3 Tips For Speeding Up Your Metabolism And Burning More Calories Over 40, According To Experts

- Many of us know that aging gracefully is possible with a healthy diet, ample hydration, regular exercise, and a consistent sleep schedule. 

With that said, it can also feel overwhelming or stressful to create a diet plan, to start exercising more or prioritizing your health in general. 

We checked in with health experts to learn more about boosting your metabolism over 40, and how to simplify your health goals and keep the most important tips in mind.

Read on for insight and suggestions from Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet, and Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA medical center and assistant professor at UCLA Fielding school of public health.

1. Don't Restrict Calories When Meal Planning

In order to have a healthy metabolism and to burn more calories in the long run, you may be surprised to learn that depriving yourself of essential nutrients is not the way to go. 

Eating the least amount of food as possible might seem like a way to lose weight, but this is not at all a healthy mindset, Best stresses. 

"When it comes to dieting and weight loss, most of us look at calories first and how we can take in as few as possible," she acknowledges, "Unfortunately, this may work in the short term, but long-term it does damage to your metabolism."

Each person has a unique metabolism, she explains, "the rate at which they burn calories, and for most individuals this is around 2000 calories per day." 

This, she adds, means for your body to perform its regular functions at optimal level, it requires a certain amount of calories.

"Put simply, when you go over this number it leads to weight gain and when you consume less than this number it leads to weight loss," she continues. 

This weight loss is short-lived, however, Best notes, because the body will adjust to only receiving a smaller amount of calories.

"Therefore, it will slow down the amount of calories it needs in order to conserve energy and avoid starvation," she emphasizes, and "this essentially means you are slowing down your metabolism." 

When restricting ends, you will see rapid weight gain as you begin eating what was a "normal amount of calories before," Best says, because the body is "now storing the excess as fat more efficiently."

2. Try Gut-Healthy Supplements

While following a well-balanced diet is vita for your overall health and metabolism, Richards says you can feel even more benefits from additional supplementation. 

Probiotics, she explains, are available in supplement form through various methods and "contain many of these same beneficial bacteria that naturally occur, live, and even thrive in the body of healthy individuals."

There are a myriad of products available containing a "wide range of different bacterial strains," she notes, pointing out that "it is ideal to select the specific strain you need to address your unique situation." (A doctor or health expert can help

Chronic inflammation and gut dysbiosis can lead to "issues with weight loss," she warns, adding that "when the body is in an inflammatory state or the gut isn't balanced with good bacteria, this slows down many body processes, including metabolism."

Inflammation can also lead to "inaccurate numbers on the scale," she stresses, and reducing refined carbohydrates in the diet, "even those found in healthy processed foods," can help to "mitigate symptoms of chronic inflammation and weight loss issues." 

The three probiotic strains that Richards dubs "shown to most effectively help with weight loss" and boost metabolism are "Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Gasseri and Bifidobacterium infantis. 

3. Prioritize An Intake Of Whole, Unprocessed Foods

The foods we eat contribute to a "whole range of health or chronic diseases," Hunnes says, and she explains that when we follow a "primarily whole, plant-based diet," we are at lower risk for and may prevent a "whole range of chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and stroke to name a few." 

Many of these diseases are also associated with inflammation, which Hunnes deems is "frequently associated with the foods that we eat."

Foods that she says "most often contribute to inflammation" and wreck havoc on your metabolims include "animal products and ultra-processed foods." 

The foods that Hunnes adds most often contribute to anti-inflammation are "whole, plant-based foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables."

"Think of food as a lifestyle that you intend to follow lifelong, it takes you out of the mindset of yo-yo dieting, or crash diets and then going back to your prior way of eating," Hunnes continues. 

"It's much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle [and prevent more weight gain] than it is to lose weight." 

Hunnes recommends creating a "whole foods, plant-based way of eating for the vast majority of foods."

While this doesn't mean you cannot still enjoy your favorite dessert, she suggests that "80-90% of the foods you are eating are whole— the way nature grew them— from the ground, a tree, or from some other plant-based source." 

The reason that this tip works for those trying to boost metabolism over 40, she concludes, is because "these foods are anti-inflammatory, high in fiber, high in water, high in vitamins and minerals and nourish your body."

Author: Marissa Matozzo

S: shefinds.com

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