If you are over 30, you may have noticed that gaining that dreaded flab or muffin top seems to happen all too easily and getting rid of it can feel like an uphill task. Gone are the days where you can enjoy a buffet without thinking twice or weighing the “consequences”. Do you really have to surrender to a fledgling metabolism and resign to your “fate” of an ever-increasing amount of belly fat, flabby arms and jiggling thighs?
In this post, we explore why most women struggle to stay in shape as they age and some perhaps surprising things that they can do to boost their metabolism and fight the flab.
From the time we are born to about the age of 30, the muscles in our body grow larger and stronger. For most people, this changes some time in their 30s, and they start to lose muscle mass and function. Individuals who are inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. With the loss of muscle mass, our resting metabolic rate also decreases.
So, what can be done to maintain our muscle mass and metabolism?
Here are 3 things:
Eat Right To Rev Up Your Metabolism
Choose mainly whole, real foods. Make sure you include healthy, protein-rich food in your nutrition while ensuring you keep within a healthy daily calorie allowance. When you consume a protein-rich food, your body breaks it down into amino acids which helps build muscle. Aim to consume 1.5g/kg of your ideal body weight. For example, if your ideal body weight is 55kg, aim to include 55 x 1.5 = 82.5g of protein. Some good sources of protein include chicken, lean cuts of pork, salmon, tuna, sardines, eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, whey protein, tempeh, tofu, beans, legumes, spinach, asparagus and quinoa, just to name a few.
Don’t Just Do Cardio
Include 2 or more days of strength training a week to prevent the loss of muscle mass.
“But, won’t it make me bulky and chunky like the hulk?”
A common misconception among women is that strength training will lead to a bulky appearance. The truth is, the testosterone concentration levels that a woman has (without the intentional addition of chemicals and male hormones) will not cause you to look like the incredible hulk just because you do strength training.
Cosy Up and Get Enough Quality Sleep
Aim for an average of 7.5 hours of quality sleep every day. Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate our appetites. Conversely, ghrelin “tells” our brains when to eat. When you are sleep deprived, your leptin levels are low and ghrelin levels are high. This causes your brain to “tell you” that you are hungry. This is why you tend to eat more even though your body actually doesn’t need the extra food.
Do these 3 things and start to improve your metabolism today!