
Boosting your metabolism is a lifestyle choice that begins with eating better foods, getting more exercise, and building muscle mass. This formula is no different than losing weight or boosting metabolism at a younger age.
The difference is that the basal metabolic rate slows so significantly as we age that it requires a bit more exercise, a bit more muscle mass, and a little bit less food.