Metabolism slows with age. According to a new study the average women gains 1.5 pounds per year on the course of her adult life, which means an additional 45 pounds by the time you reach 50.
You can blame that to genetics, hormones, stress, muscle loss and even your busy schedule, but the truth is if you want to lose weight and you are failing then you certainly could use a few tips.
Dan Benardot, PhD, RD, an associate professor of nutrition and kinesiology at Georgia State University, and Tammy Lakatos, RD listed metabolism-boosting food rules that facilitate an almost effortless weight loss program.
1. Pitfall: You don’t eat enough (or at all)
Yes, you need to cut your calorie intake in order to lose weight but overdoing it can do you more harm than good. Going too low and too fast can disrupt your metabolism can force you to overeat later on without you even realizing it.
Remember you need about 1,200 calories a day to power up your basic biological functions. So heed Dr. Benardot’s advice: eat enough food so you won’t be hungry.
2. Pitfall: You stay away from caffeine
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and in turn speed up your metabolism for about 5 to 12% according to a Japanese study.
3. Pitfall: You eat white carbohydrates
Get more fiber. Try eating whole wheat bread, pasta, fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that fiber can improve your body’s ability to burn fat by as much as 30% and people who eat the most fiber gain the least amount of weight over time.
4. Pitfall: You drink warm water
Researchers from Germany learned that by drinking 6 cups of cold water a day can make you consume additional 50 calories. That can equate to 5 pounds in the whole year. Your body needs to heat the water you drink to your core temperature, and that takes work – and therefore calories.
5. Pitfall: Your food is covered with pesticides
As if foods grown with harmful pesticides aren’t bad enough, Canadian researchers learned that people with a high level of organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience slow metabolism. A popular theory suggests that it’s because the toxins interfere in the energy-burning process. Another one proposes that pesticides in food can actually trigger weight gain.
What’s the solution to this? Eat organic.
6. Pitfall: Your diet lacks protein
Not having enough protein in your diet will make your muscle weak. If not eating meat is part of your diet then make sure to consume at least 2 tablespoons of nuts every mealtime. You can also get protein from low-fat yogurt.
7. Pitfall: You neglect iron intake
You should make sure that iron remains an essential part of your diet, even if you’re trying to lose weight. Iron carries oxygen to your cells and your muscles which is needed to burn fat. Eat shellfish, beans, meat, cereals, spinach and other fortified food to make your get your needed dose of iron.
8. Pitfall: You forget Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that many people miss in their diet. It is need for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue and calcium absorption. Salmon, shrimp, tuna, tofu, eggs, cereal and milk are all good sources of vitamin D.
9. Pitfall: Your drink alcohol, lots of
Alcohol in your blood makes you burn less fat. A two glass of martinis can impair your ability to burn fat by more than 75%. That is why people have beer (alcohol) bellies. If you want to diet, stay away from alcohol.
10. Pitfall: You ignore dairy in your diet
Calcium deficiency slows down metabolism, especially in women. And dairy is a top source of calcium. You can get it from drinking milk or the better alternative, eating organic yogurt.