As a woman in my 40s, I have noticed my body changing. In fact, I often hear women say that they never had to watch what they ate until they hit 40! And yes, it’s true – as we get older, our bodies change and our metabolism naturally slows down. But this does not have to mean the end of being healthy, fit or slim.
As we go through life, we need to adapt our lifestyles to our changing bodies, and there are some simple things you can do to stay fit and healthy throughout your 40s and into your 50s and beyond.
In this post, I’ll look at a ways of boosting your metabolism to feel and look great.
Perimenopause, Menopause and your metabolism
A woman’s body is based on hormones, so once we hit 40, it becomes even more important to look after our health and prepare the body for a simple transition into perimenopause and menopause. Particularly as this is a time in your life when you will notice more weight gain.
As we become older, the focus shouldn’t be about having the perfect abs. Yes, when we look good, we feel good, but as we age, the most valuable thing becomes our health and fitness.
I firmly believe that getting older doesn’t have to be plagued with aches and pains and horrendous symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. The healthier you are, the better your body will transition with every decade.
Let’s have a look at what you can do that will help keep those pounds off and keep you feeling energetic and healthy.
Look after your muscle mass
After 40 we begin to lose muscles mass, so it becomes important to have a good quality protein with every meal. Excellent sources include lean organic meats, tofu, beans, lentils and chickpeas, eggs, and good quality protein powders.
Include some weight bearing and strength building exercise into your exercise routine to tone and increase your muscle mass.
The importance of exercise
Your 40s are not a time to lead a sedentary lifestyle. As our metabolism slows down, fat can increase around the middle and with that, the chances of diabetes, heart disease and vascular disease.
So get moving! Aim to do 10,000 steps a day. Add more exercise into your week. It does not matter what you choose: walk, swim, or run; find something you enjoy that works for you.
Don’t feel you have to join a gym, simple changes to your day will all help. Take the stairs instead of the lift, park your car further away when going to the supermarket, get off the bus a few stops early on your way to work, or even better, walk rather than drive!
Look after your liver
Your liver is the major organ of detoxification. A healthy liver equals a faster metabolism and efficient hormone regulation. A healthy liver can also mean an easier menopause, which is something we all want!
For a healthy liver, cut down on processed and high-sugar foods. Aim to drink two litres of water a day and add the following foods to your diet:
- Sweet potatoes
Look after your digestion
As we age, it’s even more important to look after our guts as it is where all disease starts. Digestive problems can become more common and we may find we cannot tolerate certain foods that we have always eaten. Food intolerances can also lead to weight gain.
It’s important to always listen to your body and note how you feel after each meal. Do you feel bloated after certain foods? You may need to cut some out, or work with a nutritionist to identify what’s causing the problem.
Avoid large meals that put a strain on your digestive system and liver. Eat smaller meals and always ensure half of your plate is always full of vegetables or salad. Cut out processed foods and limit your sugar intake.
Make sure you eat breakfast and try to eat at the same time every day.
It’s also a really good idea to take a good quality probiotic daily.
Drink more water
As mentioned before, drinking two litres of water a day is essential for a healthy liver and getting rid of all those toxins. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and exhaustion making it harder to move and exercise so it’s important to carry a bottle with us and drink throughout the day.
Limit your alcohol consumption
Consuming too much alcohol won’t benefit your liver. A sluggish liver slows down your metabolism. If you are drinking, then aim to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.
Get the right amount of sleep
A lack of sleep makes it more likely we will make bad choices in the day. It’s thought we need at least 8 hours of good quality sleep every night. However, everyone is different. Six hours a night is all I need.
A good tip is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Once your body gets into the routine, it’s more likely you will get the good quality sleep it needs.
I hope you have found this article on boosting your metabolism helpful. I work with women from 40+ helping them enjoy life by becoming healthier, slimmer and having more energy. If you want to find out how I can help you then get in touch.